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Author Topic: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort  (Read 1282 times)

Offline Açafat del Val

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May I congratulate S:reu Alexandreu Davinescu on the unique honor of being nominated to the Uppermost Cort. To be considered worthy of a functionally lifetime appointment to the highest judicial body of our nation is by itself humbling. I would like to acknowledge and compliment his contributions to the nation of Talossa over the many years, and I wish him well on his nomination.

As Deputy Mençei, I would like to see continue the importance and prestige of the Senate through the political process. As such, I believe, it is incumbent on this body to carry on the very novel but still monumentally crucial tradition of scrutiny of judicial nominees,  no less in the form of a public hearing.

This hearing by the Senate will be conducted in a similar - albeit slightly modified - manner as the previous one done just some months ago in January. For example, we will be using a Special Committee rather than a Committee of the Whole. I have enumerated below the actual rules, and I intend that the hearing will commence in earnest not later than Friday, May 22nd.

I invite cordially that fellow Members of this House make their communications here in this Committee exclusively in place of any other medium, if not to each other then at least to me.

Any other Citizen of Talossa may speak here without qualification, provided that they first seek and receive confirmation of that privilege from myself or the Mençei. For this purpose, a PM is preferred.


To my esteemed colleagues of this right honorable House, greetings:

Having received of the Senator for Maritiimi-Maxhestic on the 22nd day of April of this year

a nomination of S:reu Alexandreu Davinescu
to the Uppermost Cort of the Kingdom of Talossa;


and,

Seeing the necessity of a hearing on the matter,
In respect of our traditions,
By veneration for our Duties to this Nation, and
For the purpose to see due process and undertake just scrutiny;

I, as our incumbent Deputy Mençei, do hereby convene

a Special Committee
to consider and report upon the qualifications of the Nominee.




Rules of this Special Committee:

1. The Members of the Committee shall be exclusively the duly elected and seated Members of the Senate of the Kingdom of Talossa. None else shall have equal privileges.

2. The business of the Committee shall not preclude the Senate from conducting its normal business.

3. The Mençei shall be the Chairman of the Committee, and the Deputy Mençei the Deputy Chairman, who shall have plenary and conclusive powers upon and during all its business.

4. The sole purpose of the Committee is to realize a public hearing of the nomination of S:reu Alexandreu Davinescu to the Uppermost Cort of the Kingdom of Talossa, and its powers shall extend not beyond the scope or the bona fide interests thereof.

5. The sole goal of the hearing of the Committee is to scrutinize the qualifications of the nominee and ascertain his ability or fitness to service as a Puisne Justice of the Uppermost Cort. The Committee shall report its findings on those matters to both the entire Senate and the public of Talossa at large.

6. The Committee may elect in its ultimate report whether to endorse for or to endorse against the nomination, but it shall be not requisite or binding. The Committee shall be adjourned sine die upon the deliverance of its report to the Mençei or Deputy Mençei.

7. A Quorum shall be unnecessary, but the power to make finals decisions with respect to the Committee or its business shall be reserved to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman.

8. The Chairman or Deputy Chairman shall publish and maintain a schedule for the hearing, which shall control the sequence, time, and privileges of speeches. The schedule shall be impermanent and respond accordingly to ongoing circumstances.

9. Any Member of the Committee or non-Member who may wish to speak during the hearing shall make a request for it at least two (2) days in advance to the Chairman or Deputy Chairman, who shall approve, modify, or deny the request publicly.

10. Members of the Committee shall have precedence in all manners over non-Members with regard to the sequence, time, and privileges of their speeches. Each Member shall have no less than one equal opportunity to speak with regard to other Members.

11. Speeches shall be germane, and shall be inquisitive of and directed to the nominee. Questions shall be asked of the nominee and answers provided by him, and the dialogue between the nominee and the speaker shall remain courteous.

12. A Member of the Committee may invite guests to use up some or all of a scheduled speech, but sufficient notice thereof shall be given in advance to the Chairman or Deputy Chairman. Guest speakers shall respect this privilege, which may be denied by the Chairman or Deputy Chairman in whichever manner they find proper.

13. The Committee shall begin its business immediately, but the first scheduled speech of the hearing shall occur not sooner than Friday, May 22nd, 2020/XLI.

14. The first speech of the hearing shall be reserved to the nominee himself, unless he reject this privilege knowingly and willfully, so that he may make his own introduction. The Chairman or Deputy Chairman may invite that the nominee make the final speech.

15. The Committee shall finish its business and submit its report to the Senate and the public of Talossa at least before if not sooner than Monday, June 15th, 2020/XLI.

