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Impeachment trial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An impeachment trial is a trial that functions as a component of an impeachment. Several governments utilize impeachment trials as a part of their processes for impeachment, but differ as to when in the impeachment process trials take place and how such trials are held.

Trial as an earlier stage of an impeachment process

In some countries, the term "impeachment" refers to the ultimate removal of an officeholder. In some such countries, a trial process is a component of the process related to impeachment, and occurs prior to an "impeachment" vote. An example of a government where this is the case is Brazil.[1]

Trial as the final stage of a bifurcated impeachment process

Photograph of the United States Senate Chamber during the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, who was acquitted and stayed in office
Photograph of the United States Senate Chamber during the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, who was acquitted and stayed in office

Several other governments use a bifurcated (two-stage) process in which a vote to "impeach" triggers a subsequent trial in which the "impeached" individual is tried to determine whether they should be removed from office.

In the United States, impeachment trials are held by both the federal and nearly all state governments as the second step in a bifurcated impeachment process, taking place after a vote to "impeach". Federal impeachment trial in the United States takes place after the United States Congress' lower chamber, the United States House of Representatives, has voted to "impeach" an official. The impeachment trial takes place in the upper chamber of the United States Congress, the United States Senate, with members of that body serving as jurors in the trial.[2] Forty-nine of fifty state governments in the United States have impeachment processes, and all hold trials as part of their processes. The lone exception is the state of Oregon. Most states follow the same model as the United States federal government of having the lower chamber of their legislatures hold a vote to "impeach", thereby triggering an impeachment trial held in the upper chamber of their legislatures. However, several states do differ from the convention of holding the impeachment trial in the state legislature’s upper chamber. In a reverse, in Alaska it is the upper chamber of the legislature that votes to impeach while the lower chamber acts as the court of impeachment.[3] In Missouri, after the lower chamber votes to impeach, an impeachment trial is held before the Supreme Court of Missouri, except for members of that court or for governors, whose impeachments are to be tried by a panel of seven judges (requiring a vote of five judges to convict), with the members of the panel being selected by the upper legislative chamber, the Missouri State Senate. [4] In Nebraska, which has a unicameral legislature, after the Nebraska Legislature votes to impeach, an impeachment trial takes place before the Nebraska Supreme Court. In Oklahoma, after an impeachment vote, both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature act together as a court of impeachment in a joint session.[3] In addition to all the members of its upper chamber, the state of New York's Court of the Trial of Impeachments also includes all seven members of the state's highest court, the New York Court of Appeals.[5] Other governments in the United States also utilize impeachment trials in impeachment processes, one example being many tribal governments.[6]

Impeachment in the Philippines functions very similarly to the United States federal impeachment as well.[7] In Paraguay, presidential impeachment similarly sees the lower chamber of the Congress of Paraguay (the Chamber of Deputies) first hold an impeachment vote, which triggers a trial in the upper chamber (the Senate), which votes as to whether to remove the president.[8]

France’s procedure of "destitution" (a process to remove the president of France which is similar to impeachment) has a slightly similar process to the United States with a bifurcated process that involves a legislative body acting as a "court" in the second stage. After the destitution process is formally acknowledged by both chambers of the legislature, completing the first step, the two chambers together form a "High Court" tasked with reaching a verdict on whether to remove the president.[9]

Hungary also has a bifurcated process for removal of a president through impeachment. After a president is impeached, their powers are suspended and proceedings are held before the Constitutional Court of Hungary, which is tasked with reaching a decision on whether or not to remove the president from office.[10][11][12] Similarly, in Italy, after a president is impeached through a majority vote of the Parliament in joint session for high treason and/or for attempting to overthrow the Constitution, the president is tried by a panel including the justices of the Constitutional Court of Italy as well as sixteen citizens older than forty chosen by lot from a list that is compiled by the Parliament every nine years.[13][14]

