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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Judicial System   24.01.08 12:57

I think that the judicial systems of the world have got it wrong. The point of a judicial system in my opinion, is primarily to make sure that the defendant doesn't do the crime again, not to make sure that they are punished. If someone thinks that the defendant should be punished, they can sue. (In this case, you can sue for anything, up to and including the death penalty)
So basically, instead of crime and punishment, crime and correction.

However, as the punishment serves to deter people from crimes, the defendant could be fined both the material costs of the crime to the victim (if there was any) and the full cost of correction.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   05.05.08 5:41

If the the material cost to the victim was his life, would the defendant be fined his life? What would the calculated material cost of a rape be?
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   06.05.08 5:55

More seriously, a judicial system that deals separately with crimes against society as a whole as opposed to crimes against the individual would be good.
Crimes against the individual, i.e. assault, battery, rape, murder, things with a victim, require punishment for the sake of fairness as well as justice as societies without those things become rapidly unstable dangerous places. However crimes again society, i.e. ones with no specific victim, such as embezelment, shoplifting, etc, can be more effectively tackled through correction measures. In short prison for the former and some shape of cummunity service, therapy, corrective behaviorism, whatever the data says works, for the latter.
Prison could be more effectively funded if the state confiscated all of a prisoners assets when he enter to pay for his and other inmates stay and then returned a set amount upon his release to help his reentry to society. Obviously you make allowances for spouses and children, but it would only take a few millionaires bumping off their wives committing hit and runs to balance the books.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   08.05.08 14:32

I agree, generally. However, correction in both cases.

Maybe make prisoners do infrastructure work?
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   08.05.08 16:24

Unfortunately punishment is fundamental for a fair society, and a fair society is fundamental for a happy stable prosperous one.
Without retribution levied by the state on behalf of victims against perpetrators, the state ceases to be trusted to do right by its law abiding citizens. Without trust in law and order the populous become discontent, the economy is harmed, investment is discouraged and things go pear shaped.
Finally though there is a reasonable number of people in any prison system who are there because it would never be safe for them to be anywhere else, they can never be reformed , never cured, they are who they are.
Prison labour just deforms markets and encourages abuse.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   30.05.08 6:29

Interesting topic! Perhaps the judicial system is one of the messier systems; as a consequence of being built up over such a long period while at the same time having to adapt to changes it ends up being a little contorted. The system could be a lot fairer, IMHO. I understand the appeal of completely novel systems, and I will certainly not quell discussion of those (this is the Clean-Slate Society after all), but I think that there is something to be admired of the ability of current systems to impose stability while still allowing a great deal of freedom. As lkm mentions, you don't really want to mess with that. But yeah, it could probably still do with a great deal of reform.

Personally, I like the idea of penal labor. How exactly does it 'deform markets and ecourage abuse'? I would imagine the net effect would be positive at least from a holistic perspective.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   31.05.08 3:22

The most fundamental change you could make to the current legal system is a recognition addiction is a disease and thus should be treated by the health system not the judicial system. If every addict could receive their drugs, safe and unadulterated from clean needles and free from their doctor their would be a massive amount of harm reduction and an emptying of jails.
Prison labour competes against normal businesses but without the same constraints, it doesn't have to really pay its workforce and the workforce can't really strike to complain. Under the geneva convention I believe using prisoners as labour is termed abuse.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   31.05.08 4:04

I don't think that that is necessarily so... The penal labor system could have its own constitution to prevent abuse; prisoners would have fair rights which would be overwatched and upheld through familiar means (media and police, for example). Exploring this even further, perhaps the prison system could be more like its own mini-city; where civil rights are more restricted, but crucially, still upheld. An isolated police-state, perhaps?

As for competing with normal business, I don't think that would be necessarily bad. Especially if they are restricted to producing simple labour-intensive products.

Moreover, because we're working from a clean-slate, that gives you the opportunity to come in with comprehensive regulation from the get-go; without having to worry about all the problems that come with trying to impose changes on current systems. That means players come into the game with the rules already established, which means a fairer game for all.

The topic of drug-abuse is also a very interesting one! I'll have more comments later...

- Mike
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   03.06.08 9:57

A prison ghetto? I don't think that's perhaps that great an idea.
I realize all the great city states of the past were built on slave labour, Athens, Sparta, Rome etc but that was also their fundamental downfall, an over abundance of cheap labour (slaves) removed the incentive to create more efficient systems and processes (technological development).
I really don't think we need to reenact Escape from New York with our city state.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   04.06.08 23:51

I think calling it a "prison ghetto" would be a bit unfair. Although I get your point. I guess we need to understand the processes by which penal systems become corrupt, so that we can design a system which would be less susceptible to corruption. Under current systems, the basic human rights of prisoners aren't always upheld. And that needs to change. But at the same time you don't want to give them too many perks, as they must recognize that they are in there to pay their debts to society. I think the ideal environment is one where they are isolated from the rest of society, but are still able to recognize the rewards of honesty, ethics, diligence, and hard work. Present penal systems don't do enough as far as rehabilitation is concerned.

