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If you enjoy reading my fiction and metafiction, please consider becoming one of my patrons via Patreon.
Thank you very much for helping me continue, and expand, doing what I love.
Continued from part two.
SECTION III: SHAREHOLDING AND CITIZENSHIP
Article I: On Imperial Shares
The Empire, as a corporation sovereign, shall issue a number of shares of citizen stock equivalent to the number of Imperial citizens. Such shares shall be nontransferable, and issued to each citizen-shareholder of the Empire at the point of their becoming so, and shall confer the rights of citizenship with ownership. Such stock shall be purchased by the new citizen at the current floating market price, and shall be repurchased by the Empire from their estate upon the citizen’s death, or from the citizen directly should they renounce their citizenship on some future date.
The Empire shall maintain a register of all citizen-shareholders, this register to be maintained at the seat of government and to be open to the examination of any citizen-shareholder at any time; and each citizen-shareholder shall be provided with a certificate indicating their status and ownership of citizen stock.
Such surplus income as the Empire shall derive from sources other than service fees, once all disbursements and the requirements of the Reserve Fund shall be met, shall be distributed to the citizen-shareholders of the Empire as a dividend, allocated in due and strict proportion.
Article II: On Citizenship
The Empire shall consider as an Imperial citizen-shareholder any sophont who shall both have assumed allegiance to the Empire, in front of the Imperial Couple, the Senate, or any other body appointed for such purpose by the Imperial Couple, or any therein wielding authority by right of coronargyr and the Imperial Mandate, such assumption of allegiance to consist of placing their seal upon a copy of this Charter to signify their acceptance of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen enumerated herein, and of purchasing, or having purchased on their behalf, a single share in the incorporate Empire at the current floating market price; or
Any sophont native to or naturalized by a nation of the Empire at the time of the ratification of this Charter;
Provided that they shall possess, upon audit, the minimal standard of rationality and mental stability prescribed by the Eupraxic Collegium.
(The above boldface section was added by the Eleventh Amendment, of which more later.)
Neither one born within the territory of the Empire, nor one born of an Imperial citizen-shareholder after the time of the ratification of this Charter, shall become a citizen-shareholder through any means save that of assuming allegiance to the Empire, as provided for by this article.
No sophont shall be permitted to become a citizen-shareholder of the Empire who cannot demonstrate an understanding of this Charter and of the Imperial language (This is specifically held to include any form of the Eldraeic language, such that citizenship is possible without regard to physical substrate, and therefore capacity to speak or understand specific Eldraeic linguaforms — ed.); or who is not willing to live in accordance with the principles, rights, and responsibilities described therein.
The Senate, or its duly appointed delegate, shall have the right to withhold citizenship from any sophont who wishes to assume allegiance to the Empire for:
Although no sophont born within the territories of the Empire, nor any sophont born of or created by an Imperial citizen-shareholder, shall be denied citizenship upon attaining their majority or on later application, without public disclosure of the reasons for this denial and the right to appeal this denial to the Curial courts; nor shall any citizen-shareholder be deprived of their citizenship without due process of law.
(The above boldface was added by the Fifth Amendment, “Rights of Genesis”, on which more below.)
Article III: Fundamental Rights of the Sophont
This Charter acknowledges that any just and honorable government must and shall be built on the ancient and sacred inalienable rights of all sophont beings, and thus declares that the Empire shall hold as its fundamental law the Four Fundamental Rights of the Fundamental Contract:
The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Domain for every sophont within its domain: that their property and domicile shall not be appropriated, traded, moved, altered, used or destroyed without their informed consent; such property to include each sophont’s body, work, and services.
The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Defense for every sophont within its domain: that they may violate the Right of Domain of another sophont in defense of their own Right of Domain.
The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Common Defense for every sophont within its domain: that they may exercise the Right of Defense on behalf of another sophont, with their permission (In some cases, such as domestic violence, Stockholm syndrome, or insanity, case law holds that an individual may be temporarily psychologically incapable of granting permissions which would have been granted by an uncoerced and/or rational version of that individual. — ed.), or if they have reasonable grounds to believe that it would be granted were they able to do so.
The Empire shall respect and enforce the inalienable Right of Fair Contract for every sophont within its domain: that they may transfer present or future property rights or services to another sophont, on a temporary, partial, permanent or provisional basis, provided both come to a mutual agreement without fraud or duress.
