The Erysailite Code
In order for the Kingdom of Asgarnia to live in a peaceful society the need for justice and law is above all else. This living document stands as a compilation of past legal and law codes from the rulers of Asgarnia past to make a centralized and lasting set of laws that all rulers will follow in future times. To protect the personal rights of the subjects of the Kingdom, from all levels of social class, religious thought, and race. So that every subject of this Kingdom will know their God given rights and be armed with the knowledge to defend themselves. With the blessing of Saradomin, we create the Erysailite Code for the Kingdom of Asgarnia.
The Asgarnian Bill of Rights
- The Crown shall not infringe upon or prohibit the right of every Asgarnian to a fair and open trial, to be considered innocent before proven guilty by a lawful trial before their peers.
- The Crown shall entertain any peaceful appeal of the ruling of a court or tribunal directly to the person of the Asgarnian sovereign, so that they can petition on the behalf of someone who may potentially have befallen a miscarriage of justice.
- The Crown shall not infringe on right of any Asgarnian to speak freely within the bounds of the Asgarnian Criminal Code, as ordained by this document, and to exercise their faith in a peaceful manner.
- The Crown shall defend the security and personhood of any innocent Asgarnian, and any Asgarnian has the right to appeal to the plenipotentiary of the Asgarnian Crown when abroad, should their liberty and freedom be impinged upon.
- Every man, woman and child has right, as ordained by the Holy Lord Saradomin, to live a free and happy life. The Crown shall never entertain a policy of slavery, nor will it tender support to those powers which bring it into effect against any Asgarnian person.
The Asgarnian Criminal Code
I. Capital Felonies
Capital felonies are crimes of the most severe nature, and are deserving of the harshest sentences. The maximum penalty, and ultimate sanction, is death, but aside from that, exile, outlawry and life sentences in either incarceration or penal service also stand as acceptable punishments.
- High Treason: Actions which betray the reigning sovereign, their government or the citizens of Asgarnia. This can include actions to sabotage the armies of Asgarnia, attempts to destabilize the Asgarnian economy, designs to assassinate or depose the sovereign or members of their government, among other things.
- Murder of the first degree: The deliberate taking of someone’s life, with a premeditated, planned approach. To prove that it is murder of the first degree, there must be evidence of an antecedent conspiracy to commit the murder.
- Murder of the second degree: The deliberate taking of someone’s life, with malice aforethought. To prove that it is murder of the second degree, it should be proven that even though the murder was not premeditated, it was committed with the knowing and uncompromised intention to kill.
- Terrorism: For a crime to be considered terrorism, it must be done with the inherent aim to inflict terror to further a goal, be it economic, political, religious or otherwise. Merely using the weapons of terror does not satisfy the definition. Terrorism is usually attached to other charges, like murder or treason.
- Espionage: This crime encompasses acts where state secrets or personnel are endangered or compromised for the benefit of a foreign state or enemy belligerent.
Felonies are serious crimes, usually violent, that are of significant concern to public order and the safety of citizens. Felonies are usually punished with periods of penal service or incarceration, significant fines, or outlawry, in severe cases.
- Murder of the third degree: The deliberate taking of someone’s life, as a result of passionate action on the part of the defendant. What separates this from murder of the second degree is the emotional/mental state of the defendant. If it was compromised by the circumstances, it is murder of the third degree.
- Manslaughter: The accidental taking of someone’s life through negligent action. This can include serious industrial accidents, or deaths as a result of parental negligence, for example. Violent action may occur, but if there is no intention to kill, it is manslaughter.
- Assault: Attacks upon another person with intention to cause actual or grievous bodily harm. More severe punishments may be considered if a weapon was used in the commission of the assault, especially a firearm (assault with a melee weapon, assault with a firearm).
- Sexual assault: This crime entails non-consenting sexual acts involving the genitals. It does not necessarily have to be penetrative.
- Indecent assault: This crime entails non-consenting sexual acts not involving the genitals, like a forced kiss or groping.
- Sedition: The definition of this felony is the distribution or vocalization of falsehoods about the government or the sovereign designed to destabilize the position of those institutions.
- Desecration: This is the violation of holy ground or the bodies of the dead. This is dealt with on a case by case basis to determine what is indecent on sanctified premises like graveyards and temples.
- Major negligent use of magic: Use of magic in such a way that it poses a danger to the safety of Asgarnian citizens.
- Fraud: Misrepresentation of oneself or use of false information in order to attain illicit gain for oneself or relevant others.
- Kidnapping: The abduction of a person, irrelevant of motivation. Can be in order to extract ransom, or attain influence over someone.
- Intimidation: The use of credible threats of violence against others in order to further one’s agenda.
- Brigandry: Can include either banditry or piracy, the use of violence and threats of violence on the Queen’s highways or on the high seas in order to steal from others.
Misdemeanours are more minor offences, causing little damage to the fabric of society, but still having an effect on those involved in the matter. A short jail or penal service sentence is normally sufficient for crimes of this matter, if not an intermediate fine.
