The AGORA Act

Dinoium

Semi-retired legal nerd.
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Actually, what I asked you to do was to retract your insinuations against me - as in, take them back and admit you were wrong. What you did was redact them, as in remove them from your post. Two different things.
Ah I see. Well I formally admit I am wrong. I am sort of admitting that I was wrong when redacting thst part of my post, though.
 

Oracle

The Goddess of Death
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All of these suggestions are being taken into account. I will endeavor sometime next week to summarize the debate thus far and present options for how to move forward with a second draft.

Thank you to everyone for your feedback and ideas.

Have you had an opportunity to work on a Second Draft of the AGORA Act?
 
Not at all. Some major (positive) life events are happening, and NS has taken a back seat this month. I'm reading through everything I've missed and catching up on my immediate responsibilities. Hopefully I'll have more time for legislation in the coming week or two.
 

Antityranicals

In Antityranicalese, "tyranny" is spelled "tyrany"
Here's why I'm generally, though not totally, opposed to this:

The law must always be designed to confront all situations. In fact, the law ought only come into play at all in undesirable cases, such as crime or crisis. To repeal a function of the law, it is not enough to say that this function has not been used in a long time. In a perfect world, the law would never have to be used, as people wouldn't commit crimes, and crises would not happen. Would this lack of use be cause to repeal the entire legal system? No, for someday, such a crime or crisis may take place as to require the use of the law. Therefore, in case there should come to be, in one month, one year, or even one or more decades, such a happening that the services of an Attorney General are required, one ought be there when that happens. And said Attorney General ought be, as best as possible, the voice of the citizenry, and since it would be too cumbersome to hold an election at the point that such a crime or crisis takes place, an AG ought already be in place. This is why I oppose the abolition of the position of Attorney General, as well as the replacement of the election of the AG with an appointment procedure. The speaker is legislative, the AG is judicial, there is no reason for one to appoint the other, and that solution makes no sense whatsoever. Let us thank God that the AG has not been necessary in a long time, but let us not therefore rob the people of the opportunity to choose he or she who shall be the one to face any future legal issues, and even more let us not do away with such an individual altogether.
 

Yuno

TNPer
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Hello Siwale, nice thread ^_^ Seeing how many people are agreeing with you, I'm slightly interested.


A possible counter-argument:
Just saying that the Attorney General can run his own AG office like an Executive Department and create projects. Why not?
 
Is there any update on the progress of this? I would like to see what the authors have in mind for updates on the proposal.
 

Siwale

Administrator
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Is there any update on the progress of this? I would like to see what the authors have in mind for updates on the proposal.
Unfortunately, little progress has been made since the last update. Both COE and I have been kept busy with RL commitments and more pressing NS matters. Hopefully we will have more time in the coming weeks to work on an updated draft. Apologies for the delay.
 
Unfortunately, little progress has been made since the last update. Both COE and I have been kept busy with RL commitments and more pressing NS matters. Hopefully we will have more time in the coming weeks to work on an updated draft. Apologies for the delay.
No worries -- I certainly can't blame anyone for that. I eagerly await what you both have!
 
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Vivanco

I don't know anymore.
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I havent had the time to look in depth about this act, but I fear, for what I've read, that the elimination of the Attorney General can cause some sort of lack of legal security, and maybe the independence of this, allow me to call it Judicial Power, can be at risk. I'll be watching this thread closely.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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I have reached out to both @Siwale and @Crushing Our Enemies. It seems this bill is still in need of further work and they do not have the time to continue that work. However, I do believe it is past time for us to revisit this idea and I hope they will indulge my assistance in bringing this back up. To that end, I would like to propose the following revision:

The Attorney General has Outlived Rational Applications (AGORA) Act:
The Attorney General has Outlived Rational Applications (AGORA) Act

1. Article 4 of the Constitution shall be struck null and void.

2. The remaining Articles of the Constitution shall be renumbered in numeric order.

3. Article 4 (formerly Article 5) of the Constitution of The North Pacific is hereby amended to read as follows:

Article 4:
1. The Court will try all criminal cases and review the constitutionality of laws or legality of government policies and actions.
2. Reviews of laws or government policies and actions must be made by request of an affected party unless there is a compelling regional interest in resolving it.
3. The Court will consist of at least three Justices, who will select a Chief Justice among themselves.
4. The Chief Justice will administer the rules of the Court. Where no rules exist, the Chief Justice may use their discretion.
5. The official opinion of the Court in any trial or review will be binding on all Government bodies and officials.
6. Justices will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a plurality vote every four months.

