by Max Barry

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by The Region's Attorney of Celestiam. . 17 reads.

Judicial Election Report #0 [NOV 2019]

Welcome to the election coverage of the 2019 Judicial Special election. In this election, the General Assembly will decide who will be the first holder of the newly created office of the Chief Justice, who will finish the construction of the new High Court, and administrate meaningful first cases that will cast long-standing precedent in procedure and questions of Law.

Polls have opened for the election, and if you are a confirmed citizen of the New West Indies you are invited to vote. Every vote will count for this election, so make sure to show support for your favoured candidate with a vote.

As this is the first part of the program and the polls have barely opened, we will not comment on the extremely early votes cast in favour of Twelve Titans that places him on a very slight lead. We will come back to analysing votes, speculating, and discussing the progress of the election later when an entire day will have passed for Europe and Africa, a full evening and early morning for Asia and Oceania, and an American evening for our voters in the New World.

Instead, we will reveal the answers we got by speaking to candidates days before the polls opened. We got answers from candidates Twelve Titans and Volirum, while the Honourable candidate Blankenheim was not at his office when we chimed in for an interview.

Twelve Titans

In bold questions by Celestiam. In italics answers by candidate Twelve Titans

We went to Twelve Titans' candidate office where we were able to have a chat with Twelve Titans, the Progressive candidate for Chief Justice, author of GAR#21 that established the Court, and author of amendments to GAR#22, the Criminal Code. We asked him our five standard questions, and five questions tailored on his platform that you can see here .

1. In your opinion, what is the role of Justice and the High Court in the New West Indies?
The High Court and the Chief Justice exist uphold the Laws of the region. When there is a dispute, the Court hears both sides and establishes the truth, before applying the appropriate remedies as prescribed by Law. The Court must remain impartial, must be an expert in the Law, and must uphold the highest personal ethics. They must be committed to transparency and communication, fairness to all parties in the case, and to finding the most just resolution. This is why I am running on the platform of Fairness, Access, and Justice.

2. Concerning the debates on executive flexibility that have been seen recently, what do you believe is the stance of current law on this contention?
While my public opinions are well known on this issue, the Law is the Law regardless. The Constitution and applicable legislation like GAR#10 (“Defining Executive & General Assembly Authority”) provide very specific guidance on this issue, setting forth a clear delegation of power. I have worked closely with Laws on this topic, such as a writing proposal to amend GAR#10 as well as amending the Constitution in CA#9/GAR#19 (“Increasing Impeachment Fairness and Reducing Constitutional Confusion”).

3. Criminal sentencing can often be a delicate act. What standards do you plan to adopt for yourself when deciding the sentence of a convicted criminal?
I have, in fact, already put in place several sentencing considerations in the Judicial Resolution (GAR#21) with statutory sentencing enhancements/mitigations, but I also have several plans for the Court Procedures that relate to this issue. For example, I have already announced on Discord my plans regarding when to have sentences be consecutive or concurrent. I also plan to define in the Procedures several additional factors that the Court will assess, such as the Criminal History of the accused and the totality of the circumstances of the new offenses, including their motivations, severity, and impact.

4. Do you believe customary law to have any worth in Court when a subject is not covered by statute or case law?
While norms and customs may be a factor, far more important to the Court should be the letter and spirit of the existing laws.

5. Will you be sensitive to the amount of legal representation each party has when considering procedural errors?
Yes, in fact, I have already announced on Discord that pro se defendants (accused persons who forgo or otherwise do not have legal representation) will be granted some flexibility in this regard. A Twelve Titans Court would strive to make the Court accessible, and this includes making sure nations who find themselves in the Judicial System do not have to fear harsh consequences for innocent misunderstandings of procedure. However, should these breeches be repeated or malicious, the Court may elect to take stronger action to protect the integrity of the process and our Laws.

6. You placed much emphasis on the fact you have written GAR#21 that creates the very Court you are running for. How do you believe this will make you the best Chief Justice among candidates running?
For four months, I worked very hard with my honourable colleagues in the General Assembly to establish our Judicial System. I’ve also contributed to the Criminal Code proposal that is (at the time of writing) currently in debate. And I also have another proposal/Constitutional Amendment related to the Judicial System in the works as well. I know this system inside and out, because I’ve been so heavily involved in making them. I’m an expert in these Laws. Our first Chief Justice will be establishing important Court procedures and precedents, and so we need to elect the candidate who knows what they’re doing – who better than the guy who wrote the bill?

7. In Discord statements, you said you would allow Private Attorneys and Law firms to practice law before the High Court. Do you believe representation from private citizens is preferable to a Court bar association?
While I support allowing private attorneys to practice before the High Court, in the future there will need to be some sort of bar to regulate it. As our body of laws sees exponential growth, the knowledge required to competently serve as a lawyer increases, thus we will need a body to set standards, but not to replace private practice.

