Minutes from the session (27 March 2020)

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

ItemStatus
Judiciary Bill 2020BILL PASSED
Crime Bill 2020BILL PASSED
Human Rights Bill 2020BILL PASSED
24th of March Noble Registries BillBILL PASSED
Open Government Bill 2020BILL PASSED
PARTY REGULATIONS BILLDEFERRED
Corporations Bill 2020 DEFERRED
COVID-19 BILLDEFERRED
24th of March Archival Gorsedh BillDEFERRED
Intelligence and Security Bill 2020DEFERRED

The meeting is transcribed verbatim with no changes.

MEETING TRANSCRIPT

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Who is present? Present

Earl Anthony Clark

Present.

Karl Friedrich

Present.

Tomáš Falešník

Present

Count Frisch (Speaker)

@MPs

Count Twain

Present.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Present

Count Frisch (Speaker)

A number for quorum is currently undefined, but we have six of our twelve MPs here and I consider that sufficient. This meeting of the House is open.

Count Belcher

Present

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Before we begin with our current agenda, I would like to send birthday wishes to Marquis Cassidy, who could not attend today.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Hahu.

Earl Anthony Clark

Happy birthday to Marquis Cassidy! Hahu!

Tomáš Falešník

Hahu

Karl Friedrich

Happy birthday to the Marquis!

Count Belcher

Hahu

Karl Friedrich hahu:

Count Twain

hahu

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Now, to the agenda. We will go through each bill in #bill-submissions in order, with each bill’s author presenting the bill to the House. Following that, we will hear any other business.

Nicholas I. hahu:

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Earl Clark.

Earl Anthony Clark

Thank you.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

@Nicholas I. Are you present?

Earl Anthony Clark

https://docs.google.com/document/d/11ec8x4oMD5hirwHWKKngJOO5-SO1uurKXi4zqR86tWQ/edit?usp=sharing

This bill sets out the sources and hierarchy of law in Mercia, creates two courts (a High Court and a Supreme Court) and provides for various rules of procedure. It also sets up a new gorsedh for judicial administration.

Nicholas I.

Yea

Earl Anthony Clark

If members don’t wish to read all 22 pages, I’d pay close attention to the first two parts, which are very significant to the constitution. I cede.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

The floor is open.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Following discussions with the Attorney-General, I am satisfied with the bill and will be voting for it.

Karl Friedrich

Personally, I am rather glad we are covering the sources of law in a codified way.

Count Twain

If I could pose a question to the Earl, or I suppose anyone else in support who has a sufficient answer. What is the specific need for two courts rather than one?

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Count Twain.

Earl Anthony Clark

May I?

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Oh sorry, the floor is now open again. Earl Clark.

Earl Anthony Clark

Having two courts means there is a clear separation between the first instance jurisdiction of the High Court, and the supreme appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. If all cases began in the Supreme Court, that would downgrade its status to just a trial court. This way, almost all cases will begin in the High Court, and can progress to the Supreme Court for appellate review. I cede.

Count Twain

If I may?

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Count Twain.

Count Twain

I suppose I understand the principle, but I question its practical effectiveness in our still rather small and burgeoning government. It feels a touch like bureaucracy that could very well bog us down, if you will. Many micronations get by with little to no use of a single court, much less an expanded judicial system with two. I cede.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

The floor is open.

Count Belcher

Count Frisch (Speaker), my understanding is that the Supreme Court would be used very rarely, if at all, and generally only in extraordinary circumstances, when the Lords need to intervene. I would expect that the High Court deals with most judicial issues.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I was also of that understanding.

Karl Friedrich

So was I.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Indeed, if I may also interject, having an inferior court means that its judges may be appointed from our more legally inclined citizenry.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Hahu.

Earl Anthony Clark

Hahu.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I’m having technical difficulties at the moment so my connection may be spotty.

Karl Friedrich

I would like to note that the role of the Lords as de facto Supreme Judges was solidified by the Mercian constitutional crisis.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Ah, good times

Earl Anthony Clark

As in, the decree that overrode the VoNC loophole?

First Minister Horatio Eden

I remember like it was just yesterday.

Karl Friedrich

If I recall correctly, yes.

First Minister Horatio Eden

For thirty sweet minutes I was first minister, but those days are behind me now of course

Earl Anthony Clark

Except now you are First Minister.