No citizen-shareholder, constituent nation, or instrumentality of the government of the Empire shall violate the Four Fundamental Rights of any sophont, unless in the due process of law prosecuting a violation of the Four Fundamental Rights by said sophont.
In assuming allegiance to the Empire, all citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall be held as having consented and contracted to undertake the responsibilities of the citizen-shareholder outlined in Section III, Article V of this Charter.
Article IV: Imperial Rights of the Citizen-Shareholder
The Empire guarantees the following inalienable civic rights to all Imperial citizen-shareholders, over and above the fundamental rights of all sophonts.
Right of Person and Property: In recognizing the sacred and fundamental Right of Domain, the responsibilities of the citizen notwithstanding, all Imperial citizen-shareholders shall retain the inviolability of their minds, persons, homes, data, correspondence, and honor, save in accordance with strict process of justice, upon probable cause and within specific bounds, or for the immediate public safety. And since property is an inviolable and sacred right, no one shall be deprived thereof except where public necessity (This has the very specific meaning and implication of both usage by the governance, Imperial or local, for a public purpose, and one which cannot be reasonably carried out in another way. For example, the governance cannot use this power to obtain land for a public building, since they could purchase land for this purpose and the location of such is fungible. However, they can use it to obtain land to construct a road — one of the long-distance Interstate-type not managed by local odocorps — since they require a specific route it would be impractical to obtain otherwise. In actual practice, most Imperial constituent governances endeavor to reserve land from terra nullius suitable for anticipated future needs. — ed.), legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and then only on condition that the owner shall have been previously and equitably indemnified; when the immediate preservation of the public safety and order shall demand it; or by due process of law as punishment for a crime.
There shall be neither chattel slavery nor any other form of involuntary servitude in the Empire.
Right of Knowledge: Access to information shall not be abridged by the Empire, or by any instrumentality thereof, save to the least extent required for the public safety; nor shall the freedom of research and inquiry; nor shall the freedom of speech, nor that of the press, save when such information or speech constitutes, in whole or in part, infectious or self-executing code; nor shall the right of the people peaceably to assemble be abridged, subject to the availability of free public volume in which to assemble, and the capacity of the local environment to sustain life.
(The first piece of boldface there is the Eighth Amendment, passed after advances in memetics had permitted “viral ideas” to be constructed which affected the brain in such a manner as to effectively (if temporarily, usually) constitute brainwashing; and technology coming into existence permitted self-executing code to be inserted into the brain to run autonomously and override individual will; such mechanisms that control rather than inform the brain posed risks which required this minor redefinition of the freedom of speech.
The second one is the Third Amendment, which expanded on the existing “public volume” principle that you had to leave enough volume available for other people to go about their business in peace, i.e., not cause obstruction, to cover life-support system capacity, after the first incident of people holding a sufficiently large and poorly-planned assembly in space as to result in cases of severe oxygen deprivation.)
Right of Arms: In recognizing the sacred and fundamental Right of Defense, all Imperial citizen-shareholders shall retain the right to bear such personal arms (The strict Eldraeic meaning of “personal arms” here implies those weapons which can be reasonably used by a single man in personal combat; firearms, for example, even rather large ones, are generally covered, while war mechanicals (requiring a crew) and instruments of regrettable necessity (used in large-scale combat) are not, even though the ownership of the vast majority of these has never been restricted by Imperial statute law. — ed.) as they deem their honor and the public safety to require; nor shall the exercise of this right be abridged on account of any crisis or state of emergency, howsoever existing or declared.
Right of Association: All citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall have the right to form and eschew associations with their fellows as they shall see fit; and they shall also have the right to form, join, withdraw from, and disband such coadunations (The term “coadunation”, in Imperial parlance, implies any organized group with legal personality. Not necessarily implying a business organization, such as a corporation; any organized body with legal personality is considered a coadunation. — ed.) as they shall see fit; nor shall anyone be compelled to become or remain a member of such a coadunation; and this right of association shall only be restricted by law on the grounds of protecting the public safety, the public order, or the public health.
Such coadunations, as associations of citizen-shareholders, shall have legal personality; and shall be guaranteed rights and be bound by responsibilities equal and equivalent to those guaranteed to and binding the citizen-shareholders constituting them, without exception.
Right of Trade: In recognizing the sacred and fundamental Right of Fair Contract, all Imperial citizen-shareholders shall retain the right to work within their trade or profession, to own, buy, and sell goods and capital, to enter freely into binding contracts, and to otherwise transact business within the Empire, without let or hindrance; and no law shall be made impairing the obligation of contracts, or restricting the freedom of trade.
