Royal Arbitrational Council
|Royal Arbitrational Council
|Kingdom of Northumbria
|Appointment by an independent body
|King of Northumbria
|Judge term length
|No term limit
The Royal Arbitrational Court is the highest court in the Kingdom of Northumbria, and the 'court of last resort'. It predominantly specialises in constitutional law, an often complex task given Northumbria possesses an uncodified constitution, which means the Council must determine what is and is not constitutional based on a wide set of laws, precedents and customs.
Perhaps the most significant and utilised power of the Court is its role in holding the Witan (the legislature's upper chamber) to account. The Witan possesses a 'hard veto' on bills pertaining to Northumbria's constitution - the scope of this power is in turn determined by the proclamations of the Royal Arbitrational Court. The Witan is also able to amend bills sent from the Parliament (the legislature's lower chamber) but cannot alter the "intended purpose" of said bills; again, the scope of this limitation is determined by the Court.
The underpinning principle of the Northumbrian constitution is that of Parliamentary supremacy - the concept that the legislative body (in particular the lower chamber) may change or abolish previous legislation with a simple majority, and so is not bound by written law or precedent. The Royal Arbitrational Council still utilises judicial review however; a piece of legislation in contradiction with Northumbria's constitution may be ruled to be unconstitutional. If however the legislature once again passes the bill, it is judged to be constitutional, and any contradictory prior laws or precedents are themselves made unconstitutional.