4. Article 6 (formerly Article 7) of the Constitution of The North Pacific is hereby amended to read as follows:

Article 6:
1. Constitutionally-mandated elected officials are the Delegate, Vice Delegate, Speaker, members of the Security Council, and Justices.
2. Government officials are the constitutionally-mandated elected officials, any officials appointed by them as permitted by law, and members of the Security Council.
3. The executive category consists of the Delegate, Vice Delegate, and government officials appointed by the Delegate or Vice Delegate.
4. The legislative category consists of the Speaker, and government officials appointed by the Speaker.
5. The judicial category consists of the Justices, and government officials appointed by Justices.
6. Any temporary replacement for a government official in the case of an absence or vacancy will be considered a government official in the branch of the official being replaced, regardless of the method of their selection.
7. All government officials must maintain citizenship while in office.
8. All government officials will swear an oath of office. The content of these oaths will be determined by law and be legally binding.
9. No person may simultaneously serve in more than one elected office.
10. No person may simultaneously serve in government official positions in more than one of the executive, legislative, or judicial categories. Exceptions to this provision may be established by law.
11. Candidates in any election must maintain citizenship for the fifteen days before the opening of candidacy declarations and throughout the election.
12. Government bodies may create rules for their own governance subordinate to this constitution and the laws.
13. Procedures to fill vacancies and absences in constitutionally-mandated elected offices may be established by law.
14. No law or government policy may contradict this constitution.

5. Chapter 3 of the Legal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

Chapter 3:
1. These procedures will govern the Judiciary.

Section 3.1: Chief Justice Selection
2. Whenever the position is vacant, the Justices shall elect a Chief Justice from among themselves by a majority vote.
3. In the event that a Chief Justice has not been elected by seven days after the conclusion of a Judicial election, including the conclusion of any required run-off votes, the Chief Justice shall be the Justice who received the highest number of votes in said election. In the event of a tie for highest number of votes, the Chief Justice shall be the one among those tied with the longest period of citizenship.

Section 3.2: Appointment of Hearing Officers
4. A conflict of interest occurs when a Justice or Hearing Officer has a vested interest in a matter before the Court, or when they are otherwise unable to rule in a fair and unbiased manner.
5. Justices and Hearing Officers are required to recuse themselves from matters where they have a certain or potential conflict of interest.
6. If one or more Justice positions are vacant, or any Justice is absent or has recused themselves, the remaining Justices will promptly appoint replacements from among available citizens to participate as temporary Hearing Officers.
7. If all Justices are vacant, absent, or have recused themselves, the Delegate will promptly appoint the needed Hearing Officers from among available citizens with the agreement of the Speaker.
8. Any recusal or absence of a Hearing Officer will be treated as a vacancy.
9. The Court may recuse any Justice or Hearing Officer by majority vote.
10. The Court must hold a vote on whether to recuse a Justice or Hearing Officer when publicly requested by the prosecution, defense, or petitioner in any matter before the Court.

Section 3.3: Criminal Trial Procedure
11. A standard procedure for all criminal trials will be established by majority agreement of the Court.
12. Any person may present criminal charges to the Court. If the charges are accepted, the Delegate will appoint a prosecutor to manage the case. If the Delegate is the accused or unavailable, the next available person in the Line of Succession will appoint a prosecutor to manage the case.
13. Any citizen may be appointed as a prosecutor. Citizens will be exempt from constitutional restrictions on holding multiple government offices for purposes of their appointment as a prosecutor.
14. The designated prosecutor will be confirmed by a majority vote of the Regional Assembly. The Delegate and other officials who may have appointed a prosecutor do not have the power to remove a prosecutor.
15. No one may prosecute or appoint prosecutors to a case in which they are the defendant or part of the defense.
16. If the original prosecutor is unable to see a case to completion, another prosecutor will be selected by the same procedure as the original prosecutor.

Section 3.4: Pre-Sentencing Ejections and Bans
17. The Delegate may eject and/or ban a particular nation from the region pending criminal charges against them, or prior to the conclusion of an ongoing criminal trial in which they are the defendant, only when that nation poses a clear security threat and their removal is necessary for the protection of the region.
18. The Delegate must seek the approval of the Court for any such ejection or ban. Where possible, this approval must be sought prior to the nation's removal from the region. Otherwise, it must be sought within one day of the action.
19. If the ejection or ban is performed during a criminal trial against that nation, approval will be at the discretion of the justice moderating the trial. Otherwise, any single justice may approve or deny the Delegate's request.
20. Any nation ejected or banned under this section may file an appeal of the decision. These appeals may not be denied, and must be decided by the full court.
19. The Delegate must immediately provide any nation ejected or banned under this section with a link to the Courtroom and inform them of their right to file an appeal.
21. If criminal charges are not brought against a nation ejected or banned under this section, or if the criminal charges are rejected by the Court, or if the nation is not found Guilty at the conclusion of the trial, any ban against that nation which was imposed under this section must be revoked.

