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Author Topic: Judicial Reform of 2020  (Read 1120 times)

Offline Viteu

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Judicial Reform of 2020
« on: February 27, 2020, 05:32:18 AM »
All,

I've finished up the Judiciary Amendment of 2020.  Please see the FIRST post at https://wittenberg.talossa.com/index.php?topic=98.msg543#msg543.  Apparently there is 20k character limit on new Witt, so I removed the prior version with strikethrough and posted it below for posterity.

In any event, changes are as follows:
  • All subsections were removed; it still is easy to follow
  • I removed references to 1997 Organic Law because the actual UC will not change so there's continuity
  • Justices will no longer be known as Justices; they will be Judges.  On the federal side in the United States, our lower and intermediate courts use the title Judge, and only the Supreme Court has Justices.  In practice, the titles are somewhat honorific without any distinction as to function.  New York we reverse, our lower and intermediate courts have justices, and our Court of Appeals has Judges.  New York is actually closer to the older approach because Justices were elected and Judges were appointed.  But then again, our family courts, also elected, has Judge.  So my point is, there's no meaningful distinction really.  A quick review at other common-law counties suggests there's different approaches lacking consensus on distinction. In any event, some here don't seem to realize this and think the title "Justice" means something other than it does, so I thought it simpler to remove "Justice" altogether.

Next, I included an accompanying statute that would only come into effect if the amendment is implemented.
  • The statute increases the number of Pusine Judges by two, for a total of five UC Judges, and keeps all present Justices but restyles them as Judges appropriately--continuity achieved
  • The statute abolishes, in its entirety, the Justice of the Peace, which is a decent idea but I think maybe some of us would prefer to avoid
  • The General Cort of Talossa, an inferior nisi prius cort of general jurisdiction and first instance is established in its stead
  • For now, and because a UC panel only requires three judges, a case will be assigned to a UC judge, who will sit as a Magistrate (not a magistrate judge), and who cannot on a panel reviewing an appeal from one of their decisions in that case.  This is somewhat inspired by an old US approach called "riding circuit" (although not a perfect analogy).
  • I added some language to G.14 in that the Clerk is now required to inform the Seneshchal if a Judge/Magistrate fails to respond to an assignment or timely issue decisions in a matter. I think this is important so the Government can take appropriate action for missing Judges (there is a provision that the Clerk reaches out to the Magistrate and has discretion to determine if this is warranted, like if the Magistrate says, "hey sorry work was crazy this last week, will post tomorrow" then it can be overlooked, but if the Magistrate never responds and the Clerk has to reassign the matter, they must inform the Senechshal.
  • Finally, I added a new section to el Lex (Ian is going to maim me to the fullest extent permitted by the law I'm sure) under G.15, which calls for the UC to either set up its own official reporter or ask the Scribe or Government to do it. However, because the General Cort is a statutory cort created by the Ziu, it can dictate who does it. I'm leaving it up to the Scribe or Government for now.

As many of you know, it's an open question how much time I have left in the Senate (or if I'm not going anywhere at all!), so i intend to Clark this for March, even if the Fates determine that I cannot vote for it in March.  If, however, I am appointed, I will need to resign and adhere to my commitment to retire from public/political life.  I do hope, in that event, to see this adopted and ratified.
Viteu Marcianüs
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Offline Viteu

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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 05:45:05 AM »
I should note that I included language that the Scribe can make edits for accents and other marks, typos, and to fix subsections for consistency issues.
Viteu Marcianüs
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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2020, 08:13:11 PM »
The statute abolishes, in its entirety, the Justice of the Peace, which is a decent idea but I think maybe some of us would prefer to avoid

Yeah, I refer my learned colleague to the dictum in Hall v. Oates (1981), viz. "I can't go for that."

I honestly don't think we need any fulltime judges on a lower court. I prefer "citizen justices", who can become qualified by sitting an exam, with appeal to the UC. As we've found, declaring someone a fulltime judge is the best way to make them inactive.

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Offline Viteu

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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 06:56:19 AM »
The statute abolishes, in its entirety, the Justice of the Peace, which is a decent idea but I think maybe some of us would prefer to avoid

Yeah, I refer my learned colleague to the dictum in Hall v. Oates (1981), viz. "I can't go for that."

I honestly don't think we need any fulltime judges on a lower court. I prefer "citizen justices", who can become qualified by sitting an exam, with appeal to the UC. As we've found, declaring someone a fulltime judge is the best way to make them inactive.

