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Amendment X: Appointment Transparency Act

Offline Battadia

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on: December 26, 2021, 05:01:31 pm
Amendment X: Appointment Transparency Act
Author: Battadia

Purpose: To create greater transparency in the appointment process when executed by the Founder, Prime Minister, or Cabinet.

Existing Article:
Article C: The Executive

1. The Founder shall be the Union’s head of state. They shall be responsible for ensuring the unity and stability of the Union and advising and overseeing the Cabinet. The Founder may also be referred to as Emperor of the Union of Force or simply as Emperor.
2. The Prime Minister shall be the Union’s head of government. They shall be responsible for actively leading the Union and Cabinet and ensuring the proper functioning of government. They shall hold the sole power to create and dissolve ministries and other executive departments, appoint and dismiss ministers, other members of the Cabinet, and executive officials, except for the Founder, pardon or reduce the sentences of individuals convicted of legal offenses, and sign or revoke treaties between the Union and other sovereign governments.

2.1. The creation or dissolution of a ministry must be approved by the House of Representatives with a simple majority, after a three day voting period, once all representatives have voted, or once a majority of House members have voted in favor or against.
2.2. Pardons and reductions of sentences shall cancel or shorten a criminal sentence. The Prime Minister may not pardon themselves, their friends, or their associates in government. A combined total of two pardons or reductions in sentences may be issued each elected term.
2.3. The Prime Minister may nominate a Deputy Prime Minister to help oversee the ministries. The House of Representatives shall be presented with that nominee and must hold a vote lasting three days, until all House Representatives have voted, or until a majority of House members have approved or rejected the nominee. If the nominee is rejected, the Prime Minister may present a new nominee and restart the process.

2.3.1. The Prime Minister may dismiss the Deputy Prime Minister at any time for any reason.

3. The Executive shall consist of the Cabinet and its associated ministries, and any other executive departments.

3.1. The Cabinet shall hold regular meetings to discuss its progress.
3.2. At minimum, the Ministries must: maintain existing diplomatic relations and be capable of negotiating diplomatic settlements and treaties, oversee the recruitment and integration of new nations into the Union, produce official publications and other documents, including The Force Flyer, record the history of the Union, host events and celebrate traditions, operate a Union roleplay, and ensure active engagement in the World Assembly.

4. All military and intelligence forces within the Union are under the supreme command and joint authority of the Founder and Prime Minister.

New Article:
Article C: The Executive

1. The Founder shall be the Union’s head of state. They shall be responsible for ensuring the unity and stability of the Union and advising and overseeing the Cabinet. The Founder may also be referred to as Emperor of the Union of Force or simply as Emperor.
2. The Prime Minister shall be the Union’s head of government. They shall be responsible for actively leading the Union and Cabinet and ensuring the proper functioning of government. They shall hold the sole power to create and dissolve ministries and other executive departments, appoint and dismiss ministers, other members of the Cabinet, and executive officials, except for the Founder, pardon or reduce the sentences of individuals convicted of legal offenses, and sign or revoke treaties between the Union and other sovereign governments.

2.1. The creation or dissolution of a ministry must be approved by the House of Representatives with a simple majority, after a three day voting period, once all representatives have voted, or once a majority of House members have voted in favor or against.
2.2. The appointment process must be open to public scrutiny, with the list of candidates considered being available for the general public to consume.

2.2.1. In the event of candidates refusing the appointment, their reason for refusal must be given as well, except if it is refused for personal reasons.


2.23. Pardons and reductions of sentences shall cancel or shorten a criminal sentence. The Prime Minister may not pardon themselves, their friends, or their associates in government. A combined total of two pardons or reductions in sentences may be issued each elected term.
2.34. The Prime Minister may nominate a Deputy Prime Minister to help oversee the ministries. The House of Representatives shall be presented with that nominee and must hold a vote lasting three days, until all House Representatives have voted, or until a majority of House members have approved or rejected the nominee. If the nominee is rejected, the Prime Minister may present a new nominee and restart the process.