6. Section 4.5 of the Legal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

Chapter 4:
29. The election of the Delegate, the Vice Delegate, and the Speaker will begin on the first day of the months of January, May, and September.
30. If there are more than two candidates for an election, voters may rank the candidates, with the candidate ranked 1 being the first preference, the candidate ranked 2 being the next preference, and so on.
31. All first preference votes shall be counted first. If no candidate achieves a majority, the candidate with the least votes shall be eliminated, and the next preference of all voters who had voted for the eliminated candidate as first preference shall be counted, with the process repeated until a candidate achieves a majority.
32. If all of a voter's preferences have been eliminated, the voter's ballot shall not be used in further counting.

7. Section 7.4 of The Legal Code shall be struck null and void.

8. The remaining Sections of Chapter 7 of The Legal Code shall be renumbered in numeric order.

9. Any cases currently being prosecuted when this bill is enacted will continue under the same prosecutor.

10. When this bill is enacted, ownership of all government records from the Attorney General's office will be transferred to the Delegate.

11. No portion of this bill will take effect unless/until all portions take effect.

3. Article 4 (formerly Article 5) of the Constitution of The North Pacific is hereby amended to read as follows:

Article 4:
1. The Court will try all criminal cases and review the constitutionality of laws or legality of government policies and actions.
2. Reviews of laws or government policies and actions must be made by request of an affected party unless there is a compelling regional interest in resolving it.
3. The Court will consist of at least three Justices, who will select a Chief Justice among themselves.
4. The Chief Justice will administer the rules of the Court. Where no rules exist, the Chief Justice may use their discretion.
5. The official opinion of the Court in any trial or review will be binding on all Government bodies and officials.
6. Justices will be elected by the Regional Assembly by a plurality vote every four months.

4. Article 6 (formerly Article 7) of the Constitution of The North Pacific is hereby amended to read as follows:

Article 6:
1. Constitutionally-mandated elected officials are the Delegate, Vice Delegate, Speaker, members of the Security Council, and Justices.
2. Government officials are the constitutionally-mandated elected officials, any officials appointed by them as permitted by law, and members of the Security Council.
3. The executive category consists of the Delegate, Vice Delegate, and government officials appointed by the Delegate or Vice Delegate.
4. The legislative category consists of the Speaker, and government officials appointed by the Speaker.
5. The judicial category consists of the Justices, and government officials appointed by Justices.
6. Any temporary replacement for a government official in the case of an absence or vacancy will be considered a government official in the branch of the official being replaced, regardless of the method of their selection.
7. All government officials, with the exception of members of the Security Council, must maintain citizenship while in office.
8. All government officials will swear an oath of office. The content of these oaths will be determined by law and be legally binding.
9. No person may simultaneously serve in more than one elected office.
10. No person constitutionally-mandated official may simultaneously serve in government official positions in more than one of the executive, legislative, or judicial categories. Exceptions to this provision may be established by law.
11. Candidates in any election must maintain citizenship for the fifteen days before the opening of candidacy declarations and throughout the election.
12. Government bodies may create rules for their own governance subordinate to this constitution and the laws.
13. Procedures to fill vacancies and absences in constitutionally-mandated elected offices may be established by law.
14. No law or government policy may contradict this constitution.

5. Chapter 3 of the Legal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

Chapter 3:
1. These procedures will govern the Judiciary.

Section 3.1: Chief Justice Selection
2. Whenever the position is vacant, the Justices shall elect a Chief Justice from among themselves by a majority vote.
3. In the event that a Chief Justice has not been elected by seven days after the conclusion of a Judicial election, including the conclusion of any required run-off votes, the Chief Justice shall be the Justice who received the highest number of votes in said election. In the event of a tie for highest number of votes, the Chief Justice shall be the one among those tied with the longest period of citizenship.

Section 3.2: Appointment of Hearing Officers
4. A conflict of interest occurs when a Justice or Hearing Officer has a vested interest in a matter before the Court, or when they are otherwise unable to rule in a fair and unbiased manner.
5. Justices and Hearing Officers are required to recuse themselves from matters where they have a certain or potential conflict of interest.
6. If one or more Justice positions are vacant, or any Justice is absent or has recused themselves, the remaining Justices will promptly appoint replacements from among available citizens to participate as temporary Hearing Officers.
7. If all Justices are vacant, absent, or have recused themselves, the Delegate will promptly appoint the needed Hearing Officers from among available citizens with the agreement of the Speaker.
8. Any recusal or absence of a Hearing Officer will be treated as a vacancy.
9. The Court may recuse any Justice or Hearing Officer by majority vote.
10. The Court must hold a vote on whether to recuse a Justice or Hearing Officer when publicly requested by the prosecution, defense, or petitioner in any matter before the Court.

