Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 13:30 UTC

Critique of the second draft Constitution - Chapter 8 - Supreme Space Court  

Article 35. Supreme Space Court

§3) Supreme Values Council” is undefined! Is this the Supreme Space Council?

§5) 40 is a good age for a young Justice. However, I don’t believe there should be an upper age limit for this type of position.

§7) Royal Court” is undefined! Is this the Supreme Space Court?  

§8) No Citizen (not the HoN, the Justices, the Ministry Chairpersons, the Supreme Space Council members, the Parliament, etc.) should ever be above the laws and constitution of Asgardia! You cannot have immunity and follow the law. All people should be held accountable. The statement: “enjoy immunity and independence and” must be stripped from this clause.

§9) It’s not enough to place the Justices on a five-year probation to be assured they are fit for their office. Lifetime appointments should not be the default term! Justices should be limited to a maximum of two terms at 15 years each term. At the end of each term, Parliament must vote to keep or replace the Justice. We must keep the court fresh and encourage Citizens to participate in the Government. 

§*Missing*) There should be an established appeals process from lower courts. Only cases heard by the Supreme Justice will be considered final.

§*Missing*) There should be another point about prohibiting the death penalty here to emphasize this is not an option for any crime in Asgardia. 

§*Missing*) All defendants shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all evidence and witnesses without prejudice. At all times, defendants shall have the right to competent counsel. In the event a defendant cannot obtain competent council by his/her own efforts the state shall appoint counsel for his/her use.

§*Missing*) In cases involving criminality, as defined by Asgardian law, the defendant shall enjoy the right to a timely and public trial. The trial shall be carried out by an impartial, competent judge, and a jury of one's peers.

§*Missing*) No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he/she has been acquitted, nor shall he/she be placed in double jeopardy.

§*Missing*) Any person, in case he/she is acquitted after he/she has been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law.

§*Missing*) No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land, space, or naval forces, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a 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 just compensation.

§*Missing*) Citizens have the right to appeal decisions handed down at trial by the process defined in the Law of Asgardia.

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 13:30 UTC

Article 36. Supreme Space Council

1) Why is the Space Council attached to the HoN office? In the first draft, this was a part of the supervisory branch. This office should be completely separate from the HoN and not report to the HoN. If this Council is subject to the HoN, how/why would they ever approve any accusation brought by the Prosecutor General???! Furthermore, the HoN would not need to dissolve Parliament personally when he can have this Council do it for him. This would politically save face. This is not a power balancing office!

§2) The age requirement is absurdly high. Council members should become eligible from age 35 be not exceed the age of 70 to be nominated. There should be defined terms for these positions. We should encourage Citizens to perform their civic duties within a state role. To that end, these roles should not be lifetime appointments! I recommend a single 15 year term.

§3) I would be interested in seeing all laws surrounding this group.

**) There is no mention of how this group has a function in the removal of the HoN. It should be defined here.

**) How many members should comprise this Council? 13? 20? This should be defined.

!!!) AS stated for section 1, while this office is subject (reports) to the HoN, there is absolutely no real check and balance of the HoN’s powers to ensure the intended objective of this office. As written this office is nothing more than politically dead weight.

**) Members should be appointed by Parliament.

**) There should be term limits. Recommend a single, fifteen (15) year term.

**) This office should be responsible for the impeachment of any officer in government.

§*Missing*) The Council shall be comprised of no more than thirty (30) members appointed by Parliament.

§*Missing*) Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than the removal from Office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of Honour, Trust, or Profit under Asgardia. The Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment in accordance with the Law.

§*Missing*) Any officer of law shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and in conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours.

§*Missing*) The Council is charged to review and make consistent all Decrees made by the Head of Nation. By a two-thirds (2/3) qualified-majority, they may vote to void and remove any decree that violates the spirit of the Supreme Values of Asgardia.

§*Missing*) No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Space Council, accept any gift, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatsoever, from any King, Prince, or foreign nation state; In addition, no title of nobility shall be granted by Asgardia.

§*Missing*) The Council is charged with the removal of officers in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches in accordance of law.

§*Missing*) The Council shall make the final recommendation for candidates of the Head of Nation for public election.

§*Missing*) Only the Council may consider demands to dissolve Parliament. The Council has the right to dissolve the Parliament based on the Constitution and Law of Asgardia. The dissolution of Parliament requires a three-fourths (3/4), super-majority, vote of The Council members and approval from the Head of Nation.

§*Missing*) When the Parliament is dissolved, there must be a general election of members within forty (40) days from the date of dissolution, and the Parliament must be convoked within thirty (30) days from the date of the election.

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 04:06 UTC, Total number of edits: 4 times

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 13:31 UTC

Article 37. Prosecutor’s Office

This should be titled: “Prosecutor General” as it focuses on that role.
§**) There should be an explanation of the Prosecutor General’s role in removing the HoN.


Article 38. National Audit Office

§3) All positions in this office should be limited to a maximum of three-terms. Five-year terms are acceptable.

§**) Under which branch does this office belong? Supervisory?


Article 39. National Bank

§**) There should be a section that states the Asgardia National Bank will never become a private entity and will forever be the financial arm of the State. This is to prevent external entities or States from controlling the finances of the Nation.


Article 40. Decision-Making and Implementation

§2) supreme governmental bodies” is oddly worded. Recommend removing the word: supreme.

§2) What are “key social relations?”

§5) Will this “public monitoring” be open for public viewing? There must be transparency of government.

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 04:07 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 13:32 UTC

Chapter 9. Adoption and Amendment of the Constitution


Article 41. Adoption of the Constitution

§1) How is the count of votes determined? What time period is allowed for votes to be collected? (Should be at least five days!)



Article 42. First Constitution

§**) There was no General Election on Jan 20, 2017 for Head of the Nation. It was established by Decree #1… The general population was given no choice in this matter! It was understood by implication of forthcoming “elections” that we would elect a new Head of Nation – maybe Igor would be Elected anyway. But as established in Article 32§3, the first HoN is Dr. Ashurbeyli, we are given no choice… Anyone that did not agree to have Dr. Ashurbeyli as HoN would not be allowed to participate in the Forums and online resources. 



Article 43. Quorum for Adoption of the Constitution

§1) Should be adopted by 2/3rd majority. A simple majority is not sufficient for some as paramount as the founding documents of the first Space Nation!

§**) Furthermore, how are the votes counted??? Is the majority determined by the number of casted votes? Or, by comparing votes to the number of registered Citizens at the time of the vote?? As of today, the total number of registered Asgardian is 215,474 people. There should be a minimum participation level of 50% to be held valid.



Article 44. Amendment of the Constitution

§1) ”… in accordance with the law of Asgardia” implies that substantive law may actually prohibit amendments?! This is not acceptable! Furthermore, this should be “written in stone” and not voidable by future amendments. “Asgardia’s Constitution may be amended by means of a referendum. However, this article of amendment is unchangeable and cannot be voided by any law, decree, or any other amendment.”



Article 45. Procedure for Amendment of the Constitution

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 13:32 UTC

Chapter 10. Transitional and Final Provisions

Article 46. Special rights of the Head of Nation before the election of Parliament and formation of the Government of Asgardia

§1) These decrees must be reviewed and removed, if necessary, by the Space Council based on laws of Asgardia.


Article 47. Special procedure for election of a new Head of Nation


Article 48. Deadline for election of Parliament


Article 49. Deadline for forming the Government of Asgardia


Article 50. Effectiveness of the Constitution

§1) AS the vote will take place on June 18, 2017 (Gregorian Calendar), it should be held as effective provided the 2/3rd majority vote of the Constitution is reached. 



Quick Link reference: https://asgardia.space/en/page/constitution

 

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 04:09 UTC, Total number of edits: 3 times

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 14:44 UTC

I was asked to post this revision in the forum. Take a look. Please be respectful and offer constructive thoughts. We will never have a constitution that everyone likes but we can have one that fits most people's thoughts. Also, if we have a great beginning, things may change. The constitution can be amended or changed. Keep this in mind. Thanks.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzoj5-ESf8gWcDFCTFlFcXl0TzQ/view?usp=sharing


Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 14:55 UTC

@LoreZyra: I completely agree with your points and hope the next official draft will contain your thoughts. Very well done!

