Today I have the honor of delivering a keynote speech to the 2019 Judicial Conclave in New Mexico at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque. I will be discussing the history, cases, and evolution of the “cultural defense” in federal and state courts. The speech is at 11:15 am on Friday at the conference held at the Hyatt.
I often participate in a wonderful program headed by Judge Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway of U.S. Court of International Trade. Judge Ridgway has brought together jurists and lawyers from around the world to discuss difficult cultural issues that are increasingly appearing in criminal and civil cases. This is not a reproduction of that program which puts judges and lawyers in the position of actual jurors own exploring various cases involving the cultural defense.
Courts still grapple with the question of when cultural values or practices are admissible in criminal and civil trials — and how much weight to give such arguments.
With its rich intermixing of cultures, these arguments have particular relevance to New Mexico.