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RZ17 - Judiciary Reformation Amendment
Primary Sources: see Acts of the 52nd Cosa

This law is currently

link to amending laws

It amends the following:

Ziu 52nd Clark 6th (February 2019)
Sponsored by: Viteu Marcianüs - (MC, FreeDems)

Cosa.png Cosa: PASSED in the Cosâ
PER 131 — CON 61 — AUS 0

Senats.png Senäts: PASSED in the Senäts
PER 4 — CON 3 — AUS 1

LesserSealBadge.png Referendum: PASSED in Referendum
Per 56 — Contra 17 — Austanéu 17

Digest of Laws

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RZ17 - Judiciary Reformation Amendment

WHEREAS, the Kingdom of Talossa requires a functional and streamlined judiciary that is accessible by its citizens;

WHEREAS, Article XVI of the Organic Law, amended in 2015, has fallen short of its admirable goals;

WHEREAS, the people of Talossa seek once more to remedy the defects of the Talossan Judiciary;

THEREFORE, Article XVI of the Organic Law, which reads:

Section 1

The judicial power of Talossa shall be vested in one Cort pü Inalt, in English the Uppermost Cort, and in such inferior courts as the Cosâ may from time to time establish. The judges of the Cort pü Inalt and any inferior courts shall be elected in accordance with Article XVI, Section 4, and shall hold their offices for life (or until resignation), and may be removed by either a two-thirds vote in the Cosâ with approval by the King and the Senäts or due to inactivity as defined by failure to act, rule, or appear in an open case the justice is assigned to or participating in for more than 60 days, as certified by the Ziu in a majority vote. (47RZ39)

Section 2

(a) The Cort pü Inalt shall consist of five Justices.

(b) Any justice may serve as a trial judge in any case brought before the judiciary.

(c) Appeals to any trial judge rulings shall be heard by a quorum of three Justices (or by a single justice as described in Article XVI Section 8). The original trial judge may serve on the appeals panel if no other justice is available to fill a quorum.

(d) The five members of the Cort pü Inalt are co-equal for all purposes. However, the Justice which has served on the Cort pü Inalt for the longest overall period of time is designated ceremonially as "Senior Justice."

Section 3

Neither a reigning King nor his Consort, nor a Regent during his regency, nor the Secretary of State, nor the Seneschal, nor any public prosecutor, nor any Senator shall be a Justice of the Cort pü Inalt.

Section 4

(a)In the event of a vacancy in the Cort pü Inalt, any member of the Ziu may nominate a replacement. The nominee shall be approved by a two-thirds vote in the Cosâ and a majority vote in the Senäts in favour of his appointment. Upon such approval and upon making the declaration subscribed in subsection (b), the King shall appoint the nominee as a Justice of the Cort pü Inalt and he shall then take his seat for life. The King may, stating his reasons for doing so, refuse to appoint the nominee, in which case the Ziu shall re-consider the nominee or nominate a new nominee. If after reconsideration of the nominee, two-thirds of the Cosâ and a majority of the Senäts have approved the nomination, then the King may not refuse to appoint the nominee as a Justice of the Cort pü Inalt. (b) Every person appointed a justice shall publically make to the Citizens of Talossa and subscribe to the following declaration:

"I, [NAME], do solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare that I will duly, faithfully and to the best of my knowledge and ability execute the office of [Justice of El Cort pü Inalt] without fear or favour, affection or ill will towards any man, woman or child and that I will uphold the Organic Law and the laws of the Kingdom of Talossa. This I do solemnly affirm." (c) The declaration in subsection (b) shall be made and subscribed by every justice before entering upon his duties as such justice, and in any case not later than ten days after the date of his appointment. Any justice who declines or neglects to make such declaration as aforesaid, within this timeframe, shall be deemed to have resigned his office.

Section 5

Where there is an exact precedent, a court shall rule according to law. Where there is no exact precedent, a court will make a rule to fit the case, either by reinterpreting an old rule (statutory or otherwise) or by applying what it considers principles of justice, consistent with the Covenants of Rights and Freedoms. The courts shall render their decisions with due regard to the original intent of any law being clarified, as defined by the law's author(s). In the event of a difference in interpretation as to the meaning of a law, the court shall render an official interpretation with full respect to the Covenants of Rights and Freedoms. If one of the judges wrote the law, he does not have to step down and designate a temporary replacement.

