Article III: TCU Judiciary (TCUJ)
A. Role and Responsibility of the TCUJ
The judicial powers of the TCU shall be exercised by a student court called the Tufts Community Judiciary (TCUJ).
- The seven elected (See Article VI, Section A, Subsection 3) justices of the TCUJ shall:
- Be empowered to rule on and interpret the Constitutionality of legislation, decisions, and actions of any organization of the TCU.
- Have the responsibility of recognizing and re-recognizing student organizations. The TCUJ shall re-recognize all student organizations not less than once every two years through a detailed procedure outlined in their bylaws. Student Organizations must be in compliance with University policy in order to be recognized. TCU recognized organizations are not allowed to, in membership, rank or voting privilege, discriminate based on self-acceptance of one’s race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or disability. The rules by which student organizations are recognized shall be written by the CSL for the TCUJ to uphold and enforce. The TCUJ shall have bylaws describing the process by which student organizations gain recognition.
- Uphold and defend the word and spirit of this Constitution, and the bylaws of the TCUJ.
- The TCUJ as a whole shall not initiate or suggest litigation.
- The TCUJ may issue judicial orders to force members of the TCU Senate, Elections Commission and Recognized Student Organizations to adhere to their Constitutional responsibilities.
- Judicial Orders may not be issued a priori; Judicial orders may be delivered ! only after an act that the Judiciary deems unconstitutional.
B. Officers and Responsibilities:
Officers of the TCUJ shall be elected in accordance with Article VI, Section B, Subsection 2 of this Constitution.
- The Chair of the TCUJ shall:
- Be responsible for the proper conduct of all business of the TCUJ.
- Call and chair sessions of the TCUJ.
- Present any new TCUJ bylaws at the next meeting of the Senate following approval.
- The Vice-Chair of the TCUJ shall:
- Assume the responsibilities of the Chair in the event of his/her temporary absence or incapacity, or in the event that the Chair is temporarily prohibited from fulfilling his/her duties by the provisions of this Constitution.
- The Recognition Chair shall:
- Oversee the recognition of organizations of the TCU. All actions taken by the Recognition chair must be reported in writing to the TCU Senate Treasurer and the Office of Student Activities within five academic days (as defined in this Article).
- The Re-recognition Chair shall:
- Oversee the re-recognition of organizations of the TCU. All actions taken by the Re- recognition chair must be reported in writing to the TCU Senate Treasurer and the Office of Student Activities within five academic days (as defined in this Article).
- The Historian shall:
- Keep records of all TCUJ decisions.
- Keep minutes of TCUJ meetings.
- Maintain a file of the current Constitutions of TCU recognized organizations.
- Document for public viewing the TCUJ proceedings and rulings for the entire academic year.
- The Treasurer shall:
- Be responsible for keeping the budget for the TCUJ.
- The Advocacy Chair shall:
- Serve as director of the Judicial Advocacy Program.
- Be responsible for Student Judicial Process Training.
- Be liaison to the Judicial Affairs Officer and Dean of Students to ensure adherence to the Advocacy Program.
- Be responsible for all public relations for the Advocacy Program.
- The TCUJ may create new officers and positions as necessary through a majority vote of the Justices.
C. Judicial Advocacy Group
The Judicial Advocacy Group shall:
- Exist as the responsibility of the TCU Judiciary.
- Follow the guidelines outlined in the TCUJ Bylaws in respect to its operations and relationship with the TCUJ.
- No official session of the TCUJ shall be held without a quorum of five members. In the event that one or more members are prohibited from fulfilling their duties by provisions of this Constitution, a quorum shall consist of a majority of those members eligible to serve.
- For all proceedings:
- Meetings of the TCUJ shall be held at least twice per a month during the academic year.
- All meetings of the TCUJ shall be open unless a majority of the justices vote to close the meeting.
- All decisions of the TCUJ shall be rendered by majority vote of the members present.
- A record of all public proceedings shall be kept by the TCUJ, including but not limited to final decisions, reasoning for decisions, and vote counts of the TCUJ.
- All persons appearing before the TCUJ have a right to a fair and impartial hearing. Members of the TCUJ shall have no familiarity with the case and no relationship or involvement, current, or past, with any persons who are litigants in a hearing. Members of the TCUJ will be refused from a particular hearing if any litigant can demonstrate to the Judiciary, prior to the beginning of a hearing, that a particular TCUJ member is not in a position to be objective. A vote of the TCUJ shall be taken any time a litigant appeals the objectivity of a member of the TCUJ prior to the beginning of a hearing. A majority vote of the members present shall determine the participation of the member in question.
- A written complaint with specific charges is required to bring a case before the TCUJ. After receiving a complaint, the TCUJ shall determine if the complaint is within its jurisdiction.
- The TCUJ shall convene a hearing within ten academic days of receipt of the complaint. Academic days shall be defined as weekdays while the University is in session. Weekends and official University holidays and vacations are not considered academic days.
- All parties involved in a case shall be given at least five academic days notice prior to the hearing.
- The previous two requirements may be waived if all parties involved, are in agreement to do so.
- Any party involved in the hearing shall have adequate advance knowledge of the specific charges pending, and of the time and place of the hearing.
- Questioning and discussion during a hearing must be relevant to the nature of the specific violation.
- If a majority decision cannot be reached on a particular charge, petition or motion within five academic days, the charge, petition, or motion forwarded to the CSL without prejudice.