Difference between revisions of "Court of Appeal (Themiclesia)"
(→Kraw nLui v. R. (1952))
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Uniformity of Process Actin the
Court of Appeal has in over the . , the Court of Appeal in between and the , to the .
Revision as of 23:23, 4 December 2019
|Court of Appeal|
1820 (current jurisdiction)
|Composition method||Appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister|
|Authorized by||Judicial precedents|
Writs of Error Act (1820)
|Appeals to||House of Lords|
|Appeals from||Supreme Court|
|Judge term length||Life|
|Number of positions||10|
|Chief Justice of Appeal|
The Court of Appeal (廷讞寺, m-lêng-ngjanh-lje′) is an appellate court in Themiclesia. Appeals from this court went to the court of dernier resort, the House of Lords. Today, Themiclesia has a four-tier judicial system for both civil and criminal cases, where the Court of Appeal is the third tier.
The Themiclesian name of the Court of Appeal is m-lêng-ngjanh-lje′ (廷讞寺). m-lêng means "courtyard", generally meaning the place where the monarch held court and decided disputes. Due to its political prominence, it is used as a synecdoche for the government as a whole. ngjanh means "review". lje′ is somewhat unclear in meaning, but it may have been a general term for "office". Together, the name meant a department of reviewing affairs that came before the court, which here means the central government.
This court was originally part of the traditional judicial apparatus in antiquity and continued to hear appeals from regional courts in both civil and criminal matters, but it is unclear whether it possessed original jurisdiction under ordinary circumstances. Its jurisdiction over cases involving aliens was split in 1708 to accommodate the newly-created Supreme Court, to which it lost primary appellate jurisdiction over regional courts in 1820. In 1833, it acquired appellate jurisdiction over the Supreme Court. The Uniformity of Process Act of 1880 removed the Court of Appeal's jurisdiction in error over all trial courts, transferred to the Supreme Court.
The Uniformity of Process Act of 1880 provides that all judgments of the Supreme Court may be contested in the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has been noted as a bastion of conservatism in the early 20th century, particularly over the issue of constitutionalism that gradually became accepted in Themiclesian society. In a number of judgments involving the principles of the separation of powers and checks and balance, the Court of Appeal have consistently rejected these principles to the extent that some foreign commentators suspected them of being absolutists and primitivists. Chief Justice of Appeal, Nem, said in 1953:
The constitution of this nation is simple, as previous instances instruct us, consisting of one principle and two corollaries. The principle is that all power is shared between a monarch and the enfranchised people. The corollaries are: first, the monarch is established by the assent of the people, and this assent is valid for the reigning monarch and his progeny, until a revolution occurs; and second, anything which the monarch and people agree to establish becomes the law, and anything which both agree to abolish shall be abolished.
Kraw nLui v. R. (1952)
In 1949, Parliament resurrected the process of impeachment to convict Lieutenant-general Kraw Har of rape and sentenced him to death in absentia. Kraw was implicated in Dayashina over the suicide of a 16-year-old Dayashinese girl, who accused Kraw of raping her and forcing her to commit suicide to regain her honour. The girl's parents complained to the Themiclesian Army, which ran an internal inquiry and found insufficient evidence to convict him. However, this matter was published widely by the Dayashinese press and threatened to become a rallying cry for Dayashinese communities to resist occupation. The Army refused to proceed further, citing the lack of witnesses. The girl's parents then petitioned the Themiclesian Parliament, which convicted Kraw in Feb. 1950, taking in statements from witnesses who claimed they did not dare come forth for fear of retaliation. To great surprise, Parliament sentenced him to death on Mar. 1, 1950. Kraw hanged himself in Dayashina on Mar. 4. Since the process of impeachment was not regulated under the Uniformity of Process Act of 1880, Kraw's real and movable properties were confiscated to the state.
Kraw's son and would-be heir Kraw nLui challenged the decision to confiscate his estate, but the broader question was whether Parliament still possessed the judicial power to hold impeachment trials, which had not occurred since the 1400s. Kraw's attorney argued that the Uniformity of Process Act implicitly abolished the process of impeachment, since its fourth section provided that the Act applied to "all judicial causes, civil and criminal, arising in the Demesne and abroad where subjects of the Crown shall be implicated". He further cited the sixtieth section, which provided that "no forfeiture of the person or estate shall henceforth occur upon conviction of crime". These two sections, he argued, combined to mean that Parliament had no power to try Lt. Gen. Kraw before the case was appealed to it via the Court of Appeal, and at any rate his property should not have been confiscated. Furthermore, capital punishment had been abolished 98 years ago, which suggested that Parliament's judgment was outside of the law. He claimed that "a great number of constitutional changes" have intervened between impeachment, which was a royal prerogative exercised by the legislature, and the customary and accepted process in the modern day.
In 1951, the Supreme Court ruled that it had no power to question the substantive decisions made by Parliament, saying it "possessed and exercised unlimited powers". Next year, the decision was contested in the Court of Appeal. The Chief Justice of Appeal, Nem Njing-mjet, led the court to affirm the Supreme Court's judgment, adding that "the power of impeachment is, as the Plaintiff-in-Error rightly claims, founded on royal prerogative and is akin to primary law, which cannot be restricted by another primary law". Questioned whether Parliament was able to impose any punishment it liked whatsoever, Nem verbally replied that he believed this to be true. The plaintiff's attorney asked if the court believed Parliament's decision was just, to which Nem said that they believed it was consistent with the law, not necessarily just, since "Parliament's decisions are, by definition, legal". Instead, Nem recommended Kraw nLui to seek an audience with the Privy Council or petition Parliament to have his inheritance restored to him, which was granted by the Secretary of State for Home Affairs in the same year.
The Court of Appeal sits in the Supreme Court (building) and usually shares its courtrooms and other facilities, though the staff of the two courts are kept separate.