Section 6

The courts shall consent to hear no case until presented with written evidence by the Prosecution proving to a majority of court members that a reasonable chance of obtaining a conviction actually exists. The courts, by majority vote, may refuse to hear any case, in effect confirming the defendant's (or status quo) position. The Uppermost Cort must supply any plaintiff whose case it refuses to hear a written justification of such refusal. Because of double jeopardy, a case dismissed may not be brought again.

Section 7

If a judge or Justice is a party in a court case, he shall exempt himself from the bench for the duration of the case, and nominate a temporary replacement, who will be approved by the other judges or Justices of the court.

Section 8

No court shall issue any authoritative decision without the fullest opportunity for all members assigned to a case to consider the case in question. However, a single Justice of the Uppermost Cort may hear a case on his own if this is acceptable to at least two other members of the Cort. He shall be appointed to do so by majority vote of the entire five-person Cort. If, after every reasonable attempt is made to contact all other members of the Cort, and three weeks (21 days) has passed since initial contact without any response, their silence shall be read as consent that an individual Justice may hear the case in question on his own. The duly nominated (either by active agreement or silence) Justice shall render a decision on the case as if he were a majority of the whole Cort. His decision becomes that of the Cort itself and may not be appealed nor shall it establish binding precedent in future cases.

Section 9

In the event that a court discovers unclear or confusing language in the Organic Law or in any law, the court may as part of its written decision call upon the Ziu, or if relevant, the Provincial legislature to revise the law. Until such confusion is resolved, the court shall rule according to the most just and equitable understanding of the law, according to the plain meaning of the words, or if such words have acquired a technical meaning at law, according to the technical meaning.

Section 10

The Cort shall try persons for all offences under law, such as a person doing something he should not, or not doing something he should. The Cort shall inflict such punishment as the law provides.

Section 11

Cort decisions (and dissents) will be written up in the Clark if the authors want them to, with due regard to brevity.

Section 12

The courts shall have power to enforce penalties against violators, commensurate with the severity of the crime. The Uppermost Cort may in certain extreme circumstances impose the penalty of expulsion from the country, by a unanimous vote. Sentences may only be overturned by Royal Pardon.

Section 13

Any judge or justice may issue court orders or injunctions according to the generally accepted principles of Anglo-American law. These injunctions may order a party to perform his legal duty, or may prevent the enforcement of a law which may be Inorganic (unconstitutional). Violation of an injunction is treated as contempt of court. The final arbiter of the organicity of injunctions is the Uppermost Cort of Talossa.

SHALL henceforth be stricken from the Organic Law, and all sitting Justices are hereby deemed removed.

BE IT FURTHER KNOWN, that the People of the Kingdom of Talossa, pursuant to Article XV of the Organic Law, does hereby adopt as follows:

Article XVI: The Judiciary

Article XVI-a. Composition of the Judiciary

Section 1. The judicial power of the Kingdom of Talossa shall be vested in one Cort pü Inalt, in English the Uppermost Cort, and in such inferior courts as the Ziu may from time to time ordain and establish.

Section 2. A Justice of the Uppermost Cort shall be appointed to sit for a single term, which shall be measured in intervals of five years, but may be extended to no more than ten years by the Ziu, provided it is equally applied to all members.

Part 1. During the second to last Clark before a Justice's term ends, if no action is taken, then the Justice is reconfirmed by law.

Part 2. The Seneschál or another member may move by acclamation to reappoint a justice. If no objection is made in two weels, the motion is adopted. If acclamation fails. then the Ziu shall vote, and if the nominee gets a 2/3 majority in both Houses of the Ziu, they are confirmed.

Part 3. If the vote fails, then the Seneschál may choose to nominate the Justice once more, who shall oy require a simple majority in both Houses.

Part 4. A Justice shall hold that seat until such time as they resign, are removed, or are no longer able to perform their duties on account of incapacitation, as defined by law.

