On the status of the republic
|Release type||Order of the General Secretary on the constitution|
|Writer||Amelia Bjornsdottir (she, they, he)|
|Written beginning||hours before Fri 3 Mar 2023 02:56:18 UTC|
|Release date||4 Mar 2023|
This document will serve as a provisional constitution until we publish a permanent constitution with procedures for amendment etc.
This document is still under construction. Notably, whole sections are completely absent.
On the structure of this document
This document is informally separated into sections and subsections.
IETF RFC 2119 applies
The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in IETF RFC 2119 and IETF RFC 8174.
On the structure of the state
The republic of Evdonia mixes features of both unitary and federal states, and when population is sufficient for there to be a difference, features of both executive and parliamentary systems of government.
For each constituent state, including the federal state, this document authorizes:
- the raising of an electoral grand jury, a unicameral deliberative body whose members are either the entire reachable population of the state if under 1'500 people, or up to 1'000 people, having reached at least their fourteenth year, selected by random sortition, and whose purpose is to deliberate on the method of electing holders of positions set out forthwith, as well as amending constitutional law,
- the creation of a legislative assembly, whose name SHALL be deliberated upon and decided by said assembly, and changed by the passage of a law, but will be called Parliament in this document, and will initially have one chamber,
- the election, by processes resolved by electoral grand jury, of an executive council of not fewer than one person and not more than six people, which limit may be changed by a resolution of the electoral grand jury, which council SHALL in this document be called the Secretariat-General and whose members SHALL be individually referred to as Presidents or Secretaries-General, and which council MAY retain its own advisors (which shall be called a Presidential Cabinet in this document),
- the selection, by the legislative assembly, by simple majority vote, of a subset of its members to act as representatives to executive council on broad bases of issues as decided by the legislative assembly, which subset SHALL be called the Cabinet (or Parliamentary Cabinet) in this document, and
- the election, by processes resolved by electoral grand jury, of a justice or set of justices to a chamber of decision as to the truth and falsehood of a legal allegation, whose name SHALL be deliberated on and decided by Parliament, but will be called the High Court of Justice in this document.
Semi-executivism and responsible government
The Cabinet or any individual member MAY be recalled by Parliament at any time. The Secretariat-General MAY also recommend recall of the Cabinet or any Cabinet member to Parliament, which MUST then decide, by procedures it may set, whether it wishes to continue the Cabinet member, or recall. If this procedure fails three times for the same member, with less than 360 days from the first procedure to the last, the Cabinet member SHALL be deemed recalled, and SHALL NOT become a member of the Cabinet under that Secretariat-General again for 180 days, unless the impeachment procedure is followed for the deemed recall (in which case the recall is reversed as if it never happened) or the Cabinet member (in which case their ban may be elongated by decision of electoral grand jury).
Parliament SHALL create, debate on, and by over 50% of the sitting vote (or by committee) recommend bills to the Secretariat-General, which if given the assent of over 50% of the members of the Secretariat-General, become statute. Parliament MAY impeach the refusal of assent. If convicted and not later reversed by electoral grand jury, the refusal is overturned regardless of later electoral grand jury sentencing decisions. The same procedure may be executed to pass both ordinary statutes and entrenched law by the electoral grand jury.
Impeachment and conviction is the process of reversing a decision made by another body, or an appointment made to another body. Parliament and the electoral grand jury exercise this power.
Parliament MAY impeach any member of the Secretariat-General, and MAY also impeach any decision of the Secretariat-General. Electoral grand jury MAY impeach the entire Parliament, and it may reverse a conviction on impeachment which was made by Parliament.
Only persons who have ever been members of Parliament, the Secretariat-General, the High Court of Justice or its subordinate chambers of justice, the Cabinet, or offices directly appointed by those three bodies may be subject to impeachment. If a person is convicted, the only possible penalties are censure, removal, and ineligibility for membership in the relevant body or in all said bodies. The person remains eligible for electoral grand jury duty.
Only decisions made by the Secretariat-General, the Cabinet, offices directly appointed by those two, or the boards of companies owned by the state may be impeached. On conviction of the decision, the decision is reversed. Further treatment of it necessitates summoning an electoral grand jury.