Count Twain

There’s not much a point in me continuing to hold back proceedings, so I urge that we proceed to a vote if there is nothing else.

First Minister Horatio Eden

That was the essence of that meme yes I concur with that sentiment.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Indeed, if there is no further comment, we shall move to a vote.

Count Belcher

Wait Spotted a typo

Earl Anthony Clark

there may well be many

Count Belcher

Section 16 references to Subsection (6) should refer to Subsection (1) instead. Probably a copy-paste issue.

Earl Anthony Clark

Ah, thanks That comes from splitting a large section into section 15 and 16.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

If we spot any further typos after enactment, I’m sure the Lord Temporal may decree them away.

Count Belcher

If there are more typos that we don’t spot now that’s not a problem – I’ll go through everything later and submit a general amendments bill for the next sitting.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Hahu. Ultimately it’s a question of enforcement anyway – as long as the law is being enforced in its spirit we can afford one or two typographical errors.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Is that all?

Count Twain

I have nothing else.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Likewise.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

We shall now vote. I move that the Judiciary Bill 2020 be passed into law.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Aye

Earl Anthony Clark

Aye.

Karl Friedrich

Aye.

Count Belcher

Aye

Count Twain

Abstain.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Voting is to last for five minutes, or until all present members have voted.

Nicholas I.

Can I vote too?

Tomáš Falešník

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Yes, you are an MP.

Nicholas I.

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

With a vote of 7/0/1, the motion carries. We now move to the next bill. Earl Clark.

Earl Anthony Clark

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zm8JGDnNDGAGTrCzVO0XTT2djY_hMOTw6GkfCzCRtjs/edit?usp=sharing

This bill sets up basic criminal offences – except for contempt of court, which is covered in the Judiciary Act. Section 3, concerning sedition and treason, is worthy of attention – MPs may wish to consider the definitions I’ve used. I cede.

First Minister Horatio Eden

If I may?

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Earl Eden.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Executor-Viceroy, but I’ll allow it, haha. In any case, vis your definition of treason, I note you include “separating Mercian territory from Mercia”. Would it be possible to amend it so that doing so through legitimate legal processes – for instance, if doing so under the terms of a treaty that has otherwise passed constitutional muster – is not considered treasonous under the law? I cede the remainder of my time,

Earl Anthony Clark

‘forcibly separates?’

First Minister Horatio Eden

Maybe. Preferably something unambiguous. Perhaps “separates from Mercia outside of its constitutional process”?

Count Belcher

If the House will excuse me, I will be back in circa 20 minutes.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Noted.

Karl Friedrich

May I also bring attention to a possible typo in Section 3, subsection 2, part e.

Earl Anthony Clark

sorted thanks!

Karl Friedrich

I am unsure if that is the official nomenclature we go by, perhaps we should codify that as well. I personally have no objections to this law, the definitions are clear enough and seemingly all encompassing.

Count Twain

Likewise

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Are we to move to a vote?

First Minister Horatio Eden

I’d support that.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Very well. I move that the Crime Bill 2020 be passed into law. Aye

First Minister Horatio Eden

Aye

Karl Friedrich

Aye.

Count Twain

Aye

Tomáš Falešník

Aye

Earl Anthony Clark

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

@Nicholas I.

Nicholas I.

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

With a vote of 7/0/0, the motion carries. Onto the next bill. Earl Clark.

Earl Anthony Clark

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QET_gR_ivRWr1GVZYTr8JM5xdvV4GpAp-elJSFXnJGI/edit?usp=sharing

This incorporates text from the ECHR, in an amended form. It also gives the courts the power to strike down legislation which is incompatible with these human rights. It repeals an act which covered the same ground as section 5(3) of this new bill. I cede.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Typo in 1.4 “this Constitution”

First Minister Horatio Eden

If I may?

Earl Anthony Clark

ah, sorted

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Executor-Viceroy Eden.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Thank you. This isn’t a criticism of the bill, rather a matter of personal curiosity. Pursuant to s8(2), who determines whether a law is compatible with the Act? Presumably the court system, but is there room in this system for, say, a UK-style Law Commission, that could make those determinations before the bill reaches the parliamentary floor?

