PCA Judiciary Amendment + Judiciary Revision Bill

Proposals for legislation and discussions of these

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PCA Judiciary Amendment + Judiciary Revision Bill

Post by Jon Seattle »

This post includes a proposed constitutional amendment and a bill designed to accompany the amendment. These are co-sponsored by Justice Soothsayer and Jon Seattle and reflect input from other people. Please examine all sections of the constitution modified by the amendment before commenting.

Thanks,

Jon Seattle

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Judiciary Amendment

1. The following Articles and sections of the Constitution are hereby repealed:

a) Article I, Section 7 from " The Representative Assembly may vote by simple majority: – (a) to commence impeachment proceeding.."
b) Article III, Section 7 in its entirety
c) Article II, Section 4 from "With respect to the Judiciary..."
d) Article III, Section 8 from "With respect to the Judiciary..."
e) Article VII in its entirety

2. Article III, Section 6, shall be amended to add:

The SC shall act as the Court of Common Jurisdiction, with the Dean of the SC appointing Chairs of the SC to hear specific trials, under the Code of Procedure previously passed by the RA, with any appeals heard by the full SC.

3. Article III, Section 7, shall be amended to read:

Hearings and trials not involving government officials will be overseen by a single Professor and judgment will be decided by a jury of peers. All impeachment hearings will be performed in the Philosophic branch by the Chairs without a jury. If a Chair is accused, that Chair will be excused for the duration of the hearing. A member of the branch which is not calling for the impeachment hearing will serve as Leader of the Philosophic branch during the hearing.

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Judiciary Revision Bill:

Our experience with the Judiciary has brought it to our attention that revisions are needed to protect citizen's rights and to make sure that the power of the judiciary is balanced with that of other branches. This bill changes the code of procedure to accommodate changes in the constitution and plots a way forward towards future judiciary-oriented legislation.

1. The Code of Procedure is amended to replace all references to the 'Chair of the Judiciary Commission' with 'the Dean of the Scientific Council.'

2. Starting with the new session the RA will appoint a committee to work with the SC to develop a model for the judiciary functions of the CDS. The committee will solicit public input about proposals as they are developed, then report back to the RA.

The SC will participate only to provide ideas and advice. In order to protect the separation of powers the report and recommendations presented to the RA by will be that of the RA members only and not the SC.

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Post by Beathan »

This is an excellent proposal, and very much in line with what I believe are the goals and insights of the Simplicity Party with regard to dispute resolution and the Judiciary Act. I hope the RA will act promptly to pass this proposal and restore the civil rights of CDS citizens.

Our fitful, restless, nightmare-laden sleep might be coming to an end, at last, in the return of Dawn.

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

I understand that the reason that this has been proposed now is not that the people proposing it genuinely believe that this is what should be done, but that the CSDF have produced statistics showing that the next elections are likely to be dominated by CARE and the Simpletons, with the CSDF and DPU quite possibly not getting a seat between them, and therefore that, since those factions are unlikely to agree, the current factions want to force CARE (even if it gets an overall majority) to compromise with the Simpletons about the judiciary (if the Simpletons care to compromise at all). After all, what other reason could two political factions about to lose an election (no doubt because of their incompetent and downright reckless handling of the judiciary issue, as both judiciary supporters and detractors would have to agree) have to make such vast and radical changes to the constitution in the midst of an election campaign (especially after it was clear after the Special Commission that the consensus was to amend, not destroy)? I consider this to be, quite literally, political corruption.

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

I will ask of you the same question that I asked of Justice on the other thread: why don't you wait until after the election - until after the people have had a chance to have their say on what sort of judicial system that they want (the faction platforms will make the choice quite clear, I imagine); or are you afraid that the people won't agree with you?

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

Also, is this not the "suspend and amend" option that was the only thing that the Special Commission was clear about rejecting?

