BARNABAS D. JOHNSON
From 1985 to 1989 I served as Editor-in-Chief of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, a two-volume, 1200-page loose-leaf service (annual, plus updates). I helped start this project in 1983, my initial responsibility being to develop and employ standard “measures” for evaluating the work and demeanor, etc., of each judge. I headed the entire enterprise after 1985. My staff included from 3 to 7 lawyers, plus others.
Basically, the Almanac tracked and summarized the significant activities, opinions, and writings of and about 800 district (trial, Vol. 1) and 200 circuit (appellate, Vol. 2) judges; the project also interviewed thousands of leading litigators and professors, etc., nationwide, regarding these federal judges, with a view to developing and publishing systematic profiles and evaluations of each judge. The Almanac was sold to Prentice Hall (Paramount) in 1989, following which I commenced full-time work on Soviet and post-Soviet law reform and legal-education reform.
As Editor of the Almanac, I was ultimately responsible for every detail of all content — all biographical summaries, all synopses of each judge’s major writings and judicial opinions, and all evaluative summaries including synopses of major news articles about these 1000 judges. This was a huge research and publishing project, and while obviously I could not write all of it, let alone all of each semi-annual update, the fact is that this highly-regarded endeavor had my “fingerprints” all over it.
I should add that during my Almanac years I never relied on staff summaries of articles by judges regarding their favorite subjects: the job of a judge, the role of the judiciary. All such articles (and major speeches, etc.) I read and summarized myself, due to my larger scholarly interest in the judiciary, especially from a comparative-law perspective. Indeed, my work on the Almanac was a natural progression from my earlier work in comparative law and the necessity for healthy “feedback processes” in all systems of governance.
Since 1990-91, when I first drafted a “model constitution” (at the behest of the Government of Lithuania) aimed at enhancing the “Conversation of Democracy” in Lithuania and the USSR, etc., various versions of what has now become the Jurlandia Project at www.jurlandia.org have existed as an evolving internet-mediated research and publishing endeavor. That endeavor seeks to create a sort of “encyclopedia of constitutional democracy” organized not linearly, A through Z, but, rather, organized as a sort of “hologram of information and insight” that can be accessed from many points and perspectives, etc., and (in due course) can cultivate and harvest reliable user-feedback that allows “expert participants” to propose new links and modified content which over time affects their rating as “experts” and hence their standing as co-creators of the “virtual polity” which the Jurlandia Project uses to illuminate the real world. Thus, the “Republic of Jurlandia” is an evolving pedagogical tool that seeks to enhance the depth, scope, and power of “teaching tools” generally while exploring and advancing the Conversation of Democracy.
Several of the articles that are now available as Jurlandia Project writings were first published as stand-alone essays, lectures, etc.; such origins are indicated in headnotes or footnotes to those essays. In addition, I have published numerous articles, conference papers, and consulting reports, many of which were co-authored (to varying degrees) with Lowry Wyman, my wife and professional partner. I was the sole or principal author of the following:
1. “Notes to Lithuania on Government Under Law” (1990). This essay, initially written at the behest of Lithuania’s “independence-minded” leadership, was published — in Lithuanian translation — in the leading Lithuanian newspaper, Respublika, in December, 1990.
2. “Proposed Constitution of Lithuania, 25 February 1991“ (1991). This document grew out of several months of discussions spearheaded by Lithuania’s pro-independence leader, Vytautas Landsbergis, and was circulated in Lithuanian, Russian, and English during early 1991. It was published in Lithuanian in the newspaper Atgimimas in June, 1991, and during 1991-93 in English on the Balt-L internet-distributed “list” for Baltic-studies scholars, etc. The Russian version later became available on Russ-L (see below).
3. “Comments on the Draft Constitution of Albania“ (1991). This was a formal consultant’s report commissioned by ABA-CEELI.
4. “Comments on the Proposed Constitution of Estonia“ (1992). This was published in Estonian in Pavaeleht, March 1992.
5. “Helping Lithuania: Reflections on Our Proposed Constitution of Lithuania“ (1992). This “principal essay” was published on Balt-L and was followed by extensive internet-mediated discussions, etc., regarding my work with Lowry Wyman on constitutional reform in Lithuania.
6. “Building Constitutional Democracy in Russia“ (1993). The Balt-L list spawned the Russ-L list, and this article was the “principal essay” anchoring significant subsequent discourse on the subject of this essay.
7. “Report of the Senior Legal Analyst Regarding the 7 March 1994 Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan“ (1994). This was produced for USAID-Almaty and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and submitted on March 21, 1994.
8. “Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt Organizations in the United States: A Summary for Kazakhstan’s Lawyers” (1994). This essay, written and translated into Russian under USAID auspices, was used in various conferences and other venues focused on NGO development in Central Asia and Russia.
9. “Introduction to the Rights and Privileges of Association in the United States and Kazakhstan” (1994). This essay, written and translated into Russian under USAID auspices, was used in various conferences and other venues focused on NGO development in Central Asia and Russia. It was also published in the Kazakhstan Ministry of Justice’s official journal Adilet, #1, 1995.
10. “Constitutional and Legal Aspects of Kazakhstan’s Crisis of Governance with Scenarios and Suggestions for its Judicial Resolution” (1995). This study was prepared under USAID-Almaty auspices in English and Russian and delivered (at the U.S. Ambassador’s request) to the Chairman of Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Court and the Minister of Justice on April 3, 1995. It proposed a “road map” for resolving a serious crisis of governance.
11. “The Fundamentals of So-Called ‘Western’ Law, Law-Making, and Constitutional Democracy: An Introduction for Law Students, Lawyers, and Judges in the Former Soviet Union“ (1995). This 20,000-word essay and its Russian version, as well as excerpts thereof, anchored various USAID-sponsored programs in Central Asia.
12. “Non-Governmental Organizations in Central Asia“ (1995). The Russian version was used in various USAID-sponsored programs in Central Asia.
13. “Proposed Alternative Draft Constitution of Kazakhstan” (initial draft prepared privately for translation and discussion during May-June-July, 1995; eventually published in various contexts, including in the August 30, 1996 edition of Delovaya nedelya, an Almaty weekly). A Russian-language book — “Proposals Regarding the Constitution of Kazakhstan, with Commentary” — containing this proposed constitution and related essays (including one by me) was published in 1996.
14. “The Fundamentals of Constitutional Democracy and the Rule of Law” This was presented in Russian at the November 1995 human rights conference sponsored by the Kazakhstan-American Bureau on Human Rights and the Rule of Law. The Russian text was published with the conference materials in mid-1996. This presentation was the “first draft” of what now appears at www.jurlandia.org/rol/.
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