JDC’s rights and responsibilities discussed

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During its plenary session on January 8, Parliament convened with an attendace of 59.5 percent to discuss the draft revision of the Law on Courts of Mongolia.

Lawmakers supported the amendment of Article 100 on the Judicial Disciplinary Committee (JDC). In particular, the bill stipulates that the JDC shall impose suspension, dismissal and other disciplinary sanctions in accordance with the grounds and procedures provided by law, and will have an independent budget.

       

       The JDC shall consist of nine members. A judge member of the committee must have served as a judge for at least 10 years and must not have been subject to disciplinary action. Other members, who must be citizens of Mongolia, must have a high degree in law, have worked in the legal profession for at least 10 years, have not reached the age limit for public service, have not held position of judge, political office or political party chair in the past, or have not been prosecuted in the last five years.

One judge from the supervisory court, two judges from appellate court and one judge from primary court shall be elected by secret ballot by the General Judicial Assembly, and the other five members of the committee shall be appointed by Parliament on the basis of an open selection. The term of office of a member of the committee shall be six years and they will serve only one term.

The chair of the JDC shall be elected from among its members by a secret ballot for a single term of one year. Within the scope of its authority, the committee shall consider applications, information, complaints, protests, and disciplinary cases individually or collectively, hold open voting, and make decisions by a majority vote.

Lawmakers supported to add Article 112 on expert opinion and change articles 113 through to 120 on registration, report and transparency of judicial disciplinary cases.

Article 112 of the draft revision states, “A rapporteur can appoint an expert on his or her own initiative or at the request of a participant in a disciplinary case to clarify issues that require special knowledge. An expert shall follow the procedures set forth in the Law on Forensic Examination to conduct an analysis and make a conclusion”.

In accordance with Article 120 of the bill, a working group of the JDC shall keep records of disciplinary cases of judges and issue a report on activities of the committee. In addition, the committee’s report will be posted on its website, and submitted to Parliament within the first quarter of each year.

Article 114.1 of the bill stating, “This law shall come into force on March 1, 2021”, was supported by Parliament. Lawmakers also supported Article 8, which stipulates, “Parliament shall select and appoint non-judge members of the Judiciary General Council and the JDC within 120 days from the date of entry into force of the Law on Courts of Mongolia (revised version)”.

Parliament decided to transfer the draft revision of the Law on Courts to the Standing Committee on Justice for preparation for its final discussion.

RETHINKING EDUCATION

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Ya.Sodbaatar presented a report about the quality and accessibility of educational institutions in all levels, school and kindergarten enrollment, and measures to transfer lessons and training to electronic form, during the plenary session.

Noting that in the 2020-2021 academic year, 97,132 teachers and staff are working in 2,281 organizations in the education sector, providing pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education services to about 1 million children and youth, the deputy prime minister said, “Implementing a textbook rental system and creating a revolving fund will provide all middle and high school students with a set of textbooks, reduce textbook purchase costs, and improve the quality of education.”

“Primary school lessons were translated into Kazakh and Tuvan and delivered to target children in the form of tele-lessons. In addition, other special needs and lifelong education and subjects for general entrance exam were prepared in electronic form to ensure equal accessibility to every child.”

“Kindergarten and secondary school students who do not have the technical ability to watch TV lessons in their family environment were provided with the full content of the lessons, and manuals with lessons, exercises and assignments were prepared and delivered to prevent them from dropping out of school,” he added.

Lawmaker T.Dorjkhand noted that in the future, educational institutions of all levels need to move to a combination of classroom and e-learning, while Parliamentarian N.Ganibal said that despite the high risk of the pandemic in Ulaanbaatar, there is an opportunity to conduct classroom training in schools and kindergartens in rural areas and soums.

Misheel Lkhasuren

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