2.34.1. The Prime Minister may dismiss the Deputy Prime Minister at any time for any reason.

3. The Executive shall consist of the Cabinet and its associated ministries, and any other executive departments.

3.1. The Cabinet shall hold regular meetings to discuss its progress.
3.2. At minimum, the Ministries must: maintain existing diplomatic relations and be capable of negotiating diplomatic settlements and treaties, oversee the recruitment and integration of new nations into the Union, produce official publications and other documents, including The Force Flyer, record the history of the Union, host events and celebrate traditions, operate a Union roleplay, and ensure active engagement in the World Assembly.

4. All military and intelligence forces within the Union are under the supreme command and joint authority of the Founder and Prime Minister.

Existing Article:
Article F: The High Court

1. The Court shall consist of three justices.
2. Following each general election, the Justices shall elect from among themselves a Chief Justice, who shall be responsible for ensuring that all responsibilities of the Court are upheld.
3. Any citizen may bring a case before the Court. The Justices collectively shall hold the responsibility of deciding whether or not to hear the case. They may only deny a case if it accuses the defendant of an action which is not illegal under any law or statute which applies to them in the Union or which has been found legal by precedent of another case that, except for those involved, was identical.

3.1. Where a justice is the plaintiff or defendant in a case brought before the Court, that justice must recuse themselves from all involvement, except in the capacity of plaintiff or defendant. The Founder must then appoint a special justice, to be referred to as an Arbiter pro Tempore, to carry out their judicial duties for that case.

4. If a case shall be heard, the defendant must enter a plea of guilt, innocence, or no-contest within a week of the case's acceptance.

4.1. A plea of guilt or no-contest will skip a trial and move directly to sentencing.
4.2. A plea of innocence shall move forward with a trial.

5. Each case in which a plea of innocence was entered into the record shall be heard by a jury of three impartial citizens selected by the Justices. The following are prohibited from serving on a jury: the defendant, the plaintiff, and any citizen currently on trial or who has charges pending.
6. A maximum of two court cases may be heard at one time, based upon the seriousness of the accusation(s). A queue shall be created if more than two cases are pending.
7. The Chief Justice shall oversee all trials, unless they must recuse themselves. If this occurs, the Court may nominate any other justice who is neither indicted nor involved to lead the trial. Each trial shall consist of three stages: opening statements, witness testimony and/or the presentation of evidence, and closing arguments. The trial must be accessible for viewership by all citizens.

7.1. Opening statements shall consist of statements by both the plaintiff and the defendant presenting their respective arguments and an overview, from their perspectives, of the case at hand.
7.2. Witness testimony shall consist of bringing in outside individuals with firsthand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing or lack thereof to testify. The presentation of evidence shall consist of the presentation of evidence to justify or refute the case at hand. Both the plaintiff and the defendant may choose to bring people or evidence forth for this stage.
7.3. Closing arguments shall consist of arguments by both the plaintiff and the defendant to reiterate their arguments. This may include refuting the testimony of witnesses or evidence from the previous stage. The defendant shall be entitled to deliver the last closing argument. Once closing arguments have concluded, the case shall move to the jury for deliberation.

8. The Jury shall have three days to determine, with a simple majority, whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. If they are considering voting guilty, a jury member must ensure that they have no reasonable doubt about that guilt before voting. Alongside their vote, they must provide fair reasoning for their decision.
9. The Justices collectively shall hold the responsibility of handing out a punishment to a defendant if they are found guilty or plead no contest.

9.1. Unanimous consensus among the justices (not including any recused justice(s), if applicable) shall be required to select a punishment for the guilty party. The Chief Justice must ensure consensus is reached on an appropriate punishment within three days of the guilty verdict. If a unanimous consensus cannot be reached by this deadline, a majority in favor shall suffice.
9.2. The punishment must be fair and appropriate for the crime committed, as outlined in Article J.

10. Any person convicted of a crime may petition the Court for a retrial based on new evidence or judicial precedent.

10.1. On appeal, the Founder will appoint a special appellate court of three justices to oversee the trial. The appellate court shall operate under established trial procedure. Members of the appellate court shall be referred to by the title Arbiter pro Tempore.
10.2. No jury member who served in the original trial shall be allowed to participate in a new trial.

