The Citizen Review Boardsi are the first line of a two-tiered layer of defense of the general population from the governing body. It is believed that an active Citizen Review Board will tend to discourage the governing body from making any egregious attempts at usurping powers not justly and, by the consent of those being governed, rightfully granted to the governing body. It will also serve to prevent abuses of even those powers that are rightfully granted to the governing body. In cases where the actions of the governing body are seen to be overly oppressive and/or restrictive in terms of societal norms as established by the general population, the matters in question will be brought before the Citizen Review Board for further review and examination. The Board may also present cases to the Ombudsman Program for further review and for adjudication in such cases wherein adjudication shall be deemed to be necessary.
Adjudication may be called for when there are exceptionally mitigating circumstances regarding the case of a citizenii. It is foreseen that many cases will require “Minor Adjudication” that will be addressed by the Board directly. These may be perceived (or even real) cases of discrimination and/or other matters of a more civil natureiii rather than actual criminal conduct. Decisions of the Citizen Review Board should directly impact public policy and legislation including statutes and ordinancesiv. The Citizen Review Boards should make a continued effort to seek out and heed the advice of industry professionals both for and against whatever issue may be in question. It is imperative that these boards hear each and every argument both for and againstv every issue in order that they will be well-informed and capable of making realistic and enforceable decisions on any such issues as may be brought before them.
The entire process of jury nullification may be highly contestable, but it should remain in place in order to ensure that egregious, abusive and/or oppressive laws are never allowed to stand or to be used for the further usurpation of power by the governing agency in place. Like jury duty, citizens will be mandated via random selection to serve as citizen members of the review board, the ombudsman program and where it may be deemed necessary, in any such litigation as may stem from the actions of the review board and/or ombudsman program.
i Traditionally, the Citizen Review Boards and/or similar organizations are limited to oversight of certain sections of the governing body, generally regarding matters of policing and/or legislation. Like the Ombudsman Program, there will be, by necessity, a period of growth and adjustment wherein the complete authority of the Board and the legal ramifications of their decisions, It is foreseen that upon a complete review of the case at hand, the recommendations of the Review Board shall be coupled with an independent review by industry professionals and any and all mitigating factors noted and addressed, forcing the matter to go in front of the governing body for review. In cases where actual adjudication is demanded and/or necessary, the Citizen Review Board will be able to present cases of concern in front of an Ombudsman Forum for full, lawful adjudication.
ii Think “Justifiable Homicide” as opposed to charges of Murder when there are extenuating circumstances that merit a completely different charge than the one that has been leveled against the citizen ... no matter what that charge may be. While the charges in this case are extreme, the underlying point should be that there are sometimes mitigating factors that do in fact, justify what would otherwise be criminal action.
iii A classic example of this type of hearing would be “Does hanging a sign in a business open to the public noting the right of the business establishment to refuse service to anyone for any reason” really allow the business owner to reserve the right to refuse services ... to anyone for any reason whatsoever?
iv The Citizen Review Boards and Ombudsman Forums should work in much the same way as Jury Nullification and other means for the general population to provide a viable and meaningful system of checks and balances and a solid, united defense against government interference with personal matters and even the usurpation of power and oppression of the people.
v Professionals from relevant fields of study should be required to present written and/or oral arguments both for and against whatever issue may be being decided at the time. While different experts may take either one side or the other, it is also beneficial when industry professionals can present the best and the worst of both sides of any discussion. The written reports will be entered into the official record and kept as part of the official archives and annals as noted herein.
Let us know what you think please!