Management Committe of the Judiciary Commission

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Ashcroft Burnham
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Management Committe of the Judiciary Commission

Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

Publius Crabgrass and I (that is, the Chair of the Judiciary Commission and the Chief Judge of Common Jurisdiction) met this evening (in what I will call the "Management Committe of the Judiciary Commission", although that is an informal title, since it is not constitutioanlly designated) to discuss a number of administrative matters in relation to the operation of the judiciary. In the interests of transparency, I will reproduce below a summary of what was decided and discussed.

[b:5xwny3jb]1. Judicial recruitment[/b:5xwny3jb]

The Chair of the JC is keen for there to be at least three judges. The Chief Judge notes that all judges after the first must be qualified by the Board of the JC, and that qualification requirements will have to be drafted, but undertakes to draft such requirements and open the application process for the two further judges when the Code of Procedure and Code of Judicial Ethics have been drafted.

[b:5xwny3jb]2. Courthouses[/b:5xwny3jb]

Chief Judge noted that he had already been in discusion with Guildmeister (Sudane Erato) about possible venues for courthouses in the CDS; reported that Guildmeister had said that Colonia Nova was fully planned, but that there would be space in Neufreistadt to accommodate a courthouse in the Schloss/Old Altenburg redevelopment. Guildmeister had noted that this should be part of a general redevelopment of the area, including also meeting rooms for the Scientific Council and some land for private sale. Chair of the JC agreed to work with executive authorities in commissioning courthouse, with Chief Judge to have input into design of courtroom. Until a courthouse is built, consideration should be given to having trials and hearings in the replica of the US Supreme Court in Democracy Island. Justice Soothsayer has previously noted that that building is usually empty, and that the owners of Democracy Island are happy for us to use it whenever we like. It has the disadvantages that (1) we cannot banish anyone for misbehaving in court, as it is not on our land; and (2) it is set up as an appellate court, so it has no witness box or jury box, although Chair JC noted that it had a skybox that could be used as a jury retiring room.

[b:5xwny3jb]3. Judiciary Commission group[/b:5xwny3jb]

Chair JC created an SL group called "CDS Judiciary Commission"; Chief Judge joined. Further discussion on the matter adjourned for Chair JC to familiarise self with group tools.

[b:5xwny3jb]4. Judicial administration[/b:5xwny3jb]

Chief Judge explained to Chair JC likely administrative requirements of Code of Procedure, especially as regards filing and service. Chair JC noted e-mail notifications of inventory offers mean would be able to effect filing by dropping notecards on Chair JC personally, and Chair JC could then serve notecards on other parties, and confirm receipt. Chair JC agreed to look into automated (scripted object based) means of accepting filing of documents with the court. All agreed this forum could be used for posting official records of judicial proceedings for the time being, possibly until the JC gets its own section on a new CDS website.

All agree court costs (fees) structure should be simple to calculate. Chief Judge noted would only require costs to be paid after the cases have concluded, except where a security of costs (for example, for non-citizens) is required. Further consideration to be given by all to levels of costs.

[b:5xwny3jb]5. Education[/b:5xwny3jb]

Chief Judge agreed that much of this cannot be addressed until Code of Procedure is finished, and noted that training of Marshals of the Peace on summary banishment procedures was the priority. Chair JC hoped such procedures would not have to be used; Chief Judge hoped so, too, but preferred to be safe than sorry. All agreed was good idea, when Code of Procedure drafted, to have a beginner's guide to procedure. Chief Judge volunteered to help with any education and training. Chair JC wanted training to be simple. Chair JC noted an innovative system in the US that uses computer software to help litigants in person complete court forms; agreed to investigate further and report back. All agreed that any consideration of regulation of the legal profession (and consequently the administration of legal qualifications to practising lawyers) in the CDS should be postponed until the system is more established.

[b:5xwny3jb]Miscellaneous[/b:5xwny3jb]

Chair JC also expressed willingness to be part of a tree-snowing gang. Chief Judge noted had already expressed such willingness.
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Publius Crabgrass
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Post by Publius Crabgrass »

Ashcroft, you've omitted a couple of key things from our disucssion. I think it is premature for you to annoint yourself as Chief Judge-for-Life until such time as the Board of the Judiciary Commission is properly constituted with the appropriate number of judges that I determine are necessary pursuant to Article VII, Section 2(b) of the Constitution. Perhaps Acting Chief Judge would be more appropriate.

We also discussed finances. I am a little concerned that you intend funds raised by the judiciary (fines?, court costs, security bonds posted by litigants) go into a separate judicial fund controlled only by the judicial branch rather than into the CDS treasury. We'll need to have further conversations about this issue.

I also strongly suggested that simplicity be a guiding principle in the drafting of any rules of procedure. I'll post separately some sample (and simple) rules from various small claims courts that could do nicely.

If you keep a record of our judicial branch discussions, post the whole thing rather than a self-serving summary.

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Publius Crabgrass":2fklqfri]Ashcroft, you've omitted a couple of key things from our disucssion.[/quote:2fklqfri]

I did put it together in rather a hurry, and suspected that I might have missed a few things; sorry about that.

[quote:2fklqfri]I think it is premature for you to annoint yourself as Chief Judge-for-Life until such time as the Board of the Judiciary Commission is properly constituted with the appropriate number of judges that I determine are necessary pursuant to Article VII, Section 2(b) of the Constitution. Perhaps Acting Chief Judge would be more appropriate.[/quote:2fklqfri]

This should be in "discussions"; I did not record this part in the minutes because this is not strictly to do with management. I will reply in "judiciary discussions".

[quote:2fklqfri]We also discussed finances. I am a little concerned that you intend funds raised by the judiciary (fines?, court costs, security bonds posted by litigants) go into a separate judicial fund controlled only by the judicial branch rather than into the CDS treasury. We'll need to have further conversations about this issue.[/quote:2fklqfri]

Yes, that was indeed discussed. Sorry for the omission. I stated that the reason that I had planned to organise it that way was to preserve the independence of the judiciary from the financial control of the government in general, and you noted that you would talk to the treasurer (Sudane) about it. Incidentally; fines should be paid to the treasury, not the judiciary commission.

[quote:2fklqfri]I also strongly suggested that simplicity be a guiding principle in the drafting of any rules of procedure. I'll post separately some sample (and simple) rules from various small claims courts that could do nicely.[/quote:2fklqfri]

You did say that; please post such things in "judicial discussions" so that anybody can join in.
Ashcroft Burnham

Where reason fails, all hope is lost.

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