The Fifth Royal Constitution of the
Kingdom of Britannia
Kingdom of Britannia
- Article I: Purpose
A. The High Council of Britannia derives its power from the Ruling Council of Britannia, serves as advisors to the Ruling Council, and is answerable to the Ruling Council and their laws. The High Council is authorized to act in the interest of the peoples of Britannia, and supports the Ruling Council in the daily management of Britannia, with authorization to pass laws that do not contradict the laws and tenets set forth by Lord British.
B. The High Council serves as advocate for the needs of Britannia's citizens, to uphold and support the Ruling Council, and to promote the Virtues. The High Council is also expected to preserve, promote, and enhance the cultural heritage and identity of Britannia.
C. Britannia is heretofore defined as the Britannian mainland of which Britain is a part, the isles of Jhelom, the isle of Serpent's Hold, Verity Isle and the City of Moonglow, the isle of Magincia, the isle of Skara Brae and Iver's Rounding, Valor Isle, and within fifty paces of any Shrine of Virtue not contained within any other boundary so defined.
Article II: Composition
A. The High Council of Britannia shall consist of the following Officers of the High Council:
1. The Chancellor of Virtue, whose duties are described in Article IV.
2. The High Justicar of Virtue, whose duties are described in Article V.
3. The B.A.F. Military Presidium, whose duties are described in Article VI.
B. The High Council of Britannia shall also consist of Ministers of the High Council:
1. The Minister of Virtue, whose duties are described in Article VII.
2. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose duties are described in Article VIII.
C. The High Council of Britannia shall also consist of Councilors of the High Council:
1. Duties of Councilors of the High Council are described in Article IX.
2. A community may claim representation on the High Council in the form of a Councilor if they meet the following criteria:
- a. The community must be within Britannian borders as described in Article I, or must swear an oath of fealty to Britannia as a Colony of Britannia if not within Britannian borders.
- b. The representative to become a Councilor must have the backing of three members of the community.
- c. The community represented must be a city, village, or other gathering of citizens, not simply an organization or group. A group or organization, however, may be the center of a community, and claim representation for the community area that they are a part of.
- d. The community must not otherwise be represented by another Councilor already seated; should such a situation arise where two community groups claim to represent the same geographic area, the High Court shall determine through hearing which group shall represent the particular community if no other means of compromise may be found.
- e. The community must conduct a public event no less than once every two years in order to maintain their seat on the Council; else the seat shall be vacated; to regain representation, the criteria for representation must be met by a new representative.
- f. The community must not be presently an Occupied Territory by an Enemy of State; as Article XIX, Section B supersedes this Article.
D. Officers, Councilors and Ministers shall be required to adhere to the Requirements of Duty as outlined in Article XII.
Article III: Foreign Ambassadors
A. The High Council of Britannia shall actively cultivate relations with provinces and governments outside of Britannia, who shall be granted the right to present an Ambassador to the High Council to speak on matters and affairs concerning that government or organization.
1. Nations who hold ‘Enemy of State’ status may still send an Ambassador to the High Council as long as they are unarmed and do not initiate a disruption.
B. A Foreign Ambassador to the High Council shall have been approved by the province or government that he represents.
C. The High Council of Britannia may refuse to recognize any Foreign Ambassador who is a known criminal, and may exile from Britannia through censure any Foreign Ambassador who has been party to criminal activities or unethical acts.
1. Any Foreign Ambassador that commits a High Crime on Britannian soil may be expelled from the Kingdom by a majority vote of the High Council.
2. Any Foreign Ambassador that commits a murder on Britannian soil is subject to Britannian Law.
Article IV: The Chancellor of Virtue
A. The Chancellor of Virtue is responsible for assisting in the daily operations of the High Council, and shall lead all public meetings of the Council.
B. The Chancellor may appoint a Vice Chancellor who shall be the head of the Chancellor's cabinet, and may appoint other cabinet members to handle public relations duties and affairs throughout Britannia.
C. Should the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor be unavailable to chair a meeting, the High Council may ask another member of the Council or a citizen of Britannia to chair the meeting as Acting Chancellor for that meeting's duration.
D. If the voting members of the High Council should become deadlocked in a tie, the Chancellor (or one acting in his stead) shall and must cast the deciding vote.
E. The Chancellor is empowered to keep order during meetings of the High Council, and may, after sufficient warning, eject from a meeting any person who is disruptive to the course of the meeting, or overtly discourteous to other guests or members of the Council.