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Post by Beathan »

Ash --

I don't know where you get your information for this post, but I do think it is silly to accuse the RA of "political corruption" merely because it is being responsive to the citizens of the CDS. It is the RA's job to be responsive to the citizens of the CDS -- and to act to preserve the civil rights of those citizens when they appear to be under threat. The threat to the UDHR posed by the Judiciary Act has shocked this community and has prompted RA to act in defense of our human rights in the CDS. This is reasonable and appropriate. It would have been irresponsible for the RA to act otherwise.

Further, every statistical analysis I have seen of the upcoming election suggests that a 5 member RA will be divided 2-1-1-1; and a 7 member RA will be divided similarly. Neither the DPU nor the CSDF is in trouble. In fact, one of these parties will likely hold the plurality position in the RA. This is a result of the weighted preference form of our vote. Assuming that members of CARE will place the Simpletons in last place, and vice versa -- the more "moderate" parties (the DPU and the CSDF) stand to reap the rewards of their moderation.

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Beathan":2sn30022]Ash --

I don't know where you get your information for this post, but I do think it is silly to accuse the RA of "political corruption" merely because it is being responsive to the citizens of the CDS. It is the RA's job to be responsive to the citizens of the CDS -- and to act to preserve the civil rights of those citizens when they appear to be under threat.[/quote:2sn30022]

Then why not wait until after the elections, when the people get to have a say about what sort of judicial system that they want to have? That would, after all, most respect the will of the people, would it not?

[quote:2sn30022]The threat to the UDHR posed by the Judiciary Act has shocked this community and has prompted RA to act in defense of our human rights in the CDS. This is reasonable and appropriate. It would have been irresponsible for the RA to act otherwise.[/quote:2sn30022]

Except that neither you nor anyone else has made any genuine attempt at providing an analytic counterargument to the detailed and careful explanation that I make of why the Judiciary Act has no adverse impact on the protection of human rights. If you are capable of doing so, what honest reason could you have not to do so? If you are incapable of doing so, what honest reason could you have for rejecting its conclusions?

[quote:2sn30022]Further, every statistical analysis I have seen of the upcoming election suggests that a 5 member RA will be divided 2-1-1-1; and a 7 member RA will be divided similarly. Neither the DPU nor the CSDF is in trouble. In fact, one of these parties will likely hold the plurality position in the RA. This is a result of the weighted preference form of our vote. Assuming that members of CARE will place the Simpletons in last place, and vice versa -- the more "moderate" parties (the DPU and the CSDF) stand to reap the rewards of their moderation.[/quote:2sn30022]

This, of course, all remains to be seen, which is exactly it would seem more sensible not to undertake any such extreme measure as proposed until after the elections.

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Post by Jon Seattle »

My co-sponsor in this, Justice, is not a member of the CSDF (he is from the DPU and a real life law professor) and both of us are presenting this bill at political risk to ourselves. I will let Justice speak on his motives when he returns from Washington. Beathan does an excellent job of explaining why I am sponsoring this amendment:

[quote="Beathan":2z9vulwy]It is the RA's job to be responsive to the citizens of the CDS -- and to act to preserve the civil rights of those citizens when they appear to be under threat. The threat to the UDHR posed by the Judiciary Act has shocked this community and has prompted RA to act in defense of our human rights in the CDS. This is reasonable and appropriate. It would have been irresponsible for the RA to act otherwise.[/quote:2z9vulwy]
I started out as a lukewarm supporter of the Judicial Act. I voted for it. I was also concerned about its cost to our community in human effort. I was worried that it would take away from our ability to successfully implement Colonia Nova.

Over time I became more worried about the lack of public confidence in the new system and was surprised by the unwillingness of its chief architect to build public support or involve others in it’s design. Gradually it has become clear that Ashcroft’s vision for his judiciary is one that operates without real checks, does not concern itself with civil rights, and requires professional lawyers for access. The central place of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was one on the main reasons I joined Neufreistadt.

Because I knew some in my faction supported it, I tried my best to save the Judicial Act by proposing the “Clarification of Powers Amendment” which would have allowed the system to operate as designed but added the additional check of appeals to the Scientific Council. Ashcroft rejected this compromise and responded with attacks on me and the legislature.