Section 3.3: Criminal Trial Procedure
11. A standard procedure for all criminal trials will be established by majority agreement of the Court.
12. Any person may present criminal charges to the Court. If the charges are accepted, the Delegate will appoint a prosecutor to manage the casebe tasked with designating a willing citizen to manage the prosecution . If the Delegate is the accused or unavailable, the next available person in the Line of Succession will appoint a prosecutor to manage the casebe tasked with designating a willing citizen to manage the prosecution.
13. Any citizen may be appointed as a prosecutor. Citizens will be exempt from constitutional restrictions on holding multiple government offices for purposes of their appointment as a prosecutor.
14. The designated prosecutor will be confirmed by a majority vote of the Regional Assembly. The Delegate and other officials who may have appointed a prosecutor do not have the power to remove a prosecutor.

15. No one may prosecute or appoint prosecutors to a case in which they are the defendant or part of the defense.
16. If the original prosecutor is unable to see a case to completion, another prosecutor will be selected by the same procedure as the original prosecutor.

Section 3.4: Pre-Sentencing Ejections and Bans
17. The Delegate may eject and/or ban a particular nation from the region pending criminal charges against them, or prior to the conclusion of an ongoing criminal trial in which they are the defendant, only when that nation poses a clear security threat and their removal is necessary for the protection of the region.
18. The Delegate must seek the approval of the Court for any such ejection or ban. Where possible, this approval must be sought prior to the nation's removal from the region. Otherwise, it must be sought within one day of the action.
19. If the ejection or ban is performed during a criminal trial against that nation, approval will be at the discretion of the justice moderating the trial. Otherwise, any single justice may approve or deny the Delegate's request.
20. Any nation ejected or banned under this section may file an appeal of the decision. These appeals may not be denied, and must be decided by the full court.
19. The Delegate must immediately provide any nation ejected or banned under this section with a link to the Courtroom and inform them of their right to file an appeal.
21. If criminal charges are not brought against a nation ejected or banned under this section, or if the criminal charges are rejected by the Court, or if the nation is not found Guilty at the conclusion of the trial, any ban against that nation which was imposed under this section must be revoked.

6. Section 4.5 of the Legal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

Chapter 3:
29. The election of the Delegate, the Vice Delegate, and the Speaker will begin on the first day of the months of January, May, and September.
30. If there are more than two candidates for an election, voters may rank the candidates, with the candidate ranked 1 being the first preference, the candidate ranked 2 being the next preference, and so on.no candidate for a given office gains a majority, a runoff vote for that office will begin within one day of the first vote ending and it will last for five days.
31. All first preference votes shall be counted first. If no candidate achieves a majority, the candidate with the least votes shall be eliminated, and the next preference of all voters who had voted for the eliminated candidate as first preference shall be counted, with the process repeated until a candidate achieves a majority.Candidates will be added to the runoff ballot in descending order of how many votes they received. Candidates who received equal numbers of votes will be added the ballot simultaneously. Once the cumulative number of votes received by the candidates on the runoff ballot reaches a majority of votes cast in the previous round of voting, excluding abstentions, no more candidates will be added to the ballot.
32. If all of a voter's preferences have been eliminated, the voter's ballot shall not be used in further counting.If no one gains a majority of votes in the runoff vote, the runoff process will be repeated until a candidate receives a majority.

Given how much time has passed since this was originally proposed, several areas of the Legal Code have changed from what was included in the original draft. I made the changes that were made to the Legal Code in the interim, so as not to inadvertently reverse those recent changes in making these new ones. I suppose that could also be avoided by not including so much of the Legal Code in this draft, but all the same I would appreciate additional sets of eyes on this to make sure I didn't miss any.

I actually found it difficult to see where Siwale and COE changed the constitution to avoid the whole "serving in multiple branches" thing. From what I could tell, they handled this through the change in language around constitutionally mandated elected officials. I don't actually know if even that change was necessary originally, but I went ahead and reversed it. Considering there was some discussion about separating such a change from this bill, and the fact that my revision addresses this limitation within the new Legal Code language, I don't think we need any constitutional changes outside of removing the AG from it.

