Zyvetskistaahn for Justice

Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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Zyvetskistaahn for Justice

Hello, I am running for Justice. I have been Justice before and you can get a sense of my approach from the opinions I have authored in requests for review and the trials I have been involved in (links below). I am an experienced Justice and have a robust knowledge of TNP’s law from my long service in that role and as Speaker. I enjoy writing decisions, as can probably be guessed, and have moderated criminal trials effectively. I would do my fair share of work on the Court (presuming some comes up between now and the next term).

I do not come into this intending on pushing for any reform of the Court rules or the like. I think that the Court, by and large, works effectively and there are limits on what changes it, as a primarily reactive body, can make in any event. Also, this is a partial term and changes to the Court’s processes tend to take quite a while to agree. That said, I would involve myself in any ongoing discussions and work constructively with Sil and Kronos.

I also want to say something about my opponents. I was on the Court with Lord Dominator (in the guise of Lady Raven Wing) and, as will be guessed given our agreement in the cases we heard, I think that their approach to the sorts of issues that the Court needs to resolve is a sound one and they were effective in the management of criminal trials. Gorundu has not served on the Court before but I wholeheartedly agree that service as Speaker is a good experience for preparation as a Justice and I think their approach as Prosecutor in TNP v New Francois shows good instincts for criminal proceedings. The Court would be well served by either of them on the bench.

Naturally, I am open to questions.


Official Opinions in requests for review: Speaker’s Power to Extend Voting Periods; Regional Ban of Kirana; Form of the Oath of a Delegate; Speaker’s Power to Schedule Votes; Constitutionality of Vague Laws and Gross Misconduct; Power of the Speaker to Direct Deputy Speakers.
Verdicts and Sentences in criminal trials: Whole India; Ikea Rike; Slatos; Ihese; New Francois.
Reasoned decisions as an individual Justice: Nolo Contendere plea in TNP v New Francois; Evidence in TNP v Ihese; Ejection and ban in TNP v New Francois; Denial of Request for Review Banning of Finnish Ougyza; Denial of Request for Review Angshire/Crown Isles; Denial of Request for Review Acting Speaker; Denial of Request for Review Loss of Citizenship by Government Officials.
(there are also some denials of indictments but they are by and large the same as each other, if you want to see them, however, they are in the Court Filings thread to be seen)

EDIT: “authored in requests review” to “authored in requests for review”; and deleting a rogue [
 
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Cretox

Somehow, Palpatine has returned
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  1. What's your favorite TNP court decision and why?
  2. The delegate is sued for espionage and the VD appoints a prosecutor, who is then confirmed by the RA. Right after the case proper begins, new information comes to light that leads to the prosecutor getting credibly sued for conspiracy to commit the espionage. Can the prosecutor be removed for this without a recall? Should they?
  3. The VD who appointed the prosecutor is sued for conspiracy to commit the espionage instead. Does that change the answer to the above, and if so, how?
 

Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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  1. What's your favorite TNP court decision and why?
  2. The delegate is sued for espionage and the VD appoints a prosecutor, who is then confirmed by the RA. Right after the case proper begins, new information comes to light that leads to the prosecutor getting credibly sued for conspiracy to commit the espionage. Can the prosecutor be removed for this without a recall? Should they?
  3. The VD who appointed the prosecutor is sued for conspiracy to commit the espionage instead. Does that change the answer to the above, and if so, how?

I would say my favourite decision is probably on the Use of the Speaker’s Power to End Debate. I think it is a very clear, well written decision. It built well on the first decision on the Speaker’s Power to End Debate and the two of them have served as a strong basis for other decisions on the Speaker’s powers. I also agree wholeheartedly with the holding.

Another decision that comes close, though it was not one that I was an especially great fan of at the time, is on the Permanence of Rejected Applications for the Regional Assembly. I think the thinking about the permanence of rejections was right but for some time I did not really like the “good faith” exception. However, I think that it has grown on me in retrospect and I think it is a very useful tool in the region’s judicial toolbox, especially given the lack of any limitation period on bringing requests for review.


The short answer to whether the Prosecutor can be removed otherwise is yes. However, the other means of doing so would be by bringing a further criminal charge (Gross Misconduct) and proving it. That would be an extremely unwieldy way to go about things, so the answer, from a practical perspective, is that recall is the way to go.

As to whether there should be another way, that is, of course, a matter for the Assembly, but my view is no. Ultimately, if there is a genuine appearance of a conflict of interest or connivance between the Delegate and the Prosecutor, I think that the Assembly would judge that issue and resolve it by recall. Alternate measures, it would seem to me, are likely to run into a number of difficulties. One would be that it could encourage satellite litigation, if, for example, there were to be a rule removing from office Prosecutors who are charged or indicted, it could well be that criminal defendants would bring charges for that purpose. Another would be issues around the presumption of innocence, in that a Prosecutor would suffer what a penalty by mere accusation; while that is well justified for a prospective Prosecutor who would be trying themselves, it is less so for a sitting Prosecutor who is charged in an unrelated matter or a matter which relies on the Court’s conclusion as to prove a relationship.

My answers do not change depending on which of the Prosecutor and Vice Delegate are charged.
 

Dreadton

PC Load Letter
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What was your biggest mistake during any of your terms as justice?

What court rulings do you disagree with and why?

What court ruling do you see as your best so far?
 

Fregerson

Secretly here
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What are your opinions about the current requirements for standing in R4Rs?

From time to time, there has been discussions about the issue of standing, and some have been arguing that the requirements are too strict. Do you think the requirements for standing should be loosen?
 

Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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What was your biggest mistake during any of your terms as justice?

What court rulings do you disagree with and why?