I now realize I was wrong to support the Judicial Act. The architect of the system lacked the skills and sensitivity to our community values needed to make the experiment a success.

My real love is architecture and computer science, not politics or law. I want to see a progressive politics in the CDS and in Second Life and I want to see a CDS where anyone can participate without being a professional lawyer or politician. Thats why I serve on the RA. I happen to be a principled person who thinks his community threatened by recent developments. You who elected me and accepted me as as RA member gave me a responsibility to defend our community. I intend to carry out that responsibility as best I can, whatever the political costs.

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Post by Jon Seattle »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wdd0j2j]
Then why not wait until after the elections, when the people get to have a say about what sort of judicial system that they want to have? That would, after all, most respect the will of the people, would it not?[/quote:2wdd0j2j]
Part of our proposal includes a bill that plots a way forward in discussing the hopefully resolving these issues. I assume the next RA will make changes. We consider that a good thing.

Are you claiming that because of this amendment people will not be able to have a say? Or that they would have a better say if your system is embedded in the constitution and in practice in a way that will be more difficult to change? It seems to me that this clears the way for a discussion about the system that is not biased towards your particular design.

[quote="Beathan":2wdd0j2j]Further, every statistical analysis I have seen of the upcoming election suggests that a 5 member RA will be divided 2-1-1-1; and a 7 member RA will be divided similarly. Neither the DPU nor the CSDF is in trouble. In fact, one of these parties will likely hold the plurality position in the RA. This is a result of the weighted preference form of our vote. Assuming that members of CARE will place the Simpletons in last place, and vice versa -- the more "moderate" parties (the DPU and the CSDF) stand to reap the rewards of their moderation.[/quote:2wdd0j2j]
[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wdd0j2j]This, of course, all remains to be seen, which is exactly it would seem more sensible not to undertake any such extreme measure as proposed until after the elections.[/quote:2wdd0j2j]
This is an important point. A substantial number of people are alarmed at the dismissal of the UHDR and the gagging of the SC and feel that this is not something that can wait, even to the point of taking a chance.

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Jon Seattle":1m4oreez]Because I knew some in my faction supported it, I tried my best to save the Judicial Act by proposing the “Clarification of Powers Amendment” which would have allowed the system to operate as designed but added the additional check of appeals to the Scientific Council. Ashcroft rejected this compromise and responded with attacks on me and the legislature.[/quote:1m4oreez]

So, you are proposing to abolish the judiciary because I believe that the legislature has been reckless and that it was misleading to call a radical amendment a "clarification"?

[quote:1m4oreez]I now realize I was wrong to support the Judicial Act. The architect of the system lacked the skills and sensitivity to our community values needed to make the experiment a success.[/quote:1m4oreez]

What kind of "skills and sensitivity to our commnuity values" do you mean here?

[quote:1m4oreez] I happen to be a principled person who thinks his community threatened by recent developments[/quote:1m4oreez]

What precisely do you believe that the threats are?

[quote:1m4oreez]Part of our proposal includes a bill that plots a way forward in discussing the hopefully resolving these issues. I assume the next RA will make changes. We consider that a good thing.[/quote:1m4oreez]

How is that different from the "suspend and amend" option expressly and overwhelmingly rejected by the Special Commission?

[quote:1m4oreez]Are you claiming that because of this amendment people will not be able to have a say? Or that they would have a better say if your system is embedded in the constitution and in practice in a way that will be more difficult to change? It seems to me that this clears the way for a discussion about the system that is not biased towards your particular design. [/quote:1m4oreez]

The point is that the abolition of the judiciary that you propose immediately before an election deliberately prejudices the outcome of the debate. By abolishing the judiciary, you are entrenching the position of not having the judiciary (except for the Scientific Council), which is precisely the position that the Simpletons wanted all along. Thus, even if the Simpletons do not gain a majority at the next election, they will be able to have their way simply by blocking any attempt to make any provision for a judiciary at all.

