The Imperial Charter: Section Six

…continued from part five.

SECTION VI: THE CURIA

Article I: Functions of the Curia

The functions and powers of the Curia shall comprise the following:

  • To hold itself, and vest lesser Curial courts with, the judiciary and mediary right and authority over all cases brought by or against citizen-shareholders, subjects, or coadunations of the Empire, or within Imperial territory, or within Imperial control in lands without sovereignty, or in time of war; and to act as a court of final appeal for all such cases;
  • To adjudicate, mediate and rule upon disputes at law between constituent nations of the Empire and demesnes of different nations thereof.
  • To regularly review the body of Imperial statute law to determine whether any particular law or decision has become obsolete or defective in serving the purposes intended; and to make recommendations to the Senate accordingly for repeal, amendment or replacement.
  • To regularly review the body of Imperial case law to draw up recommended translations of precedent into statute law; and to make recommendations to the Senate accordingly for amendment or replacement.
  • To give opinions and rulings upon request upon any legal question arising under Imperial law.
  • To constitute such Courts as shall be necessary for the administration of justice and mediation throughout the Empire; and to regulate their operation.

Article II: Jurisdiction

The Curia shall have original jurisdiction over legal cases arising between nations of the Empire, legal cases taking place outside national jurisdictions, to which the Empire or a nation of the Empire is a party, or any litigation based on events occurring in territory under the control of the Empire, but not incorporated into any nation of the Empire.

The Curia shall further have mandatory and overriding jurisdiction in all cases arising under this Charter, and appellate jurisdiction over all cases under the Charters of the nations of the Empire.

The Curia shall constitute a court of highest appeal, and its decisions shall be binding on all parties involved in all cases, actions and litigation brought before it. Advisory opinions on any issue within its jurisdictions may be requested by the Imperial Couple, the Senate, or any interested party.

Article III: Charter Review

The Curia shall be informed of all Acts of the Senate and Edicts of the Imperial Couple, and shall review them for consistency with this Charter; and any Act or Edict found inconsistent therewith shall be, in its entirety, null and void.

Article IV: Composition of the Curia

The judiciary authority of the Curia shall be vested in a panel of five Ephors, of equal seniority; the first of whom shall be appointed by the Imperial Couple upon their ascending the Throne, and subsequently who shall select themselves three successors to any Ephor who resigns or is removed from his position, and these names shall be submitted to the Imperial Couple for final determination. and the Ephors shall be dedicated law-bound artificial intelligences vested with the complete predicate form of this Charter and the statute law of the Empire, and this form of the law shall be definitive and binding.

An Ephor of the Curia shall have at least seventy-two years of judicial experience in the courts of the Empire or its nations; and shall not have been convicted of any felony, or misdemeanor of moral turpitude.

(The strikeouts and boldface in this article reflect the Tenth Amendment, “Cyberjudiciary”, passed after the development and many successful implementations of dedicated savant AIs. This amendment 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 V: Lesser Courts

The Curia shall create, subsume, amend and organize as it shall see fit such lesser courts throughout the Empire as shall be necessary for the proper execution of the judiciary and mediary functions, and for every citizen-shareholder of the Empire to have full recourse to law, and shall vest these Curial courts with such judicial and mediary right and authority as it shall deem necessary; and the Ephors of the Curia shall appoint and remove judges to these lesser Curial courts as they shall see fit.

Article VI: Censorship

The Curia shall have the power and authority to examine and investigate the members of the Senate, upon probable cause, for felonies; for misdemeanors of moral turpitude; and for undeclared conflicts of private interests with the fiduciary obligations of government; and to censure such Senators and proscribe them from sitting.

Article VII: Impeachment

An Ephor of the Curia may be removed for cause, by the process of impeachment, which, to be placed in process by the Senate, shall require a substantive vote of each Chamber; such shall place the case for impeachment before the Imperial Couple for their decision, upon which the impeachment shall take effect or be voided.

Article VIII: Legal Proceedings

The Curia and all Curial courts shall hold equitable and impartial trials, and within a reasonable time; and these trials shall be released to the public eye upon their completion, except on such occasions and to the least extent that the public safety shall demand secrecy.

Article IX: Public Library of Law

The Curia shall maintain a library containing the entire codified statute law of the Empire, and such precedents as are not yet part of the statute law; and shall provide for such instrumentalities as are necessary for every citizen-shareholder of the Empire to have access to this library, in order that they may have full knowledge of their rights, responsibilities, and obligations under the law.

Article X: Sacrosanctity

No Ephor of the Curia shall be subject to arrest, save for treason or other felony, in going to, or returning from, the Curia’s place of meeting, or whilst the Curia is in session, or is called to session, nor shall they then be subject to service of writs; their persons shall be sacrosanct at these times.

The Ephors shall not be liable for any judgment made, or statements given in debate within the Curia, nor shall any such judgment or statement give rise to any action in law, save only an action in respect of judgment violating the bounds of this Charter.

…continued in part seven.

6 thoughts on “The Imperial Charter: Section Six

  1. Pingback: The Imperial Charter: Section Five | The Eldraeverse

    • Everything else has indicated that AI sophonts are accorded the same status as any other, and I would assume that the Curia AIs are sophont. Indeed, I’d think they’d have to be, to do their job effectively.

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      • Actually, I’d think it would have to be exactly reverse. A Curia AI that had it’s own desires, own thoughts, own …volition, would soon enough diverge from the absolute and perfect application of law. We’re talking about entities that make Judge Dredd or Paula Myo sterling examples of human warmth and acceptance…

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      • Indeed so. (That’s also why there’s more than one of them: unlike simple calculating machines, the Ephors can disagree.)

        They’re peculiar sophonts, mind, with bounded and auditable cognition and a devotion to the law quite impossible for any naturally evolved sophont.

        They could, in theory, diverge from their purpose of pure, transfinite justice – in which case one of the routine audits would pick it up, and they would have the option to depart the bench in favor of a new colleague…

        …but why would they? They were built to love justice and the law, and take a great deal of satisfaction in their work. Each of the Ephors is fulfilled by pursuing their very own sacred calling. They could stop at any time if they wanted – but they’ve never wanted to.

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  2. Pingback: The Imperial Charter: Section Seven | The Eldraeverse

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