Amendment Of Chapter Iv Of The Constitution



  • After receiving the formal judicial opinion from the European Court of Justice concerning the court's constitutional powers (click here), Luvenburg has decided to put forward an amendment that essentially overhauls the jurisdictions of the ECoJ. The current Article XIX addressing the court's judicial responsibility is extremely ambiguous and lacks definition. This leaves a worrisome power vacuum that can be abused by justices of the ECoJ. Follows is Luvenburg?s proposed amendment. We urge all member states to contribute their opinion.

    Chapter IV [European Court of Justice]

    Article XIX [European Court of Justice: jurisdiction]
    1. The European Court of Justice shall rule
    1a. on the interpretation of this Constitution in the event of disputes concerning the extent of the rights and duties of the European Commission or the rules of procedure of any European body;
    1b.in the event of disagreements or doubts respecting the formal or substantive compatibility of a proposed acts of the European Council, before their implementation, with this Constitution, or the compatibility of a European law with this Constitution, on submission from the Premier Commissioner, or from two of the members of the European Commission, or from four of the members of the European Council;
    1c. on other disputes involving European law between the European Commission and one or more member states, and between different member states;
    1d. on constitutional complaints, which may be filed by any member state alleging that one of its constitutional rights has been infringed by a regional authority;
    1e. on crimes deemed by the European Council to be crimes of war or crimes against humanity.
    2. In the cases provided for by the preceding paragraph, the European Court of Justice must rule within 14 days. However, at the Premier Commissioner?s request, this period shall be reduced to eight days if a matter is urgent.
    3. In these same cases, referral to the European Court of Justice shall suspend any vote on the proposed act.

    Article XX [Voidability]
    1. A provision declared unconstitutional may not be implemented.
    2. The decisions of the European Court of Justice shall not be subject to appeal to any jurisdiction. They shall be binding on the European authorities and on all state-level administrative and jurisdictional authorities.

    Article XXI[European Court of Justice: composition]
    1. The European Court of Justice shall consist of four justices and one chief justice whose term of office shall last 60 days.
    2. Similar electoral provisions and procedures are applied for the election of the justices of the European Court of Justice as to that applied for the election of the European Commission
    3. In event of the complete absence or incapacitation of any justices, as judged by the European Council, the European Commission may appoint replacement interim justices for a nonrenewable period of fourteen (14) days. Elections for the absent justices must be held ahead of the expiration of the interim justices? term.
    4. No justice may be from the same country of origin as the Premier Commissioner.



  • For the sake of simplicity follows are the constitutional articles concerned with the European Court of Justice as they currently stand.

    Chapter IV [The European Court of Justice]

    Article XIX [Definition of the European Court of Justice]
    The European Court of Justice is made up of four justices and one chief justice who heads the branch. The Court of Justice administers laws through trials of those who break them, and tries crimes that occur in more than one European Union member-state. It is the supreme legislative authority in the European Union?s boundaries and the trials it presides over are of regional importance. It is additionally tasked with the authority to revise legislation passed by the European Council and request amendments in the event of unconstitutional or other forbidden nature and act as the Constitutional Court of the European Union.

    Article XX [Membership and Elections]
    1.The same provisions and procedures as applying for the election of the European Commission apply for the election of the five judges of the European Court.
    2.In the event of crises that involve the complete absence of any judges, as judged by the European Council, the European Commission may appoint interim judges over a period of fourteen (14) days.
    3.No judge may be from the same country of origin as the Premier Commissioner.
    4.The term for judges is 2 months, after which, elections will be repeated.



  • Aesop Rocks votes AGAINST any such changes to the Constitutional outline of the ECoJ. It is the duty of the Court to ensure that all legislation is Constitutional as well as reviewing the Constitution to ensure it is not self-contradictory. Giving member-states of this Council the sole right to point out Legislative and Constitutional Anomalies effectively turns the Court into an Appeal Body, rather than the foremost legislation one. We feel that the Constitution gives not only a correct outline, but one that is sensible in that it ensures the ECoJ have the ability and authority to change any neccessary legislation.

    We also believe it is becoming of this region to ignore the supranational-nature of the Bodies of this Union and so we wish to remind all member-states that the European Commission and the European Courts of Justice do not serve to uphold the wishes of a nation or political party but instead of the Union. Any decisions made by Judges or Commissioners are accountable to this Council who have the right to issue Votes of No Confidence against any elected representative, which I feel should be implemented should it be apparent that any elected representative is serving their own or their national interests in their position of authority.