If, however, deciding whether to abolish the judiciary is left until after the election, one will have a real chance to see what the electorate in general (as distinct from the small minority who post in forums or attend commissions) really think of the judiciary and its relative importance, and let the system be judged by the people. If factions who oppose the judiciary do well compared to others, then the people have spoken. Similarly, if factions who support the judiciary do well compared to others, the people have also spoken. What you propose pre-determines the answer, as you must realise, such that, whichever faction does well at the election, the default position from which it is difficult to move is that which all of the anti-judiciary activists would like to be the end position.

[quote:1m4oreez]This is an important point. A substantial number of people are alarmed at the dismissal of the UHDR and the gagging of the SC and feel that this is not something that can wait, even to the point of taking a chance.[/quote:1m4oreez]

Jon, have you even [i:1m4oreez]read[/i:1m4oreez] what I have written in the UDHR thread? If you have, how on earth can you honestly believe that I have "dismissed" it? And what in the world do you mean by "gagging" the Scientific Council? Whoever has stopped the members of the Scientific Council from [i:1m4oreez]speaking[/i:1m4oreez]? What disaster do you think will befall the CDS if the judiciary is not abolished within the next two weeks?

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Post by Oni Jiutai »

I am reminded, simultaneously of the curse "May you live in interesting times." and the terrible events of 1936, when the British King wanted to marry an American divorce.

Which is by way of saying that we appear to have stumbled into a Constitutional Crisis of some kind.

I think it's probably superfluous to indicate that I'm not a supporter of the amendment, but I would like to make a few points.

Firstly, the only possible justification for this action must be that there is a real, honest to goodness emergency. Bear in mind that the amendment destroys - as in actually removes entirely and without a trace - one of the Constitutional branches of the CDS state. I realise both that the responsibilities are being transferred to a different branch and that it's anticipated that something else will be created in the future, but nonetheless it's an extremely radical course of action.

Equally significant is the timing of the proposal. 3 days before the RA and only a few short weeks before the election. Again, such haste can only possibly be justified by a grave emergency - such that even weeks of delay are unacceptable.

Furthermore, the proposal is effectively to rewind all the progress on the creation of a judiciary. That's not just Ash's considerable efforts, but all the work done by everybody else - in terms of forum debates, in-world discussion, compromise, legislation e.t.c. It's a truly epic amount of work to throw out. Now, arguably, not all of it will be entirely wasted, but a great deal of it will be.

So, as I say, the only possible justification is that there is a real, honest to goodness crisis, which demands the most rapid and radical response.

Now, in that, I don't think I differ from Jon (and I presume Justice) - who clearly believe that we are in the midst of an important constitutional crisis, which demands an instant response.

That, I'm afraid, is where I lose the thread of the argument.

I do understand, I hope, most of the detailed criticism people have put forward of the scheme as it's developed so far. Some of it I agree with, for example, I'm not a fan of juries and would at least mitigate the bows to head-nods. Some of it I don't agree with, but think it indicates important concerns that need addressing, for example, I disagreed with the arguments that the Original Procedural Code was too complex, but thought the best solution was providing guides to the procedures, rather than changing them. Some of it, I just disagree with, for example, the suggest that judges should be able to strike down legislation on constitutional grounds.

However, none of that, to me, seems to give rise to a Constitutional Crisis. And I don't think - although I'm happy to be corrected - that any of it is really what Jon, or anybody else, believes is the reason for such radical and rapid action.

That, it seems to me, rests on the belief that the judiciary, as currently exists, posses a clear and present danger to the rights of the CDS citizens. Now that, of course, is a perfectly good justification for radical and rapid action.

As far as I can tell, there are really two parts to that concern:

[b:1aetmzrd]There are no, or insufficient, checks on judicial power[/b:1aetmzrd]

To which I can only say that there are considerable checks. Judges are bound to apply the law as drafted and ratified by the RA and SC. If they do not, they can be impeached. Any Common Law principle the judiciary creates can be amended or replaced entirely with legislation.