Rights of Petition and Appeal: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire shall have the right to petition the runér in whose fief a matter, having direct negative impact upon them, falls for redress of grievances; to, should they fail to relieve such grievances, appeal further to that runér‘s superior; and finally, to appeal for redress to the Imperial Couple.
Right of Voyage: An Imperial citizen-shareholder shall have the right to travel freely between and take up residence within the Empire’s constituent nations, except where impeded by due process of law for the public safety or public health; to leave the Empire; and having left the Empire, to return to it, except where prohibited by previous due process of law completed before the date of their departure.
Rights of Justice: The Empire shall recognize these rights of an Imperial citizen-shareholder accused of a crime:
For the protection of the citizen-shareholders against the unjust application of law, the privileges of the prerogative writs shall never be suspended; nor shall any ex post facto law be passed; nor bill of attainder, bill of pains and penalties, or lettre de cachet be used; nor conviction work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
And all citizen-shareholders of the Empire shall and must have full recourse to the courts of justice and mediation both for remedy.
Right of Self-Mutagenesis: The Empire shall respect the right of each and every sophont of self-ownership insofar as, but not limited to, each citizen-shareholder’s inalienable right to modify their physical substrate as they shall see fit, through genetic or cybernetic technologies or through any other means, including the right to transfer their mind-state to such replacement physical substrates as they shall see fit.
While the Empire shall respect the Right of Self-Mutagenesis with respect to germline genetic modifications or other modifications which may affect the subsequent creation of other sophonts, the Right of Self-Mutagenesis shall not be held to supersede lawful restrictions upon reproduction imposed for the public health, or for the benefit of the incipient sophont.
(The entire right of self-mutagenesis was introduced in the Fourth Amendment, to preemptively clarify and guarantee what was, in any case, a right to self-alteration implicit in the right of Domain.
The boldface portion, however, was added by the Fifth Amendment, “Rights of Genesis”, of which more details are given below.)
Right of Gnosis: The Empire shall respect the right of each and every sophont of self-ownership insofar as, but not limited to, each citizen-shareholder’s inalienable right to modify their mind-state as they shall see fit, through noumenal pharmacy, psychedesign, noetic modification, or through any other means, provided only that such modifications do not constitute pernicious irrationality threatening the public order, the public safety, or the public health.
(Similar to the above, the right of gnosis was introduced by the Ninth Amendment for essentially the same reasons as the Fourth Amendment. One may also see here the beginnings of the rules against pernicious irrationality, which reached their full extent with the Eleventh Amendment.)
Right of Assistance: Inasmuch as the Eldraeic Transcend exists coextensively with the Empire, the Transcend guarantees to all Imperial citizen-shareholders, whether currently Aspects of the Transcend or not, the assistance and advice on demand of a Transcendent coadjutor.
(The right of assistance was introduced by the Twelfth Amendment, as part of the general process of recognizing that the Transcend had become effectively coextensive, for the most part, with the Empire.
A coadjutor, in the Transcendent sense, is a dedicated AI subroutine devoted to the best interests of its assignee. In short, it’s the weakly-godlike-superintelligence version of a guardian angel.)
Article V: Responsibilities of the Citizen-Shareholder
To permit the fulfillment of the purposes of the Empire, as laid down in this Charter, all citizen-shareholders of the Empire agree and contract, by virtue of their citizenship, to fulfill the responsibilities here laid down.
Responsibility of Law: It shall be the duty of each citizen-shareholder of the Empire to abide by this Charter and respect its ideals and institutions; to follow the law of the Empire in such matters as this Charter shall provide for the existence of such law; and to uphold the sovereignty and unity of the Empire.
Responsibility of Support: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of paying such service fees as this Charter permits and as the Exchequer shall deem necessary, within the bounds laid down in this Charter, for the maintenance of the Imperial governance and the fulfillment of its purposes herein defined.
Responsibility of Common Defense: Inasmuch as the Empire guarantees to its citizen-shareholders the right to, and the means for, the common defense, each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of participating in the common defense (This clause should not be interpreted as establishing a military draft; the citizen militia is a necessarily unorganized (due to the prohibition on forced labor) body which exists solely for defense, and cannot be deployed as an instrumentality of offensive or preemptive warfare. — ed.); to defend other citizen-shareholders when and wheresoever it may be necessary; as part of the citizen militia and severally from it to defend the Empire, and its people wholly or severally, when they are threatened, whether by ill deed or cataclysm of nature; and to value and preserve the rich heritage of our ancestors and our cultures both common and disparate.
