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Official Opposition of the Legislature of South (Highlands) vs. Official Government of the Legislature of South (Highlands)
Court Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation
Full case name The Official Opposition of the Legislature of the State of South in the Highlands, and His Lordship's Most Loyal Opposition Temporary of the Legislature of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn in Rockall, Plaintiffs, versus The Official Government of the Legislature of the State of South in the Highlands, and His Lordship's Government Temporary of the Legislature of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn in Rockall, Defendants
Date decided 6 July 2013
Judges sitting Full court
Decision by Lies van Houten, Baroness van Houten of Enschede, Chief Justice (joined by 19 Justices)
Concurring Làibh Dúinnegael, Baron Dúinnegael of Tiriodh for the Highlands (joined by 2 Justices)
Case history
Prior action(s) Confederate District Court of County Earra-Ghàidheal (rules in favour of the Plaintiffs), Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands (reversed), Confederate Appellate Court of the State of South in the Highlands (reversed), Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Highlands (affirmed), His Lordship's Most Loyal Opposition Temporary of the Legislature of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn joins lawsuit
Appealed from Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Highlands
Appealed to Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation
Subsequent action(s) Life sentence to certain government officials of the governments.
Related action(s) Confederate crackdown on local governments.
Firing of all Justices on the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands.

Official Opposition of the Legislature of the State of South (Highlands) vs. Official Government of the State of South (Highlands) (short form: Opposition of South vs. Goverment of South) 23110 989 (2013) 39281 666 7 was a court case of great effect which was ruled upon by the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation and was the final decision on the life sentences for government officials in the States of South and An Móir Leautheinn in the Highlands and Rockall respectively.

The lawsuit was started by he Opposition in the Legislature of the State of South in the Highlands against the ruling State government of the Conservative Party of South and the Christian Right for unconstitutional behaviour and endangering the democratic process of the State. This was because the government passed laws "with immediate effect", which requires a five-sixths majority of both Houses of Legislature, without having the necessary five-sixth of the votes, denying roll-call votes to be cast. This included passing several extremely controversial acts, for instance the Abortion (Right to abortion) South Act which illegalized abortion under all circumstances, and the Marriage (Same-sex marriage) South Amendment Act, which illegalized same-sex marriage in the State. All these acts were passed with immediate effect without the needed five-sixths majority of the House.

The Official Opposition filed a lawsuit pro quantocius in May 2013 in the Confederate District Court of County Earra-Ghàidheal, which immediately found the Government's actions unconstitutional and put on hold all legislation passed by the Government since its coming to power in 2012. The Government appealed to the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands, which refused to rule on the matter as, in their belief, both parties "had a lack of standing", which effectively reversed the District Court's ruling and reimplemented the legislation passed. The decision was appealed by the Opposition to the Confederate Appellate Court of the State of South in the Highlands, who immediately ruled that the Circuit Court's judgment was incorrect and effectively reversed the judgment.

For the first time in the history of the Seafaring Confederation a system known as Pro quantocius de iudicio, wherein appeals by either party were not asked or granted and the Appellate Court instead in its power granted by Article 13 (Judiciary) of the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation sent the case immediately to the Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Highlands for review pro quantocius to then be sent on to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation. The Confederate Federal Appellate Court affirmed the State Court's judgment and sent it on to the Supreme Court with a two-week interval so other parties had the possibility to join. During this two-week interval, His Lordship's Most Loyal Opposition of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn in Rockall joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs, automatically adding His Lordship's Goverment in the process.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on 6 July 2013 that both Governments' actions were unconstitutional and undemocratic and ordered for certain individuals within those governments that life sentences or death sentences be given. The Supreme Court also fired all Justices sitting on the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands for "political affiliation and threatening the democracy of the Confederation.

Background

The Highlands

For more information, see: 2011 elections in South (Highlands).

In 2011, after state elections in the State of South in the Highlands, the Conservative Party of South won 41% of the seats in the Legislature of South, amounting to 41/100 seats in the House of Commons. It entered a coalition with another politically right party, the Christian Right, to become the Official Government of the State of South. The combined government did not have a majority in the Senate.

