Throughout the history of His Administratorness' Government, there have only been two functioning elected branches: the legislature, consisting of Parliament and the executive, consisting of the President and Cabinet. The third branch has always been considered to be Ian the Admin, who is both chief executive and chief justice. Despite that opinion, some have noted the distinct lack of an establish judicial branch of the Government and this bill was the first proposal for rectifying that.
On August 6, 2008, scandal erupted when Ran Exilis (E) revealed that Susano, MP for and Chairman of the Federalist Federation of Federalists, had attempted convince him to defect to the FFF. The Evil Party was outraged and Prime Ministers Douglas (E) called for Susano's resignation: “I hereby ask the FFF member Susano to disavow his earlier comments and apologize to the Parliament for treachery. If he chooses the honorable path of resignation at this time, I'm sure Sargon will be perfectly willing to appoint a fellow FFF member to Susano's seat. Otherwise, other disciplinary actions might need to be taken.”
Susano (FFF) refused, defending his actions: “A MP changing parties may be called “backstabbing”, but it is a legitimate action in any democracy. Same for trying to persuade others to do so.” Vice President Midgard (E) pointed out that AH.commers did not vote for individual MPs for but the political parties and, therefore, an MP leaving his political party would have to resign his position and allow the party to appoint his replacement. Susano (FFF) responded: “That is - not so in any list system I know. Not in Germany, not in Italy (where that happens regularly), not in the Ukraine (where that caused a huge scandal - but was legal). I virtually dont know any proportional voting system where this would be the case. Parliament might CHANGE the laws as it is, but elected MPs are elected - whether via list or district is irrelevant.”
Midgard went on to suggest the creation of a judicial branch to decide such matters: “I would, of course, leave it to the MPs to decide upon the exact interpretation, but it might be a good idea to consider establishing a judiciary branch of government, if only to resolve this kind of disputes, and to give a final word on the legality and the interpretation of legislation passed by the Parliament. Of course, being that I am not an MP, it would take actual MPs to propose and potentially pass such a measure.”
On August 9, 2008, Keenir (E) requested permission to bring Vice President Midgard (E) before the Parliament again so that he could expand upon his proposals on the issues of a judicial branch and MP defection. Pkmatrix (YSP) announced he supported Midgard's concept of a judicial branch and proposed “a body of 3 individuals, none of whom may be a member of any political party, nominated by the President and approved the Parliament to act as the Supreme Court of AH.com. Such a body may then, fairly and impartially, decide the matter of whether an MP must resign their seat if they leave the Party, or if the new Party gains the seat.”
LordInsane(E) stated that he would provisionally support Pkmatrix's proposal, but requested further debate on the subject. Steffen (FFF) opposed it: “I wish to speak against the idea of a judiciary branch. In the heard-off part of the world known as Real Life, which we all fear as good ah.commers, it serves an important purpose. Here- none! Installing judges in a system with no laid down constitution or penal code, a judiciary system would first have to INVENT it´s OWN LAWS, thereby we would transfer the noblest- and only- power of this parliament to an appointed body.” He counter proposed the creation of a “Council of Elders”, to be comprised of “every parliamentary group, to introduce unanimously procedures etc for the parliament”.
Pkmatrix (YSP) rejected Steffen's counter-proposal on the grounds that it would “thwart the very purpose of an impartial arbitrator as each member would be partisan and, therefore, conceivably under pressure from his or her party to make decisions a particular way”. Steffen (FFF) expressed doubt that such impartiality could be found: “I doubt we´ll find this amount of 'non-partisanship'. Everybody who is interested in the parliament is member of a party, MP, or holds one of the 10.000 ministerial positions. So there are the n00bs and the uninterested.”
Pkmatrix (YSP) presented a proposed draft of the Judiciary Bill to Parliament on August 13, 2008. VulcanTrekkie45 (YSP) announced his support of the bill, while Steffen (FFF) reaffirmed his opposition. Keenir (E) announced he would support the bill, assuming Pkmatrix (YSP) was suggesting “a body judicial which would be able to intervene when members ignore warnings and advice from their peers & insist on a ruling from IAN even when IAN has already provided a ruling in the past?” Pkmatrix (YSP) responded that if Keenir (E) meant giving the proposed judicial branch the ability to arbitrate personal agreements, he would support that as well: “I'm all for an Arbitral Tribunal that can, as impartially as is realistically possible, listen to a disagreement like the one described and suggest a solution”.
Proposed Text of Legislation
ARTICLE I: Composition
Section 1: Parliament shall establish a body of 3 individuals to act as the Arbitral Tribunal of AH.com.
Section 2: Members of the Arbitral Tribunal shall be nominated by the President and approved by the Parliament.
Section 3: No appointee to the Arbitral Tribunal may be a member of any political party.
ARTICLE II: Purpose and Procedure
Section 1: The Arbitral Tribunal of AH.com shall arbitrate disagreements and questions of political procedure.
Section 2: The Arbitral Tribunal may only act when called upon by the President, by the Cabinet, or by the Parliament to do so.
Section 3: Questions asked of the Arbitral Tribunal should be framed as a choice between two or more options which are disagreed upon by the party or parties calling upon the Arbitral Tribunal.
ARTICLE III: Limits on Power
Section 1: The Arbitral Tribunal of AH.com shall not have the power to judge the conduct of any AH.commer.
Section 2: The Arbitral Tribunal of AH.com shall not have the power to punish any AH.commer.
Section 3: Members of the Arbitral Tribunal may be removed by majority vote of Parliament at any time.
Section 4: The Arbitral Tribunal may be disbanded at the directive of Ian or by majority vote of Parliament at any time.
Voting on the Judiciary bill began on August 14, 2008. On August 15, Deputy Prime Minister Demosthenes (E) announced he would vote against the Judiciary bill in its current form and that he was in the process of drafting a new bi-partisan bill as a replacement.
09camaro (E) has voted to ABSTAIN.
Keenir (E) has voiced support, but not yet voted.