8. In your previous tenures at the head of judiciaries outside the New West Indies, you have heavily relied on amicus curiae briefs as opinions to read and consider when adjudicating. Will you be encouraging amicus curiae briefs in the New West Indies, and what importance do you intend to give to those?
I believe this question is a bit misleading. While I allowed for the submission of them, as most real-life Courts do, I certainly did not rely on them. In fact, in my last stint as Chief Justice, I only saw a single Amicus submitted – which I rejected on evidentiary grounds. I will plan to permit Amici in the NWI, however, their use will not be encouraged nor discouraged. And the Court does not place significant importance on them as they are not evidence. It is simply someone’s opinion, and the Court may or may not take them into advisement. All cases will be ruled on their merits, not on an Amicus.

9. In various Discord statements and through your platform you have held a very rigorous approach to the Chief Justice avoiding possible conflicts of interest and the importance of keeping the judicial branch separate from the legislative and executive branches. Why do you believe this amount of separation critical to the proper functioning of a Court?
It is essential for the Court to be independent from any other branch of Government. A Court cannot impartially rule in Criminal or State cases if it is partial to the state. This is why in the Section VI of the Judicial Resolution I put into place such tough conflict of interest clauses, and I have proposed legislation to make these even more strict. Independence of the judiciary is integral to the Court’s impartiality, credibility, and legitimacy.

10. In your previous tenures in judiciaries outside the New West Indies, you have gained the reputation of being a bureaucrat, mandating the use of specific filings for the Court. Will you uphold this view if you become Chief Justice, and if so, why?
I support the use of Filings because they implement a standard and organized way of submitting information and motions to the Court. They make it easier for the Court to establish standardized Court Records as well. However, if elected, I will be placing an extra focus on accessibility, and so I hope to make them easier to understand and implement by providing templates, better names, and simpler instructions. (It is also worth noting that NWI law requires the Court to devise filings in several specific instances.)


In bold questions by Celestiam. In italics answers by candidate Volirum

We also visited candidate Volirum, who was generous enough to answer our questions. The candidate chose to take some time before responding, as he stated in his own words "The long wait was due to properly educated answers and reflective question". This is therefore what, with reflection, candidate Volirum has to say. Here again, the first five questions are asked to all candidates, and the following five were tailored to his platform that you can consult here .

1. In your opinion, what is the role of Justice and the High Court in the New West Indies?
We make sure criminals get brought to justice. We make sure we follow the Constitution.
We make sure others follow the Constitution.

2. Concerning the debates on executive flexibility that have been seen recently, what do you believe is the stance of current law on this contention?
We don't hold the Secretariat to enough account. Rules are rules. We elect them expecting them to do their best.

3. Criminal sentencing can often be a delicate act. What standards do you plan to adopt for yourself when deciding the sentence of a convicted criminal?
I know when feelings matter and when they don't. I know when public opinion matters and when they don't.

4. Do you believe customary law to have any worth in Court when a subject is not covered by statute or case law?
No. A judge makes his own decisions. Holding by previous decisions will only open things up to lawyers already knowing what to do.

5. Will you be sensitive to the amount of legal representation each party has when considering procedural errors?
Yes. Every voice matters on alll sides of the matter

6. You have spoken of a Judge, Jury and Witness system. Does that mean you intend for the Court to set up Popular Juries?
I intend for the region to be the Jury. Those not allowed to vote will be Judge(me), Defendant and the Lawyer(s). This is to ensure the Jury remains multiparty.

7. You mention Loyalty to NWI Citizens... What does this imply in terms of how you consider rulings
It means I will make decisions that is best for the region. While we will have the Jury, I will determine if their choice is the best.

8. You claimed you are starting law school next year and have hence informed yourself in RL Law. How will this translate into your behaviour and the quality of your verdicts as a judge?
I educated myself on the principles of law AND the way a proper judge should behave. I will do the best of my abilities to follow that behaviour.

9. Though you are a former Secretary-General and top-level politician in the New West Indies, you were nowhere to be seen in the GA debates about the Judicial Proposal, did not vote on the Judicial Proposal, and did not debate on the Criminal Code. Do you believe this lack of presence in the creation of the juridical system could place you at a disadvantage?
Yes, I admit it might, but I can assure you that my girlfriend, friends and family come first. My girlfriend was going through many hurdles in life and I considered NS to be of little importance when it comes to her. I would have loved to be part of discussions, trust me, but I will not abandon those who matter most to me.I have caught up on all discussions and debates, as well as read the resolution.

10. You spoke of a duty of oversight on the General Assembly President and the Secretary-General. How will that affect your view of State Cases?
They are sworn to do their duties according to what the Constitution says. They will be granted no special rights and will be treated as the rest of the region.

The Press Corps thanks the candidates for their answers, and exhorts voters to read the platforms of all three candidates, linked here!

My Platform and My Plan for the Courts.