11. The Justices shall hold the sole authority to judge the constitutionality of federal (excluding the Constitution) law and state/territorial constitutions, per the hierarchy established in Article D. The High Court is the supreme authority on state/territorial law. For every law they review:

11.1. Majority and, if applicable, dissenting opinions on its legality shall be made public.
11.2. Each such opinion must provide comprehensive reasoning for its findings. If the majority opinion rules a law unconstitutional, that law shall be suspended in its entirety. State and territorial constitutions do not need to be suspended in their entirety; the majority opinion must specify which sections of the law are to be suspended.

12. The Court may issue writs of certiorari by a majority vote, which mandate that a lower court deliver its records on a case so that the High Court may review and rule on it. For retrials, the Court shall use established trial procedure.
13. The Court may issue subpoenas by majority vote.

13.1. When a subpoena involves government documents, the documents must be provided to the Court within three days.
13.2. When a subpoena involves an individual, that individual must appear before the Court and submit testimony within one week of the subpoena being issued.

New Article:
Article F: The High Court

1. The Court shall consist of three justices.
2. Following each general election, the Justices shall elect from among themselves a Chief Justice, who shall be responsible for ensuring that all responsibilities of the Court are upheld.
3. Any citizen may bring a case before the Court. The Justices collectively shall hold the responsibility of deciding whether or not to hear the case. They may only deny a case if it accuses the defendant of an action which is not illegal under any law or statute which applies to them in the Union or which has been found legal by precedent of another case that, except for those involved, was identical.

3.1. Where a justice is the plaintiff or defendant in a case brought before the Court, that justice must recuse themselves from all involvement, except in the capacity of plaintiff or defendant. The Founder must then appoint a special justice, to be referred to as an Arbiter pro Tempore, to carry out their judicial duties for that case.

4. If a case shall be heard, the defendant must enter a plea of guilt, innocence, or no-contest within a week of the case's acceptance.

4.1. A plea of guilt or no-contest will skip a trial and move directly to sentencing.
4.2. A plea of innocence shall move forward with a trial.

5. Each case in which a plea of innocence was entered into the record shall be heard by a jury of three impartial citizens selected by the Justices. The following are prohibited from serving on a jury: the defendant, the plaintiff, and any citizen currently on trial or who has charges pending.
6. A maximum of two court cases may be heard at one time, based upon the seriousness of the accusation(s). A queue shall be created if more than two cases are pending.
7. The Chief Justice shall oversee all trials, unless they must recuse themselves. If this occurs, the Court may nominate any other justice who is neither indicted nor involved to lead the trial. Each trial shall consist of three stages: opening statements, witness testimony and/or the presentation of evidence, and closing arguments. The trial must be accessible for viewership by all citizens.

7.1. Opening statements shall consist of statements by both the plaintiff and the defendant presenting their respective arguments and an overview, from their perspectives, of the case at hand.
7.2. Witness testimony shall consist of bringing in outside individuals with firsthand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing or lack thereof to testify. The presentation of evidence shall consist of the presentation of evidence to justify or refute the case at hand. Both the plaintiff and the defendant may choose to bring people or evidence forth for this stage.
7.3. Closing arguments shall consist of arguments by both the plaintiff and the defendant to reiterate their arguments. This may include refuting the testimony of witnesses or evidence from the previous stage. The defendant shall be entitled to deliver the last closing argument. Once closing arguments have concluded, the case shall move to the jury for deliberation.

8. The Jury shall have three days to determine, with a simple majority, whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. If they are considering voting guilty, a jury member must ensure that they have no reasonable doubt about that guilt before voting. Alongside their vote, they must provide fair reasoning for their decision.
9. The Justices collectively shall hold the responsibility of handing out a punishment to a defendant if they are found guilty or plead no contest.

9.1. Unanimous consensus among the justices (not including any recused justice(s), if applicable) shall be required to select a punishment for the guilty party. The Chief Justice must ensure consensus is reached on an appropriate punishment within three days of the guilty verdict. If a unanimous consensus cannot be reached by this deadline, a majority in favor shall suffice.
9.2. The punishment must be fair and appropriate for the crime committed, as outlined in Article J.

10. Any person convicted of a crime may petition the Court for a retrial based on new evidence or judicial precedent.

10.1. On appeal, the Founder will appoint a special appellate court of three justices to oversee the trial. The appellate court shall operate under established trial procedure. Members of the appellate court shall be referred to by the title Arbiter pro Tempore.
10.2. No jury member who served in the original trial shall be allowed to participate in a new trial.

