|Supreme Court of Disparu|
Cour suprême de Disparu
|Established||28 February 2009|
|Composition method||Appointed by the Administrator, confirmed by the National Assembly|
|Authorized by||Basic Laws of Disparu|
|Title of members||Justice|
|Term length||Life tenure|
|Number of positions||9|
|Justices||Lyse Gagnon (Chief Justice)|
since 25 June 2012
The Supreme Court of Disparu (French: Cour suprême du Disparu) is the highest court in Disparu and as such, it is the final court of appeal in the justice system within the country. It may, however, refer cases to either the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court. Its decisions are stare decisis and are binding to all lower courts. The Supreme Court meets at the Palace of Justice in Férin.
The Supreme Court consists of nine judges: the Chief Justice, currently Lyse Gagnon, and eight other Associate Justices. Judges in the Supreme Court are appointed by the Administrator, though their appointment is not final until they are approved by the National Assembly. Judges of the Supreme Court serve for life; they can however resign earlier, or be impeached by the National Assembly.
The primary function of the Supreme Court is to issue references and rulings to its interpretation of the Basic Laws.
The Administrator, the Chancellor, the National Assembly, the Executive Council or the Ministries may submit a request for a reference to the Supreme Court on major legal issues, usually one whose constitutionality is in question. The Supreme Court may also choose to consider submissions presented by private citizens supported by a petition. Questions regarding constitutionality may also be brought up in other trials or inquiries, which the Supreme Court must resolve. References issued by the Supreme Court are legally binding.
The Supreme Court may strike down laws, policies, and treaties passed by either the National Assembly or the executive that are found to be unconstitutional. Once the offending document is found, the Supreme Court gives the offending institution three months to revise the document to bring it in line with the Basic Laws. If the document is not amended sufficiently during this time, it is automatically struck down.
The Supreme Court may also grant permission to a maximum of one hundred litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by lower courts. The Supreme Court also passes judgement on cases that lower courts were unable to handle. The Supreme Court generally tries severe cases (such as those involving high treason, fraud, and corruption) involving prominent government officials.
The Chief Justice (French: Juge en chef) is the head of the justice system in Disparu. Generally, the longest-serving judge in the Supreme Court automatically becomes the Chief Justice; however, the National Assembly may choose to appoint someone else, as is the case for the current Chief Justice. The current Chief Justice is Lyse Gagnon.
The Chief Justice leads the proceedings of the court. He or she also generally preside over the oath-taking of prominent officials, such as the Administrator, the Chancellor, and the deputies of the National Assembly.
Office of Basic Laws
The Office of Basic Laws (French: Bureau des Lois fondamentales) is a government agency that serves to protect the constitutional and democratic order mandated by the Basic Laws. The office is under the authority of the Supreme Court.
Its primary purpose is analyzing and studying the numerous government documents submitted to the Supreme Court in order to confirm their constitutionality. The Office's staff also sends in investigators and inspectors to both government institutions and government-funded organizations in order to ensure that they remain not only dedicated to the democratic order, but also accountable to the people.
Its secondary purpose, which is perhaps the most controversial one, is its role as a domestic intelligence agency. It is tasked with gathering intelligence and infiltrating groups and organizations known to be a threat to the constitutional and democratic order of Disparu. It has many departments, each targeting a specific type of threat, such as extremism. It coordinates its work with the Judicial Police, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of State Security.
The Office itself is accountable to both the Ministry of Justice and Accountability and the National Assembly. As it is a component of the judiciary, it is not subject to most of the stringent judicial oversight that keeps other security institutions in check, which has caused many critics to condemn the institution.