What court ruling do you see as your best so far?
I think that looking back my biggest mistake was allocating Wonderess to moderate TNP v Pigeonstan, given that his poor judgement around Mall’s requests as defence counsel led to the collapse of the trial. I don’t think I could have predicted it would have went the route it did but, in retrospect, I was mistaken. I think I could maybe have also been clearer in discussing it with Wonderess while the trial was ongoing and that could maybe have avoided it. I will link the discussions and you can judge for yourself: here.

The two other candidates would have been the first in the “r4r r4r r4r” (or, the nesting doll r4r) series and the original sentence in TNP v Whole India. The thread for the first has been lost to the sands of time, but in any case, requests for review were brought and succeeded in each case. Naturally, had I been able to see forward and have the outcomes of the future requests for review when looking at the original decisions, I would have approached them differently. However, I don’t think I would really be being honest if I said either of those two. I have made defences of my thinking on them before and why I disagreed with the outcomes of the requests for review (and I will reproduce them in answer to your next question). I will obviously follow the decisions of the Court, those I agree with and those I don’t, but I do still disagree with those outcomes.



In relation to rulings I disagree with, I won’t be covering rulings that have been overturned. The exception to that is in relation to the partially overturned decision on the Delegate’s Authority to Staff the Executive Branch. I am very glad to have seen the Court partially overturn it recently for the reasons Eluvatar gave in his dissent in that case and that the Court gives in on the Regulation of the Regional Message Board.

In terms of other decisions, I haven’t read through every decision again to answer this, if I had done so maybe there would be more. Instead, I have looked through the list and focused on those that stick out in my mind.

  • The Advisory Opinion. A decision on the Court’s own motion, contrary to the requirement for a request from an affected party. Ultimately, even if accepting everything it says, it seems to me it was simply beyond the Court’s power to issue.
  • On the Definition of Government Officials. I largely agree with the conclusion (or, agreed, given the underlying law has been reformed) but the reasoning, particularly around deputies, was very lacklustre. I also think the format of the ruling as in the original thread is just hideous.
  • On the Process of Declassifying Information for Use as Evidence in a Criminal Trial. Only partial disagreement as to the conclusion that RL information should be withheld from the Court’s review. I think there is a gap in the Court’s approach on that issue, as the Court was reasoning by analogy from the FoIA but the FoIA does allow such information to be turned over. The reason for that, ultimately, was that the Court was squeamish about the turning over of such information even in the context of the FoIA but there isn’t really any reason given in the decision and I think it creates an odd, unexplained inconsistency.
  • On the Validity of a Previous Ruling. My view was and is that this request for review was an abuse of the Court’s process. It was contrary to the decision on the Nature of Precedent and the Scope of the Court’s Powers, essentially being a naked request to look again at the decision just rendered, and effectively overturned it.
  • On Court Review of RA Proposals. I may have agreed with the ultimate conclusion here (that the original request should not have been answered by the Court), but I think that there are flaws with the reasoning. At the time, the Court’s jurisdiction included “resolve conflicts or ambiguities in the law, and review the constitutionality of laws or legality of government policies by request of an affected party” (bolding mine; repealed by the AGORA Act), I think that the original request did include a question which would have been within this jurisdiction and a question about the constitutionality of the emergency law (though, with the loss of the thread for the original review I think that you will have to take my recollection and what fragments are quoted in the thread for this review on this). That being so, I think the Court was wrong to say that the request was not within jurisdiction (even if parts of it may not have been). I also think the Court wrongly elided the initial acceptance of a review by a Justice (which to my mind is only ever provisional) and the decision by the Court, which would need to address standing and jurisdiction itself, and preempted the Court’s consideration of that.
  • On the Sentence Issued by the Court in the Case of The North Pacific v Whole India. I think that the Court could note the fact that the images were put before and that it could properly draw the conclusion that they were inconsistent with the plea that was entered, I don’t think the images needed authenticating to do that (indeed, authentication would be contrary to the conclusion and plea).



Of my decisions, I would say on the Speaker’s Power to Schedule Votes. It builds on a line of decisions about the Speaker’s powers which I think is one of the most consistent over time and reinforces important ideas around the balancing of interests which I think is important to our constitutional scheme. I also think it is a clear decision that avoids deciding more than it needs to.

To some extent, those things are down to what the request related to. On the Constitutionality of Vague Laws and Gross Misconduct, by way of comparison, related to a more novel issue and, while I do like that ruling as well, it does end up with a less clear cut decision.

What are your opinions about the current requirements for standing in R4Rs?

From time to time, there has been discussions about the issue of standing, and some have been arguing that the requirements are too strict. Do you think the requirements for standing should be loosen?
I am of the view that there ought to be a requirement for standing. I think that it is usually easier, as a Justice, to look at an issue when someone who is affected by a particular act is there making their argument against it. I also think that a world without the standing requirement is one which would probably see more requests for review aimed at stirring up trouble or impeding regional government. The latter point could be a particular problem because we do not have any limitation rule that would stop someone from simply looking back and bringing challenges to things long in the past.

That said, I think that the approach of the Court has on occasion read too much into the requirement. In particular, there has sometimes been an approach of requiring an “adverse” effect (this can be seen in the request for review template for question 4), which is not a strict requirement of the Constitution and the decision on Standing and the Definition of Affected Party reflects that by referring to “those affected, adversely or otherwise”.

I do, however, think that there was merit in having ways around the standing requirement for issues where there is a wider regional interest. The “compelling regional interest” exception is one way around that but it is one that is relatively difficult to meet. I think the Attorney General’s universal standing or some other form of standing that relies on a responsible gatekeeper other than the Court itself is something that could be usefully explored to help widen the scope for reviews that cannot necessarily meet the “compelling regional interest” hurdle. Obviously, such a reform would be for the Assembly to consider but I would like to see it.
 
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