    Aesop Rocks urges all member-states to think carefully about this suggestion of an amendment. The ECoJ has a single aim - that to ensure the region and it's legislation are lawful and upheld in such a way. The idea that a decision must be made within 14 days seems ridiculous when regarding the complexity of some cases - the ECoJ may in many cases disagree and so 14 days would be nowhere near enough to gather evidence, analyse it and come to a decision. There should be no limit.



  • QUOTE

    Aesop Rocks votes AGAINST any such changes to the Constitutional outline of the ECoJ. It is the duty of the Court to ensure that all legislation is Constitutional as well as reviewing the Constitution to ensure it is not self-contradictory. Giving member-states of this Council the sole right to point out Legislative and Constitutional Anomalies effectively turns the Court into an Appeal Body, rather than the foremost legislation one. We feel that the Constitution gives not only a correct outline, but one that is sensible in that it ensures the ECoJ have the ability and authority to change any neccessary legislation.

    • Definition of court - a public institution responsible for adjudicating disputes under the laws of a territory. This inherently means that any court cannot unilaterally pursue a ruling on issue on which there is no disagreement. This in itself violates the objectivity of any court and opens the door for the preexisting biases of the judges to play a larger role. There is the reason why prosecutors in democratic states operate independently from the court structure.
    • It is impossible for any court to review a constitution to it ensure it does not contradict itself. Technically, no one can declare an article in the constitution unconstitutional. However, the court has the right to review proposed amendments to the constitution to ensure they are inline with the already established articles of the constitution.
    • These proposed amendments do not by any means ?give the member-states of this Council the sole right to point out legislative and constitutional anomalies.? This right is solely held by the ECoJ. The proposed amendments only provide a structured mechanism defining when the ECoJ can exercise the right of judicial review

    QUOTE

    We also believe it is becoming of this region to ignore the supranational-nature of the Bodies of this Union and so we wish to remind all member-states that the European Commission and the European Courts of Justice do not serve to uphold the wishes of a nation or political party but instead of the Union.

    • The European Union will not exist without the presence of the current member-states. It only continues to exist because it remains relevant to the interests of the member-states. A European Union out of touch with the realities and interests of the member states will without a doubt fade out existence.

    QUOTE

    Any decisions made by Judges or Commissioners are accountable to this Council who have the right to issue Votes of No Confidence against any elected representative, which I feel should be implemented should it be apparent that any elected representative is serving their own or their national interests in their position of authority.

    Aesop Rocks urges all member-states to think carefully about this suggestion of an amendment. The ECoJ has a single aim - that to ensure the region and it's legislation are lawful and upheld in such a way. The idea that a decision must be made within 14 days seems ridiculous when regarding the complexity of some cases - the ECoJ may in many cases disagree and so 14 days would be nowhere near enough to gather evidence, analyse it and come to a decision. There should be no limit.

    • In Luvenburg?s opinion this amendment strengths the position of the ECoJ by removing any ambiguity surrounding it.
    • Several courts of last resort around the world have time restriction to ensure that rulings are delivered in an efficient and timely fashion. However, Luvenburg can compromise on this clause and remove any restrictions on the period allowed to reach a ruling on the disputes brought before the court.

    __________________________
    [OOC] Aesop Rocks - there is no voting taking place on this proposed amendment yet. We are currently deliberating different elements of this proposition and changes can easily be made to it.



  • [OOC] I understand that. I was merely pointing out my conviction against any such changes. Plus, OOC, if the Justices all think a change is neccessary, what's stopping them from creating the 4 neccessary Council members? Now that would create bias.

    [IC] Your definition is completely inaccurate - the ECoJ is defined by the Constitution in which it is encased and it is ridiculous for us to accept without reason the definition you have given. Our Court, by it's Constitutional definition, is an institution whose objective is to ensure the laws, legislation and Constitution of the EU are compatible. Take away the right of Justices to review it at their leisure and you take away any chance of Just legislation. Who amongst our representatives can honestly disagree that those whom we elected to the position of Justice are not the most qualified to review the Constitution and request neccessary changes at their own wish? And who amongst our members actually believes any Justice of the ECoJ, indeed any member of the Commission, would act in such a way to be detremental to the Union or in a way to promote their own, or their national, beliefs and desires? Because if this is the case, we cannot allow such a representative to continue in office. The representative from Luvenburg also seems to be encapsulating within his own beliefs the delusion that every member state agrees that the elected positions of this region are held by those who are willing to act for their personal gain. Aesop Rocks certainly does not agree with such a belief and we find it ridiculous that Luvenburg seems to believe the elected representatives of this region are breaking the Constitution through their granted authority. It is not 'Out-of-Touch' to uphold the Constitution through ensuring it is a supranational body. I urge the Luvenburg representative to take the time to read and understand the Constitutional nature of the ECoJ and Commission.



