chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

HOD agenda includes criminal justice, other timely issues

August 2, 2021

With national attention focused on police misconduct in the wake a series of recent incidents, including the May 25, 2020, homicide of George Floyd, the ABA House of Delegates will consider a proposal at its Aug. 9-10 meeting to adopt ABA Principles on Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Policies to provide a roadmap for police use of cameras, as well as storage of their footage.

The ABA House of Delegates will meet Aug. 9-10 as part of the 2021 Hybrid Annual Meeting

The ABA House of Delegates will meet Aug. 9-10 as part of the 2021 Hybrid Annual Meeting

The proposal is aimed at encouraging appropriate police behavior, increasing accountability and improving public trust in law enforcement. Another criminal justice-related proposal urges governments to ban the use of no-knock warrants, which generally permit law enforcement officers to enter premises without first identifying their authority and purpose. This type of warrant was used in the errant police raid in Louisville, Kentucky, that left Breonna Taylor dead in March 2020.

The HOD, as the ABA policy-making body is known, will meet at the end of the ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting, which begins Aug. 4 and will be both virtual and in-person at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The session of 597 delegates from ABA entities and state, local and specialty bar associations will start at 8:30 a.m. CDT on Monday and is expected to continue through midday Tuesday.

More than 40 items are on the agenda, including resolutions recommending:

  • Lawyers devote at least 20 hours annually to advance and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession, similar to a long-standing model rule that urges pro bono service by all lawyers.

  • Significant changes in how the federal government approaches proceedings under the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, including a central panel of administrative judges to bolster the independence of agency adjudication.

  • Amendments to the U.S. Bankruptcy code to permit student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy without proof of undue hardship, which could help mostly younger lawyers grappling with a challenging employment environment and high student loans.

  • Opposition to federal, state, local, territorial and tribal legislation, regulation or policy that prohibits transgender students from participating in athletics in accordance with their gender identity.

Only proposals adopted by the House constitute ABA policy.

Related links: