PM5206: Tribunes

To permit the election of judges or to stand for election as a judge is a grave sin. A court whose members are popularly elected has absolutely no authority whatsoever under heavenly law; its decisions are utterly invalid and of absolutely no worth.

In Maratreanism, we speak not of judges, for we are not to judge, the right of judgement belonging to heaven alone; instead, we speak of tribunals, whose members are tribunes.

The procedure under the law of her Cause for appointing tribunes:
- an independent commission is established to nominate tribunes
- its membership is constituted as follows:
    a) members appointed by decree of the Prophet-in-Council
    b) members elected by the holy assembly
    c) members elected by the guild of lawyers
    d) members elected by existing tribunes
    e) members elected by the universities
- the commission shall consider candidates for tribunal vacancies, and select a candidate for each such vacancy
- the commission shall choose a candidate to recommend to the Prophet-in-Council
- the Prophet-in-Council may appoint the candidate by decree
- if the Prophet-in-Council is unwilling to appoint the recommend candidate, the commission shall make a different recommendation
- the above process shall continue, through as many iterations as necessary, until the recommendation of the commission is accepted by decree of the Prophet-in-Council
- the same process may be applied at the provincial and diocesan levels, the provincial and diocesan bodies substituting, mutatis mutandis

Why the commission is so constituted:
    a) members appointed by decree of the Prophet-in-Council: It is appropriate that the Prophet-in-Council appoints some members of the commission, since it must ultimately accept or reject its nominations. It delegates its authority to the commission to increase the independence of the tribunes
    b) members elected by the holy assembly: This provides the holy assembly with an indirect role in selecting tribunes
    c) members elected by the guild of lawyers: This helps ensure the professional quality of the tribunes
    d) members elected by existing tribunes: This helps ensure the professional quality of the tribunes, and increases their independence, by giving them a role in their own appointment
    e) members elected by the universities: This is especially for the representation of legal scholars and academics; although scholars of other relevant disciplines might also play a role
This procedure is compliant to the law of heaven. A procedure which deviates greatly therefrom is likely to violate heavenly law. However, we shall not say that all such deviations from the law of the Cause will violate heavenly law; slight adjustments to this procedure may well not. The law of her  Cause on this matter may be adjusted by the Prophet-in-Council; but they lack authority to deviate from heavenly law in so doing.

Note that tribunes are distinct from lords of restriction or lords of inquiry. The distinction is as follows:
- the jurisdiction of the lords of restriction only extends to whether restriction should be imposed or not upon an individual. They have no authority to decide matters not involving restriction
- the jurisdiction of the lords of inquiry extends only to determining factual questions - who did what when, etc. They have no authority to decide legal questions, only factual questions
- the tribunes are delegated the authority of the Prophet-in-Council to determine legal questions. The decision of a tribunal is sent to the Prophet-in-Council, who must confirm it by decree.

Lords of Inquiry and Lords of Restriction should be appointed by similar procedures

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