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 14:55 UTC

Now for my overview of this critique:

I found about 160 changes from the first draft in the second draft presented on June 13, 2017 (Gregorian Calendar). Most of it superficial... Most of the changes were for substituting "Head of State" for "Head of Nation" along with "state" for "government." Some of the definitions were tightened. The HoN is no longer immune to law. But the Council is basically dead weight (very similar to a corporate board of directors). There are no real removal powers to unseat the HoN as the HoN can either dissolve the Parliament or fire the Prosecutor General. They basically increased the max age while dropping the min age by 10 years. One major change for the HoN is that Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli accepted my suggestion to step down after five years. However, the subsequent HoN has no such term limit other than a max age of 82... They did tone down the "protection" clauses with the word "safeguard..." But anyone reading it will have no doubts about weapon platforms orbiting over their nation's air-space... Additionally, they also added a strange qualifier to the Amendment Article... which means they can restrict what & how anything gets amended to the Constitution...

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 15:31 UTC, Total number of edits: 2 times

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 17:14 UTC

I created an Etherpad with the current state of the constitution with some proposals of other users. There everyone can edit the whole text and comment on selections of text. I will put remarks and opinions on the document from other threads there, too. The idea is, that we don't have one person to manage all the proposed changes to merge with the document.

I hope this can be a central place, where everyone can directly change or remark the document to create something most citizens can accept.

So I would like to invite everybody to add their toughts, remarks and improvements.

edit: I would like to add the comments of @LoreZyra to the etherpads if thats ok.

  Last edited by:  Oliver Otte (Asgardian, Candidate)  on Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 17:20 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 19:06 UTC

Copy/Paste by request of the thread poster:

I do not agree with many of the laws and terms set forth in the constitution.

Firstly, why should Asgardia be called a Kingdom? Are they anticipating a legal motion to institute a King? I do not agree to being ruled by a monarch of any kind.

Secondly, I am very concerned about the long term repercussions of Asgardia's Absolute Supreme Value. Infinite expansion, while noble in theory, may not be the best policy when resources are quite obviously finite in our finite reach. We are already seeing the consequences of believing you can push your end line infinitely. I would agree with a constitution that acknowledges that humanity is limited and should strive for sustainability for as long as possible.

Thirdly, I do not agree with the separation and constitution of powers as they are. I believe we should design a different separation of powers, something unprecedented and as far from the American model as possible. While a Government by the People sounds like a noble idea, Socrates already had some thoughts against it, mainly: not everyone is fit to govern, vote or participate in public life. I would rather have a Government for the People, in which the government strives to take the best care of citizenry by appointing the most qualified people for every office in question. Maybe if we had a Managerial Power and an Auditory Power? The first would govern and build while the second would survey and judge. They would be occupied based on technocratic and meritocratic nominations and deposed based on referenda. Just a thought.

Fourthly, I do not agree with the implementation of a set number of official languages, nor do I agree to strive for the construction and implementation of a single Asgardian language. I know acknowledging all languages as culturally relevant can be a strain on resources as a greater number of translators would be needed to cope with the diversity influx. I still believe it is important to protect cultural diversity over administrative pragmatism.

Fifthly, I am very worried about the implementation of currency and taxation, specially early on as the implementation and acceptance of this constitution would automatically mean all of us would have to pay taxes to support a nation that has few assets, no territory, no institutions and no international recognition.

Finally, I am not at all happy with having preconstitutional privileges conditioned to the acceptance of this constitution. They're basically bribing us with file space in Asgardia-1 in exchange for our vote. So, I am to waste 500 KB in space because I didn't comply with the Kingdom of Asgardia when it most needed my vote against?

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 20:32 UTC

Most of my thoughts have been pointed out. Tomorrow is the voting day, which I think it's too soon with so many opinions against this constitution. As a summary, I see this constitution almost a declaration of a dictatorship / middle-age kingdom. I have some further concerns, though:

 "Every Asgardian can freely practice any religion on Earth." What about space? Asgardia? Everyone should be able to practice any religion anywhere. But it has to be clear that the government and education will not be ruled by any religious believes, but by science, trying to achieve common well being.