They immediately implemented radical changes to social and financial laws of the State, including the Abortion (Right to abortion) South Act that criminalized all forms of abortion, including abortions requested by rape victims or by those for whom childbearing could be life-threatening, and the Marriage (Same-sex marriage) South Amendment Act, which illegalized same-sex marriage even though same-sex marriage was implemented across the Confederation in 2001 by the House of Representatives of the Seafaring Confederation, the High Council of the Seafaring Confederation, the High Leaders of the Seafaring Confederation, as well as by the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation in their ruling in Seafaring Confederation vs. Christen für Traditionelle Ehe. Several of these acts were immediately declared unconstitutional by National Judges.

Most of these acts were implemented with "immediate effect", for which a five-sixths majority of both Houses of Legislature is needed. Strong evidence suggested that this majority was not there and that several measures were passed even without an actual majority. Often, the Senate was not informed of the passage of an act and therefore had no vote on it. Despite the unconstitutionality of the implementation of "immediate effect" by the Government, acts were still passed and signed into law by Governor Martin McKenzie, himself a member of the Conservative Party.

An Móir Leautheinn

For more information, see: 2012 elections in An Móir Leautheinn and 2013 Constitutional crisis of An Móir Leautheinn.

In 2012, after Viscountcy, Barony and Baronetcy elections in An Móir Leautheinn in Rockall, the self-proclaimed naturalist party of Natural Law First got a majority in the House of Commons of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn, getting 87 of the 155 seats in the House.

Contrary to their manifesto, wherein they advocated for perfect equality under the laws of nature, they immediately implemented a system of legalized discrimination against women and children, all with "immediate effect" even though they had not achieved the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the legislation under "immediate effect". The first controversial act they passed was the Will of the People Act, which abolished the judiciary in the State. Immediately afterwards they implemented a system known as Geauinighdh a' Néuibheaidh, which was illegalized by the High Court of the Earldom of Rockall in the case Sléoibh m. Báiriúinteachd na Ghléaoinnenoileun in 1934, which meant that any person between 6 and 21, regardless of gender, became a slave to those above the age of 21. They subsequently passed the Men's Rights Act, which implemented a system wherein women were stripped of all their rights, effectively legalizing slavery and rape of women.

Immediately when Geauinighdh a' Néuibheaidh was reintroduced a large portion of the population fled to the neighbouring viscountcies of An Thir na tÁirdteachd and Cóste Ígheainne, and for the first time in its history Gléaoinnenoileun decided to lose their isolationism, opening their doors to refugees from An Móir Leautheinn and temporarily and indefinitely seceeding from the viscountcy to become a temporary political anomaly. The Viscount, unable to stop the situation and on advice of opponents, fled the Viscountcy as well. His Lordship's Most Loyal Opposition fled with him to become a government in exile.

Confederate District Court

The Official Opposition of the State of South filed a lawsuit in the Confederate District Court of County Earra-Ghàidheal against the Government challenging the Government's unconstitutional behaviour. They also requested that the Justice rule pro quantocius.

The lawsuit was filed on 29 May 2013. On 31 May 2013, the Justice ruled that all acts passed by the government were unconstitutional, stating:

It is beyond any reasonable doubt that all actions undertaken by the [Official Government] were unconstitutional in every way imaginable. They undermined the Constitution of South, the Constitution of the Highlands, and the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation, as well as the trust of the electorate. [They] also threatened the democracy and [democratic] values [of this] Confederation.

The Justice undid all previous acts passed by the Government and put on hold any pending legislation.

Confederate Circuit Court

The Government appealed the decision to the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands on the same day, and the Court issued a one-sentence ruling reversing the District Court's judgment the next day (1 June), stating:

We the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Seafaring Confederation in our power and ability provided to us by the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation rule unanimously that the Plaintiffs do not have standing and that therefore the appeal is rejected and the lower Court's judgment reversed.