Responsibility of Eminent Domain: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the necessity of transferring specific and enumerated items of property to the government of the Empire or that of a constituent nation when it shall exercise the power of eminent domain as set forth in and restricted by this Charter, provided that public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and when they shall have been previously and equitably indemnified (Equitable indemnification, in Imperial terms, generally means 108/96ths of the current open market price, plus reasonable relocation expenses where necessary.).
Responsibility of Sortition: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of service, when selected, either in the Senate or in such local assemblies as the demesnes in which they are domiciled shall require, for the sound governance of the Empire; and to vote when called upon in plebiscites.
Responsibility of Self-Development: Each citizen-shareholder of the Empire is amenable to and accepts the responsibility of participating in the civilization, culture, prosperity, and progress of the Empire, and of educating and advancing themselves so far as shall be necessary to participate therein.
The existence of this responsibility shall not establish any governmental privilege to define the meaning of, or the terms upon which one may engage in, such participation, nor to deprive any citizen-shareholder of their citizenship for failure to meet such standards.
Article VI: Nonrestriction
The enumeration of these certain rights and responsibilities in this Charter shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the citizen-shareholders of the Empire.
Article VII: Equal Protection
All citizen-shareholders of the Empire are entitled to the equal protection and obligation of the law of the Empire, and the laws of its constituent nations. No right, immunity, protection or privilege granted by the Empire, or by any nation of the Empire, to an Imperial citizen-shareholder, may be abridged or denied by any nation of the Empire; nor shall any nation of the Empire deprive any citizen-shareholder of liberty, domain or property without due process of law; nor deny to any citizen-shareholder the equal protection of the law.
Article VIII: Non-Imposition
No citizen-shareholder of the Empire shall be required to maintain any record beyond proof of citizenship and shareholding for the convenience of the Imperial administration; nor shall the Empire impose uncompensated costs, mandates, or restrictions upon citizen-shareholders, unless public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it, and when they shall have been previously and equitably indemnified, under the principle of eminent domain.
Article IX: Exclusivity
Forasmuch as sovereign allegiance cannot be divided, the citizenship of the Empire is singular and exclusive. No person who voluntarily assumes allegiance to any other polity or other entity outside the Empire shall continue to be an Imperial citizen-shareholder from the time of such assumption, their citizen stock escheating to the Exchequer at that time; and should this alien allegiance be assumed without prior renunciation of their Imperial citizenship, they shall be subject to such penalties as the government of the Empire shall see fit to specify.
Article X: Renunciation
An Imperial citizen-shareholder may renounce citizenship in the Empire by formal renunciation, before the runér appointed for their domicile, or before an ambassador or other duly designated representative of the Empire in foreign lands; and in doing so selling their citizen stock back to the Empire, for which they will be compensated at the current floating market price; and having done so, they shall not again be permitted to assume allegiance to the Empire without the permission of the Senate.
Article XI: Felonies
Any citizen-shareholder, upon conviction of a crime by a Curial court in due process of law, and when that crime has been deemed to be a felony by the Empire’s statute law, shall no longer be considered a citizen-shareholder of the Empire, and shall no longer possess the rights, privileges, honors, and responsibilities appertaining thereto from the time of their conviction; and their citizen stock shall escheat to the Exchequer at that time, without compensation.
Article XII: Majority
The children of Imperial citizen-shareholders, who are deemed incapable of attaining Imperial citizenship by reason of incapacity, shall retain the Imperial rights by courtesy in the same manner as a resident non-citizen, save that their exercise of these rights, along with their exercise of the fundamental Right of Fair Contract, may be restricted by their guardians for their own best interests; and these restrictions shall persist until they shall fulfill such conditions for majority as are set down by law, or until a Curial court or executive decree shall grant them exception.
Article XIII: Resident and Transient Non-Citizens
Those who come to be domiciled within the Empire after the ratification of this Charter, both those who are born or created within the Empire and who are recognized as having the legal capacity to attain Imperial citizenship, and yet do not do so;
(The above boldface was also added by the Fifth Amendment, of which more below.)
And also those who enter the Empire for the purposes of visitation, or while in transit, and do not possess Imperial citizenship;
And also those who relinquish or forfeit Imperial citizenship, and retain domicile;
Shall retain the rights afforded Imperial citizen-shareholders by courtesy, save that their exercise of these rights may be restricted by the government of the Empire as it shall see fit, for the maintenance of public order and public safety; and save also that such resident and transient non-citizens may be expelled from Imperial territory by due process of law, or in time of war or civil emergency by decree, provided that they are provided with the opportunity to assume Imperial allegiance at that time.
