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[PASSED] Access to Courts

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Cowardly Pacifists
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[PASSED] Access to Courts

Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:44 am

Access to Courts
A resolution to reduce income inequality and increase basic welfare.

Category: Social Justice | Strength: Significant | Proposed by: Cowardly Pacifists

The World Assembly:

CONVINCED that providing a system for resolving civil disputes is one of the primary purposes of government;

APPLAUDING the varied and admirable systems of civil justice that exist in every member nation;

AWARE that all civil justice systems have an attendant cost that is paid for by taxes, filing charges, and other court fees;

CONCERNED that court costs can be very expensive and that some individuals, because of their limited resources or means, may be unable to afford filing or court fees;

RESOLVED that an individual's socioeconomic background should not determine their access to justice, and that an individual should not be deprived of access to civil courts simply because they are unable to afford court costs;

Hereby,

1. DEFINES "court costs" for the purposes of this act, as "the costs and fees charged by a court (or other civil justice system) directly to a litigant for services rendered by the court." Examples of court costs include, but are not limited to: filing fees, service fees, court reporter charges, court transcripts, copying costs, and other similar expenses charged by the court.

2. ENCOURAGES member nations to fund their civil justice systems in a manner that completely avoids passing court costs directly onto litigants;

3. ENCOURAGES member nations to permit a successful litigant to recover the court costs they incur from the losing party;

4. MANDATES that if a member nation requires the payment of court costs, prior to the assessing those costs a litigant is entitled to request a cost wavier and/or deferment. Any individual whose request demonstrates that paying court costs would present a severe financial hardship, given their particular economic situation, shall be permitted to proceed with their case regardless of whether they have paid court costs.
Last edited by Flibbleites on Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:43 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Linux and the X
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Postby Linux and the X » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:26 pm

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:3. ENCOURAGES member nations to permit a successful litigant to recover the court costs they incur from the losing party;

According to a recent report, loser-pays systems present a strong barrier to legitimate suits against defendants with significant financial resources unless all legal services are assigned at equal or no cost to each party by the courts. Particularly, this results in a decrease of consumer safety, because most consumers cannot take even a small risk of losing a lawsuit that would require them to pay the higher-cost lawyers of the corporation putting out dangerously faulty products.
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Auralia
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Postby Auralia » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:47 pm

Linux and the X wrote:
Cowardly Pacifists wrote:3. ENCOURAGES member nations to permit a successful litigant to recover the court costs they incur from the losing party;

According to a recent report, loser-pays systems present a strong barrier to legitimate suits against defendants with significant financial resources unless all legal services are assigned at equal or no cost to each party by the courts. Particularly, this results in a decrease of consumer safety, because most consumers cannot take even a small risk of losing a lawsuit that would require them to pay the higher-cost lawyers of the corporation putting out dangerously faulty products.


OOC: Most corporations, in an attempt to avoid class-actions, are willing to consent to binding arbitration for consumer disputes, which is far less expensive for both parties. They are also willing to pay for the consumer's share of the arbitration costs, regardless of who wins. It's actually quite a good deal.

We can support this.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:34 pm

Linux and the X wrote:
Cowardly Pacifists wrote:3. ENCOURAGES member nations to permit a successful litigant to recover the court costs they incur from the losing party;

According to a recent report, loser-pays systems present a strong barrier to legitimate suits against defendants with significant financial resources unless all legal services are assigned at equal or no cost to each party by the courts. Particularly, this results in a decrease of consumer safety, because most consumers cannot take even a small risk of losing a lawsuit that would require them to pay the higher-cost lawyers of the corporation putting out dangerously faulty products.

I'd like to see that report.

The idea behind a cost award is that we don't want the cost to be a barrier to bringing legitimate claims. If a person has a legitimate $1,000.00 claim, we don't want them to fail to bring that claim because the cost of going to court is going to be $2,000 (filing fees, service of process, reporting, etc.) We want them to know that, if they win (which they should if the claim is legit) they will get their damages, plus the cost of seeking them.

On the flip side, cost awards disincentivise illegitimate or marginal claims, since a person with such a claim will risk paying the other side if they lose. This is also good, because it allows the defendant to defend themselves with confidence knowing that their expenses will be paid by the person who (wrongfully) dragged them to court.

In any case, I do acknowledge that there are times when cost awards are not appropriate. That's why I only made that an "encourages" provision. While I do think cost awards have a net affect of lowering barriers to court action, nations should decide for themselves if (or when) that's an appropriate remedy (maybe they only want to do it for small claims actions, or public interest actions, etc.). If you thinks it's important, I'll add an "appropriate circumstances" caveat to the end of that provision.