The most substantive change I have made came from what @Darcania proposed. I have made prosecutors confirmed by the RA in a process identical to EC confirmations, down to the fact the Delegate (or anyone in the LoS who appoints them instead of the Delegate) cannot remove them. This also has the effect of making them government officials. @mcmasterdonia suggested having the Court approve the prosecutor. This would certainly speed up the process, and would still have a tie to democratic choice (the justices were elected), but since we are giving up the elected AG, people may prefer we eliminate the layer between them and the choice. One possible alternative I had in mind might be to have the Delegate appoint someone from a smaller list curated by the Court. I happen to know a region that actually has a bar, and anyone who does legal work in that region needs to be a member of their bar. This involves taking an open book test on their regional laws and constitution. I'm actually surprised, given TNP's litigious and storied history of Court fun, that we do not employ such a thing. Just throwing that out there. Maybe just having the Court involved in the picking would be sufficient to avoid concerns about expertise.

Since this proposal was first presented, I have seen nothing from the Attorney General's office to instill greater confidence in its continued operation, nor do I feel any of the critiques leveled at the office have become less prescient. Instead I see a worsening of the pattern of little interest and little ability in the office as election cycles continue. We recently had two high-profile cases that could have required a deft, experienced hand, had they not led to quick guilty pleas. Despite the overwhelming evidence and the professional way the cases were put together, there still existed some doubt in what the outcome could be because the right of first refusal went to the AG's office, and the brand new untested AG not only opted not to defer the cases to the person who put it all together, but selected his deputy to handle the caseload in his stead. That's a lot to ask for fresh faces who get very little practice in prosecuting cases and even less practice in prosecuting cases of any importance. I for one do not want to see this sort of thing happen again, particularly when the resolution is not as quick and straightforward as this one is turning out to be.

I feel this change is long overdue and we need to once more give it some serious thought.
 

mcmasterdonia

TNPer
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I personally think the RA approval process is the wrong way to go about it, given that presumably it would delay it for some time.

In my opinion, as previously expressed, the best avenue for the prosecutor to be approved is via the Courts. The Courts will have the ability and the judgement to make a determination regarding the proposed nominee. It wouldn't be unreasonable for that proposed nominee to have to satisfy Court imposed rules/requirements as to their competence. The Court could add something to their rules that any proposed prosecutor must satisfy certain requirements.

For example, you've mentioned both a curated list and an open book test. It would not be too difficult for me (perhaps with some input from others) to draft an open book exam that could be completed by TNPers who are interested. Those who pass it would be added to the list of those with competence to prosecute matters. This would be helpful in determining who to nominate and could assist the court in determining competence. However, it would not necessarily need to be included in this legislative proposal.
 

Dinoium

Semi-retired legal nerd.
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Welcome to fun fact friday with Dino. Today’s fun fact: I still don’t support the AGORA Act to this day. Thanks for coming to my TedTalk.
 

Dreadton

TuffingTost Senior Reporter
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As it stands now, very few people seem to want to be THO's much less defense attorneys. I doubt it would be any different with prosecuting attorneys. I would like to see the bar be put in place and populated before we abolish the AG.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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Okay then, how about this as a potential tweak to what I presented?

Chapter 3:
Section 3.3: Criminal Trial Procedure
12. Any person may present criminal charges to the Court. If the charges are accepted, the Delegate will appoint a prosecutor to manage the case. If the Delegate is the accused or unavailable, the next available person in the Line of Succession will appoint a prosecutor to manage the case.
13. A standard of qualification for prosecutors will be established by majority agreement of the Court.
14. Any qualified citizen may be appointed as a prosecutor. Citizens will be exempt from constitutional restrictions on holding multiple government offices for purposes of their appointment as a prosecutor.
15. The designated prosecutor will be confirmed by a majority vote of the Regional Assembly. The Delegate and other officials who may have appointed a prosecutor do not have the power to remove a prosecutor.

I do not think the Court should be directly picking the people who will argue cases before the, but their expertise can absolutely be utilized to make our men of potential prosecutors more palatable. As with other Court procedures, we can leave it up to the Court to decide how to do this (bar exam, broad guidelines, advice to the Delegate), and future Justices can make changing that part of what distinguishes them from other candidates.

Note for Speaker: this was a proposed alternative to my version of the bill, not what I am advancing to a vote
 
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Deropia

Registered
While I don't know how I feel about abolishing the Attorney Generals Office, I do think that TNP should have some sort of bar organization with a public defenders office. It would be an improvement to see defendants paired with counsel, at least temporarily, at the beginning of a trial so that defendants are not entering pleas before they can consult with an attorney in some way.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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Willing to give this a chance to see where Ghost takes any revisions, but still leaning against.
I’ve already revised it twice, so I take it you don’t support those revisions? What direction should I take it in? If the answer involves not abolishing the AG’s office, I don’t think there’s any revision I could offer that would be satisfying.
 

Abbey

TNPer
I'm not quite sure what to think of this. I think if we go down the bar route, we could make it a pool from which we could draw both defense counsel and THOs in the future. If it is made relatively easy to get through (so for instance if nobody already on the bar wants to serve as a THO, or there's not enough who are interested, additional (qualified) members can be added fairly easily) then we can make sure a certain level of basic competence is there. I'm thinking that the basis will be low enough that changes to the law oughtn't be a huge issue but again that's something that should be considered.

