The Judicial Foundation Act

Our regional legislature - IDUSA. [Out-Of-Character]
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Democratic Republic Of Eiria
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The Judicial Foundation Act

Post by Democratic Republic Of Eiria » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:16 am

Sorry for taking so long to post this. It's been sitting on the back burner for a while.
The Judicial Foundation Act
A by-law to establish the Judicial Branch of the IDU, and to regulate said branch in accordance with the IDU Charter.

Recognizing that the current IDU laws and By laws, though short, cover a lot of ground and form an excellent foundation for regional law,

Noting that, even though the Charter mentions the creation of a Judicial Committee, it doesn't set many specifics on said committee, and leaves that up to further legislation,

Believing that a Judicial Branch of the IDU is crucial to grant member stations a fair trial and ensure due process of Justice,

Grateful for all of the help I have received to write this document, my first contribution to IDU law, and thank them for their time and dedication.

Hereby Resovles the Following:

§1: The Judicial Committee
1. Establishes the Judicial Committee, comprised of three equal Judges, each tasked with upholding the laws and by-laws of the IDU to the intent of which they were written.

2. As stated in the second section of the IDU Charter, The Judges shall be nominated by the Delegate, and Confirmed in the State Assembly via a majority vote. Judges should have a calm demeanor, as well as being active participants in regional affairs and Roleplay and must also have the ability to fairly see both sides of an argument.

3. Each Judge, if appointed, shall have a seat for life, Until they either cease to exist in NS and the IDU forums, Resign, or are Impeached.

3A. If a Judge Ceases to Exist, but reappears within two weeks, they shall retain their position.

4. A Judge can be Impeached, in which case, a motion of impeachment must be brought up to the Delegate, and the Delegate may decide if the Motion has merit. If so, a Trial Would be held(Trial Details in Section 3).

§2: Court Proceedings and Judicial Jurisdiction:
1. The Judicial Committee's primary purpose is to uphold the law of the IDU. To do so, the Committee may hold a trial if the IDUSA has voted to accuse a nation of breaking one of said laws. The Speaker, or a Proxy, would serve as the prosecutor, with the Defendant either representing themselves or having a Proxy represent them.

1A. After the Trial, the judges will adjourn to discuss and to come up with a verdict, which is reached with a vote between the Judges.

1B. The Judiciary Committee, In Conjunction with the IDUSA, is obligated to come up with Penalties for breaking IDU regulations.

2. If a Judge faces a conflict of interest that would interfere with their duty to fairly judge a trial, they have a duty to relinquish themselves from that case.

3. If a tie occurs(Which could only happen if a Judge relinquishes themselves from a case), it falls to the remaining Judges to come up with a compromise.

4. As stated in the Charter, Additional Trial Law and Procedure shall be regulated by the Judicial Committee.


§3: Trials of Elected Officials

1. Declaring that, If a Trial of an Elected official occurs, most of Section 2 is the same, with the Speaker serving as the prosecutor (If the Speaker is the Defendant, the Judges must choose a Proxy), the Defendant representing themselves or having a Proxy, and the Judges presiding.

2. If the Accused Elected official Is a Judge, and the Motion for an Impeachment Trial has been approved by the Delegate, The Accusing party will serve as the Prosecutor, the Judge or a Proxy as the defendant, and the Delegate as the Judge, with the Delegate and other two Judges reaching a verdict.

§4: Appropriate Court Conduct

1.Stating that the Court of The IDU is a place where respect is Paramount, resulting in the need for a code of conduct that clarifies what is acceptable in Court Chambers.

2. Anyone, While In Court, is expected to politely listen to everyone, especially the judge. Any attempts to protest out of turn, outside of an objection, will result in a warning.

3. While in Court, everyone is also required to refrain from swearing, making obscene comments, or threatening any other court attendees.

3A. Any of these actions will result in a warning as well.

4. If you have been warned by a judge once and continue to behave inappropriately, the judge may hold you in contempt, and may result in a minor punishment. The Judge also may spare you a punishment, but still hold you in contempt on record.
Last edited by Democratic Republic Of Eiria on Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Libertas Omnium Maximus
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Re: The Judicial Foundation Act

Post by Libertas Omnium Maximus » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:54 am

First off, this is a very good draft. It absolutely has promise and I think it won't take much editing to get this draft worthy of the voting room floor.

Pre-ambulatory clauses.

These look pretty good (I'm not 100% sure about clause 1 as it doesn't really directly pertain to the bill but I think it's fine). The only thing I might add to this section is a clause justifying the creation of beyond just the charter. You'll want to answer the question: Why is it essential that we have judiciary committee at all?

Section 1, Clause 1: I don't think you need "most importantly the IDU charter" as it is implied that the charter serves as the supreme law. Otherwise, all good. That was basically just a nitpick

Section 1, Clause 2: I might reword "As stated the second section of the IDU Charter[...]". I think you left out either a comma or a few words. I also ask, should it be a majority (>50%) or a super majority (2/3 or more). "Each Judge, [...], they shall retain their position." should be its own clause.

