DOC/OS(XXX)247 Page 3 4) Independent tribunal a) The independence of judicial bodies and judicial officers shall be guaranteed by the constitution and laws of the country and respected by the government, its agencies and authorities; b) Judicial bodies shall be established by law to have adjudicative functions to determine matters within their competence on the basis of the rule of law and in accordance with proceedings conducted in the prescribed manner; c) The judiciary shall have jurisdiction over all issues of a judicial nature and shall have exclusive authority to decide whether an issue submitted for decision is within the competence of a judicial body as defined by law; d) A judicial body’s jurisdiction may be determined, inter alia, by considering where the events involved in the dispute or offence took place, where the property in dispute is located, the place of residence or domicile of the parties and the consent of the parties; e) Military or other special tribunals that do not use the duly established procedure of the legal process shall not be created to displace the jurisdiction belonging to the ordinary judicial bodies; f) There shall not be any inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial process nor shall decisions by judicial bodies be subject to revision except through judicial review, or the mitigation or commutation of sentence by competent authorities, in accordance with the law; g) All judicial bodies shall be independent from the executive branch. h) The process for appointments to judicial bodies shall be transparent and accountable and the establishment of an independent body for this purpose is encouraged. Any method of judicial selection shall safeguard the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. i) The sole criteria for appointment to judicial office shall be the suitability of a candidate for such office by reason of integrity, appropriate training or learning and ability. j) Any person who meets the criteria shall be entitled to be considered for judicial office without discrimination on any grounds such as race, colour, ethnic origin, language, sex, gender, political or other opinion, religion, creed, disability, national or social origin, birth, economic or other status. However, it shall not be discriminatory for states to: (i) prescribe a minimum age or experience for candidates for judicial office; (ii) prescribe a maximum or retirement age or duration of service for judicial officers; (iii) prescribe that such maximum or retirement age or duration of service may vary with different level of judges, magistrates or other officers in the judiciary; (iv) require that only nationals of the state concerned shall be eligible for appointment to judicial office. k) No person shall be appointed to judicial office unless they have the appropriate training or learning that enables them to adequately fulfil their functions. l) Judges or members of judicial bodies shall have security of tenure until a mandatory retirement age or the expiry of their term of office. m) The tenure, adequate remuneration, pension, housing, transport, conditions of physical and social security, age of retirement, disciplinary and recourse mechanisms and other conditions of service of judicial officers shall be prescribed and guaranteed by law. n) Judicial officers shall not be: (i) liable in civil or criminal proceedings for improper acts or omissions in the exercise of their judicial functions; (ii) removed from office or subject to other disciplinary or administrative procedures by reason only that their decision has been overturned on appeal or review by a higher judicial body; (iii) appointed under a contract for a fixed term.