F. The Chancellor of Virtue shall be empowered, at his discretion, to remove from office any member of the High Council who fails to meet the requirements of duty outlined in Article XII.
Article V: The High Justicar of Virtue and the High Court
A. There shall be a High Court, charged with interpreting the law of the land, rendering judgment upon cases brought before it, and which shall be governed by its own charter that shall not otherwise contradict or exceed the laws of the land.
B. The High Justicar of Virtue shall be responsible for the operation of the High Court, and shall maintain the Codex of High Crimes and the Charter of the High Court.
C. The High Court is empowered and entrusted with the responsibility of ruling on the validity of laws and their enforceability, hearing cases involving High Crimes, trying cases where no local jurisdiction exists, and issuing Warrants of Arrest or Detainment against any who stand accused of a High Crime or lesser crime in areas without local jurisdiction.
D. The High Council shall pass no law, nor take any action, which diminishes or supersedes the authority of the High Justicar of Virtue or the High Court.
E. If the High Justicar is directly involved in any case involving a High Crime, the High Justicar must appoint an impartial Justicar to act in his stead to preserve the balance of Justice.
F. The High Justicar shall be empowered, at his discretion, to remove the Chancellor of Virtue from office if the Chancellor fails to meet the requirements of duty outlined in Article XII. This power may be vetoed by a majority vote of the remaining High Council members.
Article VI: The Britannian Armed Forces and the Military Presidium
A. The Britannian Armed Forces (B.A.F.) shall serve as the national defense force of the Kingdom of Britannia, and shall consist of the Virtuous guilds so charged to do so.
1. The B.A.F. is directly accountable to the civilian High Council of Britannia and may not engage in any missions counter to the will of that body.
B. The composition of the Britannian Armed Forces shall be maintained in either of two manners:
1. A two-thirds majority vote of the High Council may include or remove a branch of the Britannian Armed Forces.
2. A majority vote of the Field Marshalls may include or remove a branch of the Britannian Armed Forces.
C. The Military Presidium is a Council consisting of the Field Marshal from each branch and shall responsible for the operation and conduct of the military as defined in the Military Code of Conduct and the Charter of the Britannian Armed Forces.
1. The Military Presidium is empowered and entrusted with protecting Britannia from her enemies, arresting individuals accused of High Crimes, and guarding the High Council and Ruling Council of Britannia.
D. Each leader of each branch of the Britannian Armed Forces shall be granted the rank of Field Marshall of Virtue, and shall represent his or her branch on a Military Presidium (see Section D).
1. Branches are defined as self-contained military units with their own command structure (guilds).
2. The Field Marshalls, or ranks so granted the power to do so within the Military Charter are empowered to arrest, without warrant, any individual observed committing a High Crime, or who is determined to be a threat to national security. Such arrests are subject to review by the High Court.
3. The Field Marshalls, and ranks so empowered by the Military Charter, shall be empowered to negotiate temporary treaties with foreign powers; such treaties may be ratified or vetoed by majority vote of the High Council.
Article VII: The Minister of Virtue
A. The Minister of Virtue shall act as ambassador to the Cities of Virtue (Britain, Jhelom, Magincia, Minoc, Moonglow, Skara Brae, Trinsic, and Yew) who do not have an active community leadership, and go among the citizens to bring news of the Council to them, and shall learn how the Council may better serve them and bring their voice to the High Council.
B. The Minister of Virtue shall also be or become well versed in the Virtues and act as the High Council's source of knowledge and guidance for the Virtues.
C. The Minister of Virtue shall be empowered to cast a single vote on all matters brought before the High Council.
D. The Minister of Virtue may be temporarily appointed as High Justicar if that position is vacant or if the current High Justicar is recused.
1. The High Council must ratify this appointment by majority vote.
2. Such an appointment does not increase the Minister's voting power; the Minister is limited to one vote.
Article VIII: The Minister of Foreign Affairs
A. The Minister of Foreign Affairs shall act as the High Council's emissary and ambassador to foreign nations.
B. The Minister of Foreign Affairs shall be empowered to appoint Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs who shall assist the Minister in relations with foreign nations.
C. The Minister of Foreign Affairs shall also seek to bring a voice and relations to communities and colonies within and without Britannia who do not currently have representation on the High Council.
D. The Minister of Foreign Affairs shall be empowered to cast a single vote on all matters brought before the High Council.