Section 3. The Uppermost Cort shall consist of no less than two Pusine Justices and one Chief Justice, which may be extended to no more than eight Pusine Justices as the Ziu may desire, provided the enacting legislation has the support of two-thirds of both houses of the Ziu, but such an increase shall not result in an even number of Justices.

Section 4.

In the event the Uppermost Cort consists of two Justices, and those Justices are in agreement, the Court’s decision shall stand, but that decision shall not establish precedent until a quorum of three issues a determination.



The Ziu shall retain authority to set such limits it deems necessary on Judges of the inferior corts.

Article XVI-b. Powers of the Judiciary

Section 1.

The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Organic Law, the treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority, to cases affecting ambassadors, or other public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, to controversies to which the Kingdom of Talossa shall be a party; to controversies between two or more provinces; between private citizens; between private citizens and a province. The judiciary shall not hear matters for which no case or controversy exists.

Section 2.

In all cases affecting the Kingdom of Talossa, the Uppermost Cort shall have original jurisdiction, and in all cases previously mentioned, the Uppermost Cort shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, when the Ziu has set forth inferior courts, with such exceptions and under such regulations for those matters concerning administrative law as the Ziu shall make, which may be limited to appellate jurisdiction as to matters of law.

Article XVI-c. Qualification and Removal from the Uppermost Cort

Section 1. Nothing in this article shall be understood to contravene the Covenant of the Rights of Freedoms.

Section 2. The Ziu shall set forth by law those qualifications it deems requisite prior to the nomination of a Justice to the Uppermost Cort.

Section 3. The Ziu may limit by law those other offices in which a Justice may sit, and may limit those rights a Justice may enjoy, upon confirmation, which shall extend for the full duration of that Justice's tenure, including reconfirmation, unless the Ziu shall explicitly pass an Act removing such restraint when such removal applies equally to all sitting Justices. No limitation may be imposed ex post facto, but the Ziu may impose restraints upon reconfirmation.

4. Where a vacancy exists, the Prime Minister shall recommend to the Ziu a potential candidate, provided that such a confirmation may twice occur within the same Government.

5. Upon a recommendation, the respective houses of the Ziu must, based on their own procedure, advise and consent the Prime Minister, which must be concluded with two-thirds approval from the Cosa and a majority of the Senäts.

6. Upon receiving said advice and consent, the Sovereign shall issue his or her assent to the prospective individual. If the Sovereign withholds that assent, the process may be repeated once more within the same government, and a simple majority from both houses may overcome the Sovereign’s refusal.

7. The Ziu may set forth any procedure for reconfirmation, but such procedure may not exceed that which is required for nomination and confirmation in the first instance. Notwithstanding any act to the contrary, reconfirmation shall be deemed automatic at the end of a Justice's tenure by operation of law.

8. In the event that a sitting Justice of the Uppermost Cort acts in an manner that offends basic notions of propriety or perpetuates the appearance of impropriety, both in his or her official capacity or in the public square, any member of the Ziu may move for an Notice of Reprimand, which shall set forth an individual charge, unless that charge arises out of a series of transactions or occurrences, and the punishment that shall be imposed upon adopting of that motion. The Ziu shall permit any recourse up to but not exceeding removal from office, but shall not impose criminal liability, which may be sought in a Cort of Law. No Notice of Reprimand shall be considered presumptive guilt for criminal liability by a Cort of Law.

9. All punishment, including removal, shall require that the motion for reprimand to not extend more than one Clark, with the following Clark to contain a simple up-or-down vote on whether to adopt said motion, by two-thirds of the Cosa and a simple majority of the Senate. The Sovereign shall give his or her assent to the result. In the event the Sovereign affirmatively withholds assent, a second vote shall be had immediately thereafter, where, upon achieving the requisite result, the motion is deemed adopted.

10. Where the Ziu certifies by a simple majority that a justice has failed to act, rule, or appear in an open case to which the Justice is assigned to, or in which he has been subpoenaed to appear but fails to do so, for a period of 60 days, then he shall be considered to have abdicated his or her seat.

Uréu q'estadra så: Viteu Marcianüs - (MC, FreeDems)