I do agree, mostly, with the fact that the AG does very little and has not done much for a long time. I think the issue of bias is one to be considered and to have safeguards in place but in some respects, I wonder if an appointed (either by court, or by line of succession if the court has recused) system for prosecutors, THOs and defense counsel would be better. It also means that if there is an uptick in activity - as we do often get spurts of activity - there should be a better chance of getting someone active on every case rather than one person who may get overwhelmed. This is especially true as deputy AGs are atm, often quite inexperienced as it is used as a "gateway" to TNP legal experience.

The more I think about it the more I think that the bar idea would work. I don't support in the current form but it is a good start on a bigger judicial reform. It may not work, and we may find that it works less well. But constructed well I think it's worth a try.
 

SillyString

TNPer
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I have come around to supporting this idea. However, as much as I like the idea of a bar or some sort of qualifying exam, I'm not sure about the practicality of implementing one and I definitely don't think we should write that change into the law before that has been done. Otherwise, we run the very real risk of a situation coming up for prosecution and the standards simply not existing yet.

Personally I like having a prosecutor be delegate appointed, RA confirmed (or, if the delegate is the accused, the next person in the line of succession). I believe that such an approach would retain the benefits of an elected AG (namely, having the confidence of the citizenry) better than having confirmation by the Court. Additionally, I think the RA can make certain arguments better than the Court can - it's much easier as a private citizen to say "I"m voting against because I think this person has shown incompetence with legal questions" than for the Court as a body to say "We reject this person because they're incompetent". I also doubt there would be sufficient waiting period with such an approval process for it to make a huge difference - a week or so of debate is not undue delay in a trial, and presumably the delegate would still be empowered to request the pretrial ejection or banning of a nation presenting an actual security threat.
 

St George

Speaker
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Personally I like having a prosecutor be delegate appointed, RA confirmed (or, if the delegate is the accused, the next person in the line of succession). I believe that such an approach would retain the benefits of an elected AG (namely, having the confidence of the citizenry) better than having confirmation by the Court. Additionally, I think the RA can make certain arguments better than the Court can - it's much easier as a private citizen to say "I"m voting against because I think this person has shown incompetence with legal questions" than for the Court as a body to say "We reject this person because they're incompetent". I also doubt there would be sufficient waiting period with such an approval process for it to make a huge difference - a week or so of debate is not undue delay in a trial, and presumably the delegate would still be empowered to request the pretrial ejection or banning of a nation presenting an actual security threat.
If I was going to support this, this is what I'd like to see @Pallaith.
 

mcmasterdonia

TNPer
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I have come around to supporting this idea. However, as much as I like the idea of a bar or some sort of qualifying exam, I'm not sure about the practicality of implementing one and I definitely don't think we should write that change into the law before that has been done. Otherwise, we run the very real risk of a situation coming up for prosecution and the standards simply not existing yet.

Personally I like having a prosecutor be delegate appointed, RA confirmed (or, if the delegate is the accused, the next person in the line of succession). I believe that such an approach would retain the benefits of an elected AG (namely, having the confidence of the citizenry) better than having confirmation by the Court. Additionally, I think the RA can make certain arguments better than the Court can - it's much easier as a private citizen to say "I"m voting against because I think this person has shown incompetence with legal questions" than for the Court as a body to say "We reject this person because they're incompetent". I also doubt there would be sufficient waiting period with such an approval process for it to make a huge difference - a week or so of debate is not undue delay in a trial, and presumably the delegate would still be empowered to request the pretrial ejection or banning of a nation presenting an actual security threat.
i think it’s easier for the court to say that personally, though I don’t think they’d say the person is incompetent.

however I’m fine with RA approved if that’s what people prefer.
 

QuietDad

TNPer
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While I can see both sides of this discussion, both with valid arguments, I'm personally against this. "Lack of activity" from an AG is not necessarily a bad thing. An ideal world is everyone playing by the rules. I think someone elected by a majority to keep an eye out for things that may not happen is not a bad thing. A good AG doesn't necessarily have to be the greatest litigator in court as they can always appoint an adequate prosecutor to a case. The lack of an AG makes it up to individuals to press charges for things and that opens u[ a possible flood of issues for a court system. At least with an AG, charges are screened before they take up the court's time.
 