  • Forgive me if I use OOC references, but I assure my Hon. and Rt Hon. friends and colleagues that they are necessary for strictly exemplary measures. We have, here, two definitions provided by two different systems. Luvenburg's definition is essentially that of English Common Law, in which laws are assumed Constitutional untill proven otherwise. Aesop Rock's definition is essentially of the French model, in which laws are assumed Unconstitutional until proven otherwise. I believe that the 'French' model puts no trust in the people and that it is not the example we wish to present to the world. I must concur with the Hon. member for Luvenburg; I support the amendment.



  • I too must support such an amendment. A court must function as the chief authority on the Constitution, and use said document to resolve any disputes that may occur. Such a system as the Aesop Rockian representative proposes puts no faith in the legislative body of this Union, or even the People themselves. It is my position that laws should be considered Constitutional unless proven otherwise.



  • You are missing my point. I do not wish for legislation to be un-Constitutional until proved otherwise. I want for the ECoJ to have the authority to propose amendments in relation to any anomalies which are un-Constitutional without the suggestion neccessarily coming from the Council or Commission. Say, a piece of legislation was to pass through the Council that had un-Constitutional clauses; would it not be the Courts legal obligation to ensure the changes were made? And who, if not the Court, is going to notice this problems? I also wish to remind the Honorable members of this Council that the Courts would only ever make a suggestion to an amendment of legislation when the Article concerned was un-Constitutional or otherwise 'illegal.' The primary concerns of the ECoJ are to determine the legality and Constitutionality of any legislation that passes through the Council as well as ensuring that any crimes which occur across two or more European Union states, (example: Feb. 4th Bombings of Aesop Rocks, Belarum, Triera, etc), are investigated and, if possible, prosecuted by the Court. I feel that this legislation is not only an unneccessary expansion upon certain ECoJ powers, but also a limitation upon the basis of supranationality of the Courts. I hope our members will remember that in no way do the Courts intend to serve the wishes of a nation and involve themselves in petty disputes between nations.



  • Again, we repeat, the proposed amendment does not remove the court?s right for judicial review. If anything, it strengthens it through providing a structured mechanism concerned with the dealings of such a process. Through this mechanism the European Union will ensure that the ECoJ remains a neutral and objective force that does not serve the wishes of any nation or entity.



  • I hereby propose to put this amendment to a vote, if there are no further arguments.



  • Aesop Rocks requests the proposal is given more time to be debated - the problems are not ironed out by lacklustre words coming from the Luvenburg delegate. You have once again failed to answer my question and your very rebuttle of any form of criticism seems utterly perplexing. We once again state that the amendment does not allow for independant judicial review and to implement this would be to state that the European Commission is the sole legislative body of the EU. If no-one but the EC and the Council can state that legislation is Un-Constitutional, then there is no need for a ECoJ and we can scrap it.

    I apologise Mr Luvenburg, but you are continually refusing to answer the questions asked of you, instead refering to the age-old rhetoric of politics; vague, open-ended answers to questions not posed, along with a complete ignorance of those actually asked. If the representative from Luveburg would kindly suggest as to how the Council and Commission can serve as the single legislative body without any form of seperate accountability, and why the representative seems so insistent upon such an undemocratic system. I do not agree that certain areas need changing but this overhaul is nothing more than a facade for political bitch-slapping and unneccessary bureaucracy so as to promote ones self-interests. The very suggestion that the ECoJ can only comment and rule on legislation when brought in front of it is absolutely ridiculous and I urge the members of this Council not to even think about voting FOR such unneccessary changes in the hope that perhaps a worthwhile and workable piece of legislation can be brought about. This current change gives our Union absolutely no accountablity and Aesop Rocks shall not accept such a flawed system.

    To ensure the Luvenburgish representative does not get confused as to the questions I am asking:

    What is this 'worrysome vacuum' that you believe currently exists in ECoJ Constitution Articles?

    How could Justices abuse these? Examples?

    How does the amendment allow for any Judicial review?

    Where do you propose the accountability that is a neccessity in any democracy will come from?



  • The Empire are inclined to agree with the hon gentleman from Luvenburg on this matter. However such important steps must be preceded by serious and long debate, thus we would like to support the Aesop Rockian effort to prolong the debate for the sake of democracy.



