Formal Recognition of Legal Development Committee — 2019
(proposed by Sesa Das and sponsored by him and Prahladananda Swami)
Whereas ISKCON requires common standards, policies, and procedures for managing investigations of misconduct or abuse, in instituting corrective and rehabilitative consequences for offenders, as well as in restorative justice for all involved when guilt is established;
Whereas ISKCON requires policies and processes to address disputes and dispute resolutions that are based on equity, impartiality, fairness, and timeliness, and these should be of such caliber that all ISKCON entities will honor and utilize them;
Whereas internal ISKCON investigations, in principle, are based on the enforcement of ecclesiastical standards and acceptable moral and ethical behavior of ISKCON devotees, and as such they will not supersede any secular criminal investigations;
Whereas there is a need to encourage respectful, honest and ethical behavior among ISKCON members;
Whereas a judicial system in ISKCON should promote a feeling of confidence and well-being in its members, it should seek to spiritually rehabilitate offenders wherever possible, and it should serve to protect devotees from harm, restore faith and well-being in those offended, and create in the society an environment of high spiritual integrity:
That the GBC Body hereby recognizes that an “ISKCON Legal Development Committee” has been created by the ISKCON Ministry of Justice and has been delegated the following responsibilities:
1. To develop and confirm all judicial policies and procedures with the GBC Body to effectively address transgressions and misconduct of ISKCON members.
2. To develop judicial policies and procedures for effectively dealing with disputes and dispute resolution when ISKCON Resolve is unable to resolve the problem. This includes reestablishing the ISKCON Dispute Resolution Office (IDRO).
3. To create a team of trained and qualified investigators, including those who speak languages other than English, that will be available for deployment as needed.
4. To create a team of trained and qualified judges, including those who speak languages other than English, that will be available to deal with matters as needed.
5. To create training programs (online and classroom courses) for investigators and judges.
6. To set up a system to mentor new investigators and judges and to monitor performance of investigators and judges on an ongoing basis.
7. To keep confidential records of all cases in a secure environment.
8. To coordinate its efforts with the GBC Body and all ISKCON Ministries and Committees.
9. To create a website that will provide resources and information to ISKCON devotees and ISKCON entities regarding ISKCON judicial matters.
Chair: Prahladananda Swami, GBC, Minister, Sannyasa Ministry
Vice Chair: Champakalata Dasi, Attorney (South Africa) and Director of the ISKCON Office for Prevention of Leadership Misconduct
Devakinandana Das: Attorney (Singapore), Director ISKCON Legal Office
Hansarupa Das: Professional investigator, former Director of ISKCON Ethics, Standards and
Compliance Office (Mayapur), Temple President, ISKCON Brooklyn
Kamlesh Krishna Das: Child Protection Professional, Director, ISKCON Child Protection Office
Praharana Dasi: Professional Social Worker (MSW), Chair, North America GBC Leader Sexual Misconduct Committee
Radha Dasi: Attorney (USA), Vaishnavi Minister, member of North American GBC Leader Sexual Misconduct Committee
Sesa Das: Attorney (USA); GBC, Minister, ISKCON Ministry of Justice
Vraja Vihari Das: Dispute resolution professional, Director ISKCON Resolve
This resolution and the committee so created do not supersede the existence, duties, policies or independent status of the ISKCON International Child Protection Office.