Section 1, Clause 3: You may want to break up and restructure this clause. The base stating that it impeachment of one of the judges is possible, while the subclauses are devoted to explaining the actual procedure. It is also my opinion that the delegate should NOT serve as the judge as the delegate is already the accuser. This would be like, if in a RL court of law, the prosecutor was aloud to preside over his own case. I might advise retaining the two remaining IDUJC judges to preside over the court in tandem. I would also state that, since there is no jury used in regular IDUJC proceedings, we should not have one just for these specific cases.


Section 2, Clause 1: "The Judicial Committee's primary purpose is to uphold the law of the IDU" is actually its own operative clause. I might suggest working this in elsewhere. This whole clause honestly could be broken down into an entire section of its own. I would split this up into multiple clauses at the very least. Additionally, I don't think the entire IDUSA should be accusing anyone. I think accusations should be made by one nation against another nation. In all honestly, many disputes will directly be between two nations anyway and having to have the IDUSA to take sides could prove problematic.

Section 2, Clause 2: Yup. This looks good.

Section 2, Clause 3: You mean judges? We only have one delegate.

Section 2, Clause 4: This ties back into court proceedings so I would put it up with Clause 1.

Section 2, Clause 5: This is two separate clauses. The latter half should be worked combined with 1-C for its own... section... maybe. This one is tricky because the scenarios are distinctly different, yet almost the same in practice. I'll have to think on this one further.

Section 2, Clause 6: Yeah, this is fine.

Restructuring Notes: I think you need to break the sections up a little more. "Court Proceedings" should certainly be its own section. I would also remind you that breaking up your clauses into subclauses is encouraged.

Formatting Notes: Generally, operative clauses in a piece of legislation begin with a verb. "The Judicial Committee's primary purpose is to uphold the law of the IDU" might change to: "Establishes the IDU Judiciary Committee to uphold the laws of the IDU." That isn't a great example but it's all I could think of at 2:00 AM.

This is a great draft with a ton of potential. Nations of the IDUSA, I hope you take the time to read it and give your feedback and input. Eiria, thanks for all of your hard work.

Democratic Republic Of Eiria
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Re: The Judicial Foundation Act

Post by Democratic Republic Of Eiria » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:10 pm

Updated!

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Re: The Judicial Foundation Act

Post by Libertas Omnium Maximus » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:38 am

Recognizing that the current IDU laws and By laws, though short, cover a lot of ground and form an excellent foundation for regional law,
Resolutions don't generally include much fluff. This isn't directly pertinent to the subject matter of the resolution and could be cut. However, traditionally people don't make much of a fuss over pre-ambulatory clauses as they don't really do anything. If you do choose to keep this clause, I would suggest rewording it to express your cognizance of pre-existing judicial law (primarily from the Regional Charter) instead of general laws and bylaws.
Noting that, even though the Charter mentions the creation of a Judicial Committee, it doesn't set many specifics on said committee, and leaves that up to further legislation,
This is a fundamentally fine clause, I might reword it to leave out adjectives like "many", this comment applies to all of your pre-ambulatory clauses.
Believing that a Judicial Branch of the IDU is crucial to grant member stations a fair trial and ensure due process of Justice,
Did you mean "member-states"? I might also add in the words "the establishment of" so that the clause reads something like, "Believing that the establishment of a Judicial Branch of the IDU is a crucial step towards ensuring that all member states are granted due process..." My example isn't great but I am certain you can come up with something far better.
Grateful for all of the help I have received to write this document, my first contribution to IDU law, and thank them for their time and dedication.
This is the only perambulatory clause that I would highly you to omit in it's entirety. It goes back to my comment about fluff in the first clause. While I appreciate the thanks, a personal comment should never be included in a resolution.
Hereby Resovles the Following:

§1: The Judicial Committee
1. Establishes the Judicial Committee, comprised of three equal Judges, each tasked with upholding the laws and by-laws of the IDU to the intent of which they were written.

2. As stated in the second section of the IDU Charter, The Judges shall be nominated by the Delegate, and Confirmed in the State Assembly via a majority vote. Judges should have a calm demeanor, as well as being active participants in regional affairs and Roleplay and must also have the ability to fairly see both sides of an argument.

3. Each Judge, if appointed, shall have a seat for life, Until they either cease to exist in NS and the IDU forums, Resign, or are Impeached.

3A. If a Judge Ceases to Exist, but reappears within two weeks, they shall retain their position.

4. A Judge can be Impeached, in which case, a motion of impeachment must be brought up to the Delegate, and the Delegate may decide if the Motion has merit. If so, a Trial Would be held(Trial Details in Section 3).
Watch out for unnecessary capitalization. I like to do it too but words like "Trial Would" (Section 1- Clause 4) do not need to be capitalized. The same thing goes for "Confirmed" (1-2) and at least a half-dozen other words in Section 1, clauses 2-4.

Regarding 3a (which should actually be its own clause, if I am not mistaken), I would add a defining clause at the front part of this resolution. "Cease to Exist" can theoretically have a lot of meanings. For example, if I was to be a judge and delete my forum account, I would be unable to continue carrying out my duty as a judge. My nation might be totally fine and operational but it doesn't make me any less incapable of carrying out my duty. Alternatively (In this hypothetical scenario), I could accidentally let my nation cease to exist on NationStates while carrying out my duty just fine on the forums. You may want to address this potential conundrum.