- Perjury: Lying whilst under oath before an Asgarnian court of law. This charge cannot be levelled in the same proceeding, and a new proceeding must be opened after the conclusion of the original hearing or trial.
- Blackmail: Levelling threats against someone in order to extract financial gain.
- Perverting the course of justice: Lying during an official investigation in order to mislead that investigation.
- Contempt of court: Acting in defiance of the peace and procedures of an Asgarnian court of law.
- Minor negligent use of magic: Use of magic that presents a threat to the safety and integrity of buildings and property.
- Forgery: Fabrication of documents or coinage in order to attain fraudulent gain, may be reclassified as a felony dependent on scale.
- Bribery: Providing payment to officials in order to sway the performance of their duties. Can vary from paying a government official to take actions in your favour, to paying an officer of the law to mistreat a prisoner in custody, to other examples.
- Incitement: Encouraging others to commit crimes.
- Evasion of taxes or tariffs: Failure to pay, or deceitful actions to avoid paying, the mandated taxes and tariffs placed on citizens and goods by the government.
- Smuggling: Activities undertaken in order to transfer goods into Asgarnia without paying the relevant importation taxes.
- Resisting arrest: Refusal to submit to arrest when an arrest is declared by an office of the peace.
- Theft: The seizure of property without the consent of the owner. Can be elevated to a felony if on a large scale, or if violence is used in the commission of this crime.
- Misconduct in public office: Where a member of the Asgarnian government or military command acts in a manner that debases the prestige and authority of their office. Usually attached to another charge. May result in a sentence forcing their removal from office.
- Misconduct of an officer of the peace: Where a soldier or knight acts in a manner that debases the prestige and authority of their office. Usually attached to another charge. May result in a sentence mandating a dishonourable discharge.
IV. Petty Offences
Petty offences are the most minor of crimes that can be committed in defiance of the law of the land, and are almost always punishable by fine or public humiliation, usually by means of stocks.
- Breaching the sovereign’s peace: Activities that are in defiance of the public order, but are not classified under other charges.
- Public indecency: Exposure of the genitals or rear in a public setting, and public sexual acts.
- Vandalism: Damaging the property of another person with criminal intent.
- Failure to appear in court: Not appearing before a court of law after official summons have been tendered mandating the appearance of the defendant.
- Trespass: Deliberately entering the private property of another, or designated zones of state property, without permission.
V. Civil Matters
These are not criminal matters and a person summoned for a civil case will not face a criminal prosecution unless they fail to appear in court when summoned. Civil matters are conducted between two private citizens, or a citizen and the government, as a private lawsuit. Rulings are entirely at the whim of the magistrate overseeing the matter, within justifiable reason, but are generally confined to compensation, or pushing a legally binding solution to an outstanding conflict.
- Breach of contract: When one or both sides of a legally binding contract do not uphold their side of the contract.
- Slander: When falsehoods are verbally distributed in order to defame someone’s character. Exceptions exist for opinion, sheer vulgar abuse, and if the reputation of the plaintiff is so low that it is not possible to slander them.
- Libel: The same as slander, but in printed format.
- Divorce: Where one member of a married couple wishes to divorce the other without their consent. A court is not required in the case of an amiable divorce, however when the divorce is not amiable, arbitration will be required in consideration of alimony payments, custody of children, and the legitimacy of the grounds for divorce.
- Medical negligence: Where a patient, in the care of a doctor, has suffered further injury or illness as a consequence of the care they have been provided.
- Recovery of damages: This covers lawsuits designed to recover the costs of property damaged either deliberately or accidentally by the defendant.
These appendices help cover some matters that are not fully addressed within the legal framework but should be considered alongside them to guide the presiding official in their sentencing.
- Suspended sentences: Suspended sentences are a form of substantive warning, where a two season period is granted to the defendant in order to show penance. Should further criminal activity occur, the suspended sentence comes into force. Otherwise, after the two season period, the sentence is annulled.
- Fines: Fines are given for two purposes - to compensate the victims of the crime, and to cover the court costs accrued by the government. They should be given with flexibility with regards to the wealth of the defendant.
- Bail: Bail can be given following the initial arrest, or during an adjournment of a trial or hearing, with the permission of either the official overseeing the investigation or the official presiding over the judicial proceeding in turn. It should be calculated in consideration of the wealth of the defendant. Bail may not be granted if it is believed that the defendant may abscond, commit further offences, or interfere with witnesses or evidence.
- Extenuating circumstances: Certain extenuating circumstances can dismiss the charge, like self defence in a murder or assault charge, or reduce the sentence, like gross provocation by the victim in an assault case. In the case of the latter, however, the sentence still may not pass below minimum guidelines.
- Criminal insanity: This requires the testimony of a doctor to prove that the defendant was not responsible for their actions on grounds of insanity, and the court is obliged to sentence the defendant to incarceration in an asylum until a doctor is satisfied the insanity is cured.
AS AUTHORED BY
Erysail I, Queen of the Asgarnians and Autocrat of the Asgarn Nation
James the Younger, Prince of the Asgarnians
Adrian, Prince of Albamonte