11. The Justices shall hold the sole authority to judge the constitutionality of federal (excluding the Constitution) law and state/territorial constitutions, per the hierarchy established in Article D. The High Court is the supreme authority on state/territorial law. For every law they review:

11.1. Majority and, if applicable, dissenting opinions on its legality shall be made public.
11.2. Each such opinion must provide comprehensive reasoning for its findings. If the majority opinion rules a law unconstitutional, that law shall be suspended in its entirety. State and territorial constitutions do not need to be suspended in their entirety; the majority opinion must specify which sections of the law are to be suspended.

12. The Court may issue writs of certiorari by a majority vote, which mandate that a lower court deliver its records on a case so that the High Court may review and rule on it. For retrials, the Court shall use established trial procedure.
13. The Court may issue subpoenas by majority vote.

13.1. When a subpoena involves government documents, the documents must be provided to the Court within three days.
13.2. When a subpoena involves an individual, that individual must appear before the Court and submit testimony within one week of the subpoena being issued.

14. The appointment process must be open to public scrutiny, with the list of candidates considered being available for the general public to consume.

14.1. In the event of candidates refusing the appointment, their reason for refusal must be given as well, except if it is refused for personal reasons.


Existing Article:
Article G: Absences

1. A government office is considered vacant when:

1.1. The office holder has lost citizenship.
1.2. The office holder has not spoken or performed their duties on the NationStates website, Force forums, or Force Discord server in at least one week.

1.2.1. If a government official anticipates an absence this long, in order to maintain their position, they must provide reasonable cause for it prior to the absence and designate another official in their area of government to take on their responsibilities. This shall not apply to the Court, whose members are subject to §G.6, regardless of the circumstances.

1.2.1.1. A House Representative may take a leave of absence of up to one week and retain their job. However, they may not designate another official to take on their responsibilities, and must notify the Speaker of the House prior to their absence with reasoning for said absence.

1.3. The office holder has resigned.
1.4. The office holder has been removed from office.
1.5. The office was left vacant following an election.

2. In addition to the above conditions, an office in the House of Representatives shall be considered vacant when:

2.1. The nation with which the office holder was elected is no longer present in the region.

3. Should the office of Prime Minister become vacant, upon their agreement, the Deputy Prime Minister shall assume the office. Should they choose not to assume the office, the matter shall be deliberated in the House, which shall choose a new Prime Minister.

3.1. All Representatives shall be able to nominate citizens for the office, provided they agree to their nomination. A subsequent vote shall be held in the House, and the nominee who receives a majority shall assume the office of Prime Minister. Both the nominations and voting period shall each last one day. If no nominee receives a majority, a second vote, lasting one day, between the two nominees with the highest voting totals, shall be held.
3.2. If no nominations are made, or if a tie cannot be broken, an emergency election, following the same rules as a regular election, must begin within one week.

4. Should a vacancy arise in the Cabinet, the Prime Minister must appoint a replacement within one week.
5. Should all seats in the House of Representatives be vacant, an emergency election, following the same rules as a regular election, must begin within one week. If a seat allotted to a political party becomes vacant, that party may designate another individual to fill the seat.
6. Should a vacancy arise in the Court or should a proposed nominee be rejected by the citizens, the Justices shall collectively decide upon and nominate a replacement within one week. The Chief Justice shall make a public announcement regarding this nomination, and it shall be brought by the Speaker to the citizens for a vote. A simple majority in favor of the nomination, within four days, shall be required to confirm the nominee.
7. In the case of any other vacancy, unless otherwise specified by law, no further action shall be taken.

New Article:
Article G: Absences

1. A government office is considered vacant when:

1.1. The office holder has lost citizenship.
1.2. The office holder has not spoken or performed their duties on the NationStates website, Force forums, or Force Discord server in at least one week.

1.2.1. If a government official anticipates an absence this long, in order to maintain their position, they must provide reasonable cause for it prior to the absence and designate another official in their area of government to take on their responsibilities. This shall not apply to the Court, whose members are subject to §G.6, regardless of the circumstances.