Confederate State Court

The Opposition appealed the ruling to the Confederate Appellate Court of the State of South in the Highlands on June 2, again requesting pro quantocius treatment. The Court ruled unanimously on the same day that the Circuit Court's judgment was false and incorrect, stating:

[The Court] holds that the Circuit Court's decision was incorrect and wrong. In response, in our power and ability provided to use by the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation, not only do we unanimously reverse the Circuit Court's judgment, we also, in full knowledge that this is unprecedented, invoke Pro quantocius de iudicio. IT IS SO ORDERED.

Pro quantocius de iudicio

This was the first time that Pro quantocius de iudicio was invoked in the entire history of the Seafaring Confederation. This meant that both the plaintiffs' and defendants' rights to make decisions on whether or not they would appeal were revoked and that the case was to be sent through all courts all the way up to the Supreme Court by order of the Court.

The order for Pro quantocius de iudicio read as follows:

We the Confederate Appellate Court of the State of South in the Highlands in our power and ability provided to us by the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation ORDER with IMMEDIATE EFFECT that the Plaintiffs' and Defendants' rights to make decision on their direction of appeal in this case are REVOKED and that the case before us shall be RELEGATED to be CONSIDERED by the Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Highlands to be SENT FORWARD AFTERWARDS to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation under our order for PRO QUANTOCIUS DE IUDICIO. IT IS SO ORDERED.

Confederate Federal Court

The Confederate Federal Appellate Court of the Highlands accepted the case as forced upon them on 4 June and issued a unanimous ruling the next day affirming the State Court's judgment that read:

It is clear that the [Government] behaved radically unconstitutionally to pass laws that were in itself unconstitutional. It is clear that those who partook in this unconstitutional behaviour were fully aware that their behaviour was unconstitutional.

They also cemented the basis for the firing of the Circuit Court Justices:

[The Court] does not have the power to fire Justices of the lower Courts. We will however inform the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation of the fact that all Justices on the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South of the Highlands are appointed by the [Government] and that it is not proven that they have given up on any possible prior political affiliation. We advise the Supreme Court to fire the Justices of the Circuit Court as mentioned.

Supreme Court acceptance of appeal

The Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation accepted the case as forced upon them on 9 June 2013. They issued the mandatory interval of two weeks to allow other parties to be added to the list of Plaintiffs and/or Defendants.

An Móir Leautheinn joins

His Lordship's Most Loyal Opposition of An Móir Leautheinn joined the lawsuit as a Plaintiff on 18 June, safely within the time limit. They used the same arguments and stated that their situation was untennable.

Due to the abolition of the judiciary in the Viscountcy, no one in the Viscountcy could begin a lawsuit in the Viscountcy, which meant all laws passed unchallenged. The government of Rockall was discussing the situation, but did want to intervene without help of the Confederation, which in itself was waiting for the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on 24 June. On 6 July 2013 the Court ruled unanimously to uphold the Confederate Federal Court's judgment, with The Rt Hon. Her Ladyship Lies van Houten, Chief Justice writing the majority opinion, and The Rt Hon. His Lordship Làibh Dúinnegael writing a concurring opinion.

The Supreme Court ruled that the actions were unconstitutional. The Government and the Governor of South in the Highlands were sentenced to life in prison; the Government of An Móir Leautheinn was sentenced to death. They also fired all the Justices of the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands for misorderly conduct and violation of judicial independence.

Opinion of the Court

As the Opinion of the Court affected only the nations of the Highlands and Rockall, the ruling had only to be published in the national languages of those nations as well as the official languages of the other nations in accordance with Article 25 (Language) of the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation.

The Opinion of the Court was published in English, German Low Saxon, Dutch Low Saxon, Dutch, German, Dogrish, Howrish, Scots Gaelic, Scots, Faroese, Rockallian, Fernolian, Astrallic and Romic.