The "meat" of this proposal is in the provision requiring that nations permit poor folks to waive or defer court costs so that, regardless of cost awards at the end, poor individuals have easier access to civil justice right from the get-go.

Auralia wrote:
Linux and the X wrote:According to a recent report, loser-pays systems present a strong barrier to legitimate suits against defendants with significant financial resources unless all legal services are assigned at equal or no cost to each party by the courts. Particularly, this results in a decrease of consumer safety, because most consumers cannot take even a small risk of losing a lawsuit that would require them to pay the higher-cost lawyers of the corporation putting out dangerously faulty products.


OOC: Most corporations, in an attempt to avoid class-actions, are willing to consent to binding arbitration for consumer disputes, which is far less expensive for both parties. They are also willing to pay for the consumer's share of the arbitration costs, regardless of who wins. It's actually quite a good deal.

We can support this.

I appreciate Auralia's support, and I thank them for taking an interest in this proposal.
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Indiego
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Postby Indiego » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:40 pm

I personally agree with it, and would support it if it would come to voting. The only thig I notice is that it implies that said WA nations have a court system. Some of these clauses are completely invalid if say, a nation doesn't have a judicial system.

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Discoveria
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Postby Discoveria » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:17 am

Looks good. Will probably support this.
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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:57 am

Indiego wrote:I personally agree with it, and would support it if it would come to voting. The only thig I notice is that it implies that said WA nations have a court system. Some of these clauses are completely invalid if say, a nation doesn't have a judicial system.

True, I do presume nations have some form of civil process. I'm comfortable with that assumption.

Just about every resolution is "invalid" if nations don't have certain things. Restrictions on Child Labor is a good example: it doesn't apply to nations with no defined "age of majority." Access to Science in Schools does quite little in nations with no schools. Etc.

Discoveria wrote:Looks good. Will probably support this.

Thank you.
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Indiego
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Postby Indiego » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:52 pm

Good point. I was just trying to play the Devil's Advocate there. Other than that, I don't see any big contradictions.
Support.

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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:43 pm

Up for a week and no one has suggested any improvements or harsh criticisms. I will be submitting the proposal for a test run shortly.
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United Federation of Canada
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Postby United Federation of Canada » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:05 am

Looks all right.

We would support this as it stands.

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Enn
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Postby Enn » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:49 am

So, um, this is now at vote.
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Vincetinople
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Postby Vincetinople » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:38 am

We reject this absurd resolution. If someone is filing a case in court for a civil claim for monetary damages then presumably they had once possessed such money and thus can surely pay for their usage of Court resources. Our filing fee is $1.00 (1850 value). If someone is too poor to pay that, that is too bad for them. Their choices in life led them to that circumstance.

We shall not subsidize one party to sue another.

And we tell this body to keep its nose out of our Sovereign Government.

============

Adding: Our civil courts are not accountable to our Federal Govt and thus we are telling all our composite units of government to ignore any edict that might be forthcoming as they are not a party to its enactment.
Last edited by Vincetinople on Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Benomia
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Postby Benomia » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:57 am

We, Benomia, are completely against this resolution as it would force us to construct courts.
Would it not?
Benomia has been doing just fine with criminal prosecution without a court system, and I do not think it should be the duty of the World Assembly to dictate to nations how to run their government.
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Postby Delegate Vinage » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:02 am

Benomia wrote:We, Benomia, are completely against this resolution as it would force us to construct courts.
Would it not?
Benomia has been doing just fine with criminal prosecution without a court system, and I do not think it should be the duty of the World Assembly to dictate to nations how to run their government.


I see no clause in this proposal that forces you to construct a court. If you do not have a court then the proposal would not apply to you - would it not?

Unless you see a clause that does mean you - have - to construct one. If that is the case, do raise it to this Assembly's attention.
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Grantsburg
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Postby Grantsburg » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:11 am

Since this could lead to all sorts of wasted spending through useless civil lawsuits, I am vehemently opposed to this resolution!

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Cowardly Pacifists
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Postby Cowardly Pacifists » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:46 am

Delegate Vinage wrote:
Benomia wrote:We, Benomia, are completely against this resolution as it would force us to construct courts.
Would it not?
Benomia has been doing just fine with criminal prosecution without a court system, and I do not think it should be the duty of the World Assembly to dictate to nations how to run their government.


I see no clause in this proposal that forces you to construct a court. If you do not have a court then the proposal would not apply to you - would it not?

