Judiciary Act

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Glaciosia

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Oct 2, 2020
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Glaciosia
A MOTION
To bring into law an Act for the standardization of judicial procedure, and other related purposes.

UNDERSTANDING the importance of the Judiciary to our region,
BELIEVING that this branch of our government deserves further clarification in law,
HOPING to establish for future generations a strong, independent, and well run judiciary,
THE FOLLOWING IS ENACTED AS LAW:

Section 1: Definitions & Short Title
1. This statute may be referred to as the “Judiciary Act”
2. For the purposes of this statute:
A. Neutrality shall be defined as having no affiliations with political parties and exercising good faith in court cases.
B. “Presiding Justice” shall be defined as the Justice presiding over the case in question.
C. “Minister of Justice” shall be defined as equivalent to the Attorney General, as established in the constitution.
D. “Legal Question” shall refer to the non-binding clarification of the provisions of the law and Constitution.


Section 1: Responsibilities & Regulations of the Supreme Court

1. Justices shall maintain neutrality throughout their tenure as a Justice. Justices may not speak in public regarding ongoing cases.
2. The court shall transparently, fairly and consistently set the amount of time allotted to the different periods of a case, unless specified otherwise.
3. Justices may serve an unlimited number of terms, provided they maintain nomination & confirmation requirements.
4. A majority of the court may issue a subpoena on behalf of a party for the testimony or evidence of a person, should such testimony or evidence be relevant to the case, but no person may be compelled to testify against themselves, and no compelled evidence may be used against the subject of the subpoena.
5. The Presiding Justice shall determine the admissibility of evidence that parties wish to submit to the court.
6. The Court may establish a procedure to receive petitions for, and conduct hearings upon, Legal Questions.



Section 2: The Ministry of Justice
1: The Minister of Justice may delegate their prosecutorial authority to an authorized prosecutor.
2. All citizens and residents are permitted to petition the Minister of Justice to bring charges before the Supreme Court under one or more crimes or infractions as defined by the Criminal Code Act, the Constitution, and other applicable law.
3. The Minister of Justice may refuse to bring charges to the Supreme Court as petitioned by a citizen or resident. Should that occur, the Minister should publish a brief report on why the refusal occurred.

Section 3: Attorneys
1. The Minister of Justice shall create a roster of qualified attorneys, and determine and operate a methodology to determine that qualification.
2. Should there be no available attorneys in a trial, the Minister of Justice may approve volunteers in a case-by-case manner to practice. A defendant may allow an unapproved citizen to represent them if there are no approved volunteers.
3. A defendant shall also be allowed to defend themselves in the court.

Section 4: Cases
1. A case shall begin upon a petitioning party making a request to the Court. The Chief Justice, or an Associate Justice designated by them shall preside over the proceedings.
2. At the conclusion of the case, the Justices shall discuss the case among themselves and may draft Opinions. Whichever Opinion receives the majority approval of the Justices is the Majority Opinion, and the actions detailed in that Opinion shall be enacted. Any Opinion which receives one or more approvals, but fails to receive majority approval, is a Minority Opinion, which should be preserved as a matter of historical record but does not hold legal or precedential weight.
3. An Opinion may establish guilt in a criminal case, enact punishments, nullification or other actions as appropriate and should detail the legal reasoning behind the decision reached.
4. The Presiding Justice shall publish a report, detailing the course of the case, the Majority, and, if applicable, Minority Opinions and the votes of the Justices therein. This report should be made available on the forum, as well as in any additional format the Court sees fit.

Section 5: Trial Processes
1. Both parties in a trial may choose a volunteering attorney allowed to practice per section [3] to represent them or represent themselves.
2. Should the Defendant fail to choose who will represent them or state their intention to represent themselves within the established time, volunteers from the roster of attorneys shall be assigned to the relevant party.
3. The two parties shall formally inform the Supreme Court of their representation within an established time.
4. Trials shall begin within the established time after the Minister of Justice presents charges to the Supreme Court.
5. In the time between the presentation of charges and trial, both parties will appoint their Prosecution/Defense team, determine witnesses, and gather evidence. The parties shall notify the Court and the opposing party of planned witnesses and evidence.
6. The Prosecution shall make an opening statement to the Court. This statement should contain the crime charged against the Defendant and other relevant information.
7. The Defendant shall then make an opening statement to the Court.
8. The Prosecution may then bring forth evidence, and call witnesses, The Prosecution shall have an established period to present their case but should cede their remaining time as soon as the Prosecution is done.
9. The party of the Defendant shall then be permitted to bring forth evidence and call witnesses. The party of the Defendant shall have an established period to present their case, but should cede their remaining time as soon as the Defense is done. The allocated time period can be extended by the presiding Justice.
10. Each party will be allowed an established time to cross-examine each witness called forth.
11. The Prosecution shall then issue their closing statement, followed afterward by the closing statement of the party of the Defendant. Each party shall have an established time for closing statements.
12. After closing statements, the Court shall dismiss each party and rule on the case.

Section 6: Judicial Review
1. A citizen may petition the Court to strike down a prior action of government or law as unconstitutional. Such petitions should include the relevant information to the case.
2. The court shall hear arguments from the petitioner, from the attorney designated by the Minister of Justice as the representative of the government for the case, and those permitted by the Presiding Justice to submit a legal argument as interested third parties.
3. The petitioner shall have two days to give an opening statement to the court, followed by the government’s representative.
4. The Presiding Justice shall then oversee a period of argument, with a clearly set timetable and procedure, giving an equal opportunity for both parties to speak. All permitted briefs shall be submitted and read before the conclusion of this period.
5. The Petitioner shall then issue their closing statement, followed afterward by the closing statement of the government. Each party shall have an established time for closing statements.
6. After closing statements, the Justices shall dismiss each party and rule on the case.

Section 7: Appeals and Processes

1. Citizens may file an appeal to the Supreme Court of any prior case which has not been appealed.
2. The only Citizens who may file an appeal are any party involved in the matter, including Justices. Alternatively, the President may choose to appeal any case.
2. An appeal may only be made for reasons of newly compelling evidence, breaking of judicial procedure, or mistrial.
A. A criminal case may not be appealed without the consent of the defendant except when new and compelling evidence is discovered.
3. Following the submission of an appeal, the Court shall have three (3) days to decide whether or not to accept the appeal.
4. Should the Court accept the appeal, the entire Court shall listen to the arguments of the appealing party, and shall select a different Presiding Justice if possible.
5. After hearing all arguments, the Court shall rule on the trial or judicial review ruling. The Court may reverse, change, or maintain the standing verdict.

Section 8: Criminal Offenses
1. A person is guilty of contempt of court when they: fail to comply with an order of the court, such as, but not limited to, a subpoena. Contempt of court is classified as a Misdemeanor, as defined in the Criminal Code Act.
 
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