[b:1aetmzrd]The Judiciary isn't concerned with Civil Rights[/b:1aetmzrd]

I think everything I have to contribute on this has been said in the appropriate thread. In summary, I firmly believe that Judges are bound by the UDHR. The only sense in which they're not concerned with them, is that they can't use Civil Rights principles to override the decisions of the legislature - as seems right and proper to me in a democracy. The point there isn't that Human Rights aren't important, but that the best people to balance competing rights and make difficult decisions about them are the democratically elected representatives, not the judges.

So, basically, I don't see what the crisis is, and it would certainly help me - if nobody else - if people who do see the crisis, could explain what the threat they are seeing is.

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Post by Jon Seattle »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":fgcv0i0t]
Jon, have you even [i:fgcv0i0t]read[/i:fgcv0i0t] what I have written in the UDHR thread? If you have, how on earth can you honestly believe that I have "dismissed" it? And what in the world do you mean by "gagging" the Scientific Council? Whoever has stopped the members of the Scientific Council from [i:fgcv0i0t]speaking[/i:fgcv0i0t]? What disaster do you think will befall the CDS if the judiciary is not abolished within the next two weeks?[/quote:fgcv0i0t]
I have read what you wrote, and I continue to take my lead on this from Gwynith and Pat who are deeply concerned with this direction. When you claimed the Judicial Act gave you the power (never discussed by anyone before) to get involved in moderating this forum it seemed clear to me that you would use the powers of the office you gave yourself (cheif judge) to try to control and shape the debate.

What we are trying for is a pause that will allow other people's voices to be heard. I think it is the only way to move towards developing a consensus on the judiciary instead of running over a large segment of our citizens who want to see serious change.

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Jon Seattle":27x6bprh]I have read what you wrote, and I continue to take my lead on this from Gwynith and Pat who are deeply concerned with this direction.[/quote:27x6bprh]

After having spoken to Gwyneth, I doubt you understand even her concerns, let alone my arguments. I will ask you plainly and clearly: do you or do you not understand my arguments in that thread? If you do, do you or do you not agree with them? If you do not, what is the reason for each of those disagreements?

[quote:27x6bprh]When you claimed the Judicial Act gave you the power (never discussed by anyone before) to get involved in moderating this forum[/quote:27x6bprh]

I think that you'll find that it was discussed: it was, as I pointed out repeatedly, in the original "Developing our legal system thread": it was also quite clear from the fact that (1) the Judiciary Act took all of the judicial function of the Scientific Council and gave it to the Courts of Common Jurisdiction, except for impeachment and special appeals; and (2) that forum moderation appeals were a judicial function of the Scientific Council, that forum moderation appeals fell on Courts of Common Jurisdiction. Further, it was quite clear, as even Publius acknowledged, that that result was entailed from the wording of the Constitution itself. It is utterly absurd, therefore, to claim that there was anything hidden about forum moderation appeals. I have asked Pat many times before (although he has pointedly failed to reply to each and every such occasion of my asking), and I ask you now: what precise additional notice do you think that I should have given that the Judiciary Act was to have that very specific effect; and (2) how was I to know that it was not immediately apparent from what was already known about it that it would have that effect?

[quote:27x6bprh]...it seemed clear to me that you would use the powers of the office you gave yourself (cheif judge) to try to control and shape the debate.[/quote:27x6bprh]

Do you seriously mean that - even after I made it quite clear that I should not sit as a judge in the case in question because it was a debate with which I was involved - you honestly believe that? This is yet another example of jumping rashly to an unjustified conclusion that a person has committed or attempted to commit an act of very, very, very serious misconduct indeed. Your evident malice, spite and prejudice has reached new heights still. Your conduct in this debate is truly appalling.

[quote:27x6bprh]What we are trying for is a pause that will allow other people's voices to be heard.[/quote:27x6bprh]

Please explain how not abolishing the judiciary prevents any given voice from being heard. Please also explain how what you propose is different form the "suspend and amend" option overwhelmingly rejected by the Special Commission?