Article XIV: Imperial Rights of Genesis
Inasmuch as its (The original Eldraeic used the “unknown” gender here, which English translation does not permit. — ed.) creation affects the incipient sophont as much as those responsible; and inasmuch as such incipient sophonts are often incompetent to manage their own affairs and defend their own rights;
And inasmuch as the Empire recognizes that no sophont should exist as an instrumentality for another;
Each citizen of the Empire is amenable to and accepts that the creation of another individual sophont, whether by inherent reproduction, biological cloning, logos iteration, duplication of mind-state vector, neogenetics, or any other means, and the development and education of that sophont to the point of independent legal competence, may be restricted by the Empire, either for the public health, or acting for that of the potential incipient.
(This entire article was added by the Fifth Amendment, which granted the Imperial governance the right to regulate reproduction where matters of public health were concerned, originally to deal with genetic disease.
Later, the powers granted by the fifth amendment were also used to regulate unfit parents, unfit circumstances, self-duplication, and autohegemonization.)
…continued in part four.
I have a feeling I know what the answer to this one is going to be already, but just for the sake of clearing the air:
If, knowing that what you are about to do is wrong, you attempt to make restitution before committing the offense (sort of like as a Preemptive Apology but more so), does that still count as an attempt to balance your obligations?
In a word, no. Both for reasons of basic ethics (still a violation of the Principle of Consent), and for reasons of We See What You Tried To Do There, which violates the Principle of Thou Shalt Not Attempt To Bullshit This Court, Son. Ethics is time-asymmetric and thus weregeld isn’t isomorphic to an indulgence.
(With a few minor exceptions for particularly outré circumstances such as relativistic effects genuinely reversing the order of cause and effect for one of the parties involved.)
Which is not to say that people don’t still occasionally do it anyway, or that Renegades don’t come up with the idea or even more twisted versions on it, since mélith is an instinct, but it won’t get you anywhere in standard ethics or law. It is, after all, having a twisted sense of ethics that makes them Renegades.
…continued from part one.
SECTION II: THE EMPIRE
Article I: Definition
The Empire shall be a corporation sovereign, endowed with delegated sovereign authority over a polyarchy of locally sovereign nations, governed by a constitutionally limited diarchy, a Senate of representatives from the constituent nations and selected from among the citizen-shareholders directly, and judicially supreme and independent Curia; and the Eupraxic Collegium shall be appointed thereunto to provide for and ensure the rationality of the citizens.
(The boldface section is, again, part of the Eleventh Amendment, which will be dealt with in due course — ed.)
Article II: On the Instrumentalities of Imperial Governance
There shall be established as the principal instrumentalities of the governance of the Empire:
(Again, the Eleventh Amendment — ed.)
No one holding an office in any one of these instrumentalities shall be permitted to simultaneously hold office in any other, save the Senate, and while in the Senate such an office-holder may not vote on any issue touching upon his office.
Article III: Seat of Government
The Imperial City of Calmiríë, and all the territories attached thereto, shall be the permanent seat of government of the Empire; and all instrumentalities of governance shall be exercised therefrom. The City shall be excluded from all Imperial constituent nations; and its governance shall be in the hands of the Imperial Couple, or an instrumentality created by them for its specific governance.
Article IV: Territory
This Charter shall apply to, and the Empire shall consist of:
Such territories to include these lands, such waters as they should enclose, such coastal waters to which they presently lay claim, and such oceanic waters as lie between these lands and their adjoining waters; to the airs above them to a distance of twelve miles above the general surface of the land; and to any other kinds of territory which may be claimed at the present time or in the future;
And shall apply in like wise to all future territories appended to the Empire, whether by colonization, admission, or annexation;
And shall apply in like wise to all virtual realms or other information spaces designed or used for, or capable of, the domicile of infomorphs hosted upon substrates located within the territories of the Empire;
(This boldfaced section is the Seventh Amendment, which defined virtual realms, etc., used to domicile informorph life as “territory” within the meaning of the Charter.)
And shall apply in like wise to all vessels of whatever kind registered in the Empire, while they are in transit;
And shall apply in like wise to all embassies, exclaves, outposts, and other territories ceded, temporarily or permanently, to the Empire under the principle of extrality.