Article IX: Councilors of the High Council
A. Councilors of the High Council are expected to be active among the citizens that they represent, and make themselves publicly available to address the needs and concerns of the community to which they have been charged.
B. Each Councilor shall be required to report to the High Council the needs, events, and affairs of the city that they represent on no less than once per calendar year.
C. Each Councilor shall be empowered to cast a single vote on all matters brought before the High Council.
Article X: Adjutants
A. Each member of the High Council shall appoint an adjutant that shall assume their duties should issues arise that otherwise prevent the member from fulfilling his duties.
B. The adjutant of a Minister or Councilor is so empowered to cast his sponsor's vote, but only if his sponsor is not present to cast the vote himself.
C. Upon resignation or termination of a sponsor's service to the High Council, so too is the resignation of an adjutant tendered with immediate effect.
Article XI: Immunities and Removal
A. The Immunities so granted by this article are to ensure that those covered are not subject to undue process of Justice due to the nature of their office; however, in no way are these Immunities intended to provide immunity to prosecution for criminal conduct.
B. An Officer, Minister, or Councilor of the High Council may only legally be detained, arrested, or charged with criminal activity by a member of the Britannian Armed Forces.
C. Officers, Ministers, and Councilors of the High Council are granted immunity from legal prosecution except if any two Officers, Ministers, or Councilors of the High Council consent to remove such immunity.
D. Any Officer, Minister, or Councilor of the High Council whose immunity is so removed:
1. Is suspended from duty until either found not-guilty in a trial held in the High Court, or a period of three years passes without trial, or a period of two years passes from the last trial date (trial may still commence in the latter two cases, but the member of the High Council may resume duties).
2. Shall have their duties assumed by their adjutant, or by an appointed replacement if no adjutant exists.
E. Intentional abuse of these Immunities, if proven, shall be considered High Treason.
F. Only through criminal activity, and this process, shall a member of the High Council be forcibly removed from duty; resignation from duty shall be a requirement of all guilty verdicts against a member of the High Council.
Article XII: Requirements of Duty
A. All members of the High Council are required to be present at meetings of the High Council either in person or in the form of their Adjutant, except under unforeseen emergencies. Missing four consecutive meetings, or any five out of eight meetings, shall be considered grounds for immediate dismissal from duty.
1. Officers and Ministers dismissed from duty will be replaced by an interim attendant who shall handle the duties of that office until a public election has been completed.
2. Councilors dismissed from duty will be reported as such to the community that they represent, which shall be required to send a replacement Councilor within two meetings to assume duties, backed by three members of the community, or lose the seat of representation upon the Council.
B. The whole of the High Council shall be responsible for creating and executing events for community consumption; each year shall one member of the High Council be assigned to plan and execute an event, and so shall each member be cycled through each year. The Chancellor of Virtue shall be responsible for maintaining the order of rotation and declaring the member responsible for the coming year.
Article XIII: Resignations
A. A member of the High Council may tender his resignation to the Chancellor of Virtue, or, if unavailable, to any Councilor or Minister of the High Council. Such resignation is effective immediately upon acceptance.
Article XIV: Voting Procedures
A. Votes of the High Council may proceed as long as there are two voting members of the Council present (any combination of two Councilors, two Ministers, or one Councilor and one Minister may proceed); votes which require a two-thirds majority may only pass by unanimous vote if only two voting members are present.
B. Votes requiring a two-thirds majority require that two-thirds of votes cast be in favor of the motion; an abstention shall be considered a "nay" vote in this regard.
C. Votes requiring a simple majority vote require that the majority of votes cast as either "aye" or "nay" be cast as "aye" for the motion to pass; an abstention shall simply reduce the number of votes counted as "aye" or "nay" in this regard.
D. If desired by any Councilor or Minister, a vote may be conducted silently; in which case, the each voting member shall cast their vote within a tome, signed by their name, sealed, and turned in to be ratified.
E. Vote ratification shall be handled by the Chancellor of Virtue, unless both he and the Vice Chancellor are not present; ratification shall then fall in order to the High Justicar of Virtue, the Grand Marshall of Virtue, or a selected Britannian Citizen should all other options fail.
Article XV: Electoral Procedures
A. Councilors of the High Council are elected or appointed to represent their respective communities by the communities that they represent.
