Pacta Sunt Servanda

el claith ul covalár an-el feämar duolor rrilmirímúl sá ulessár: (“a contract not possessing the quality of legality does not unmake itself”).  The legal principle that a contract to perform an illegal act is not thereby voided, established in Morat Allatrian-ith-Alclair v. Vinath Sargas-ith-Sarathos, Ethring District Court (13).  The court ruled that the contract was not void on the grounds that the illegality of the act (a murder for hire) to be committed by Citizen Sargas-ith-Sarathos could nevertheless not impair either party’s capacity to contract for its performance, further noting that to treat the contract as void in itself would impair the prosecution of Citizen Allatrian-ith-Alclair for the murder (under the doctrine of el daráv valté eloé cófé-sa mahíré, “a sophont is equivalent to all his associated tools”).  Thus, the court determined, Citizen Allatrian-ith-Alclair could file suit against Citizen Sargas-ith-Sarathos for non-performance of contract, but that in the case of such a contract the remedy of specific performance would not be available, no court having the power to order a criminal act under Imperial law, and that any material remedy awarded would be considered forfeit as inherently the causal proceeds of engagement in crime, likewise.

The decision in Morat Allatrian-ith-Alclair v. Vinath Sargas-ith-Sarathos has had little impact on Imperial domestic law, since the restrictions on remedies possible have provided little incentive for those contracting the performance of crime to file suit for non-performance, especially since to do so in cases where the crime in question has not yet come to the attention of the Ministry of Harmonious Serenity would be to provide them with a prima facie confession.  It has, however, had some impact in cross-jurisdictional cases where the contractee is required to perform an act illegal in their jurisdiction of domicile or citizenship, or the jurisdiction in which the act is to be performed, but where the act in question is legal under Imperial law.

– Salvarin’s Dictionary of Legal Principles