Article V: National Symbols
The formal name of the Empire shall be “the Empire of the Star”.
The symbol of the Empire shall be a twelve-pointed star of gold, against a midnight blue field; or a luminous gold small stellated dodecahedron, suspended above a midnight-blue silk cloth. This symbol shall both constitute the flag of the Empire, and shall be used as the basis of such other symbolism as the Empire shall require; and all constituent nations of the Empire shall incorporate this symbol into the display of their national symbol where it is displayed alone.
(The above boldfaced section is the Sixth Amendment, providing for a national symbol that looks good on trigraphic displays. Also of historical note as both the most trivial and least controversial of all twelve amendments to the Imperial Charter.)
The anthem of the Empire shall be the triptych How Glorious Our Motherland; Make Way for Tomorrow; Hail, Freest of the Free.
The motto of the Empire shall be that of the Union of Empires; “Order, Progress, Liberty”.
There shall be a Great Seal of the Empire, which shall be kept by the Imperial Household, and used by the Imperial Couple for all official functions. All Acts, Decrees, Edicts, Proclamations and Writs shall be issued in the name of the Throne; and shall be signed and countersigned by the Imperial Couple and sealed with the Great Seal.
Article VI: National Language
The Empire shall construct a language suitable for universal communications between all citizen-shareholders of the Empire, and sufficient for all official purposes thereof, and this language having been constructed, it shall serve as the official language of the Empire, and shall have equality of status and equal right and privilege of use in every constituent nation of the Empire, and in every instrumentality of the Empire’s governance.
Notwithstanding the above, the right of individuals to use any language they choose for non-governmental communications shall not be abridged or denied by the Empire.
Article VII: Public Holidays
The Senate shall establish a national holiday for the Empire, the Grand Festival of the Empire of the Star, for the celebration of its existence, and the first day of this national holiday shall be the anniversary of that day upon which this Charter was ratified.
Each constituent nation of the Empire shall celebrate the anniversary of that day on which it was admitted to, or annexed to, the Empire as a public holiday, the Encaenia; save for those nations which shall have ratified this Charter at the time of the Empire’s foundation, and they shall celebrate the Encaenia on the day immediately following the Grand Festival of the Empire of the Star.
Article VIII: On Religion
The Church of the Flame shall be the official religion of the Empire. Each chosen Imperial Couple shall go to be crowned at the Temple of Unity in Ellenith, most ancient of all holy sites; and the orders of the Church shall provide their advice and counsel to the Imperial Couple.
The above notwithstanding, the freedom of philosophy for the individual shall not be abridged, save when required for the public safety; and the rights of the citizen-shareholder shall not be diminished or enlarged on any philosophical criterion; save that the doctrines of a philosophy may act as an impairment to citizenship when they are considered antithetical to true allegiance or the principles upon which the Empire is founded, and the Senate and Curia have made such determination.
…continued in part three.
So, in a number of responses to questions, fics, tropes, and other posts I have had occasion to cite various bits of the Imperial Charter. It seems easiest, then, to save a little time and just post the whole document up for y’all. Well, sort of – it’s not a terribly small document, so it’s coming in thirteen parts, one per section.
So, welcome to the field of constructed constitutional law. Or con-con law, if you will.
BY right and authority of coronargyr (literally “sovereign’s merit; in eldraeic philosophy of governance, the combination of qualities which leads the people of a polity to confer on a ruler the right and authority to govern in their names; the source of the Imperial Mandate — ed.), duly conferred by unanimous contract and proxy of the citizens of those nations over which we exercise lin-runér (best gloss: “sovereign”) authority, and acting upon their behalf;
BEING aware that the foundation of our civilization is the inalienable and absolute self-ownership and sovereign will of the individual sophont, and their free and uncoerced commerce, obligation, and coadunation through the medium of the oath-contract;
UNDERSTANDING that the preservation and enforcement of these fundamental principles is the sole purpose and justification of coadunate sovereignty;
AND in eternal enmity to thieves, brigands, slavers, cultists, tyrants, and every other parasite that would place itself above free people and live by duress and expropriation, and returning us to the barbarism and perfidy of past ages;
DECLARING the foundation of the Empire of the Star as such a coadunate sovereignty, to fulfill these purposes:
AND for the furtherance of the principles of civilization in those areas where the constraints of Nature or of Trade shall require unified action (which is to say, “natural monopolies” and “public goods”, in the economists’ senses of the terms — ed.), to fulfill in addition these:
IN this way to best preserve, protect and defend the everlasting existence of our civilization and its unbounded potential for liberty, progress, and prosperity;
DO hereby ordain and establish this Charter.