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Vivanco

I don't know anymore.
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and the brand new untested AG not only opted not to defer the cases to the person who put it all together, but selected his deputy to handle the caseload in his stead. That's a lot to ask for fresh faces who get very little practice in prosecuting cases and even less practice in prosecuting cases of any importance. I for one do not want to see this sort of thing happen again, particularly when the resolution is not as quick and straightforward as this one is turning out to be.
For allusions, I will speak.
About the choice of the prossecution of the current cases.
We have to take in consideration whatever is happening IRL. I've been with final exams of Law School, so I talked about it with my deputee, whom agreeded to take the cases so that I may learn. That was my idea, and currently I am regretting it, for it is correct that with my office I should have taken a more firm stand and handled it properly. However, I felt like I wasn't going to make a good work on it at that very moment.

About the acceleration of the courts.
Within the courtroom, we shouldn't take anything by granted, and because of what's going on at hand, most of the times penal, the strongest arm of the juditial system, speed is not always the best ally. There needs to be a part that specialices on the prossecution, so that we may ensure that a critical thinking on every case is effectively granted, not only by me, but by those who would come after me. Thinking with calm, makes things to cool off, so that we may look at the facts with a more clear mind.

I am, however, still curious on how this act is developing. I still present myself against the act, which would be a surprise to none.
 

SillyString

TNPer
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There needs to be a part that specialices on the prossecution, so that we may ensure that a critical thinking on every case is effectively granted, not only by me, but by those who would come after me. Thinking with calm, makes things to cool off, so that we may look at the facts with a more clear mind.

Is it a "cool mind" that advocates for the maximum possible sentence (an indefinite ban on citizenship) over a poorly executed infiltration attempt with practically no chance of succeeding?

A million dollar punishment for a two buck crime fits nobody's idea of justice, and to be quite honest, the overzealous prosecution occuring now against Ikea Rike is part of what convinced me to support this bill.

It's also why Deropia and I feel obligated to pursue a not guilty verdict for our client, rather than a dismissal by the court - the AG's office's unwillingness to compromise gives us no faith that our client would be safe from future prosecution if the court dismissed the charges against them.
 

Vivanco

I don't know anymore.
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Is it a "cool mind" that advocates for the maximum possible sentence (an indefinite ban on citizenship) over a poorly executed infiltration attempt with practically no chance of succeeding?
About the no-chance of succeeding.
While I admit there was no chance of achieving it a priori, due to the circunstances of the case being a long term operative, it could have changed and their possibilities could have risen, and may rise in the following times.
A million dollar punishment for a two buck crime fits nobody's idea of justice
While that is true, we are not talking of a "petty crime", but an ellaborated attempt of a region's government against another region's government. However, I agree.
 
I must admit that I am wary about the proposition of doing away with the Attorney General, given the length of time for which it has been part of our constitutional arrangements, but I think the reality is that there is not truly sufficient need for it to be sustained. While we have had a relatively busy time of late, the more regular position is that the office does little. The lack of activity, while in a certain sense desirable, leads to the office being unattractive for many, such that they do not seek it, and a sinecure and stepping stone for most who attain it.

I think the original proposal has, or had, some elements that I simply could not support, such as the removal of the bar on service in multiple branches, and I glad that Pallaith's redraft has done away with that; I am also supportive of the addition of a cross-check, whether it be by the Assembly or the Court, on the appointment of the prosecutor. There are some elements of the draft that I do still take issue with.

The amendment of clause 1 of the Constitutional Article on the Court concerns me. I favour the addition of "actions" within the express scope of the clause (and would also support the inclusion of "omissions", in honesty); the Court has for the longest time taken the view that actions are reviewable and I don't see any good reason to think they should not be. However, the removal of determining ambiguities is strange, to my mind. While Siwale earlier stated that there is no established means for the Court to do so, I think that is simply wrong, the means is the ordinary judicial review process. An ambiguous law is not a hypothetical (necessarily) and there are any number of cases in which the Court has reviewed the meaning of the law without considering whether the law or a policy was unconstitutional or unlawful. The review around the meaning of Fraud, for instance, was not about whether the Fraud law was unconstitutional or whether it had been wrongly applied, it was about what it meant. Further, even reviews that are principally about unconstitutionality or unlawfulness can require the resolution of ambiguity in the law, one must know what the law means to decide whether it is being followed. I don't, therefore, support removal of that portion of the clause.

I am interested in the concept of establishing a bar and a process for qualification of counsel. I think there is arguably a way to experiment with the concept already, in the form of the Court's power to appoint defence counsel and THOs, were the Court to establish a form of qualification and to appoint those who qualify. I personally would like to see whether that can be made to work. But I think that it is perhaps a step too far and too soon to introduce it into this proposal untested.
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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I must admit that I am wary about the proposition of doing away with the Attorney General, given the length of time for which it has been part of our constitutional arrangements, but I think the reality is that there is not truly sufficient need for it to be sustained. While we have had a relatively busy time of late, the more regular position is that the office does little. The lack of activity, while in a certain sense desirable, leads to the office being unattractive for many, such that they do not seek it, and a sinecure and stepping stone for most who attain it.

