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"Article 118 provides that the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to make declarations of illegality or unconstitutionality upon application by the Prime Minister, President, President of Parliament, Attorney General, Ombudsman, or one fifth of the members of Parliament. Why don´t ordinary citzens who can demonstrate an interest in the law at issue have a right to seek to have a law declared unconstitutional or acts of the government illegal....? It seems that only the political class will have the right to enforce the law and constitution. Why is this so and who argued for and against it? Is not the effect of this that nobody will challenge the constitutionality of a law becuase only the people who have passed the law or assented to it (other than the Ombudsman) can enquire as to its validity." auskadi
See also: BD: Constitutional Process & BD: Peoples' Participation

Received from: auskadi  auskadi@cwpanama.net

Constituent Assembly passes articles on court structure

Dear Friends

I receive this news on the email list about Timor ...see below for the lot and in particular Art. 118...

Article 118 provides that the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to make
declarations of illegality or unconstitutionality upon application by the
Prime Minister, President, President of Parliament, Attorney General,
Ombudsman, or one fifth of the members of Parliament.

Why don´t ordinary citzens who can demonstrate an interest in the law at issue have a right to seek to have a law declared unconstitutional or acts of the government illegal....?

It seems that only the political class will have the right to enforce the law and constitution

why is this so and who argued for and against it?

Is not the effect of this that nobody will challenge the constitutionality of a law becuase only the people who have passed the law or assented to it (other than the Ombudsman) can enquire as to its validity.

The section allows for advisory opinions on the constitutionality of the law (soemthing not allowed in many systems) but does not allow for constitutional litigation (something allowed by most democratic systems based upon the rule of law).

Why is this so?

Why has judicial power been constrained in this way?

To me this does not seem a very good step....
please discuss ....

Christian Ranheim wrote:

 UNITED NATIONS TRANSITIONAL ADMINISTRATION IN EAST TIMOR

Dili, 15 January 2002 The Constituent Assembly has now passed 123 articles of the 151-article draft Constitution.

The articles passed since early last Friday include Article 112, which incorporates the principal of judicial independence and mandates that judges are expected to be independent in the exercise of their functions, and obedient to the Constitution, the law and their conscience. An amendment to the article was passed stating that judges are not legally liable for their judicial decisions, except in situations provided for by law.

Article 113 provides that judges may not perform other functions except teaching or legal research, and Article 114 provides that the courts shall not apply laws that contravene the Constitution or the principles contained therein.

Article 115, passed on Monday, provides for three categories of courts: The Supreme Court of Justice and other courts of law; Administrative courts and a High Administrative, Tax and Audit Court; and Military courts.

The Supreme Court of Justice is established by Article 116 as the highest court of law. Its President will be chosen from among judges of the Supreme Court and appointed by East Timor's President.

Article 118 provides that the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to make declarations of illegality or unconstitutionality upon application by the Prime Minister, President, President of Parliament, Attorney General, Ombudsman, or one fifth of the members of Parliament.

Article 119, passed today, says that only career judges of original East Timorese nationality may become members of the Supreme Court.

Article 120 says the Superior Council for the Judiciary is the organ of management and discipline of the judiciary. It will be presided over by the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, and other members will include one person designated by the President of the Republic, one member elected by Parliament, one appointed by the Government and one elected by the judges from among their peers.

Article 121 says the High Administrative, Tax and Audit Court is the highest body in the hierarchy of administrative, tax and audit courts. This court's functions include ensuring the fiscal legality of public spending, judging actions arising from legal, fiscal and administrative matters, and ruling on contentious appeals against decisions made by State organs.

Article 122 says military courts will have the competence to judge military matters, and with Article 123, members agreed that court hearings will be public unless the court rules otherwise to safeguard personal dignity, public morality and national security.



This message came from the Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service:

JSMP news service  Added June 28
About 1 email a day; 1 full item/email:
JSMP is a moderated e-mail list featuring the current developments of the judicial system in East Timor and any progress made in Indonesia aiming to bring those planning, aiding or conducting crimes in East Timor to justice. All mails are sent directly from Dili, East Timor in order to bring you the most up-to date and representative news and reports available.
To subscribe to JSMP’s news service send an empty e-mail to list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org or go to http://www.jsmp.minihub.org/list.htm
To unsubscribe, send an empty mail to: list-unsubscribe@jsmp.minihub.org
If you have anything you want to distribute (news, reports etc) or questions, please send an e-mail to info@jsmp.minihub.org


Portuguese:
Programa de Monitorização do Sistema Judicial (PMSJ)
Atualiza: 17 dezembro
O Programa de monitorização do sistema judicial (PMSJ) foi logo estabelecido em 2001 em Díli, Timor Leste. Através da monitorização do tribunal, a provisão da analisa legal e dos relatórios temáticos sobre o desenvolvimento do sistema judicial, o PMSJ visa contribuir a evaluação em curso e edificação dum sistema de justiça em Timor Leste.
Tel/fax. (670) 390 323 883 Mobile: (61) 419 804 600
1/la Rua do Moçambique, Farol, Díli
Email: info@jsmp.minihub.org
Para mais informações vide http://www.jsmp.minihub.org


Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu:
Program Pemantauan Sistim Peradilan
Diperbarui: Des 15
Program Pemantauan Sistim Peradilan (JSMP) merupakan sebuah projek independen yang telah dikembangkan dibawah perlindugan Asosiasi Juris Timor Loro Sa’e dan La’o Hamutuk, sebuah organisasi  yang terdiri dari orang-orang Timor Loro Sa’e dan internasional. Melalui pemantauan kasus-kasus pengadilan dan menghasilkan analisa hukun dan laporan-laporan tematis tentang perkebangan sistim peradilan secara menyeluruh, JSMP bertujuan membantu Administrasi Transisi, masyarakat umum Timor Loro Sa’e dan masyarakat internasional dengan memberikan rekomendasi-rekomendasi bagi perbaikan yang terus-menerus di mana masalah-masalah spesifik diidentifikasikan. Sasaran utama dari program adalah memperbaiki mutu keadilan yang diberikan oleh sistim peradilan yang baru didirikan, memajukan HAM dan pemerintahan yang berdasarkan hukum dengan cara yang bermanfaat dan transparan bagi masyarakat Timor Loro Sa’e.
Sahe Institute building, Rua da Mozambique I/1-A Palapaso, Dili – East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)
Phone: (Mobile) 0419 804 600
Alamat pos: P.O. Box 340 Dili, East Timor via Darwin, Australia
Christian Ranheim, christian@jsmp.minihub.org, Télpon (Mobile): +61(0) 419 804 600;
Caitlin Reiger, caitlin@jsmp.minihub.org, Télpon (Mobile): +61 (0) 419 366 404;
Email/Phone: info@jsmp.minihub.org, Télpon: +670 (390) 325-013
Situs-Web (Bahasa Inggeris): http://www.jsmp.minihub.org


English:
Judicial System Monitoring Programme  Updated Nov 15
JSMP is a new human rights project set up by the East Timorese Jurists’ Association and the Timorese/international organisation La'o Hamutuk. JSMP aims to assist the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, the East Timorese public and the international community by making recommendations for ongoing reform of the fledgling judicial system of East Timor.
The main objective of the programme is to improve the quality of justice provided by the newly established judicial system, and to promote human rights and the rule of law in a meaningful and transparent manner for the people of East Timor through:

  • sending legal observers to monitor the serious crimes trials;
  • providing legal analysis and thematic reports; and
  • dissemination of information on the developments of the justice system as a whole.

  • At this stage, the programme’s courtroom observation work focuses primarily on the cases related to the violence in 1999, which include crimes against humanity, genocide and torture.
    Regular updates: subscribe to JSMP’s news service by sending an empty e-mail to list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org
    Sahe Institute building, Rua da Mozambique I/1-A Palapaso, Dili – East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)
    Phone: (Mobile) 0419 804 600
    P.O. Box 340 Dili, East Timor via Darwin, Australia
    Christian Ranheim, christian@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone: (Mobile): +61(0) 419 804 600;
    Caitlin Reiger, caitlin@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone: (Mobile): +61 (0) 419 366 404
    Email/Phone: info@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone +670 (390) 325-013;
    Homepage: http://www.jsmp.minihub.org
    Jun 1 2001 JSMP: New Human Rights Project in East Timor: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01junjsmp.htm


    See also:

    BD: Constitutional Process / Konsulta iha Konstituisaun - A collection of recent media releases, reports, articles and news

    BD: Peoples' Participation / Partisipasaun Politika / Partisipasi Politik / Participação Dos Povos - A collection of recent media releases, reports and articles


    BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor .........home
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