SECTION I: THE CHARTER
Article I: On this Charter
This Charter shall establish the Empire of the Star as a corporation sovereign, a coadunation vested with the sovereign authority and powers of its citizen-shareholders, for the sole and exclusive purpose of exercising those sovereign powers in accordance with the purposes of its establishment here before stated.
To that end, this Charter shall be the fundamental authority for all governance within the Empire of the Star; and shall limit the authority of all runér (sometimes glossed “noble”, but perhaps better glossed “manager”, “supervisor”, or “harmonizer” — ed.) therein wielding authority by right of coronargyr or by delegation of Mandate, and all instrumentalities of governance created under its authority; and all Acts, decrees, edicts, and writs issued by any such authority or instrumentality shall be subject to it, and in conformity with it; and the governance of every constituent nation of the Empire shall be bound thereby, any contrary statement in their Charter or statute law notwithstanding.
Neither any treaty nor any law passed outside the authority of this Charter shall be considered law in the Empire, unless it shall not conflict with the rights and powers granted by this Charter to the governance of the Empire, and it shall be ratified by the Senate and passed into law as any other Act.
Article II: On the Powers of Imperial Government
To fulfill the purposes of the Empire’s foundation, the government of the Empire shall be granted these powers:
The Imperial government is permitted to delegate or assign these sovereign powers, where it seems good to do so, to the nations of the Empire; or to privately held bodies that agree to be bound by this Charter; but under no circumstances shall the Imperial government delegate or assign these sovereign powers to any person or coadunation whatsoever which is not, or cannot be, bound by this Charter.
Article III: Limitations of Imperial Government
Neither the Imperial government nor the government of any constituent nation of the Empire shall be permitted, in and of its own right and authority, to carry out any action or operation outside of the scope of the powers granted to them by Section I, Article II of this Charter.
Article IV: On the Amendment of this Charter
After the ratification and implementation of this Charter, amendments may be proposed for consideration in three ways:
Any amendment proposed for consideration by either of these methods shall first require a substantive vote of each of the three Chambers of the Senate for ratification;
And, this having been achieved, shall then require a three-quarters vote in a plebiscite of all citizens of the Empire for further ratification;
And shall then become effective on the first day of the next year, following this final ratification.
Article V: Irrevocable Provisions
The provisions listed here within shall not be amended, nor shall their amendment be proposed. They shall remain above all power of amendment or repeal.
Article VI: Dissolution
As a last protection against a restoration of tyranny, for just and proper cause, the Senate and People of the Empire shall have the power to dissolve the Empire, which they shall exercise should the Empire fall into the darkness of tyranny or barbarity;
And for the exercise of this power, the Senate shall first declare the dissolution of the Empire, and this shall first require a substantive vote of each of the three Chambers of the Senate for ratification;
And, this having been achieved, the People of the Empire shall then ratify this dissolution with a five-sixths vote in a plebiscite of all citizens of the Empire;
And this being achieved also, the Empire shall be counted dissolved, and all instrumentalities thereof disbanded, from dawn upon the day following the moment at which such plebiscite is completed.
Article VII: Authentic Text
In the interpretation of this Charter, which has been drawn up in all of the languages of the founding nations, that version of the text in the Selenarian language shall be considered authentic and definitive until the completion of the national language of the Empire, into which this Charter shall be translated,
and that version of the text, after approval by the Curia, shall then be considered definitive and binding; and this first authentic version of the Charter shall be translated, with identical meaning, into the predicate form used by the artificial intelligences of the Curia, which version of the text, after approval by the Curia, shall then be considered definitive and binding; and a copy of this Charter drawn up in these definitive languages shall be entered into the archives of each of the founding nations.
(The strikeout/boldface above represents part of the Tenth Amendment, “Cyberjudiciary”, to the Imperial Charter, passed after the development and many successful implementations of dedicated savant AIs, the tenth amendment to the Charter replaced the previous Ephors of the Curia with dedicated law-bound artificial intelligences, thus guaranteeing the impartial application of law at the highest level. This, thus, initiated the age of cyberjudiciary. Over time following the passage of the amendment, the judges of the lesser Curial courts were likewise replaced. The passage of this amendment additionally marks the translation of the Charter into the predicate-logic form used by such judicial machines.)