I might also suggest rewording clause 4 so that the reasons for impeachment are listed first. I.E. "In the event that a Judiciary Committee judge is to... , they may be impeached by..."
This just improves the flow of the sentence.
§2: Court Proceedings and Judicial Jurisdiction:
1. The Judicial Committee's primary purpose is to uphold the law of the IDU. To do so, the Committee may hold a trial if the IDUSA has voted to accuse a nation of breaking one of said laws. The Speaker, or a Proxy, would serve as the prosecutor, with the Defendant either representing themselves or having a Proxy represent them.

That whole first sentence should be a perambulatory clause (Noting that the Judicial Committee's primary purpose...). Remember, no clause should be included in the operative section (the "body" of the resolution) if it doesn't actively DO something.

You worded the end section of this clause oddly. You haven't really mentioned any specific regulations that can be violated by name so I am not sure "said laws" is the appropriate term.
1A. After the Trial, the judges will adjourn to discuss and to come up with a verdict, which is reached with a vote between the Judges.

A trial is, by definition, still "open" until a verdict has been reached. As such, I might suggest changing "After the trial" to "Upon the conclusion of the testimonies of the plaintiff and defendant..." (or something of that ilk). I might also reword "discuss and to come up with a verdict" so that it sounds less choppy. Maybe, "Deliberate over the aforementioned testimonies and reach a verdict." Again though, don't feel like you actually have to use any of mu suggestions. Most of them are lame.

I might make the final piece of the clause its own sub-clause.
1B. The Judiciary Committee, In Conjunction with the IDUSA, is obligated to come up with Penalties for breaking IDU regulations.
My interpretation of the Regional Charter holds that it is not the Judiciary Committee's responsibility to impose or invent actually penalties for individuals found guilty. It is my belief that this clause is, regrettably, illegal.
2. If a Judge faces a conflict of interest that would interfere with their duty to fairly judge a trial, they have a duty to relinquish themselves from that case.

3. If a tie occurs(Which could only happen if a Judge relinquishes themselves from a case), it falls to the remaining Judges to come up with a compromise.
In clause 3 I might say "unnanimous consensus" or "unanimous verdict" instead of compromise. You may also want to consider removing the parentheses, and their contained clause, from this resolution as they are generally not needed.
4. As stated in the Charter, Additional Trial Law and Procedure shall be regulated by the Judicial Committee.
This is fine aside from the excessive capitalization. I might also add that it is just procedure that the JC may regulate. The judiciary branch doesn't make or regulate law.

§3: Trials of Elected Officials

1. Declaring that, If a Trial of an Elected official occurs, most of Section 2 is the same, with the Speaker serving as the prosecutor (If the Speaker is the Defendant, the Judges must choose a Proxy), the Defendant representing themselves or having a Proxy, and the Judges presiding.
You don't need "Declaring that" at the beginning. I would also simplify this clause by only explaining what is different than regular proceedings. What actually is different for the delegate? How would a situation where the delegate was put on trial be handled?
2. If the Accused Elected official Is a Judge, and the Motion for an Impeachment Trial has been approved by the Delegate, The Accusing party will serve as the Prosecutor, the Judge or a Proxy as the defendant, and the Delegate as the Judge, with the Delegate and other two Judges reaching a verdict.
I'll have to sleep on this clause. It has some flaws but I want to get my thoughts in order before I get back to you.
§4: Appropriate Court Conduct

1.Stating that the Court of The IDU is a place where respect is Paramount, resulting in the need for a code of conduct that clarifies what is acceptable in Court Chambers.
Solidly a pre-ambulatory clause.
2. Anyone, While In Court, is expected to politely listen to everyone, especially the judge. Any attempts to protest out of turn, outside of an objection, will result in a warning.
Try sprucing this clause up to make it a bit more succinct and professional sounding. I would also encourage you to change "Anyone" to "Everyone" or "All involved parties" if that word makes it into the updated draft.
3. While in Court, everyone is also required to refrain from swearing, making obscene comments, or threatening any other court attendees.
It's not really court so much as it is an official trial. This clause isn't really worded correctly. I might suggest looking through some RL bylaws (they are available online for most states in the US) and seeing how they would word a similar clause. This entire section is basically about maintaining decorum so you may even be able to get way with condensing this down to "It is expected that all involved parties will exhibit proper decorum throughout the course of the trial" or something of that ilk.
3A. Any of these actions will result in a warning as well.
I have the same comments for this clause that I had for clause 3 (main) for the most part.
4. If you have been warned by a judge once and continue to behave inappropriately, the judge may hold you in contempt, and may result in a minor punishment. The Judge also may spare you a punishment, but still hold you in contempt on record.
You suddenly jumped to the wrong voice. You aren't talking to someone, it's a bylaw. Words like "You, my, your, you'll" should never come up. This is also waaaay more than a single clause. I'll bet you can condense it pretty easily though. You also may need to break it down into more clauses.

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