Quote :
I realize all the great city states of the past were built on slave labour, Athens, Sparta, Rome etc but that was also their fundamental downfall, an over abundance of cheap labour (slaves) removed the incentive to create more efficient systems and processes (technological development).

I'm hoping that there won't be that many people in the CSCS's prison to warrant that sort of comparison! Wink
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   05.06.08 14:26

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_corruption#Conditions_favorable_for_corruption

These seem to be the kind of things we need to eliminate. Communismcould be the utopian paradise if we could remove corruption.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   06.06.08 3:02

Yes, that is a good point. Perhaps it is only corruption which restricts the effectiveness of a particular system (rather than the specific design of the system itself). Ultimately though, it is only by the design of the system that corruption can be minimized or mitigated. In other words, it is the system itself which is responsible for minimizing corruption.

All systems have the propensity for corruption to some degree; Communism more so, Democracy less so. The agents and mechanisms of corruption are always evolving and are often difficult to predict, hence the need to constantly 'patch' the system via processes of regulation and reform. Unfortunately though, over time your system becomes less and less efficient as a consequence of being weighed down by all the additional bureaucracy, and also there is the ongoing expenditure required to keep the system 'up to date' (so to speak). Not to mention the difficulty of maintaining effective communication with other systems, which may also be undergoing the same processes... And that is all assuming that effective changes to the system can even be implemented, which in many cases is near-impossible due to internal and external resistance to change, or even due to inherent flaws in the system itself, which cannot be repaired...

So its not surprising that you end up with a big-fat lethargic mess.

Now if only we could design a system which was insusceptable to corruption in the first place... Wink

Thanks for providing that excellent link for us Very Happy
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   07.06.08 8:19

The only way I can think of is greater decentralisation of power. Having the power increase the further down you move, until you reach the individual, should mean that corruption is kept in check by all the others. It would take most individuals to become corrupt for te system to become corrupt, since power is bottom up.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   08.06.08 9:39

The best example of a full decentralization of power, until recently, was Somalia where all power was decentralized down to the individual who then were free to divest it as they wished, many choosing to collectivize that power under local leadership, or 'warlords'. This was indeed the purest form of small government free market, deregulation and decentralization, but I would hardly call it lacking in corruption, or indeed desirable, or even more than a dailly horror for most residents.
To be less facetious power should only ever be decentralized to the point at which it is most advantageously made, and no further. Clearly there it would be mad for central government to be dictating where a village needs traffic lights, but it would be just as absurd for a village to be setting its own sales tax. to tax an analogy, sometimes you need to see the forest and sometimes the trees to successful set policy, somethings just have to be set at a national, or supernational level.
Further every decision you decentralize is a decision you duplicate, which potentially means more employees and bureaucracy and the greater the number people making a decision the greater the chance that some of them are idiots making terrible choices for the community.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   08.06.08 9:59

very good points, all the way. I think that, to go further, any system that won't get corrupt, including a dictatorship, will be a good system of government. I would also like to point out that the government doesn't exist to help the economy, the economy exists to help the people.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   08.06.08 17:33

Well corruption is inversely proportional to accountability so a dictatorship is almost by definition corrupt.
As for the economy, if by economy you mean the sum total of all the trade interaction of the people, with no economy there can be no people so a government for the people must surely be in some way for the economy. The examples of governments such as Burma, North Korea and Zimbabwe which clearly don't exist to help the economy demonstrates how much that translates into an interest in the people.
If however you mean that the purpose of government is for more than fostering an environment conducive to its people increasing in wealth, that it should somehow improve their well being and happiness, well as worthy as that sounds I've yet to see a truly effective and fair method of quantifying that. For all the studies published saying Norway's the happiest country in the world or some such thing the criteria for how you can possibly assess such a thing in anything more than a nebulous subject manner are fantasy. What is the unit of happiness? How do you quantify bliss? How do you go about increasing it?
Like it or not the the most reliable indicator of general happiness is wealth and the best stimulus to national well being tends to be a robustly growing economy.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   16.07.08 11:01

Greetings everyone,

I'm a long time follower of this forum, first time contributor. I'll start off by commending all of you for the ideas and comments you have made. It's about time that mankind learns from its mistakes and does something drastic about it. I believe the Clean-Slate Solution is just what we need.

That said, my first comment deals with the character of all major Western Judicial systems. I can sum it up in two words: wasteful and sluggish. The amount of time, funds, and energy that goes into seeing a case from beginning to end is astounding, and honestly nauseating. We are long over-due for a change.

