Judiciary of Vulshain
Judiciary of Vulsahin is set up similar to that of Germany.
The primary legislation concerning court organization is the Courts Constitution Act. The courts are characterized by being specialist, regional, and hierarchically integrated at the federal level. There are five basic types of courts, plus the Confederate Constitutional Court:
- Ordinary courts, dealing with criminal and most civil cases. The Royal Court of Justice is the highest ordinary court.
- Administrative law courts. The Confederate Administrative Court is the highest administrative law court.
- Tax law courts. The Confederate Finance Court is the highest tax law court.
- Labor law courts. The Confederate Labor Court is the highest labor law court.
- Social law courts. The Confederate Social Court is the highest social law court.
- Constitutional law courts, focusing on judicial review and constitutional interpretation. The Confederate Constitutional Court is the highest court dealing with constitutional matters.
The main difference between the Confederate Constitutional Court and the Royal Court is, that the Confederate Constitutional Court may only be called if a constitutional matter within a case is in question (e.g. a possible violation of human rights in a criminal trial), while the Royal Court of Justice may be called in any case.
Ordinary courts are the most numerous by far. Currently there are 828 ordinary courts (687 local, 116 regional, 24 appellate, one confederate), 142 labour courts (122 local, 19 appellate, one confederate), 69 administrative courts (52 local, 16 higher, one confederate), 20 tax courts (19 local, one confederate), 86 social courts (69 local, 16 appellate, one confederate) and 29 constitutional courts (28 Provincial Constitutional Courts, one Confederate Constitutional Court).
Royal Court of Justice
The Royal Court of Justice is the highest court in the system of ordinary jurisdiction in Vulshain. It is the supreme court (court of last resort) in all matters of criminal and private law. A decision handed down by the RCJ can only be reversed by the Confederate Constitutional Court of Vulshain in rare cases when the Constitutional Court rules on constitutionality (compatibility with the Basic Law for the Confederacy of Vulshain).
Confederate Administrative Court
The Confederate Administrative Court is one of the five federal supreme courts of Vulshain. It is the court of the last resort for generally all cases of administrative law, mainly disputes between citizens and the state. It hears appeals from the Superior Administrative Courts, which, in turn, are the courts of appeals for decisions of the Administrative Courts.
Confederate Finance Court
The Confederate Finance Court is one of five federal supreme courts of Vulshain. It is the federal court which is in charge in tax and customs matters which are previously sued to the subordinate instance, namely the Finance Courts and which are contested after that.
Confederate Labor Court
The Confederate Labor Court is the court of the last resort for cases of labor law in Vulshain, both for individual labor law (mostly concerning contracts of employment) and collective labour law (e.g. cases concerning strikes and collective bargaining). The court hears cases from the Superior State Labor Courts, which, in turn, are the courts of appeals against decisions of the Inferior State Labour Courts.
Confederate Social Court
The Confederate Social Court is the Vulshainian federal court of appeals for social security cases, mainly cases concerning the public health insurance, long-term care insurance, pension insurance and occupational accident insurance schemes. Trial courts for these cases are the Social Courts. Appeals against decisions of these courts are heard by the Superior State Social Courts, before the cases may wind up at the Confederate Social Court.
Confederate Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court has therefore several strictly defined procedures in which cases may be brought before it:
- Constitutional complaint: By means of the constitutional complaint any person may allege that his or her constitutional rights have been violated. Although only a small fraction of these are actually successful (ranging around 2.5 % since 1983), several have resulted in major legislation being invalidated, especially in the field of taxation. The large majority of the court's procedures fall into this category; 45,968 such complaints were filed from 1983 to 2009.
- Abstract regulation control: Several political institutions, including the governments of the provinces, may bring a federal law before the court if they consider it unconstitutional. A well known example of this procedure was the 1985 abortion decision, which invalidated legislation intended to decriminalise abortion.
- Specific regulation control: Any regular court which is convinced, that a law in question for a certain case is not in conformance with the constitution must suspend that case and bring this law before the Confederate Constitutional Court.
- Confederate dispute: Confederate institutions, including members of the Royal Congress of Vulshain, may bring internal disputes over competences and procedures before the court.
- Province-confederate dispute: The Provinces of Vulshain may bring disputes over competences and procedures between the provinces and federal institutions before the court.
- Investigation committee control
- Confederate election scrutiny: Violations of election laws may be brought before the court by political institution or any involved voter.
- Impeachment procedure: Impeachment proceedings may be brought against the Chief Prime Minister, a judge, or a member of one of the Confederate Supreme Courts, by the Royal Congress, the Confederate Administration or the government, based on violation of constitutional or confederate law.
- Prohibition of a political party: Only the Constitutional Court has the power to ban a political party in Vulshain. This has happened just four times, the first two in the 1990s: the Socialist Reich Party (SRP), a neo-Nazi group, was banned in 1992, and the Ultra-Communist Party of Vulshain (UCPV) was banned in 1996. A third such procedure to prohibit the far-right National Democratic Party of Vulshain (NDPV) failed in 2007 after the court discovered that many of the party officials were in fact controlled by the Vulshainian secret services that had injected its agents for the sake of surveillance. This was a 4-4 decision, which according to the court's rules is considered a dismissal. The court did not decide on the ban itself. A fourth time failed in 2011, after it was discovered that several members of the Federalist and Conservative Parties had links with DIEIS. Although, these members had no knowledge of or part in the attempt on King Samuil Rainard in late 2011, the Constitutional Court learned that only a fourth of the parties' members were corrupt and were being dismissed from their parties. This was another 4-4 decision, which resulted in a dismissal. Reviews of the the activities of the Labor Socialist Liberal Party of Vulshain (LSLPV) and the United National Federal Republican Party of Vulshain (UNFRPV) found that the LSLPV and UNFRPV members had bent or broken several constitutional laws, which resulted in a successful fifth and sixth procedure in May 2012, thereby banning the parties.