Judiciary of Darmen
The judiciary of Darmen is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in Darmen. The Darmeni legal system is largely based on common law, although elements of civil law are present. Trials in both civil and criminal cases are conducted as bench trials. The functioning of Darmen's courts is the responsibility of the Department of Justice, primarily through the Courts and Tribunals Service, which provides non-judicial staffing to Darmen's various courts.
The Constitution of Darmen guarantees the independence of the judiciary. It also prohibits arbitrary detainment and capital punishment. Members of Parliament and of the Executive Cabinet enjoy partial immunity from prosecution. The President of the Republic enjoys total immunity from prosecution, but is still subject to possible impeachment.
All judges in Darmen are appointed for lifetime terms, though they may voluntarily retire or resign at any time. They may not hold any other positions in political or civil life. Courts are headed by a Chief Judge, who is the most senior judge sitting on that particular court's bench. Seniority is determined by the length of service a particular judge has had on a specific court and not as a judge overall. An exception to this is the Supreme Court, where the Chief Justice is named by the President.
Supreme Court of Darmen
The Supreme Court is made up of 11 Justices who are appointed by the President of the Republic, subject to Parliamentary approval.
The Supreme Court may, if called upon by any member of society who has a stake in the matter, rule on the constitutionality of any Darmeni law. If such a law is found to be unconstitutional, it is automatically repealed and such a decision can not be appealed. The Supreme Court may rule any international treaty or agreement contrary to the Constitution, and require that the Constitution be amended before ratification of the treaty or agreement can occur.
The Supreme Court is responsible for verifying the incapacity of the President of the Republic, should the need ever arise. For any Member of Parliament to be arrested when Parliament is not in session, the Supreme Court must grant its approval. MP's may not be arrested when Parliament is in session, except in cases in flagrante delicto.
The Supreme Court must be consulted by the President of the Republic whenever the President wishes to exercise extraordinary measures as allowed by the Constitution. 30 days after the extraordinary measures are exercised, the Supreme Court may be asked by the Speaker of Parliament or 60 members of Parliament to grant their approval to the extraordinary measures. If no request is made within 60 days of the extraordinary measures being exercised, the Supreme Court must grant their approval to the extraordinary measures. The Supreme Court may also declare the extraordinary measures null and void and reverse their effects.
The Supreme Court is tasked with overseeing elections in Darmen. Formerly, in the case of Presidential elections, the Chief Justice announced the results of each ballot and served as chairman of the Electoral College. Today, this oversight is executed by hearing appeals of decisions made by the Electoral Commission. Additionally, the Supreme Court may delay the election of the President of the Republic by up to 14 days should any candidate for President die in the seven days preceding the election. It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to verify signatures collected to initiate a national referendum.
High Court of Appeals
The High Court of Appeals is made up of seven judges who are appointed by the President of the Republic, subject to Parliamentary approval. The High Court of Appeals hears appeals of all criminal and civil cases where the Superior Courts are the court of first instance. It is therefore an intermediary court between the Supreme Court and the Superior Courts. Appeals of the High Court's decisions are heard by the Supreme Court.
There are 12 Superior courts, one for each region in Darmen. Each Superior Court is made up of seven judges who are appointed by the President of the Republic, subject to Parliamentary approval. An exception to this rule is in Esportivan Darmen, where the judges are appointed by the regional president, subject to the approval of the regional council. The Superior courts are the court of first instance for all felony cases and civil cases where claims exceed $100,000 and hear appeals of non-felony criminal cases and all other civil cases which occur within their region of jurisdiction.
Every municipality in Darmen has a Municipal Court. Each Municipal Court is made up of one or more judges; the exact number of judges being determined by the respective Municipal Council. Judges of Municipal courts are appointed by their respective mayors, subject to the approval of the municipal councils. Municipal courts are the court of first instance for all non-felony criminal cases and all civil cases where claims are less than $100,000. Unlike cases heard before other types of courts, all cases in municipal courts are heard before only a single judge.
Administrative law courts
There are two types of courts which concern themselves with administrative law: the High Court of Administrative Law and the 12 regional Courts of Administrative Law. Judges of the administrative law courts are appointed by the President of the Republic, subject to Parliamentary approval. The High Court of Administrative Law is made up of five judges, while the regional Courts of Administrative Law consist of three judges. Appeals of decisions made by the regional Courts of Administrative Law are heard by the High Court, while appeals of the High Court's decisions are heard by the Supreme Court.
Court of Terrorism and Treason
The Court of Terrorism and Treason is a special court which only hears cases concerning terrorism and treason. It is made up of seven judges who are appointed by the President of the Republic, subject to Parliamentary approval. It has the lowest caseload of any of Darmen's courts, hearing on average just one case per year. Because of this, it is often considered a court of "semi-retirement" for older judges to sit on as a reward for previous service in other courts.