If elected, I will...
1. Lobby for a specific Discord for the court so that we can hold our proceedings in a place which allows the justices privately.

2. Establish a program to train interested citizens for the bar.

3. Promise to appoint officials from a variety of parties with an aim of making our court system multi-partisan.

4. Create a detailed schedule of proceedings when they come up and establish the precedent that cases are dealt with in detail as soon as possible.

5. Work with the Government on cases and work to create links which recognize that all three branches are indeed separate and equal.

6. Also work to ensure that even though the primary language of our proceedings is English to establish a civil service program which utilizes interested citizens' expertise in foreign languages to ensure fairness in our proceedings.

7. Create a system whereby our detailed decisions can be disseminated to the wider region.

Read dispatch

Twelve Titans
✶ Fairness ✶ Access ✶ Justice ✶


November 29th - December 1st, Vote Twelve Titans for Chief Justice of the High Court

Trust the Court to Someone who Knows What They're Doing

The Chief Justice of the High Court is one of the most important roles in the region and they must be held to the highest standard. They protect the region from threats both foreign and domestic while defending the rights of the People. They must be an expert in the Law, have the highest ethics, have superb communications skills, and be very active. There is only one candidate for Chief Justice who is up to the task, and that is Twelve Titans.

Who else to elect other than the guy who literally made the Judicial System? If that isn't enough, over my 6 years of experience on NS, I have served in nearly every kind of regional government position. I have served in the Executive in several regions as President/Prime Minister, as well as holding numerous cabinet positions including Minister of RP. The point: I know how regional government works. I have also presided over legislatures before, too, and I've written dozens of bills. In fact, here in our General Assembly, I have written 2 Resolutions and 5 more proposals. In fact, I wrote the only Resolutions in NWI history that weren't written by Karteria or Achipel. And one of those was the famed Judicial Resolution, which created this Judicial System and is why we're voting today.

Oh, also, I have served as CJ already - twice, in fact - in two other regions. Who better to get the High Court up and running than the guy who already has experience doing just that?

See for yourself the work that I have done, and the work that I will do, and join me in my campaign to create a High Court based around Fairness, Access, and Justice.

What I Have Done:

What I Will Do:

  • I literally wrote the resolution that created the Judicial
    System in the first place.

  • I have extensive experience in all branches of

  • I've done this before. Check out the Court I built in
    another region. I don't mess around.

  • I've written dozens of bills over my career. In the NWI
    I've written 2 Resolutions and 5 Proposals, I've
    amended the Constitution, I've fought for freedom and
    liberty, and I have kept government power in check.

  • Create a highly-accessible system of dispatches so that
    everyone can find Court information.

  • Establish very detailed Court procedures to ensure
    maximum fairness and expedience.

  • Publish the most extensive Court Records as allowed
    by Law to provide maximum transparency.

  • Uphold the rights of all who go before the Court.

  • Ensure everyone has access to justice.

  • Uphold both the letter and spirit of the
    Constitution and our body of Laws.

✶ ✶ ✶
Vote for Fairness. Vote For Access. Vote For Justice. Vote For Twelve Titans

Read dispatch

“The foundations of justice are that no one shall suffer wrong; then, that the public good be promoted.” ~ Cicero, c. 100 BC

Vote Volirum for Chief Justice of the High Court

The Chief Justice of the High Court is the second most important role, right behind our Honourable Founder Achipel.
We make sure the Constitution is held to the highest regard. We make sure all threats and villains are brought to the firm hands of justice, like they should be.
We are sworn to follow the Constitution, to honour logic, common sense and empathy. We remain loyal to the people. To our people. To the citizens of the New West Indies!

While I know I'm campaigning to get myself elected, we can all acknowledge that it's Twelve Titans eforts that made this position possible. We deeply thank him for the opportunity. I will accept it if he wins, no doubt.

Why choose me? Plain and simple. I'll serve YOU, make YOU the jury, just like the real deal. I shall bring hard justice, hard facts, no strings attached. And oh yeah. I'm starting law school next year? I've already begun educating myself and I know what needs to be done. These are my final words.
See the table down below for further information

What I Will Do:

  • Establish a Judge(me), Lawyer(Attorney picked by SIA), Witness and Jury(Public Interest) System

  • Establish Court rules to ensure everybody knows how to behave*

  • Appoint someone to take minutes of every hearing we have.*

  • Make sure the defendant's rights are protected in Court.*

  • Hold all Officials, including the Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly to account.

  • Ensure everyone has access to justice and that no-one shall be wrongfully banned.

  • And most importantly of all: Protect and defend our Constitution.

*Note this overlaps with Twelve Titans' ideas. This is why I think you should think very carefully and consider all our ideas. Vote what sounds best for you.

Vote For Volirum
Lustitiae, Fidelitas, Logica, Misericordiam

Read dispatch

Happy voting, and see you at the next report!