B. Officers and Ministers of the High Council are elected by public ballot.
1. Open offices will accept ballots for no less than one half year to allow potential candidates to step forth.
- a. Potential candidates must be a Citizen of Britannia, reached the majority age of fourteen years, have no outstanding warrants for arrest, must not be serving a sentence for a previous crime, and may not also be a leadership figure in a local government, judiciary, or militia. Enemies of State may not apply.
2. A public debate between all accepted candidates shall be held no less than one half year prior to the election date; such debate must allow Citizens of Britannia to ask questions pertinent to candidates' potential service.
3. A public vote is held whereby citizens registered are allowed to cast their votes for one of the names on the ballot. Specific details of the electoral process must be decided upon and posted no less than one half year prior to the election date.
4. Votes are tallied, and the candidate with the highest number of votes cast in his favor assumes the office; in the case of a tie, a run-off election is held between tied candidates (which continues until a clear victor, even by one vote, is elected to office).
5. Incumbent officers retain their office indefinitely; however, a soft term-limit of six years exists.
- a. After an officer has served for five years, any Citizen or member of the High Council may call for an election. If an election is called, the electoral process begins.
- b. The election may be called for at any time after five years of service, and not specifically at six year intervals.
6. An elected Officer or Minister must take an Oath of Office within six months of election in order to assume duty. Failure to swear the Oath of Office in the prescribed time will nullify the election, and the electoral process shall begin anew.
C. The High Chancellor of Virtue may make an Emergency Appointment to any vacant Council position during times of war or political unrest.
1. The Appointee must be a Citizen of Britannia, reached the majority age of fourteen years, have no outstanding warrants for arrest, must not be serving a sentence for a previous crime, and may not also be a leadership figure in a local government, judiciary, or militia.
2. The High Council must ratify this appointment by majority vote.
3. The appointee must comply with all requirements of the position and must immediately take an Oath of Office upon acceptance.
4. The appointee will serve in office until an election can be held or they resign.
5. The appointee will prefix their position with the term ‘Acting’.
Article XVI: Modification of Constitution, Law, and Decrees of the Council
A. The High Council shall ratify no law which is formulated or enacted retroactively.
B. This Constitution may be modified or amended by a two-thirds majority vote of Councilors and Ministers.
C. The High Council may pass laws by majority vote.
D. The High Council may issue decrees by majority vote, the purpose of such decrees being to order an individual or organization to comply with the wishes of the Council; failure to obey a decree may be construed as High Treason.
E. All amendments, laws, and decrees are subject to review by the High Court, which may vacate the item (in full, not in part) if it is determined to violate the higher laws of Lord British or the Ruling Council.
F. Failed proposals may not be brought forth for re-evaluation until a period of four years has passed, unless a motion is made to allow the proposal to be brought forth again, and that motion is seconded by another member of the High Council.
G. Amendments to the Constitution shall be in the form of additional articles, the striking of text, or the replacement of text within the original document to maintain an orderly text.
Article XVII: Meeting Procedures
A. The date, time, and location of all meetings shall be decided upon by the Chancellor, who shall do his best to choose a date, time, and location which is suitable to the needs of the High Council.
B. The High Council shall hold public meetings regularly and private meetings by necessity.
1. The general public must be allowed in each public Council meeting.
- a. Known criminals and Enemies of State, as described in Article XIX, are not welcome in the High Council Chambers and may be arrested on sight.
- b. Weapons may not be equipped by non-B.A.F. personnel charged with guarding the proceedings. Failure to abide by this may result in removal from the meeting.
- c. Spectators who act in a disruptive manner may be removed from the meeting at the High Chancellor’s discretion.
- d. Those wearing shrouds and hooded robes may be asked to remove them during Council Meetings, and they are banned outright during times of war. Failure to abide by this rule may result in removal from the meeting.
C. Emergency private meetings may be called by any member of the High Council, but only when a clear and present need is evident. Members of the High Council may invite guest speakers to attend the meeting, but speakers should remain on topic, and may not distract to other topics.
1. Private meetings shall occur in a location undisclosed to the public, and the minutes of such meetings shall be released to the public after the meeting occurs; the minutes of the meeting shall be sealed by request of any member of the High Council, and only if such request is seconded by any other member of the Council.
D. The High Chancellor may call a Cabinet Meeting of the Vice Chancellor and Ministers, including Councilors as he sees fit.
1. Minutes of any Cabinet Meeting during a declared War will automatically be sealed due to national security.
E. The Chancellor of Virtue shall maintain a public meeting procedure which should include: Calling of the meeting to order; Recognizing scheduled items on the agenda; Recognizing the assembly for items not on the agenda; Announcement of open positions; Opening the floor if time permits; Adjournment.
