Chief Justice of Sierra

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Chief Justice of Sierra
Juez presidente de Sierra (es)
Juge en chef du Sierra (fr)
Punong Hustisya ng Sierra (tn)
黃金王國首席大法官 (zh)
Chánh án Vương Quốc Vàng (vn)
시에라 대법원장 (ko)
シエラの最高裁判事 (ja)
Oberster Richter von Sierra (de)
Supreme Court of Sierra.svg
Seal of the Supreme Court
Dale A Drozd.jpg
Incumbent
Preston Brantley, PC

since March 13, 2006
Supreme Court of Sierra
Style Mr./Ms. Chief Justice
(informal)
Your Honor
(within court)
The Honorable
(formal)
Status Chief justice
Member of Judiciary of Sierra
National Bureau of Court Administration
Seat Supreme Court Building, Porciúncula
Appointer Queen
with the advice of the Prime Minister and the consent of the Senate
Term length At Her Royal Majesty's pleasure
Constituting instrument Constitution of Sierra
Formation November 27, 1858
(162 years ago)
 (1858-11-27)
First holder Serranus Hastings
Website www.supremecourt.gc.ks
Kingdom of Sierra

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of the
Kingdom of Sierra


The Chief Justice of Sierra is the presiding judge of the Supreme Court of Sierra and the chief administrator of the National Bureau of Court Administration. The office also maintains a seat in the Privy Council by ex officio. As such, the office is the highest-ranking post in the federal judiciary. The Constitution of Sierra asserts that the appointment of the chief justice is a royal prerogative and plenary power reserved to the Queen, based on the advice of the Prime Minister and the consent of the Senate. Chief justices serve at Her Royal Majesty's pleasure, although by convention, chief justices (and by extension, other justices in the Supreme Court) serve for life or until they resign, retire, are incapacitated, or are impeached and convicted.

The chief justice is first among equals among the justices of the Supreme Court and their vote weighs no more than their fellow peers. The chief justice is the most senior judge in the Court, regardless of their date of initial appointment. By convention, the chief justice exercises primary discretionary powers on determining which cases the Supreme Court should review and presides over oral argument held in the Supreme Court. As the most senior judge, they may state their views in Court before any other judge (in order of seniority). When the chief justice's opinion align with the Court's opinion, they have the discretionary right to select who should write the Court's opinion.

In addition to their powers, responsibilities, and duties within the Supreme Court, the chief justice administers all oaths of office made by prime ministers and other executive posts in the presence of the Queen. Historically, the chief justice played an official role in the coronation of the Monarch and investiture of other royals, by officiating and proclaiming the act of coronation or investiture. This role has since been relegated to the Archbishop of Cheshire, the most senior cleric of the Church of New England. The chief justice is also responsible for presiding over all impeachment trials involving the prime minister or other executive posts in the Senate.

The chief justice is also the chief administrator of the National Bureau of Court Administration (NBCA), an independent federal agency responsible for establishing, overseeing, and regulating court procedures, policies, and administration within Sierra's federal judiciaries, as well as cooperation between the federal judiciary and provincial, state, areal, and territorial judiciaries. The chief justice appoints a director who assumes the daily operations and management of the NBCA.

Since the Supreme Court's founding in 1858, the Court has had 7 chief justices, of whom Serranus Hastings (1858–1887) served as the inaugural officeholder. The incumbent chief justice is Preston Brantley who was appointed by Smith II upon the recommendation of Prime Minister Diana Jeong.

Appointment[edit | edit source]

The office of a chief justice is not explicitly mentioned or established in the Constitution, but its existence is presupposed in a number of sections, most notably in Article II, which deals with the impeachment process of the prime minister and other executive officials. The office is formally described in the Federal Judiciary Act of 1889 which is codified in the Sierra Federal Code.

The chief justice is constitutionally appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the consent of the Senate. Although appointing the chief justice is a constitutionally proscribed royal prerogative and plenary power of the Monarch, they traditionally only exercise this power when the prime minister formally advises and recommends a nominee before the Monarch. Generally, the House Committee on Judiciary works alongside the prime minister in finding, screening, interviewing, and selecting eligible candidates. A panel of judges from the National Bureau of Court Administration are then consulted with to choose three candidates for the prime minister to select and recommend to the Monarch.

Unlike other high-ranking offices in the federal government, the Constitution does not specify any qualifications for an individual to be eligible for appointment. By convention, chief justice nominees are selected among the associate justices of the Supreme Court or a puisne judge from either the circuit or district courts.

Roles, powers, responsibilities, and duties[edit | edit source]

In addition to the primary roles, powers, responsibilities, and duties inherent to all justices of the Supreme Court, the chief justice has special roles that sets them apart from their peers.

Impeachment trials[edit | edit source]

The Constitution of Sierra stipulates that the chief justice shall preside over impeachment trials in the Senate involving either of the following positions: the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet, and other civil officers, including those who have been appointed by the Queen by way of the Prime Minister (e.g. fellow peers of the Supreme Court and other federal judges). In the event the chief justice themselves is subject to impeachment or falls under a circumstance that causes them to invoke a recuse, the most senior associate justice in the Supreme Court assumes the responsibility for presiding over the trial as acting chief justice. To date, only one chief justice has presided over an impeachment trial involving a prime minister. Chief Justice Christoph Foertsch (1963-1987) presided over the impeachment trial of Prime Minister Kovrov Stoyanovich. The Senate convicted Stoyanovich of felony charges of embezzlement and fraud, making him the first and only prime minister to have been removed from office by impeachment.

Oaths of office[edit | edit source]

The Constitution declares that the "Chief Justice shall preside over all Oaths or Affirmations of Office made to the Crown by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and other civil officers, in the presence of the Sovereign..." in Article IV, Section VIII, Clause II. Prior to taking office, all government officials must declare their allegiance to the Crown. For high-ranking officials and civil officers, this allegiance must be declared before the Queen, and administered by the Chief Justice. Prime ministers generally pledge the allegiance twice, once in private (shortly after becoming elected into office) and once in public during a scheduled inauguration ceremony. For legal purposes, only the first, private oath is binding while the public inauguration is merely ceremonial, similar to the coronation of the Monarch or investiture of a royal. In either case, the Chief Justice, or their acting designee (the most senior, available justice in the Supreme Court) must be present to administer the oath.

National Bureau of Court Administration[edit | edit source]

The chief justice acts as the head of the federal judiciary. Since the Federal Judiciary Administration Act of 1984, the federal judiciary has been organized under the administration of the National Bureau of Court Administration (NBCA), which is responsible for overseeing and regulating federal court policies, procedures, finances, and management. As such, the chief justice is the chief administrator of the NBCA although they have the discretion to appoint a director to assume the daily operations and management of the NBCA. The chief justice's appointment of the director is one of the only federal-level appointments that are not made by the Prime Minister statutorily or indirectly via royal prerogative. In addition, the appointment does not require consent by the Senate, although by convention, the appointment is made by the advice of the Supreme Court as a whole, as well as select judges from the circuit courts.

Circuit justice[edit | edit source]

List of chief justices[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]