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.
- ALPHAS I AMANYR, EMPEROR OF CESTIA and the UNION OF EMPIRES
- SELEDIË III SELEQUELIOS, EMPRESS OF SELENARIA and the UNION OF EMPIRES
- LORAN CAMRÍÄD, THÉARCH of the DEEPING
- LIRÍEL LÁRATHYR, QUEEN OF VERANTHYR
- VARÍÄN LEIRAVÁL, KING OF LEIRIN for the POLYARCHY of the SILVER CRESCENT
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:
- To protect and to enforce these fundamental principles and rights, including foremost life, liberty, property, and the freedom to pursue eudaimonia, which have in times past been so grievously abused;
- To guarantee the enforcement of oath-contracts and the rule of law;
- To safeguard the independence and integrity of its constituents, citizens and nations alike, and to provide fora and means for the resolution of such disputes and grievances as may arise between them;
- And thus to promote the common and mutual defense of civilization, against acts of barbarians inimical to all freedom and prosperity and cataclysms of nature alike;
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:
- To preserve and manage public properties, whether for its own use, for travel or communication, unowned and abandoned properties, or properties inherent to the world (i.e., as opposed to property created or homesteaded by individuals; essentially, “the commons” – everything from terra nullius to the atmosphere — ed.);
- To carry out necessary and obligatorily public works;
- To guarantee the security of the exercise of the freedoms of travel and trade, in order to encourage mutually profitable trade and commerce;
- To encourage and promote the pursuit of knowledge, and to provide for its preservation and promulgation;
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:
- To maintain the public order, in consonance with the Fundamental Contract, and protect the public safety from its Defaulters, throughout all the territories of the Empire;
- To declare and to prosecute war and other instruments of hostility against enemies of the Empire, of the interests of the Empire, and of citizens of the Empire, whether foreign or domestic; and to this end, to raise, support, and command such military forces as shall be necessary;
- To provide means for the enforcement of, and resolution of disputes arising from, oath-contracts freely entered into by citizens and coadunations of the Empire, and any other oath-contracts any party to which exists within Imperial jurisdiction;
- To govern interactions between its constituent nations;
- To guard the borders of the Empire, and regulate admission thereto;
- To hold in trust, safeguard, and regulate the use of the natural and common properties, including unowned and abandoned properties, of the people of the Empire;
- To carry out necessary and obligatorily public works; To establish communications and travelways throughout all lands;
- To coin money, and regulate the value thereof;
- To define and offer for use standards of weight, of measure, and of function;
- To promote the progress of arts, philosophies and sciences, and for the purpose of so doing to create, allocate and manage limited rights in abstractions (i.e. patents, copyrights, trademarks, discoverer’s rights, and other intellectual property instruments –ed.), and to maintain freely accessible repositories of public knowledge;
- To provide for the preservation of knowledge and useful arts against time, mischance, catastrophe, or assault;
- To lay and collect taxes upon incomes, not to exceed a fifth part thereof;
- To borrow, within such bounds as this Charter shall set, money on the credit of the Empire;
- And to exercise exclusive sovereignty over such territories as shall be ceded from the constituent nations of the Empire for Imperial use, for such purposes as it shall see fit.
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:
- By a two-thirds vote of each of the Chambers of the Senate; or
- By a proposal put forward, concurrently or consecutively, by two-thirds of the demesnes of the Empire; or
- By a citizen proposal, put forward in the same manner as an initiative, which achieves the support of one-third of the citizen population.
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.
- Section I, Article I: On this Charter
- Section I, Article III: Limitations of Imperial Government
- Section I, Article IV: On the Amendment of this Charter
- Section I, Article V: Irrevocable Provisions
- Section I, Article VI: Dissolution
- Section III, Article III: Fundamental Rights of the Sophont
- Section III, Article VI: Nonrestriction
- Section III, Article VII: Equal Protection
- Section III, Article X: Renunciation
- Section IV, Article I: On Sovereignty
- Section IV, Article II: Full Faith and Credit
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.