I think the original proposal has, or had, some elements that I simply could not support, such as the removal of the bar on service in multiple branches, and I glad that Pallaith's redraft has done away with that; I am also supportive of the addition of a cross-check, whether it be by the Assembly or the Court, on the appointment of the prosecutor. There are some elements of the draft that I do still take issue with.

The amendment of clause 1 of the Constitutional Article on the Court concerns me. I favour the addition of "actions" within the express scope of the clause (and would also support the inclusion of "omissions", in honesty); the Court has for the longest time taken the view that actions are reviewable and I don't see any good reason to think they should not be. However, the removal of determining ambiguities is strange, to my mind. While Siwale earlier stated that there is no established means for the Court to do so, I think that is simply wrong, the means is the ordinary judicial review process. An ambiguous law is not a hypothetical (necessarily) and there are any number of cases in which the Court has reviewed the meaning of the law without considering whether the law or a policy was unconstitutional or unlawful. The review around the meaning of Fraud, for instance, was not about whether the Fraud law was unconstitutional or whether it had been wrongly applied, it was about what it meant. Further, even reviews that are principally about unconstitutionality or unlawfulness can require the resolution of ambiguity in the law, one must know what the law means to decide whether it is being followed. I don't, therefore, support removal of that portion of the clause.

I am interested in the concept of establishing a bar and a process for qualification of counsel. I think there is arguably a way to experiment with the concept already, in the form of the Court's power to appoint defence counsel and THOs, were the Court to establish a form of qualification and to appoint those who qualify. I personally would like to see whether that can be made to work. But I think that it is perhaps a step too far and too soon to introduce it into this proposal untested.
I'm glad you brought this up, because I hadn't really given it too much thought. I happen to agree the Court can play a role in resolving ambiguities, but I don't think I read this as being a problem in resolving them. You were right when you said the judicial review process is the mechanism for resolving ambiguities. After all, if resolving ambiguities is part of a review, I do not see how it wouldn't be an acceptable part of the review even if the ambiguities weren't the point. And the existing review template already makes it unlikely the Court will hear a simple review of the meaning of words. I don't think we've actually lost anything by changing this language in this way.

I move for a vote.
 

Deropia

Registered
@Pallaith, your motion to vote is recognized. The AGORA Act will be in formal debate for the next 5 days, after which no further amendments will be permitted and a vote will be scheduled.
 
Point of Order, Mr Speaker,

Is it not more usually the case, particularly in view of your Standing Procedures, that a proposal may be introduced by the creation of a thread for it and may be moved only by the member introducing it (namely, the member that started the thread)?
 

Pallaith

TNPer
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Point of Order, Mr Speaker,

Is it not more usually the case, particularly in view of your Standing Procedures, that a proposal may be introduced by the creation of a thread for it and may be moved only by the member introducing it (namely, the member that started the thread)?
I don’t really know if there’s a way for us to acknowledge the nature of how this discussion has evolved. I do not want to take credit for the work Siwale and COE have already put into this, not so I want to separate the debate that ensued last year from that which occurred after I revived it. This is a natural progression of the bill and I contacted both of them as part of getting it started. Perhaps it cannot be helped. You and I are both former Speakers. I think what I would do is request @Siwale motion for the vote. If that isn’t feasible I’m willing to make a new thread for my revision, but I feel it really should all be part of this thread.

Still against, for whatever it's worth
The bill has evolved quite a bit, what precisely is your concern? It’s worth a lot more if I could determine where you feel the bill is insufficient or inadequate.
 

Deropia

Registered
Point of Order, Mr Speaker,

Is it not more usually the case, particularly in view of your Standing Procedures, that a proposal may be introduced by the creation of a thread for it and may be moved only by the member introducing it (namely, the member that started the thread)?

This is correct. It would seem that the Standing Procedures do not have any provisions regarding proposal ownership being transferred. Formal debate is cancelled pending a motion from @Siwale.
 

Siwale

Administrator
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This is correct. It would seem that the Standing Procedures do not have any provisions regarding proposal ownership being transferred. Formal debate is cancelled pending a motion from @Siwale.
Can you explain your reasoning behind this decision? What exactly does a brand new thread add to this debate? Keep in mind that the Standing Procedures can be amended at any time by you so stating that “no provisions currently exist” isn’t much of an argument.

Pallaith quite clearly laid out his version of this bill (which he motioned we vote on) while also highlighting the sound reasoning for posting it in this thread. Having me motion for a vote on his bill makes little sense.
 
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