The Union Judiciary is charged with settling disputes among student organizations, Union officials, the Union Government and candidates for elected offices. It is, ideally, a body impaneled to make effective decisions when the Union Constitution is breached. Unfortunately, as cases this semester have proved, that is hardly the situation.The only consistent quality of the UJ is its inconsistency in hearing cases and issuing verdicts. This court does not operate on set procedure-witnesses in past cases have testified via mobile phones-nor does it make its decisions in an expedient fashion. The most recent case is a routine example of this muddled process.

Recently, the Union Senate moved to impeach Bryan Lober '06, former Senator for Off-Campus Students. Only last week, after nearly a month of hearings and deliberations, did the UJ issue its opinion on the matter. While cleared of three charges in his four-count indictment, Lober was found guilty of the third count, absence from committee meetings, and was dismissed from his position by a majority of the Court. However, in a preliminary hearing, the UJ instructed the Senate to prove Lober's guilt as a "disruptive force," but in their final ruling, there is no mentioan of this phrase.

The majority opinion spanned only three pages, and was authored by the chief justice and two associate justices. The other associate justice presiding over Senate v. Bryan Lober, Samuel Dewey '06, issued a scathing, lengthy dissent.

While this board agrees with Dewey's view that Lober was innocent on all counts, this opinion was lost amid his rambling, incoherent diatribe, doled out in quotations from Supreme Court decisions, the Bible and arcane medieval texts.

Complementing Dewey's encyclopedic list of Supreme Court cases are contemptuous harangues toward his fellow justices. Giving labels such as "two-penny whore" and "bandit in the night" is not the mark of a promising jurist, but a drain on students' time and a barrier to judicial expediency.

If the UJ wants to be a valuable body for students, and not a kangaroo court for internal Senate affairs, it should issue plainly written decisions based on precedent. Only then will parties before the court believe that they are engaging in a fair process, devoid of arbitrary decision-making.