The Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation, colloquially known as the Court of the Seas, was established in 1820 under Paragraph 19 of the Treaty of Hamburg and subsequently under Article 19 (Judiciary) of the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation and is the highest appellate court for the Confederate Judicial Circuit of the Seafaring Confederation. . Within the legal system of the Seafaring Confederation, the Supreme Court has the power to interpret local, national, Confederate and international law in regards to Confederate regulation of laws and with the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation. It is not allowed to rule on matters that comply to Confederate law but not with national or local laws, which will be held in federal, national or state courts resepectively.
It consists of 23 Justices, each of them a representative for either a nation as a whole or for all federal entities of the federal states of the Seafaring Confederation, led by a Chief Justice. Justices representing a nation are called Justice National and are elected by the national or federal legislatures, either through appointment by the head of state of that nation or by popular initiative. Justices representing a federal entity are called Justice in Division and are elected by their specific federal entities. There are 8 Justices National and 15 Justices in Division. Each Justice has one vote.
Size of the Court
The Supreme Court consists of 23 judges, 8 of which are Justices National and 15 of which are Justices in Division. The nations of Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland, Dogger, Howry, the Highlands, the Faroe Islands, Rockall and Rom send one Justice National each; the Saxonian States of Dutch Lower Saxony, German Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony-State, the Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Jutland, the Highland States of North and South and the Rockallic Viscountcies of An Móir Leautheinn, An Thir na tÁirdteachd, An Uinnia, Cóste Ígheainne, Líchthiach Thiair and the Rockallic Federal District each send one Justice in Division.
The size of the Court can be changed by legislative initiative from the Confederate Government after it is ratified by all nations and federal entities. The size of the Court can be both increased and decreased, but is not allowed to go lower than 23 Justices, and if Justices are to be added based on nationality, ethnicity or territorialism, it must be ensured that this is carried out equally.
Since the founding of the Supreme Court in 1820, the number of Justices has not changed and no initiatives to do so have yet been proposed.
Justices sit en banc on constitutional matters, but when it comes to other cases they sit in panels of 9 Justices. Separate panels exist for civil, military, family and corporate cases, usually consisting of 7 or 9 Justices, at least 2 of which must have above average knowledge of the case subject and at least 2 of which must have average or below average knowledge of the matter.
Appointment and confirmation
Justices National are appointed in several different ways:
The Justices for Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland, and the Highlands are appointed by the presidents respectively the Archduke and must be approved by the Legislatures. If approval is not granted, the president respectively the Archduke is given another chance to appoint a Justice. If this Justice is once again not approved, then the Legislature takes it upon itself to appoint a Justice, however, the president respectively the Archduke can veto this decision. This veto on its turn can be overturned by a four-sixths majority in Saxony, a three-fifths majority in Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland, and a two-thirds majority in the Highlands. This decision can then only be overturned by a people's initiative.
In nationality, 7 Justices are Rockallic, 5 are Saxonian, 4 are Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic, 3 are Highland, 1 is Dogric, 1 is Howric, 1 is Faroese and 1 is Romic. When looking at ethnicity, 7 Justices are Rockallic, 3 Saxonian, 2 Jutlandic, 2 Highland, 1 Dutch, 1 Frisian, 1 Slesian, 1 Holsteinian, 1 Dogric, 1 Howric, 1 Welsh, 1 Faroese and 1 Romic.
As of 2014, 14 of the 23 Justices are women, whilst 9 were men. Women have been the majority of the Supreme Court since 1982.