[quote:27x6bprh]I think it is the only way to move towards developing a consensus on the judiciary instead of running over a large segment of our citizens who want to see serious change.[/quote:27x6bprh]

Why is running over a large segment of our citizens who do not want to see serious change the appropriate way of doing so? And do you honestly believe that consensus will ever be possible? As far as I can see, consensus on the matter is utterly inconceivable for the foreseeable future. What mystical insight into people's minds do you have to suggest that people will suddenly all change their views if you let the anti-judiciary activists win the day?

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Post by Patroklus Murakami »

The decision to recommend the dismantling of most of the Judiciary Act was not lightly taken by any of us. I have been a firm supporter of the plan to develop a judicial system for the CDS from the outset and, even during the Special Commission, argued strongly for implementing what the RA had approved even in the face of very strong opposition. But I'm forced to the conclusion now that this is the wrong system for the CDS and that it is imperative that the RA take action.

What is clear to me now, in a way it wasn't even a couple of weeks ago, is that we started off on this project from the wrong starting point and there has been miscommunication and misunderstanding of intentions all along the way. Ash has been completely honest and open about his intentions throughout. I don't believe that he has a 'secret agenda' or that he wants to 'take over the CDS'. I think he's completely sincere about wanting to develop the best possible legal system for the CDS and to be its Chief Judge. Ash's early posts back in August outlined in detail what kind of justice system he envisaged, in particular that it would be a 'common law' system. I don't think we fully appreciated the significance of that at the time. The problem with this starting point is that, rather than asking us what we needed, in the manner of a consultant coming in to assess a client's needs, Ash already had a pretty firm idea of what he thought we needed. When we challenged these ideas e.g. on the requirement to consent to anything you ever say, at any time, in any place in Second Life being recorded and potentially used in one of our Courts, we had a battle royal to get any changes made. It's clear to me now that at this point we should have either a) gone through every point of the proposal and challenged every detail we didn't like e.g. the loss of Scientific Council's role as final arbiter of forum moderation, or b) said that we didn't like the process and wanted to start from first principles rather than a ready-made system.

I feel pretty awful about the fact that we have spent so many months in discussion about the Judiciary Act and that so much work has gone into it and yet we must dismantle the core of it. But it's clear now to everyone, apart from the architect of the system and those who wish to participate as legal professionals within it, that this judicial system is not well suited to our needs. The right decision, under these circumstances, is to acknowledge that a mistake has been made and do what you can to put things right. Continuing to defend a decision that you no longer believe in would be, in my opinion, a far more reckless and cowardly position than doing what you can to make things right and accepting the consequences. And then, yes, the people will get to deliver their judgement at election time. But the election is no good reason for failing to take the right decision right now.

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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wxtvh6p]The point is that the abolition of the judiciary that you propose immediately before an election deliberately prejudices the outcome of the debate. By abolishing the judiciary, you are entrenching the position of not having the judiciary (except for the Scientific Council), which is precisely the position that the Simpletons wanted all along.[/quote:2wxtvh6p]
This is not a fair representation of the position of the Simplicity Party relative to the Judiciary. We have for a long time now had our [url=http://forums.neufreistadt.info/viewtop ... 1:2wxtvh6p]common position[/url:2wxtvh6p] published for anyone to see in our sub-forum. The document available there enumerates our current stand on the question of a Judiciary save for a subsequent plenary meeting amendment regarding term lengths and re-appointment of judges, which still needs to be worked in from the transcript. I wonder why it is necessary for an official of the judiciary to misrepresent our position to support his argument. Actually, this kind of misrepresentation seems to me to be intended to further in public the representation of a political cause, which is a conduct that at least in my view is unbecoming for one charged with administering our legal system in a non-partisan manner.