In a clean-slate society, I propose a judicial system based on natural rights and efficiency. Judges are elected by the people after passing a series of rigorous exams. Party affiliation should not be a determing factor, rather, judges would be selected based on core values that the people determine.

Small claims cases are brought before a judge solely by the individual, and decided by the judge then and there after each party is allowed to present their side of the argument. Lawsuits may only be pursued within 6 months of occurrence of the incident. This forces frivilous and unnecessary cases to be either thrown out or dealt with quickly. A case would last a maximum of one week from time of filing.

Larger cases are brought before judges by individuals, either without representation, or by an attorney employed by the state, but compensated by the individual. Collection of evidence for both sides being more time-consuming than in smaller cases, a time frame of 1 month of date of filing is allowed. In addition, cases may only be filed a maximum of 12 months after the incident.

Cases involving corporations, governments, severe criminal behavior, or vast amounts of money are dealt with the same way. However, a time frame of 3 months is allowed. Also, cases may be filed two years after the incident.

Judges are given more rights to dismiss and throw out unnecessary cases without needing to deal with vast amounts of paperwork and time.

I feel strongly that streamlining a judicial system to eliminate wasted money and time is absolutely critical for the long-term success of a Clean-Slate Society.

Please let me know what you think, also I realize I've been fairly vague so ask questions too!
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   16.07.08 17:21

Firstly, the election of judges, would they be elected for life or would they face reelection after a set term? If the later clearly you wouldn't want to be before a judge soon to be up for re election as the chances are the case wouldn't be settled on it's merrits but on what would be politically popular. If the former, how do you get rid a a terrible judge? Further I find it hard to believe that you could keep party affiliation out of any election system, which of course make the the judiciary under an alarming degree of political control, and thus the end of democracy, to be alarmist. I'm not even clear what rationale there is for electing judges, would you elect your doctor? Your dentist? Your Lecturer?
Secondly, the trial. To be clear, are you talking about just civil cases here or about criminal ones too? Esentially it seems you've recreated Athenian justice, Pericles and all that, where IIRC the the plaintiff and the defendant had to argue their case before an audience of their peer and whom ever they sided with won the case. Of course the problem was that not everyone was skilled at debate so the victor was not neccessaarily the wronged party, just who could argue it best. So then people began to pay orators to coach them in dabating skills, and wealthy families would educate there sons in the skills of discourse, but of course that meant the wealthy would be able to effectively buy their way out of justice so it came to be that the plaintiffs were to be represented by the orators themselves, that there would be fairness in the system and the case could be decided on merit. But then the wealthy discovered that not all orators were born equal and they just paid for the best. Which brings us pretty much up to date.
The system you've suggested would face pretty much the same issues, and there some good reasons why things look the way they do today, not the least of which is to try not to screw the poor. Which I'm afraid your system would undoubtably do. A wealth citizen would be far more likely to know his rights, be able to bring together a case within the statute of limitations, pay for coaching and legal advice and generally be able to make a far better impression of himself before the judge. The crimes committed by a wealthy person are also far more likely to be of a complex and intricate nature and thus to be more difficult to prosecute under the time limits than those of the poor. Further i would point out that by all accounts representing yourself in court is a daunting and challenging task, not to be taken lightly.
When it comes to criminal cases, modern forensic technology means there is often far more evidence of a dense and technical nature which takes a long time to amass as well as to diseminate in trial. All of which comes up against your discovery period and trial length.
Fundamentally I would say, this. Law and order, the enforcement of justice, is the principal purpose of the state, before all other things, first must come justice. It is upon which all other things rest. Without it you can not have trust, you can not have a successful economy, you can not have a content populous. Your right that the current legal systems in the west have become far too bogged down in procedure and 800 years of acumilated practice. Something more effective, quicker , better must be possible. But first and foremost it must be fair, it must seek the truth, and it must be effective at producing the societally desired results, and then it must be fair again.
your system certainly sounds quicker, but it doesn't so far sound particularly fair, or indeed effective. Remember it is a false economy to have fewer quicerk trials at the expense of more crinimals going free. People don't genrally like that.
Welcome to the forum by the way.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   17.07.08 9:34

Thanks for the comments!

To answer your questions:
I foresee judges being elected for a period of 5-10 years. They can only serve one term. Should they starting making judgments that the people don't like, they can be removed from office by petition and after investigation by a panel of attorneys.

Why would it be difficult to keep party affiliation out? If you begin with a system (judicial) that doesn't value parties, then there is no reason why it would be brought up in the future. People wouldn't expect to know the judges' political parties if that's how it has always been.

The reason Athens's system failed was because too much was based on the rhetoric and speaking skills of the parties. In this system, judges don't make judgments based on the appearance or characteristics of a party, but on the evidence given. Judges should be fair and unbiased.