Unless you see a clause that does mean you - have - to construct one. If that is the case, do raise it to this Assembly's attention.

The proposal assumes that most nations have courts of one kind or another, and that just about every nation has some form of civil justice system (even if that's just a supreme judge, jury, and executioner who resolves civil disputes by threatening to cut babies in half a la King Solomon). So there's no requirement that courts be built, just that your civil justice system be accessible to individuals regardless of their ability to pay filing fees and the like. It's a mild proposal.

If your nation truly has no civil justice system, the proposal simply doesn't apply to you (much the same way the Restrictions on Child Labor doesn't apply to a nation of sentient robots).
Last edited by Cowardly Pacifists on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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LiamHerndon
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Postby LiamHerndon » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:52 am

As a socialist country, courts are completely publicly funded, but some countries (such as my own) cannot afford to pay for civil trials. I feel that this should not be internationally mandatory, but a choice that a country makes. After all, it may bring me to financial ruin.
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Postby Delegate Vinage » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:55 am

Cowardly Pacifists wrote:
Delegate Vinage wrote:
I see no clause in this proposal that forces you to construct a court. If you do not have a court then the proposal would not apply to you - would it not?

Unless you see a clause that does mean you - have - to construct one. If that is the case, do raise it to this Assembly's attention.

The proposal assumes that most nations have courts of one kind or another, and that just about every nation has some form of civil justice system (even if that's just a supreme judge, jury, and executioner who resolves civil disputes by threatening to cut babies in half a la King Solomon). So there's no requirement that courts be built, just that your civil justice system be accessible to individuals regardless of their ability to pay filing fees and the like. It's a mild proposal.

If your nation truly has no civil justice system, the proposal simply doesn't apply to you (much the same way the Restrictions on Child Labor doesn't apply to a nation of sentient robots).


Exactly as I thought, why I wanted the Ambassador to find something that wasn't there so I could have a little chuckle.

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Benomia
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Postby Benomia » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:24 am

What I have found is a proposal called "Access to Courts" that doesn't guarantee access to courts.
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LiamHerndon
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Postby LiamHerndon » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:53 am

Benomia wrote:What I have found is a proposal called "Access to Courts" that doesn't guarantee access to courts.

that's true
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The Pacistien Republic
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Postby The Pacistien Republic » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:17 pm

Stop this socialism.

This is a ghastly bill. Why are you forcing court fees upon the goverment. Frivolus lawsuits and such could rack up a momentous amount of debt for the goverment.


However I do support the idea of the loser paying the winners fees,


I believe the bill as a whole is wrong, and should be reformed. If it is passed i promise i will have it repealed

Also, I beleive this is already implied, I am voting against this resolution
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Postby The Eternal Kawaii » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:09 pm

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We see no reason why the World Assembly should be involved in the running of civil justice within its member States. Civil justice, by definition, is a dispute between two or more private individuals, rather than between an individual and the State. The State serves solely to provide a civilized (no pun intended) venue for that dispute to be settled. Unless the individuals involved are from different States, the WA has no legitimate interest in how a given member State arranges the venue.
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Ithania
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Postby Ithania » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:00 am

"For Consensus, it is eminently clear that the sovereignty of member nations is sometimes secondary to the possibility of grave suffering. Consequently, we support this proposal as it will inevitably decrease marginalising and silencing injustices inflicted upon individuals. Whilst the State can be oppressive, this is also true of interactions between citizens. Moreover, we would assert that a lack of access to civil justice remedies indirectly reinforces the capacity of the State to pursue brutal policies," Amorita relaxes her pose somewhat and shifts to a more encouraging tone.

"Having said this, we regard the requirements of this proposal as welfare in the most minimal sense. We would strongly encourage member nations with a similar ideology to, at a minimum, provide greater access to justice via legal services aid for those that are deemed unable to fund meritorious cases or cases that concern significant aspects of public policy. Of course, we appreciate that this may be unrealistic," smiles weakly before sitting.
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Delegate Vinage
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Postby Delegate Vinage » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:17 am

I, Vinage v. Grey-Anumia, World Assembly Delegate and President of Europeia will be voting AYE on this proposal after a 5/3 internal vote decided said actions. While the proposal itself doesn't bind members to do much.... those who voted in favour liked that about the proposal. Congratulations on the passing of this proposal

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Hirota
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Postby Hirota » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:14 am

Following a lengthy discussion of the National Council yesterday evening at the Government chambers in Capitol, I have been directed by my government to communicate our intention to vote FOR this legislation.
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