Majority opinion

The majority opinion was written by The Rt Hon. Her Ladyship Lies van Houten, Chief Justice, in which she was joined by The Rt Hon. Her Ladyships Angela Fürth, Johanna Maria Lauer, Maria Lo, Brenda Lågerssen, Magdalene Gneitter, Éibhaigh NúicCréigheath, Beàin Dràigheòdh, Theréise Drúidh, Fríða Pállsdóttir, Máighí NúicLeit, Úilla na gCarra and Nátásiádh dTéainn, as well as The Rt Hon. His Lordships Hans Lauwer, Jæppe Kristgård Hanssen, John Väede, Gréaig Ruatheairreut-Nuabhdheaoil na Grúailleagh, Peter Petersen and Iònn Naudh.

The majority opinion ordered that the Official Government of the State of South were to be sentenced to prison for life:

All Members of the Conservative Party of South and the Christian Right sitting in the Legislature of the State of South are guilty of violating the Constitution of South for a total of 659 times. The Court does not acknowledge that they did this without knowledge of the implications of their actions. Therefore All Members of the Conservative Party of South and the Christian Right sitting in the [Legislature] are sentenced to life in prison. IT IS SO ORDERED.

The majority opinion ordered that His Lordship's Government of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn were to be sentenced to death:

All Members of the Natural Laws First sitting in the Legislature of the Viscountcy of An Móir Leautheinn are guilty of violating the Constitution of An Móir Leautheinn for a total of 533 times. They also violated an earlier court order given by the High Court of Rockall in Sléoibh m. Báiriúinteachd na Ghléaoinnenoileun (1934) 1065 - 90.4 - 1. They also violated the rights of women and children and effectively legalized rape, which means that, under Article 45 (Death penalty) of the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation, All Members of the Natural Laws First sitting in the [Legislature] are sentenced to death. IT IS SO ORDERED.

The majority opinion ordered that all Justices of the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands were to be fired:

All Justices of the Confederate Appellate Court of the First Circuit of the State of South in the Highlands have failed to uphold judicial independence and ruled for personal gain. [They] are guilty of misorderly conduct and bringing danger to democracy. They are hereby FIRED from their position with IMMEDIATE EFFECT. IT IS SO ORDERED.

A concurring opinion was written by The Rt Hon. His Lordship Làibh Dúinnegael, Baron Dúinnegael of Tiriodh for the Highlands, in which he was joined by The Rt Hon. His Lordships Dèinn Lòid and Rodric NicÁigus.

The concurring opinion largely agreed with the majority opinion except that they would not have fired the Justices:

We do not believe that the [Justices] should be fired. They did their job and had reasonable reason to believe that the Plaintiffs did not have standing, even though they turned out to be wrong on the matter.

Responses and analysis

Governmental response

The Confederate Government immediately sent troops to arrest both Governments. The arrested Governments were not given the right to respond and were jailed or executed immediately.

New elections were called in the State and the Viscountcy, in both of which the parties found guilty of misconduct were not allowed to run.

The Confederate troops also immediately unseated the Justices of the Circuit Court and put them under house arrest. New Justices were appointed in October; until that point appeals coming from the District Courts of the First Circuit were relegated tot the Confederate Appellate Court of the Second Circuit of the State of South of the Highlands.

Legal analysis

The case received a lot of attention, all of which was in favour of the ruling of the Supreme Court. The Circuit Court was immediately critisized by legal experts for losing its impartiality, and the decision to fire all Justices on that Court was applauded and supported.

Subsequent developments

The Confederate Government has pledged to look more closely at how local governments are governed and has set a system in place where every form of government has Confederate monitoring in place.

The Attorney-General of the Seafaring Confederation also immediately started to look at violations of human rights in the areas affected by the corrupted governments, especially looking at allegations of rape and sex trafficking in An Móir Leautheinn. This eventually resulted in the prosecution of 12,491 inhabitants of An Móir Leautheinn and 7 inhabitants of South. The inhabitants of South were convicted of public aggression and spread of hate for which they received sentences ranging from 8 to 15 years; of the inhabitants of An Móir Leautheinn convicted, 3,222 received prison sentences ranging from 9 to 200 years, 3,967 received life sentences, and 5,302 were executed.

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