I should therefore wish to express my desire to see a retraction of this claim by the judiciary official in question with due reference to the facts of the matter and ideally a reconsideration by our judicial officer of his proper role as an expert in facilitating the shared debate by the community towards a sorely needed consensus on this issue of vital importance to us all.

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wxtvh6p]Thus, even if the Simpletons do not gain a majority at the next election, they will be able to have their way simply by blocking any attempt to make any provision for a judiciary at all.[/quote:2wxtvh6p]
We have never stated that we do not want any judiciary. We have repeatedly stated that we feel a judiciary to be such an important institution in an area so sensitive to the citizens that we cannot entrust its development to a process that involves establishing an elaborate and for most citizens opaque framework where most of the decisions are taken in advance and only by those who have the passion and overview to wade through insane amounts of forum discussion on detailed and irrelevant matters containing a not insignificant amount of expressions of arrogance, stubbornness and personal attacks on both sides of the debate.

It is the view of the Simplicity Party that [b:2wxtvh6p]caution, simplicity, involvement, transparency and freedom of choice[/b:2wxtvh6p] be the guiding principles for the development of our judiciary.

By caution we mean that we should start out with a limited jurisdictional competence that can be extended in time as we gain experience with the workings of our framework.

By simplicity we mean that we do not foreclose discussion by taking decisions at an early stage on all questions of importance for the judiciary but instead strive to take the discussions gradually on an as-needed basis so as to not to arrive in the situation where somebody claims a decision on an issue was taken half a year ago because nobody at the time had the energy to retrieve the position from a pile of postings at a time when it did not seem like an important matter in the circumstances.

By involvement we mean that the entire community should be included in the considerations on each subject and that the role of the judicial experts in the process should not be to take ownership of the end-product and of all decisions leading to it and subsequently vigourously defend every decision from change but rather that they act as [b:2wxtvh6p]facilitators[/b:2wxtvh6p] outlining a road map on the way to a judiciary containing the necessary decisions that must be taken on the way as well as the possible span of decisions and their consequences along with an assessment of feasibility but that they after that leave it for the community to take the final decision. That has hardly been the case so far.

By transparency we mean that we hope the process as described in the above will give citizens the necessary time to relate to, digest and internalise decisions taken about the judiciary as they are made one after the other so that they can feel proper ownership over the process and end-product.

By freedom of choice we mean that our ideal would be that citizens have the widest possible range of options to choose from governing their relation to and involvement with the judiciary in the handling of their disputes.

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wxtvh6p]If, however, deciding whether to abolish the judiciary is left until after the election, one will have a real chance to see what the electorate in general (as distinct from the small minority who post in forums or attend commissions) really think of the judiciary and its relative importance, and let the system be judged by the people.[/quote:2wxtvh6p]
This is another misrepresentation. It is quite obvious that since an insane amount of detailed decisions regarding the design of the judiciary has been entrenched by virtue of being included in the Constitution it is not enough to change it even if a substantial majority of the population would wish to change such details. This arises from the peculiarities of our St Lague method of representation/seat distribution, which allocates an unproportionally large amount of representation to minority factions coupled with the fact that constitutional amendments require a qualified majority in the RA to pass.

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wxtvh6p]If factions who oppose the judiciary do well compared to others, then the people have spoken. Similarly, if factions who support the judiciary do well compared to others, the people have also spoken.[/quote:2wxtvh6p]
This is equally true regardless of whether the Judiciary Revision act passes or not.

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2wxtvh6p]What you propose pre-determines the answer, as you must realise, such that, whichever faction does well at the election, the default position from which it is difficult to move is that which all of the anti-judiciary activists would like to be the end position.[/quote:2wxtvh6p]
What you propose also pre-determines the answer. The difference is however that you are not a politician but a civil servant involved with the judiciary for whom it is most unseemly to be esposing strong opinions in public regarding issues that are politically contested.

The Simplicity Party extends its support to the proposal put forward by the DPU and CSDF and emphasises that it wishes to work with any faction in a future RA to achieve a working judiciary that is governed along the principles as outlined in the above.

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