About the currency, why do we need a centralized bank/currency system? don't we currently have enough cryptocurrency technology so that we can create a distributed currency, able to be configured to pay taxes, enable loans and so on?

In 18.3, using propaganda to enforce values is too much for my body.

In article 18.4, sexism, intolerance and maybe other terms should be included.

Article 27.5  "Asgardia strives towards a single Asgardian language in the future." Is that Newspeak?

Article 30.2: there is a typo, Asgardis -> Asgardia

Article 32: This is basically creating a dictator from the Head of Nation. I don't like 5 years terms, too long. I think 3-4 years should be more than enough to make a difference, and up to 3-2 terms respectively, so that the Head of Nation can have 8-9 years. The hereditary monarchy is clearly shown in this article too. In 2017 (0001), incredible. Also, those 40 years for being HoN are too high. 30 would be more appropriate.

Article 33: I think 3-4 years terms is more than enough, limited to 3-2 terms respectively. I don't like the idea of restricted sessions, they should be transparent, they are our representatives. And as stated by others, HoN cannot dissolve the parliament. Also, minimum age should be 25 (enough so that the citizen has voted at least twice).

Article 34: Once again, another arbitrary minimum age. Why not 25/30? Why a maximum age of 60? 12 ministeries? why do we need so many? Which ministeries? I didn't see any mention to transparency. Didn't see any mention to protecting citizen's privacy.

There was no mention on how to do referendums. Every citizen with enough supporters (5%? 10%?) has to be able to create a referendum about basically anything and if it gets approved (maybe not 50% for big things, such as a change in the constitution) it has to be put into practice.

Anyway, not gonna accept this constitution as it is today, I hope it gets rejected and the community can create a better one. If we need a whole year for that, it's fine by me.

Leo 00, 01 / Jun 17, 17 21:50 UTC

I think there needs to be a provision stating that every future vote must have more than one option. No more of these ultimatums, yes or abstain.

If the constitution says you have a dutie to vote or possibly lose your citizenship then abstaining is in possible violation of your duties.

Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 01:52 UTC

Hello everybody,

I don't mean to hijack this great topic, but something dawns on me.
I'm a jurist, new to Asgardia, so I want to acknowledge the incredible efforts that have been put so far, and especially on the obsession about Checks & Balances, as @LoreZyra often lays stress upon.
However, I need to raise a point : Most of the ongoing "formalization" process seems pretty much absurd.

I have already said it all here https://asgardia.space/en/forum/forum/general-discussion-14/topic/a-farewell-message-6252/?post=28722#28722 .

Keep me posted,
DK


  Last edited by:  Kamil Debbagh (Asgardian)  on Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 01:55 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time
Reason: Added a tag '@'

Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 02:38 UTC

@DKTB36(Asgardian) on 18 June 2017, 1:52 a.m.

I need to raise a point : Most of the ongoing "formalization" process seems pretty much absurd.

I completely agree. But, I'm willing to work to make this "cart before the horse" document into the proper vehicle before making that metaphorical horse start pushing... My goal as I have stated multiple times is to help build that future, that dream, into something we can all be proud to be a part.

You may be also interested in this thread: Which Constitution would you want, if you had to choose today?

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 02:38 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 03:08 UTC

@ I-wanted-to-vote-no(Asgardian)  [clive?] on 16 June 2017, 4:14 p.m.

I have a question
Why is there a "second draft" after 100% of respondees have accepted the first draft? Is there going to be another "vote"?

As it turns out, we didn't actually accept the first draft. There were over 60 pages of commentary and two completely separate alternative Constitutions proposed back in May. I am preparing for the possibility where we may open the documents for public commentary again. I was on the volunteer teams that compiled the commentary before they were sent up to the LEGAL team.

This thread is setup exactly as the first Discussion of the draft Constitution. The goal is to consolidate all public thoughts for easier compilation.

  Last edited by:  Richie Bartlett (Asgardian)  on Leo 01, 01 / Jun 18, 17 03:10 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time