1.2.1.1. A House Representative may take a leave of absence of up to one week and retain their job. However, they may not designate another official to take on their responsibilities, and must notify the Speaker of the House prior to their absence with reasoning for said absence.

1.3. The office holder has resigned.
1.4. The office holder has been removed from office.
1.5. The office was left vacant following an election.

2. In addition to the above conditions, an office in the House of Representatives shall be considered vacant when:

2.1. The nation with which the office holder was elected is no longer present in the region.

3. Should the office of Prime Minister become vacant, upon their agreement, the Deputy Prime Minister shall assume the office. Should they choose not to assume the office, the matter shall be deliberated in the House, which shall choose a new Prime Minister.

3.1. All Representatives shall be able to nominate citizens for the office, provided they agree to their nomination. A subsequent vote shall be held in the House, and the nominee who receives a majority shall assume the office of Prime Minister. Both the nominations and voting period shall each last one day. If no nominee receives a majority, a second vote, lasting one day, between the two nominees with the highest voting totals, shall be held.
3.2. If no nominations are made, or if a tie cannot be broken, an emergency election, following the same rules as a regular election, must begin within one week.

4. Should a vacancy arise in the Cabinet, the Prime Minister must appoint a replacement within one week.
5. Should all seats in the House of Representatives be vacant, an emergency election, following the same rules as a regular election, must begin within one week. If a seat allotted to a political party becomes vacant, that party may designate another individual to fill the seat.
6. Should a vacancy arise in the Court or should a proposed nominee be rejected by the citizens, the Justices shall collectively decide upon and nominate a replacement within one week. The Chief Justice shall make a public announcement regarding this nomination, and it shall be brought by the Speaker to the citizens for a vote. A simple majority in favor of the nomination, within four days, shall be required to confirm the nominee.
7. In the case of any other vacancy, unless otherwise specified by law, no further action shall be taken.
8. The appointment process must be open to public scrutiny, with the list of candidates considered being available for the general public to consume.

8.1. In the event of candidates refusing the appointment, their reason for refusal must be given as well, except if it is refused for personal reasons.


Existing Article:
Article K: The Union

1. The Union shall consist of the capital, states, and territories (the Union of Force), all (except occupations) subject to the Constitution, House Law, Executive Law (where applicable), and Treaty Law.
2. The Founder may appoint and dismiss, at their discretion, a High Commissioner, who shall act as an intermediary between the federal, state, and territorial governments. Their powers and responsibilities shall include:

2.1. Holding meetings with state and territorial leaders, at least once a month, to discuss their status, any issues they are encountering, progress they have made on tackling existing issues, and future plans. They may also hold meetings at any time to discuss emergency issues and may compel state and territorial leaders (or their designated representatives) to attend, provided they give at least 24 hours’ notice and these individuals are able to attend.
2.2. Issuing notifications to the federal government for the resolution of any problem states or territories may be facing. Should the federal government fail to attempt to resolve any issue within 1 month of the relevant notification being made, the Prime Minister shall be guilty of nonfeasance.
2.3. Ensuring that the law is upheld within all states and territories. This shall include making sure that state and territorial elections are held on time, that their laws are fully observed, and that federal law and changes to it are implemented there and made known to all.
2.4. Coordinating, in conjunction with the Founder, the annexation, combination, and disassociation of territories.

3. The Capital shall be the seat of the Federal Government and be administered solely by it.

3.1. Force is the capital.

4. States shall exist as semi-sovereign entities. Each of them may form their own governments with power over all matters, except those concerning foreign relations and defense. The Founder or Prime Minister may grant these restricted powers to a State Government at their discretion.

4.1. Only States may by law establish courts, all observant of due process and both state and federal law.

4.1.1. These courts may only try crimes which are illegal in that state, but not on a federal level. Only the Union High Court may try federal crimes.
4.1.2. Punishments for these crimes must be consistent with the Union Constitution and may only remove privileges which exist within that state and not on a federal level.
4.1.3. State courts shall hold the power to judge legality, but only of laws passed within that state. They may not review the legality of the local constitution.

4.2. RGBN, Heart, and the Citizens Alliance of Democracy are the states.

4.2.1. Clause 4.2 shall be updated, without an amendment, should the House of Representatives make a territory a state, in line with §E.6.2.3.1 or revert a state to territorial status, in line with §E.6.3.2.

