Celebrate Law Day and Our Justice System on May 1
By Paul Gagliardi
Each year on May 1, Law Day is celebrated across the nation. As we enter into a new decade for justice, it is important to reflect on what the justice system means to American citizens.
The 21st Century and the new decade bring new and continued challenges for our justice system. Globalization, economic and political strife, terrorism and technological advances are bringing about new needs and new challenges. Due to these reasons, the legal system has to adapt and respond to ever-growing challenges and respect increased connections and diversity.
In our ever-shrinking global era, issues of human rights, criminal justice, property, security, social issues and environmental concerns aren't just between countries, but are issues we should all be concerned and educated about. Our rights as citizens depend on the law and we depend on the law to help protect us.
While other countries are opening up their courts and granting new and practical legal rights, we in the United States continue to see our justice system attacked and often eroding. Our justice system, which is so often attacked by big business, special interests and others, is the system that is the very foundation of this country and what protects our rights and our citizens. It is our duty as Americans to keep a watchful eye on our justice system and fight for our rights and those around us.
Our legal system, and more importantly, our right to jury trial and civil protection, is key to our Democracy and the foundations of our constitution.
"Each year on Law Day, we celebrate our commitment to the rule of Law. That great commitment is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and has been reaffirmed by the words and deeds of great Americans throughout our Nation's history." - President Barack Obama, 2009 Law Day Proclamation.
Paul Gagliardi is the President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the state's largest statewide voluntary bar organization. WAJ is committed to a fair and effective justice system for all, not just the privileged and wealthy.