With a single-chambered Parliament, the decision to impeach is taken by a simple majority (over 50% vote) of the whole body, and the decision to convict is taken by a supermajority (seven tenths) of the whole body. The electoral grand jury MUST then immediately be summoned to either sustain or reverse the conviction and sustain, reverse or amend the sentence. With a multiple-chambered Parliament, the decision to impeach is taken by a simple majority of any one body, and the decision to convict is taken by every remaining body (the impeachment decision itself is treated as a vote to convict) in turn as decided among them for the normal course of business, requiring a 51% majority of chambers to secure a conviction.
An impeached and convicted person’s actions while in office remain valid as if they were succeeded in the normal way, but impeached actions are invalidated, and must be reversed to the extent that this is possible. No organ of the republic or of any member state may implement the imposition of death as a criminal penalty, and capture is to be preferred to killing during military conflicts.
Loss of confidence
If the Secretariat-General loses confidence in the Parliament’s Cabinet, deemed recall may be applied. If the Parliament loses confidence in its Cabinet, they may recall Cabinet in the normal way. If Parliament cannot function (marked by complete Parliamentary Cabinet vacancy for 90 days, or by a failure to appropriate funds necessitating Secretarial appropriations), or by simple majority vote, all seats in Parliament are rendered vacant, requiring them to be filled by election from their relevant constituencies. If everyone loses their seats, and there is no way of electing new members to the Secretariat, Parliament, or Cabinet, an electoral grand jury must be empanelled by the civil servants and the erstwhile members of those bodies will become acting members until their replacements are selected.
If Parliament loses confidence in the Presidential Cabinet, it may impeach the appointments, or it may impeach the appointees themselves. It may also recall them by the same procedure as recalling its own Cabinet
Executive powers of legislation
This may be cited as the Administrative State section, as it is intended to ensure the efficient functioning of the administrative state and avoid authorized government agencies being deprived of funds due to senseless Acts of Parliament. Experience internationally has shown that presidential systems are vulnerable to these kinds of attempts to paralyze the administrative state.
As well as any powers delegated to it by the electoral grand jury or by Parliament, the Secretariat-General and the Presidential Cabinet have the general right to make and apply laws and make appropriations of wealth (such as borrowing money or adjusting the rate of taxation, should it ever be imposed) to ensure the faithful execution of the constitutional and ordinary laws of the republic or the member state in question, which right Parliament may not unduly abridge. Upon the passage of a Secretarial law (a decree), the decree must become part of Parliament’s business in no more than 30 days, or, in the absence of a procedure previously defined by the electoral grand jury for summoning a new Parliament, an electoral grand jury must be empanelled (for example, to un-dissolve Parliament if it has dissolved itself) if Parliament isn’t in session. Decrees will also be immediately presented to the High Court of Justice to assess their legality in accordance with stipulations in this section and others. The Secretariat-General and Presidential Cabinet SHALL NOT make new laws that contravene existing ordinary laws, nor new laws that have no connection to existing laws.
The two cabinets
The Secretariat-General has advisors, whereas Parliament sends ministers. Their purpose is the same - represent the appointing party’s views in the departments of state that they head, and power rests with both. These should usually be congruent. When a Parliamentary portfolio is vacant, other ministers appointed by Parliament serve to represent that portfolio. When the entire Parliamentary cabinet is vacant, the Presidential Cabinet (that appointed by the Secretariat-General) assumes the portfolios for the time being until a Parliamentary cabinet can be appointed.
A unitary republic
Constituent jurisdictions may be created or destroyed by ordinary law of the federal state or of a member state.
A federal republic
Constituent jurisdictions may be created and entrenched by act of electoral grand jury, meaning that they can only be destroyed (e.g. severed, absorbed) by treaty between them and their superior jurisdictions, which treaty must be approved by electoral grand jury, which must be empanelled if such a treaty is signed.
The creating jurisdiction’s electoral grand jury may delegate its powers in this regard, allowing the creating jurisdiction’s Parliament to use an ordinary law to entrench a jurisdiction. Once entrenched, ordinary law alone SHALL NOT be able to destroy a constituent jurisdiction.
The powers of the constituent jurisdiction, when so entrenched, become separate from the powers of the superior jurisdiction, which must itself be an entrenched jurisdiction.
Overlapping jurisdictions for different purposes
Limited-purpose jurisdictions may overlap with other limited-purpose jurisdictions. (Specifying this is probably not required.)
On obligations the state has to other states to constituent states
The federal level has a responsibility to its constituent jurisdictions to guarantee to within the best of their ability the defence of said constituent jurisdictions.