Also, representing yourself without the help of an attorney is their choice. If poor people want an attorney in a small claims matter, then that's their choice. There would be a group of state attorneys for this purpose.

You also brought up criminal cases, which I neglected to mention. In the case of mass amounts of forensic evidence, which does take a lot of time to analyze, special time extensions would be allowed.

Lastly, there's no reason why anyone who felt they had a case couldn't pursue one. In addition, there's no reason why there would be more criminals: they're prosecuted just like they are nowadays, but without the dragging of feet that's inherent in our current system. (Delaying trials for asinine reasons.)

Overall it's not a huge step away from our current system, just a streamlining, more effective, and less wasteful way to do it.

Oh, forgot to mention. The election of judges would only occur for the high courts, lower courts would be appointed by the state/region.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   17.07.08 16:00

welcome to the CS forum cheers

Seems like you will make many worthwhile contributions.

BTW, any other browsers that are reading these, feel free to join. Wink


I've always felt that it is wrong to have juries actually present at the trials. A record (text only, with only things like defendant and prosecution) should be given. I do like the time limits, though. I will restate that cases should only determine guilt or not, then another trial for the punishment.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   18.07.08 3:27

The problem with elected judges is not them making decisions that people don't like but deliberately populous ones over what is actually the right thing to do. A defendant already hung drawn and quartered in the media could end a judges career if found innocent.

Political parties exist in a most basic sense to help each other get elected, the resources, skills, and tactical ability required to win the election lie not with the candidate but with the party they ally themselves with. If this were not the case the winner of the election would merely be the best person at winning elections, and not at their actual job. The party system atempts to mollify this, thus there are very few public elections without party affiliation.

I know you said there were state attorneys available, but you also said they had to be paid for by the individual. Only the wealth could afford to do that. Sure it is a choice, but a choice largely informed by whether you could afford to do that.

Yes everyone would be free to pursue a case, as long as they had the resources to take significant time off work, possibly hire expert testimony, a legal secretary, legal consultants etc. Anyone could go to court, but the barrier to doing so seems substantial.

Finally, I didn't mean to imply there would be more crinimals, only that your system would result in fewer going to trial and thus more going free, although clearly if they get trial they're going down given the ability of the average prison population to be able to present their defense in court.


Juries, how about filming the whole trial, edit it down for disregard that's and pauses for legal argument, and the boring bits (kidding) then screen it to the jury in a nice home theatre come deliberation room where they can pause and rewind testimony. Alternatively it can be posted online at youjudge.com were it can be rated guilty or notguilty, with the added benifit of making back on advertising what you lose on the trial.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   18.07.08 17:45

Even if that was sarcastic, I think that it's a good idea. Maybe like 50% youjudge.co.CS, and 50% juries. I think only the legal record should show, though (IE the words said)
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   19.07.08 15:02

Well, the government should be limited in the amount of laws they can pass. Perhaps maybe the can pass 250 to 500 laws, making it a lot easier for the average person to understand.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   20.07.08 11:05

I don't know about an actual limit, but it's certainly a problem that some governments believe that to be seen to be doing something their role is to continually pass new legislation when in fact we would be better off if they concentrated on making sure that the existing laws and policy are enforced and carried through in the most efective and efficient manner.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   20.07.08 18:06

lkm,

I agree totally. If a government's legislative body isn't constantly passing laws, many people think they're not doing their job. When they have all the laws passed that they deem necessary at that point in time, then why not do something else? They could spend more time using their oversight powers to make sure things are up to par.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   08.08.08 11:14

Well of course that's the other crack habit of government, micromanaging govermental agencies. The number of billions wasted in the US because at some point oversight came to mean cancelling projects, if a committee isn't seen to be putting a red line through half the line items in an agencies budget they think the public won't believe they're doing their job, and it's always easier to not spend money because that way nothing gets done and nobody can prove that the money wouldn't have been wasted. But of course things do need to be done so what happens is every time the rug is pulled on something it will just come round again, maybe looking slightly different but essentially doing the same thing.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   10.08.08 15:44

Maybe state projects should be managed by some sort of open source university type thing, with a set budget (voted on by the people, where the scientists there decide how much money projects should get?

By open source, I mean strictly egalitarian, everyone has some management duties.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   14.08.08 11:06

Wouldn't we all be better off if the people with management responsiblities, actual had, you know, skill and ability in that area. Or would that some how just be toooo crazy?
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   18.08.08 21:28

Civil service examinations are a must, but they shouldn't allow someone to remain employed virtually forever, which is the case in many American (and other) bureaucracies. Yearly (or even quarterly) performance reviews should be undertaken, and if you're not up to par, you're fired. No more of the immunity and permanence that civil servants enjoy now.
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   20.08.08 11:03

I definitely agree. Look at the good they did for china.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Judicial System   23.08.08 5:05

Is that sarcasm? Sometimes it's hard to tell.
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