Article VIII: Initiation
The ratification of this Charter shall repeal the Accord of Union which established the Union of Empires; and this being done, such agreements, accords, acts and treaties implementing aspects of the Union of Empires which are superseded by this Charter shall also be held null; but those which have greater effect over and beyond it shall continue in force and effect.
Upon such ratification, coronargyr over the Empire shall be invested in the then-standing Emperor and Empress of the Union of Empires, ALPHAS I AMANYR and SELEDIË III SELEQUELIOS, and they shall be honored as the first Imperial Couple; and upon this investiture shall the coronargyr of the Emperor of Cestia be invested in his lawful heir, CALÉRA AMANYR, and the Senate of the Empire of Selenaria shall elect another in whom its imperium is to be invested.
Existing laws and treaties of the constituent nations of the Empire, insofar as they do not contradict this Charter, shall continue in full force and effect after its ratification; as shall all contracts in which their governments have engaged.
Article IX: Oath
The Imperial Couple, and all runér of the Empire, prior to their investiture to coronargyr; and the Ephors of the Curia and Ministers of the Imperial Service, and all Senators, before they shall take office (Such Declarations are often signed in advance of the necessity, permitting the immediate transfer of power if necessary, with the reading postponed until a convenient time — ed.); and the Clarifiers of the Eupraxic Collegium, on their appointment; shall make a solemn oath and Declaration in writing (While not required by the Charter, such Declarations are traditionally read out before the Court of Courts, or the Senate, as appropriate. — ed.) that they shall faithfully abide by and preserve this Charter, which Declaration being made, shall be placed in the public records of the Empire.
(The boldface text in the above paragraph constitutes part of the Eleventh Amendment, “Eupraxic Collegium”, of which more later.)
…continued in part two.
(that we noticed)
Colony Ship: More than a few. The most iconic, of course, are the Deep Star colony ships the eldrae used to establish the first Thirteen Colonies subluminally, and indeed the galari equivalents that let them colonize Tessil and Qeraq in a similar manner, but the concept still goes on; even in these days of Casual Interstellar Travel, specialized colony ships still exist, for the purpose of getting everything you need at First Landing there simultaneously and conveniently.
(Also, of course, their smaller cousins, the homesteading ships, which are similar albeit much smaller – intended for households, families, and other small groups looking to homestead an asteroid, join an existing colony, or set up shop on a freesoil world.)
ILINSHEN (UNITED VIRIDIAN STATES) – Debate continues today in the capital district of the United Viridian States over the troubled extradition of orbital real estate mogul Uskert Lannod. Lannod, 70, made history four months ago by receiving the highest fine thus far assessed for an offworlder in the Empire’s Courts of Common Pleas and Small Claims, some 22.7 million exval.
The extradition in question relates to the non-payment of this fine, incurred due to an incident in which Lannod, while in an inebriated condition after conducting a business meeting in a restaurant on Mahalloris (Principalities), advanced several improper suggestions to the waitress, and later went so far as to briefly lay hands upon her person.
At question here is the magnitude of the imposed fine. Lannod has appealed to the government of the UVS, claiming it to be entirely disproportionate to the offense, and therefore cruel and unusual. While the government appears to be refusing extradition for now, representatives were not available for interview by this publication.
Ambassador Rithan-ishi-Dellia of the Empire, meanwhile, issued a formal statement that it was the Curial courts’ normal practice to scale punitive fines in accordance with a formula based on the net worth and income of the convicted, in order that the aversive effect of the fines would remain constant, and therefore such that wealthy individuals would not come to see what would be, from their perspective, relatively minor fines as merely a cost of doing business. As such, she deemed, it could hardly be considered an unusual practice, even if the rarity of multi-billionaires finding themselves before the Curial courts under such circumstances made it an unusual implementation of the practice.
The Ambassador went on to state that the Empire’s position on the fine did not admit of flexibility, as a matter of principle, and that should extradition be denied the Office of Investigation and Pursuit would seek to recover the fine and costs – adding wryly that if Lannod were fully cognizant of the Curial courts’ practice of recovering costs from the convicted, he surely would not be going to such pains to increase the difficulty of collecting them – through alternative means. She declined to state, however, what those alternative means might be.
Upon being questioned on the topic of certain ungentlesophly rumors alleging that the case had no merit, and was effectively manufactured by the plaintiff for the purpose of profit, the Ambassador offered to personally debate the issue with anyone with assertions to make along those lines – provided that such debate take place within the embassy grounds.