What We Do

Professional Development for Teachers

The Judiciary History Center has partnered with local and national organizations like the Center for Civic Education, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Federal Judicial Center, the American Bar Association, Street Law, the Hawaii Department of Education, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Hawaii Council for the Humanities to provide teachers with several opportunities per year to engage in professional development.


The Judiciary History Center offers schools, colleges, and the general public a number of law-related educational activities and resources. Law-Related Education (LRE) has evolved from the assumption that individuals who understand the reasons for laws and the institutions that support them are more likely to act responsibly in society. Students exposed to LRE are better able to predict consequences of breaking the law. They may also be more capable of resolving disputes independent of the court system. The Center is one of the few providers of LRE programs in the state.

Programs of the Center focus on the historical, social, and legal traditions of Hawaii. Presentations made through lectures, panel discussions, film, and theatrical performances deal with topics and themes of the past that have relevance to current events and the future direction of the state and nation. Thought provoking and educational, our programs are free to the public.

The Speakers Bureau

The Hawaii State Judiciary created a Speakers Bureau to educate the community about the judicial system. The bureau will find a speaker to present thought-provoking and important information appropriate to your audience.

The Speakers Bureau can assist most civic groups, social organizations, professional associations, schools, law enforcement agencies and more. Keep in mind that judicial ethics prevent judges from addressing special interest groups or speaking about pending cases. Also keep in mind that out speakers accept requests as their other commitments allow.

If you would like to request a speaker, please contact us.

Research and Publications


The role of the courts in Hawaiian society during the Monarchy period culminated in an analysis of over 20,000 cases preserved in the State Archives. As an outgrowth of this research, a database of 19th century judges and lawyers has been produced. New information is incorporated as it becomes available.


Correspondence, minutes, appeals, petitions, and other legal documents from the Monarchy period continue to be translated from Hawaiian into English by Center volunteer Esther “Kiki” Mookini. Staff and volunteers are assisting in editing and formatting manuscripts that have already been translated.