Earl Anthony Clark

In practise, a court would decide. If the constitutionality of a bill was disputed, it would be challenged by lawsuit against an executive authority, and the court could then decide the question of law. But – Part VIII lets the Supreme Court issue advisory opinions. This mechanism could let legislators find out if a proposed bill would breach the rights under the current bill.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I think that would be helpful.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

May I interject?

First Minister Horatio Eden

You’re the Speaker.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

I may, I get to decide. It is worth noting that Section 5 would have a great effect on the constitutional structure of Mercia, as our democracy is somewhat flawed. In particular, I note the requirement of a title of nobility for election to the Union Parliament House and the complete lack of elections in Valdsland. I do not point this out to attack the bill, I merely note that a large part of our constitution and history will be affected.

Earl Anthony Clark

This is a very valid point.

First Minister Horatio Eden

This is a good point.

Tomáš Falešník

I’d like to apologize for this, but I cannot be present any longer

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Noted. I know this has been a controversial issue in our history, which is why I bring it up.

First Minister Horatio Eden

As far as Valdslandic matters, I am reluctant to make amendments to the current government structure, mostly because the local activity doesn’t exist to justify it.

Earl Anthony Clark

Maybe the section could just be omitted entirely? Many constitutions get by without this right.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I’m pretty much the only person there.

Earl Anthony Clark

Subsection (3) could be moved to section 1

Count Belcher

I have returned

First Minister Horatio Eden

I would be supportive of that.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Noted.

Earl Anthony Clark

OK – if there are no objections, I’ll make that change Just amended now

Count Frisch (Speaker)

review 7.9

Earl Anthony Clark

What’s the issue? ah

Count Frisch (Speaker)

the numbering changed

Earl Anthony Clark

Isn’t the numbering OK? I changed it

Count Frisch (Speaker)

yeah it looks alright now Are we otherwise able to move on? I will assume so and move to a vote. @MPs I move that the Human Rights Bill 2020 as amended be passed into law.

Count Belcher

Aye

Karl Friedrich

Aye.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Aye.

Earl Anthony Clark

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Aye

Thomas C

I’m intermittently present Aye

Newton

Aye

Count Twain

Aye

Earl Anthony Clark

hey, it’s Newton

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Newton, please declare your presence.

Newton

I am present. And reiterate my Aye.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

5 minutes have passed. With 8/0/0, the motion carries. The next bill is from the Lord Temporal.

Karl Friedrich

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BJnmj-jBXo_JVKXESd3DwxoJApUYSrvmPafHJLX5qX0/edit?usp=sharing


24th of March Noble Registries Bill This bill: Will amend the 10th of July 2015 Noble Estates Bill to task the Estates Gorsedh with keeping a publicly available list of Noble Estates, their respective titles and their holders. 6. The Gorsedh will be responsible for a public…


Zarael Smith

I am present.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Noted.

Karl Friedrich

The Noble Registries Bill simply amends the Noble Estates bill to add new responsibilities to the Estates Gorsedh which were, in my opinion, omitted from the original law. I am searching for the original law which this amends, give me a moment.

Earl Anthony Clark

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WHxT4KoQQJTSRxof8LYZMKP76-TYtUjU0UAZePqGXFk/edit

Karl Friedrich

Ah, thank you. I suppose that is all from me on this topic. I must depart for a minute, apologies. If any questions are posted, I shall answer them then. I secede the floor.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

The floor is open.

First Minister Horatio Eden

It seems fairly straight-forward and uncontroversial to me. I support this bill.

Earl Anthony Clark

Likewise

Count Frisch (Speaker)

It seems there is not much to say. Shall we move to a vote?

First Minister Horatio Eden

I’m on board with that.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Very well.

Karl Friedrich

Let me see if I can resolve the modifications first. Please hold on. Modifications are now resolved, apologies for the delay.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

@MPs I move that the 24th of March Noble Registries Bill be passed into law.

Karl Friedrich

Aye.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Aye

Count Belcher

Aye

First Minister Horatio Eden

Aye

Earl Anthony Clark

Aye

Count Twain

Aye

Newton

Aye

Thomas C

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

5 minutes have passed, and the vote is 8/0/0, so the motion carries. I will assume Nicholas I. now absent. Onto the next bill. Earl Clark.