In Turkey's presidential impeachment process, the president is tried before Constitutional Court after being impeached by the Turkish Parliament.[15]

In the United Kingdom, any individual can, in principle, be prosecuted and face trial in an impeachment by the two Houses of Parliament for any crime.[16] However, this process has long since been, in practice, rendered obsolete, and has supplemented by other forms of oversight including select committees, confidence motions, and judicial review. The privilege of peers to trial only in the House of Lords was abolished in 1948 (see Judicial functions of the House of Lords § Trials).[16] This power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, while obsolete, is still considered extant.[17]

Denmark has a Court of Impeachment, a formal court dedicated to holding impeachment trials. After a vote to "impeach" by the Danish Parliament, officials go before this court. The court consists of the fifteen most senior justices on the Danish Supreme Court as well as fifteen further mmembers selected by the Danish Parliament. The members appointed by Parliament serve on the court for six-year terms, and members of the Parliament cannot serve or be chosen to serve on the panel.[18]

In Norway, for impeachments, a Court of Impeachment tries impeached individuals.[19][20]

Several presidents of Peru have faced impeachment hearings regarded to be impeachment trials. These hearings have come following formal impeachment votes by the Congress of the Republic of Peru to launch proceedings.[21][22][23]

In South Korea, an impeachment vote is followed by an impeachment trial.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Romero, Simon; Sreeharsha, Vinod; Rousseau, Bryant (3 April 2016). "Brazil Impeachment: The Process for Removing the President". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Cole, JareD P.; Garvey, Todd (November 20, 2019). "Impeachment and the Constitution". Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Gubernatorial impeachment procedures". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Article VII, Missouri Constitution". Ballotpedia.
  5. ^ Niedzwaidek, Nick; Golway, Terry (August 3, 2021). "Here's how impeachment works in New York". Politico. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  6. ^ "Tribal Programs" (PDF). Bureau of Indian Affairs. February 1984. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  7. ^ Chan-Robles Virtual Law Library. "The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines—Article XI". Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  8. ^ Daniela, Desantis; Cristaldo, Didier (21 June 2012). "Paraguay's president faces impeachment". Reuters. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  9. ^ "France's Constitution of 1958 with Amendments through 2008" (PDF). Comparative Constitutions Project. April 27, 2022. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Magyarország Alaptörvénye—Hatályos Jogszabályok Gyűjteménye". (in Hungarian). 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  11. ^ "Fundamental Law of Hungary". Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  12. ^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Hungary". Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  13. ^ "Constitution of Italy". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  14. ^ "Factbox - Impeachment of a President: How it works in Italy". Reuters. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  15. ^ "Turkey's Parliament". Center for American Progress. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  16. ^ a b Simson Caird, Jack (6 June 2016). "Commons Briefing papers CBP-7612" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  17. ^ Caird, Jack Simson (6 June 2016). "Impeachment". House of Commons Library.
  18. ^ Hofverberg, Elin (31 August 2021). "FALQs: Impeachment Rules in Denmark | In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress". United States Library of Congress.
  19. ^ "Norway 1814 (rev. 2016) Constitution - Constitute". Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  20. ^ Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments COMMUNICATION from MR HANS BRATTESTÅ Secretary General of the Storting of Norway on IMPEACHMENT: STILL A RELEVANT INSTITUTION? – RECENT CHANGES IN NORWAY Cape Town Session April 2008. UNION INTERPARLEMENTAIRE. April 2008.
  21. ^ "Peru's Congress votes to remove president Castillo in impeachment trial". Reuters. 7 December 2022. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  22. ^ "Peru's President Vizcarra to face fresh impeachment trial over bribery allegations". France 24. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  23. ^ "Peru's president faces impeachment trial – DW – 03/15/2018". March 15, 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  24. ^ Sang-Hun, Choe (5 January 2017). "Impeachment Trial of South Korea President Called Mob Justice". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
This page was last edited on 23 March 2023, at 01:45
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