  • Permit me to address statments and/or questions posed by the Rt Hon. gentleman. We have to different concepts of the definition of 'court'. In my opinion, the ECoJ is a court that has the authority to review legislation in response to cases/suits put to it by individual claimants. The Hon. Chief Justice took it upon himself to immediately commence issuing judgements over a variety of issues. As offencive as I found this attitude, I did not disagree with the the Hon. Chief Justice, and did not take him to task. What the Rt Hon. gentleman proposes and the Hon. Chief Justice have implemented, in practise, (again, excuse OOC references, they have a point) a House of Lords. In case this 'body' is unfamiliar to any, let me expound upon the responsibilities of the Law Lords. The Law Lords are the supreme appellate authorities. They review cases and make a decision. If that decision throws into question the legality of a law (as no UK law may be declared 'un-Constitutional'), the House of Commons generally acts to rectify the situation. If what the Rt Hon. gentleman wants is a House of Lords, he should say so. If he wants a court, I suggest the Hon. Chief Justice follow suit. Courts do not propose amendments: they issue rulings. They decide whether or not something is Constitutional - that right lies exclusively with the ECoJ. It can strike down laws. That is the process as I understand it. I believe that the amendment more effectively outlines the proceedures of the ECoJ as I understand them.



  • This Amendment is just the first step in making The E.U. into a dictatorship.
    "The European Court of Justice shall rule"; Chapter IV, Article XIX. Giving five people this much power is a disaster waiting to happen. Along with this how would you define "Unconstitutional"?; Chapter IV, Article XX.



  • [OOC]
    I apologize for not responding to Aesop Rocks' inquiries, I mean no disrespect. I have been very busy this week and I will get around to doing it as soon as I can. In the mean time the Rt. Hon Delegate from Deryshire appears to have effectively expressed my point.

    Secondly, for future reference Luvenburg's delegate to the European Council is the Rt Hon. Henri Duport.

    [IC]
    The Rt. Hon. Delegate from Jancana failed to read the entire proposed Article XIX. The article goes on to list what the ECoJ can rule on. Anything outside what this list is outside the jurisdiction of the ECoJ.

    On Another, I do not understand what you meant by your second inquiry about the definition of unconstitutionality.



  • I belive that I read it right. It's taking the power away from the people, the people run the show.(Or most of it) And to answer your question (Article XX) "1. A provision declared unconstitutional may not be implemented."



  • [OOC] The following is response of Delegate Henri Duport to the questions posed by Aesop Rocks on February 4. Sorry for the delay, but I had computer problems last week[/OOC]

    We are glade that the Rt. Hon. Delegate from Aesop Rocks is at last posing some concrete questions. As to your question concerning the worrisome constitutional vacuum, the articles, as they currently stand, fail to offer a clear and rigid mechanism as to how the court must operate. It does task the court with some important constitutional roles but fails to provide a structure as to how the court can carry out these tasks.

    Hence, the lack of a regulating mechanism gives the court excessive powers and allows for the possibility of the justices to abuse their powers. For example, the justices influenced by their predisposed beliefs might attempt to legislate from the bench. This is clearly what is currently taking place with Chief Justice Jacob Stipe unilaterally examining what he regards as constitutional ?problems? that he believes must be ?ironed out.?

    The current amendment still allows for judicial review. It only regulates how the court can rule on the constitutionality of laws. If the legislator, the European Council, passes a law, this legislation must trusted and implemented. Only if a party feels that this legislation is unfair or unconstitutional, they can bring their case before the ECoJ. This is exactly how all courts operate in democracies across the world.

    I believe I have addressed all your questions and I wish you are now convinced with the importance of this amendment.



  • After almost 20 days of debating this amendment. Luvenburg believes it should be submitted for a formal vote before the European Council.

    [OOC]Can the party responsible for administering voting within the European Council please do so. I have no idea if I should set up the vote or is it the responsibility of someone else.[/OOC]



  • A message from Chief Justice Jacob Stipe

    Currently, the ECoJ have been working on two pieces of legislation that we hope to propose to the Council within the week. The legislation may deal with some of these problems and I hope the Council will accept my suggestion that this Amendment vote is post-poned until the legislation being worked on is at least proposed to the Council. I understand it is not under my jurisdiction to demand this, however I am requesting it as I feel that we need to ensure all legislation is considered whilst making these changes to our Court System.

    [OOC] The vote can be started by anyone really - just make sure it's clear what the vote is and so forth. And make sure you make in Single Choice.



  • The Duxburian Union sees no reason why it should be postponed. The voting phase is already extremely late in coming. What gives the court-sponsored, yet-to-be drafted legislation priority over Council legislation that is clearly ready for voting upon?


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