Earl Anthony Clark

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RVFBNDomKQWfAIwI-OfwHNyZ73HGJ8nck-5SgoEhpvo/edit?usp=sharing

This sets up a legal requirement for Parliament to be open to the public, sets up First Minister’s Questions by law, provides for privileged information, and sets up FOI law. I cede.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Did someone say First Minister’s Questions

Earl Anthony Clark

yas

Karl Friedrich

A great Mercian tradition, hahu!

First Minister Horatio Eden

This bill looks comprehensive. I’m on board.

Karl Friedrich

Quite, straightforward and covers what it wants to sufficiently.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Shall we move to a vote then? I’ll take that as a yes. @MPs I move that the Open Government Bill 2020 be passed into law. Aye

Earl Anthony Clark

Aye

Count Belcher

Aye

Karl Friedrich

Aye.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Aye

Newton

Aye

Count Twain

Aye

Count Frisch (Speaker)

I’m reducing the voting time to 3 minutes. With 7/0/0, the motion carries. This will be the final bill presented. First Minister.

First Minister Horatio Eden

One moment. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B3DAPCEllb0OcEgOnNYyeFvuqNZ9NmNAflY3aH1DQNY/edit?usp=sharing

This is the Party Regulations Bill, and it makes provisions for regulating the activities of political parties. Parties must have at least two members. They must also release a party list in advance of each election – candidates may only run for election if affiliated with a registered party. The fine detail can be seen in the bill itself. I cede.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

The floor is open.

Earl Anthony Clark

Is it necessary to require a party conference? Also, ‘assistance’ in B(3) seems quite vague.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Requiring at least one party conference a period means that parties must have a widescale inclusion of party rank and file membership at least once a term. As far as B(3), bear with me a moment, i’m having trouble with my connection but I will review that.

Count Belcher

I am already finding this to be overbearing – a party shouldn’t need a logo in order to register.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Why not?

Karl Friedrich

A simple text logo can be produced in a matter of minutes, there are no requirements for the complexity.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Indeed. Most political science suggests people are more likely to be able to identify with a party if that party has an easily identifiable branding logo.

Karl Friedrich

We can amend the law if it proves to be an obstacle.

First Minister Horatio Eden

It will make ballot papers easier to fill in. Not to mention, the political drama is more fun if the parties have logos, let’s be fair. As far as B(3), it prevents people seeking the assistance of outside governments in influencing Mercian elections.

Karl Friedrich

Easier to make content for r/hahu.

First Minister Horatio Eden

Agreed

Newton

r/hahu is definitely a priority.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I could not concur more.

Count Twain

I have little concern about the logo and symbolism requirements – I find that reasonable – but I do find the requirement for a “democratic format” to elect the party leader questionable.

First Minister Horatio Eden

How so?

Count Belcher

I am also concerned about the requirements with relation to party conferences and leadership elections. Whilst I do believe that these should be part of a modern political party, I do believe that it is a political party’s right to not include those things; they shall suffer the consequences for it at the ballot box.

Count Twain

hahu

Earl Anthony Clark

Hahu

Newton

hahu

First Minister Horatio Eden

In a two-party system, which is what we now realistically have, they won’t suffer any consequences at the ballot box – the worst that will happen is that they’ll form the opposition for a cycle.

Count Twain

I do believe that if a party doesn’t wish to have an elected leader, that is their right. That’s not a matter of our government’s decision.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

I recall the status of previous Green parties.

Newton

I would concur. It should be a matter for the party constitution.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

These had no elected leader.

Newton

Indeed.

First Minister Horatio Eden

This appears to be a philosophical argument we may not be able to bridge.

Count Belcher

This kind of thing almost always goes in party constitutions, not the law.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I think it is beneficial to require it because it is easy for parties to represent a very particular vested interest rather than their membership, and placing this requirement in law redresses this structural imbalance.

Count Twain

I’d urge the honorable First Minister to amend his bill – it is clear that our opinion has the vocal majority of this quorum – so we can get the legislation through and continue with proceedings.

Newton

hahu.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Alternatively, we can reject it and leave the issue to the next session.

First Minister Horatio Eden

I will withdraw the bill for now and consider my honourable friends’ comments on this matter.

Count Twain

Fair enough.

Count Frisch (Speaker)

Very well. In this case, we shall adjourn. This meeting is now adjourned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × 1 =