I would respectfully point the Seneschal to a recent case where a single errant judge, acting much as a Justice of the Peace would, let Guy Incognito trash our legal system in such a way an appellate UC felt he could not remedy the trash. I also think the Seneschal should start enforcing the 60 day or your out rule. Notably, the statute requires the Clerk to inform the Seneschal when a judge fails to respond so appropriate action, if warranted, can be taken.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 01:27:13 PM by Viteu »
Viteu Marcianüs
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luc

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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 07:45:12 AM »
I would strongly caution against Clarking a bill that has been so substantively changed two days before the Clark is set to begin. While there's a good chance you will be on the UC from tomorrow onwards,

Now, to my objections. I frankly don't see the problem with calling UC judges "Justices". It's a Talossan tradition that goes back from the creation of the UC in the late 1980s and has never caused any confusion. "Judges" were the Mags, when that still existed - it matched the US (federal) style and just made sense.

I don't really get the expansion of Puisne Justices. Aren't there already four PJs + one SJ according to the 2017 OrgLaw?

Finally, I need a clarification of the proposed GC. Is it basically the old MC, but with UC justices serving as judges of first instance? Also, maybe this can be combined with the JP idea, where we still have JPs that can serve on the GC. I guess that if we had any JPs at all, we could have seen how well the system worked.

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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 01:34:07 PM »
I would strongly caution against Clarking a bill that has been so substantively changed two days before the Clark is set to begin. While there's a good chance you will be on the UC from tomorrow onwards,

Now, to my objections. I frankly don't see the problem with calling UC judges "Justices". It's a Talossan tradition that goes back from the creation of the UC in the late 1980s and has never caused any confusion. "Judges" were the Mags, when that still existed - it matched the US (federal) style and just made sense.

I don't really get the expansion of Puisne Justices. Aren't there already four PJs + one SJ according to the 2017 OrgLaw?

Finally, I need a clarification of the proposed GC. Is it basically the old MC, but with UC justices serving as judges of first instance? Also, maybe this can be combined with the JP idea, where we still have JPs that can serve on the GC. I guess that if we had any JPs at all, we could have seen how well the system worked.

I'll defer to the Seneschal about splitting the bill.

To the use of Justices--for the most part, I prefer to refer to them as Justices.  But there seems to be a dissonance in recognizing that Justices and Judges are, for the most part, interchangeably used, and that they are mere titles. I am, of course, responding to a certain theory advanced by a sitting Justice at the moment.

For clarification on the US system, the Supreme Court has Justices, the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts have Judges. District Courts also have Magistrate Judges. The responsibilities of a Magistrate Judge varies based on district court, with some handling everything up to trial, and others handling only what the District Judge needs them to. In any event, I would be fine with using Justice for the UC, Judge when a Justice sits as a nisi prius Judge, and Magistrate in lieu of Justice of the Peace.

A compromise between my and Meistra's positions could be to retain the Justice of the Peace as a Magistrate, but allow a UC Justice to sit as  Judge if a Justice of the Peace is unavailable.
Viteu Marcianüs
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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 02:02:43 PM »
I would strongly caution against Clarking a bill that has been so substantively changed two days before the Clark is set to begin.

I honestly think the whole thing could stand another month of discussion and I would urge it not to be Clarked this time. If V is on the Cort he can continue to help with discussion in the Hopper.

Quote
Now, to my objections. I frankly don't see the problem with calling UC judges "Justices".

As far as I can tell, V thinks that that title gives judges "delusions of grandeur" that they are entitled to ignore the law if they personally consider it contrary to "justice" as seen in re: "Sebastian Panache".

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Offline Viteu

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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 04:11:47 PM »
Okay, I won't Clark it then.

I forgot to address the "increase to two" question. The amendment reduces the number of Js to one Senior and two Puisne.

For flexibility, the number can be increased to nine, but for clarity with titles, the actual wording is that there shall only be one Senior but the Ziu can increase the number of PJ to 8, only in even intervals to keep an odd number of overall J's.

So why have the statute? Well, if we're reducing to three, but we have five sitting, and for the ability for a GC to work, I figured keep all five and just increase the number now. If, say in two years, we find we have a significant number of active citizens and don't want UC Js to sit as a trial judge, we can reduce the number and update the lower cort by statute.

My overall goal here is to maximize flexibility for growth, so we don't need to reform the UC a third time in ten years.
Viteu Marcianüs
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Re: Judicial Reform of 2020
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2020, 04:26:51 PM »
Ah, I'm stupid. I kept referencing the original VIII.1 in the 2017 OrgLaw, instead of the proposed VIII.3 in your bill, so I was convinced the math yielded 7 Justices. For the record, I agree with your rationale 100%.