Without law, no freedom

The theme of this year’s Law Day, May 1, is "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom."

The concept behind this phrase is an important one that emphasizes the need for courts in America and their role in ensuring equal access to justice for all Americans.

Locally, the Oneida County Bar Association plans a series of programs to salute Law Day.

A presentation — "Civil rights in the Courts: Past and Future" — with a look at legal careers for high school students will begin at 8:45 a.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the fifth floor of the Oneida County Court House in Utica.

The association said the presentation will examine civil rights in the U.S. with a panel discussion with local judges and attorneys. Syracuse University College of Law will provide a speaker who will describe how to get into law school. Herkmer County Community College will describe its paralegal program.

A luncheon will follow at the Radisson Hotel-Utica for students and members of the legal profession.

Law Day began in 1958 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the observance to strengthen our great heritage of liberty, justice, and equality under the law. The day was considered as a way to counter the May Day celebrations held annually in many communist countries.

As President Eisenhower explained, "In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law."