California’s Brown Act: Clearing the Smoke-Filled Room

Richardson-Oakes, Anne and Killingley, Julian (2021) California’s Brown Act: Clearing the Smoke-Filled Room. California Western Law Review. ISSN 0008-1639 (In Press)

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The Ralph M. Brown Act has for nearly seventy years assured Californians’ right to require that certain meetings of legislative bodies be held openly. This Article considers the extent to which that law has become internalized in government and normalized in Californians’ expectations of government conduct. We discuss possible mechanisms by which compliance with the Act’s requirements is secured, including criminal sanctions, civil litigation, grand jury investigations and self-policing. We examine in detail the identities of those bringing civil claims or invoking grand jury investigations, the subject areas implicated, the nature of the alleged violations of the Act and the eventual outcomes. After evaluating the extent to which each contributes to state compliance, we conclude that government’s own internal public law advisors have likely contributed most to ensuring transparency in decision making.

Item Type: Article
Date: 3 June 2021
Subjects: M100 Law by area
M900 Other in Law
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Anne Richardson Oakes
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2021 13:03
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2021 13:03

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