5. Territories (other than occupations) shall exist as semi-sovereign entities. They may be led by a Governor, appointed by the Founder, put under direct Federal Government control at the order of the same, or have their own governments with power over all matters, except those concerning foreign relations and defense.

5.1. Occupations shall be a special classification of territory where residents shall not hold Union citizenship and where usual laws shall not apply. They shall be subject solely to the orders of the Founder or a Governor appointed by the Founder to oversee them.
5.2. The Founder may create, remove, annex, combine, or disassociate any territories from the Union at their discretion.
5.3. Territorial classifications (except those defined herein), with differing levels of sovereignty, may be created, modified, or removed at the discretion of the Founder or High Commissioner.
5.4. All territories may have their classifications modified at the discretion of the Founder and High Commissioner. However, the Founder may overrule the High Commissioner.

New Article:
Article K: The Union

1. The Union shall consist of the capital, states, and territories (the Union of Force), all (except occupations) subject to the Constitution, House Law, Executive Law (where applicable), and Treaty Law.
2. The Founder may appoint and dismiss, at their discretion, a High Commissioner, who shall act as an intermediary between the federal, state, and territorial governments. Their powers and responsibilities shall include:

2.1. Holding meetings with state and territorial leaders, at least once a month, to discuss their status, any issues they are encountering, progress they have made on tackling existing issues, and future plans. They may also hold meetings at any time to discuss emergency issues and may compel state and territorial leaders (or their designated representatives) to attend, provided they give at least 24 hours’ notice and these individuals are able to attend.
2.2. Issuing notifications to the federal government for the resolution of any problem states or territories may be facing. Should the federal government fail to attempt to resolve any issue within 1 month of the relevant notification being made, the Prime Minister shall be guilty of nonfeasance.
2.3. Ensuring that the law is upheld within all states and territories. This shall include making sure that state and territorial elections are held on time, that their laws are fully observed, and that federal law and changes to it are implemented there and made known to all.
2.4. Coordinating, in conjunction with the Founder, the annexation, combination, and disassociation of territories.

3. The Capital shall be the seat of the Federal Government and be administered solely by it.

3.1. Force is the capital.

4. States shall exist as semi-sovereign entities. Each of them may form their own governments with power over all matters, except those concerning foreign relations and defense. The Founder or Prime Minister may grant these restricted powers to a State Government at their discretion.

4.1. Only States may by law establish courts, all observant of due process and both state and federal law.

4.1.1. These courts may only try crimes which are illegal in that state, but not on a federal level. Only the Union High Court may try federal crimes.
4.1.2. Punishments for these crimes must be consistent with the Union Constitution and may only remove privileges which exist within that state and not on a federal level.
4.1.3. State courts shall hold the power to judge legality, but only of laws passed within that state. They may not review the legality of the local constitution.

4.2. RGBN, Heart, and the Citizens Alliance of Democracy are the states.

4.2.1. Clause 4.2 shall be updated, without an amendment, should the House of Representatives make a territory a state, in line with §E.6.2.3.1 or revert a state to territorial status, in line with §E.6.3.2.

5. Territories (other than occupations) shall exist as semi-sovereign entities. They may be led by a Governor, appointed by the Founder, put under direct Federal Government control at the order of the same, or have their own governments with power over all matters, except those concerning foreign relations and defense.

5.1. Occupations shall be a special classification of territory where residents shall not hold Union citizenship and where usual laws shall not apply. They shall be subject solely to the orders of the Founder or a Governor appointed by the Founder to oversee them.
5.2. The Founder may create, remove, annex, combine, or disassociate any territories from the Union at their discretion.
5.3. Territorial classifications (except those defined herein), with differing levels of sovereignty, may be created, modified, or removed at the discretion of the Founder or High Commissioner.
5.4. All territories may have their classifications modified at the discretion of the Founder and High Commissioner. However, the Founder may overrule the High Commissioner.

6. The appointment process must be open to public scrutiny, with the list of candidates considered being available for the general public to consume.

6.1. In the event of candidates refusing the appointment, their reason for refusal must be given as well, except if it is refused for personal reasons.
PARLIAMENTARIANISM FTW!