Constitution of the Kingdom of Cascadia
ARTICLE VIII: THE JUDICIARY
Judicial power and authority in the Kingdom of Cascadia shall be vested in the Sovereign, the Royal Court of Appeals, and such lower courts as shall be created. The judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under this Constitution, the laws of the Kingdom of Cascadia, and treaties made or to be made under their authority; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; to all cases in admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the Kingdom of Cascadia shall be a party; to controversies between two or more Commonwealths, between citizens of different Commonwealths, between citizens of the same Commonwealth claiming land under grants of different Commonwealths, and between a Commonwealth and foreign nations.
Section 2. The Royal Court of Appeals.
A. The Royal Court of Appeals of the Kingdom of Cascadia shall be the highest judicial body in the Kingdom. It shall be devoted to preserving the decentralist and libertarian character of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cascadia and preserving a proper balance between the elements of the Kingdom government and among Kingdom and Commonwealth authorities; to protecting the rights of the citizen; and to acting in such other areas as specified by this Constitution.
B. One Justice of the Royal Court of Appeals shall be appointed by the executive officer of each Commonwealth, with the consent of the Commonwealth legislature. This appointee must be a citizen of the Kingdom of Cascadia and at least thirty-five years of age, but need not be a resident of the Commonwealth that appoints him. The Sovereign, with the consent of the House of Delegates, shall appoint the Lord Chief Justice of the Kingdom.
C. The Royal Court of Appeals shall always consist of an uneven number of Justices, including the Lord Chief Justice. Should the number of Commonwealth Justices plus the Lord Chief Justice equal an even number, the Sovereign shall appoint an additional Justice, on the advice and consent of Parliament, to the Court. If an additional Commonwealth is admitted to the Kingdom, this additional Sovereign-appointed Justice shall step down from the bench so that the Court once again consists of one Justice per Commonwealth plus the Lord Chief Justice.
D. The Justices shall hold their offices during good behavior for a maximum term of twenty-four years or until the age of seventy, whichever is reached first. They shall receive a compensation that shall not be diminished during their time in office.
E. Decisions by the Royal Court of Appeals of Constitutional significance may be overturned by a vote of two-thirds of the House of Delegates, with the consent of the Sovereign.
Section 3. Kingdom Cases in Commonwealth Courts.
A. The courts of the Commonwealths are empowered to exercise original jurisdiction over cases arising within their borders under Kingdom laws, and Parliament may by general laws instruct other Commonwealths to turn over to them such fugitives, witnesses, and evidences as the circumstances may require; but appeals may be made to Kingdom Circuit Courts whose decisions shall be final unless the Royal Court of Appeals consents to a hearing.
B. Notwithstanding the above provisions, original jurisdiction of Commonwealth courts over the enforcement of Kingdom laws shall not extend to cases properly belonging to courts authorised in Section 4. In cases of conflict over jurisdiction, the presumption shall lie in favor of the Commonwealths.
Parliament may set up special administrative courts, such as Claims, Customs, Tax, Patents, Military Appeals, and Admiralty, and such other courts for which a need may arise.
Section 5. Trial By Jury.
A. The trial of all crimes, except as otherwise provided for in this Constitution, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the Commonwealth where the alleged crime shall have been committed; but when not committed within any Commonwealth, the trial may be held at such place where Parliament may by law have directed.
B. All jury trial findings shall be by unanimous decision, except when the parties to an action or proceeding may consent to a verdict by majority of the panel.
C. All juries in actions to which the government is a party shall be instructed that they have the right to judge, not only the facts of the case, but also the justice of the law. Juries may hold all laws invalid that are, according to their conscience, unjust, and find no violation of such laws.
Section 6. Rights of the Citizen in the Court System.
A. No warrant shall be issued except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and specifically describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.
B. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, electronic communications, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. No person shall suffer seizure or forfeiture of property except upon conviction on civil complaints or criminal charges. In all cases of seizure or forfeiture, the property seized must be reasonable and proportionate to the nature of the offense, and the property seized or forfeited must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have been involved in or acquired by the activities for which the property-owner was convicted. Any person whose property has been improperly seized shall have the right to redress of damages, including loss of income or benefits, or damage to the property.
C. No person shall stand trial for capital or felony charges except by indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the air, land, or naval forces, or in the militia during times of active service; nor shall any person be tried twice for the same offense, nor be compelled in any criminal case to bear witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without authorisation by jury, and just compensation paid.
D. In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the Commonwealth and district in which the crime shall have been committed; to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.
E. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment inflicted. Capital punishment shall not be imposed in the Kingdom of Cascadia, except that it shall be permitted for persons convicted of acts of treason committed during times of war.
F. No individual shall be tried for a crime on the Commonwealth or Kingdom level without the complaint of the individual against whom the crime was committed. In the case of the death or incapacitation of the victim, complaint of the victim shall be assumed unless indicated otherwise by the victim prior to the act causing his death or incapacitation. All plea-bargaining agreements must include the consent of the victim to be valid.
G. In all civil cases in Kingdom Courts involving Executive Ministries or Agencies, the initiating agency shall pay the court costs and legal fees of all defendants not found guilty.
H. In all civil cases initiated in or appealed to Commonwealth or Kingdom Courts, the plaintiff shall pay all court costs of the defendants should the defendants win the case. Additionally, in cases where the plaintiff’s lawyer accepted the case on a contingency fee basis, the lawyer or his firm shall pay the contingency percentage of the defendant’s court costs if the defendant wins the case.
ARTICLE IX: METHODS OF AMENDMENT AND REVISION
Whenever a two-thirds majority of the House of Delegates may deem it necessary, Parliament shall propose amendments to this Constitution. With the consent of the Sovereign, Parliament may submit a proposed amendment for ratification to the legislatures of the several Commonwealths. If an amendment is submitted to the Commonwealth legislatures, it shall become part of this Constitution if ratified by three-quarters of the Commonwealth legislatures within a period of three years of the date of submission.
If one-half the legislatures of the Commonwealths propose within any period of three years or less an identical amendment to this Constitution, Parliament shall, with the consent of the Sovereign, submit such an amendment to the legislatures of the Commonwealths, to be voted on not less than three months and not more than twelve months after the required number of Commonwealth legislatures have acted.
Section 3. Exceptions to the Foregoing.
A. Notwithstanding any other Section of this Article, no Commonwealth shall, without its consent, be deprived of fair and proportional representation in the House of Delegates.
B. Any amendment to Article V of this Constitution must be ratified by the legislatures of each of the Commonwealths in the Kingdom.
ARTICLE X: RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION
This Constitution shall be deemed ratified and binding upon the ratifying Commonwealths when approved by the legislatures of five of the seven states here represented.
DONE in Convention, in the City of Olympia, State of Washington, by unanimous consent of the delegates of the sovereign states present on this date. In witness whereof we have subscribed our names and trusted the fate of this royal confederation to our Divine Creator.