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2020, 06:33:14 PM »
Azul.  I would like to thank the senators for their time and commend them for their duty, since holding these new hearings is an interesting and fun thing to do -- and that makes them good for the country, even beyond their value as hearings.

I'm not sure what might be considered qualifications for this office, but Dama Litz and the Royal Talossan Bar bestowed a Bachelor's in Talossan Law on me in 2012.  I have been a practicing lawyer for something like ten years now, having represented clients in a dozen or so cases, including several that went through to trial.

Beyond that, I have some accomplishments.  I organized the creation of our national legal code, el Lexhatx.  I have held positions in both government and the royal civil service, including the Seneschalsqab.  I have been involved with many cultural endeavors, such as writing much of the wiki and organizing the modern timeline of Talossan history.  In addition, I created and edited the newspaper Beric'ht Talossan for a couple of years, setting a tiresome number of records (biggest organization, first corporation, etc) but also never missing a single biweekly deadline.  There's more, but it's boring and braggy to just list things like this.

Recently, the Seneschal asked me if I would be willing to serve on the Cort.  I am.

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Béneditsch Ardpresteir

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 04:39:52 AM »
Azul !

I have no questions to ask, but to say a few words I rise...
 
Having stayed together, under the same roof, for quite a few days in a year, added to our once frequent communications on various platforms, apart from representing me in a few matters, I know for certain that as a person, and as a man of law, S:reu Alexandreu Davinescu is one of the most able and fit candidate to hold the post of a Talossan Judge of the CpI, unlike the faith I repose in certain past and present Judge(s). The person actually lived in Talossa and lived on the frequent whiffs of Talossan air. Have seen him finishing his dissertation on my desktop computer, whilst keeping a pane open for Talossa.

However, at the same time I must say that he has been one of the greatest administrators of the Nation, whether leading from the front or giving strength at the middle. Had it not been for a sudden busy life with work and 3 kids coupled with some very unfortunate incidents caused by some wily Talossan(s) who tried to invade his personal life and create havoc, we wouldn't have to see a situation when our great AD looked at the Witt once in a while. In fact there should be a ban on such individuals from joining Talossa later as 'returning citizens'. KR1 was practically turned out on return, but there must be a proper 'Banishment' law(s) and list in place so citizens and legislators from time to time become aware of such people.

He is in fact the perfect choice for any replacement, if the need arises. if in future you want to change your SoS, Sreu AD is your man; if you want to change your Who's Who in What Not positions, Sir AD is your best bet.
 
I hope to continue to be part of Talossa, and would wait for such a time when he disbands the reclusive habits of the CpI Justice, run the Nation, and help in the protection of the Monarchy that our nation inherently is.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 04:52:57 AM by Béneditsch Ardpresteir »
Senator Béneditsch Ardpresteir, Esq., O.SPM

The Noir Eagle Herald
Dean, RTCoA

Member, Royal Talossan Bar

Vice Admiral, Royal Talossan Navy

Owner of Schneiderian Steels


Formerly :

Justice of the Uppermost Cort
Attorney General
Deputy Immigration Minister
Member of the Cosa
Undersecretary of State
Premier & Provincial Secretary of Maricopa
Chancellor of the O.SPM
Jolly Good Fellow

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 07:18:44 PM »
I wish cordially to remind the nominee and the Senator for Maricopa that their speeches were made out of turn, though without any intent to admonish. In fact, I thank them both sincerely for taking the time to speak and participate.

For the remainder of the public who may be interested in this hearing, I would like now to point out Rules 9 and Rule 15 of this Special Committee:

Quote
9. Any Member of the Committee or non-Member who may wish to speak during the hearing shall make a request for it at least two (2) days in advance to the Chairman or Deputy Chairman, who shall approve, modify, or deny the request publicly.

Quote
15. The Committee shall finish its business and submit its report to the Senate and the public of Talossa at least before if not sooner than Monday, June 15th, 2020/XLI.

There are approximately two weeks yet for this hearing to dispatch its business. Any citizen is welcome to speak, provided that a request is made in advance. Please know that I have waited to make a schedule, but seeing that no requests have been made to speak, there is unfortunately no schedule to publish.

On that note, I intend myself to speak and ask questions of the nominee. I will announce that intention formally at least two (2) days in advance; I am stalling my own speaking time so that others may enjoy the privilege to speak sooner.

Finally, I reiterate that if you are a Senator and wish to contact me on the matters of this hearing I request cordially that your contact be made publicly in this Committee; and, furthermore, if you are a non-Senator and wish to contact me, that you do so via PM.

Thank you so much.

