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Agenda item 5: The Scientific Council

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:38 am
by Justice Soothsayer
[quote:xlmskqrg]5. SC
Is the new role of the SC appropriate? Should it act as the final
court of last resort? Should it have any role in supervising the
judiciary?[/quote:xlmskqrg]
Comments?

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:10 pm
by Patroklus Murakami
I can see good arguments in favour of both positions.

For: The SC is given the 'service role' of resolving citizens' disputes by the Constitution. So there is a case for keeping the SC, not only as the final arbiter and defender of the Constitution, but as the final court of appeal.

Against: While this could be inferred as the SCs role, the judicial function is the least well-developed aspect of our governmental system. (That's why we jumped at the chance when Ash came forward with proposals for a judicial system). The Judiciary Act provides the potential for a system of Superior and Inferior Courts which would allow appeals to be heard within the context of our new judicial system.

On balance I think that the 'SC as final Court of Appeal' scenario would mean a shift from our current practice of 'SC as Constitutional arbiters' and would rather see how the judicial system works in practice. But I wouldn't die in a ditch over it.

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:59 pm
by Ashcroft Burnham
The question is "what kind of supervision"? In the present model, the judiciary is supervised by the PJSP, in relation to quality of service, and by the Court of Scientific Council, in relation to abiding by the rules of the constitution. It is not clear what other sort of "supervision" is meant, since the SC [i:9b1xndsh]does[/i:9b1xndsh], under the present arrangements, act as a court of final appeal, in constitutional matters, at least (and a court of first instance on impeachment matters).

Moral authority...

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:17 pm
by Pelanor Eldrich
The SC must remain intact as a supreme court as well as final arbiters of the constitution. The philosophical branch is part supreme court, part secular priesthood. The values and traditions of the CDS are embodied in the work done by the SC in the same way that tribal elders are venerated and consulted.

While the PJSP is independent of the judiciary, I feel the SC, the Judiciary and the PJSP all fall under the Philosophical branch. My view is that the Marshalls of the Peace fall under the executive branch and the Chancellor is responsible for law enforcement.

There is no direct oversight of the Judiciary by the SC but I feel their opinion in the population at large would carry significant weight. I do not feel that SC members need the same stringent tests as judiciary judges. However, they should be well respected veterans of the community who have a very firm grip on CDS constitutional law, history and tradition. They must also have the wisdom of Solomon, as determined by the RA. :)

Re: Moral authority...

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:37 pm
by Ashcroft Burnham
[quote="Pelanor Eldrich":3stbn5qi]While the PJSP is independent of the judiciary, I feel the SC, the Judiciary and the PJSP all fall under the Philosophical branch. [/quote:3stbn5qi]

"Fall under" in what sense, here?

Only in the organizational sense.

Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:07 pm
by Pelanor Eldrich
I was reading the CSDF meeting. I feel the Judiciary and PJSP are, for organizational purposes only, a part of the Philosophical branch. I do not believe that the Judiciary is a wholly separate branch of gov't.

That does not imply any kind of oversight or hierarchy, just a kind of legal stuff under one house kinda thing. That keeps us from having 8-12 branches of gov't. This perhaps makes sense also because SC members serve as judges in some rare cases (court of scientfic council).

Hope that clarifies.