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 10:40:35 AM »
Having received an intention to speak only from the honourable Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu MC, seeing fit that this hearing should conduct itself in some manner rather than none, and wishing to witness due process and just scrutiny, I do now announce an impermanent schedule which may be so modified as necessary:

Commencing tomorrow on Sunday, May 31st, and until the end of Tuesday, June 2nd, the honourable Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu MC shall have exclusive time to ask questions of the nominee, S:reu Alexandreu Davinescu, who may be obligated to answer them in a timely and speedy manner.

Commencing on Wednesday, June 3rd, and until the end of Friday, June 5th, I, the Senator for Florencia, shall have the same as before mentioned.

My invitation to others, that they may request and receive time to ask questions and receive answers of the nominee with respect to his nomination to the Uppermost Cort of Talossa, remains in effect. In particular I would like to invite for speaking the Seneschal, the Senator for Maritiimi-Maxhestic and the Senator for Vuode, but they should affirm their desire to speak.

Thank you.



EDIT: Commencing on Saturday, June 6th, and until the end of Monday, June 8th, the Senator for Maritiimi-Maxhestic shall have the same as before mentioned for myself.

Going forward, in the interests of remaining time, I am likely to recognize speakers for smaller periods than 3 days. Accordingly I recommend that whosoever may wish still to speak have questions in mind before their speaking time, so as not to crowd out others who may wish to speak afterwards.



EDIT2: Commencing on Tuesday, June 9th, and until the end of Thursday, June 11th, as according to standard Talossan time, the incumbent Seneschal, the most honourable Dame Miestrâ Schivâ, UrN, shall have the same as before mentioned for myself. However, in consideration of the conflicting timezones, this time may be extended if the Seneschal makes so a request, so that a sufficient numbers of questions may be asked and a quality of answers be given.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 08:14:18 AM by Açafat del Val »

Offline Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2020, 03:02:33 PM »
Many Thanks, Senator del Val.

Estimat Nominee Davinescu, could you possibly begin by summing up your judicial philosophy in regards to Talossan Law?  How might your approach interact with the philosophies of your potential colleagues on the UC Bench?
Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu
Chisleu Bruno of the NPW

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2020, 07:01:13 PM »
I like the idea of doctrinal interpretation -- a focus on the principles of a particular case and the relevant precedent.  I think this should have special relevance for Talossan law because of it has been such a scattershot field, with very few consistent practitioners over time on either side of the bench.  This results in a fundamental inequity, since any case can be decided on any conceivable theoretical basis and there is very little surety under the law.  That's a problem, since it means Talossans sometimes lack even the most basic knowledge about what their laws permit.  Is such-and-such a crime?  If there's even the slightest ambiguity or contradiction in the wording of the law, then it's a crapshoot.  And while that happens under any legal system, Talossa has shown an unusual degree of instability.  Establishing clear precedents and tests based on the fundamental principles at hand, supported by a majority of the Cort will help alleviate that.

That's all very broad, but it's a broad question -- if you have any further questions on any particular point, I'd be happy to elaborate.

I do not know exactly how this approach will interact with the philosophies of other potential justices, but I would be surprised to find any difficulties.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2020, 09:56:51 AM »
Thank you.

What are the qualities you find most important for a Talossan jurist?  Can you speak to how you cultivate these qualities in yourself?

What do you foresee as the role of the Talossan Bar Membership in developing this consistency you mentioned in your previous answer?  The CPI bench can obviously do this through ruling and opinion.  How might the "lawyer class" contribute to this process?

Can you speak to the fact that Talossan law will most likely remain in the hands of "enthusiastic amateurs?"  Is this a strength or deficit? 
Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu
Chisleu Bruno of the NPW

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2020, 12:15:55 PM »
I think that the most important qualities for a Talossan jurist are respect for procedure and respect for history.  I am not sure that I am actively cultivating either quality, so to speak, but I do possess an abundance of both.  Procedure makes Talossan law both fair and interesting; the former because it allows for clear expectations and opportunities for fulness of argument, and the latter because it helps give Talossans a reason to be Talossan.

I think that the Talossan Bar will look to the example of judges.  If justices show that they value clear arguments based on principle and precedent, then that is what lawyers will learn to present.  The lawyer class can contribute most of all by simply existing more than they do.  There are almost no active lawyers in the country.

It is certainly a strength that Talossan law is accessible to amateurs, and it should always be thus.  Being able to do Talossan law is one of the fun things to do in Talossa, and so it's good for the country that we allow those who haven't gone to formal law school to be involved right from the start.  There are few activities in which a new Talossan can engage, and so it's important to preserve them where they can be found.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2020, 03:31:02 PM »
Thank you.  Could you please expand on what precisely you mean by "respect for history?"


Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu
Chisleu Bruno of the NPW

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2020, 06:02:24 PM »
I don't mean anything much deeper by the phrase than the surface: it is important to know what has happened in the past before trying to help guide the law into the future from the bench.  This principle is admittedly less important these days, since so much has been set aside and done anew, and since it looks likely that trend's going to continue.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 06:11:49 PM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2020, 06:39:36 PM »
Thank you.

Could you possibly expand on this further?  You've been an outspoken opponent to major legal reform, are you submitting that reformers don't know what has come before?  It seems to go deeper than that.
Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu
Chisleu Bruno of the NPW

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2020, 08:59:13 AM »
I'm not sure if I can usefully expand further on the importance of a respect for history, although I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you might have on the topic.

I have been an outspoken opponent to some recent efforts at legal reform, true, because I have thought they had significant problems.  For example, I thought it was probably a bad idea to recreate the magistracy without fixing any of the issues that had led to its original repeal -- it seemed to me that those issues would again be a problem.

I'm not sure I would say that the reformers didn't have a respect for history per se.  A generic criticism of one effort doesn't translate to the blanket judgment of a person.  If I was playing basketball with someone and they threw an elbow, I might call that uncool, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are generally violent.

I'll also note that vocal criticism plays an important role, even when a bill passes anyway.  For example, a bill was just Clarked regarding inactivity on the CpI: https://wittenberg.talossa.com/index.php?topic=284.0    It intends to define the "inactivity" for which a justice may be removed from the Cort.  The bill was written and Clarked by the Seneschal, and it seems to have received little or no scrutiny.  That's unfortunate, because it seems to have at least one significant problem with its use of passive voice in the first operative clause: "A Justice of the Cort pü Inalt shall be declared inactive... if the Clerk of Courts ...  is unable to contact that Justice or does not receive any response to their enquiries, within 30 days."  This isn't necessarily a fatal flaw, but the bill and the law would definitely have been improved if someone had pointed out that this doesn't seem to say who gets to do the "declaring."  One might ordinarily assume it's the Clerk, but then that gives them a really easy way to kick judges off the Cort whenever they please -- and that's pretty dramatic.  I assume that the intent here isn't actually to make the Clerk the boss, but then... who gets to make this decision?  The Seneschal who selected the Clerk?

The above is not intended to pick on one slightly sloppy bill, since that sort of flaw can easily be fixed, but we could probably use more vocal opposition, not less.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 09:20:27 AM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2020, 02:12:39 PM »
Thank you.  I believe that exhausts my time.
Eiric S. Bornatfiglheu
Chisleu Bruno of the NPW

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: [Senate] Hearing on Nomination of Davinescu to Uppermost Cort
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2020, 08:07:05 AM »
My heartfelt thanks to S:reus Bornatfiglheu MC and Davinescu for their courteous dialogue, and for the quality of questions and answers.

I am going to echo comments made in a previous hearing to a similarly situated nominee: Below is a barrage of questions, but it is not intended that you take much time to answer them. Please take care to answer truthfully and thoroughly, but succinctly.

(1) If you had the opportunity to live in the capital city of any sovereign nation, other than Talossa, which would it be and why?

(2) What are your views on derivativism versus peculiarism? Is Talossa a sovereign nation, or just a fun little club?

(3) What are the differences that you understand to exist between law and equity, in the context of justice? Do these differences exist in Talossa?

(4) Is "justice" a distinct and separate concept than law and equity? Is it instead the consequential result of law and equity? Maybe neither? Why?

(5) Do you speak Talossan competently? Why or why not?

(6) Should everyday Talossans make a point to learn the language? Why or why not?

(7) Should courts of record in Talossa make their proceedings available (whether during proceedings or in translations of their transcrupts) in Talossan? Why or why not?

(8) What are your favorite hobbies during freetime?

(9) Are you a reader, a writer, a speaker, or a listener?

(10) Do you have a favorite podcast to recommend?

(11) What would be three books, articles, or other such materials that you might recommend to all of Talossa for reading?

(12) What sort of latitude should a judge exercise in his/her discretion while forming a judgement? Can a judge go “too far”?

(13) What is abuse of discretion? How can it be recognized by a lawyer or especially by a layman?

(14) What sort of consequence (other than the extreme of impeachment) should Talossa place on judges who may exercise abuse of discretion, commit plain errors, or otherwise cause a misapplication of the law?

(15) Whichever such consequences may be placed as in the above question, how should they be undertaken? Administratively, perhaps? But Talossan judges don’t earn a salary. Perhaps Talossan judges should face no admonishment for their errors?