Article XVIII: Britannian Rights
A. All persons brought to trial shall be afforded fair, unbiased trial, and be afforded representation, which shall be appointed by the Court if none can be afforded through any other means.
B. Any person incarcerated shall be charged with a crime within forty-eight hours; shall not be tortured, beaten, or otherwise unduly pained; shall be provided food, water, and healing needed to remain in good health; shall not be questioned without representation or an unbiased witness if so requested; and shall not be incarcerated for undue length of time prior to trial (for each day served before trial, so shall the severity of any sentence be considered against).
C. At no time shall any person be subjected to slavery within Britannia.
D. The tenets of Order and Chaos, as originally espoused by Lords British and Blackthorn, shall not be hindered in their study or activity, so long as such does not cause undue civil danger; nor shall any Shard of the Gem of Immortality be subject to any legal process.
E. No citizen shall face persecution or challenge for spiritual or religious beliefs that vary from the Virtues, which are fundamental to Britannia, in so far as the practices of these beliefs does not exceed the laws of the land, nor cause any person to participate unwillingly in them; that no practice of a belief may be used as defense for breaking a law, nor condemn a person for not openly espousing the Virtues.
F. Import to and export from Britannia shall be unimpeded except where such trade is suspected or known to be destined to forces at war with Britannia or her allies. No caravan or trade vessel shall be detained or inspected without warrant issued by the High Court, and such warrant must be requested with just cause. Caravans or trade vessels found to be supplying enemies may be deported or detained under authority and discretion of the Military Presidium.
Article XIX: War and Enemies of State
A. Declarations of War against hostile entities may only be made by two-thirds majority of the High Council as pursuant to Article XIV, Section C.
1. War may only be declared against foreign nations, or organized groups who seek harm to Britannia or her people.
2. The B.A.F. Military Presidium may declare a temporary State of Emergency, until the High Council can ratify or nullify with a formal Declaration of War by two-thirds vote.
- a. The B.A.F. may not start a war with a foreign power via preemptive strike, but may ask the High Council for a Declaration of War.
3. The Minister of Foreign Affairs must attempt to disarm any international conflicts by diplomatic means.
4. The High Council may appoint a Grand Marshal to act as supreme commander of the Britannian Armed Forces during times of war.
- a. Appointment is subject to a majority vote of High Council members.
- b. The Grand Marshal serves the kingdom at the behest of the High Council and may be dismissed at any time.
- c. The appointee must be a Citizen of Britannia, reached the majority age of fourteen years, have no outstanding warrants for arrest, must not be serving a sentence for a previous crime, nor recently been declared an Enemy of State.
I. If the appointee holds a position in any Branch of the Britannian Armed Forces, their commanding officer may not supersede them.
B. Occupied Territories will be considered under Martial Law, but still a part of their nation of origin.
1. Occupied Territories on Britannian soil may keep their previous representation should they have any; however, that representative will lose voting power.
2. The Occupying force may send a representative to the High Council who will be considered a Foreign Ambassador regardless of birthplace. This person will have no voting power, but may act as a voice for the Occupied Territory.
- a. The High Council may refuse to recognize any Foreign Ambassador who is a known criminal, and may exile from Britannia through censure any Foreign Ambassador who has been party to criminal activities or unethical acts.
C. War Crimes are to be considered High Crimes by the High Court of Britannia, and subject to the Death Penalty.
1. Civilian mass-murder, torture, slavery, and depravation of food and water are to be considered War Crimes.
2. Military actions that result in a War Crime are the responsibility of the enemy commander, or foreign dignitary that ordered the action.
D. Any individual or group may be declared an Enemy of State due to hostile actions against Britannian citizens upon the recommendation of the High Justicar or the B.A.F. Military Presidium, ratified by a majority vote of the High Council. A declared War automatically makes the enemy combatant entities an Enemy of State.
1. A list of Enemies of State is to be maintained by the Justicar in the High Court Building.
2. Enemies of State are granted the same legal protections as any Britannian Citizen for trial.
Article XX: Land
A. All land within the Kingdom of Britannia, as defined in Article I, Section C, is owned by Lord British and administered by the Ruling and High Councils; and is subject to Britannian Law.
1. Plots of land may be leased by individuals or groups to build upon.
- a. Landholders may build whatever they wish upon their lands as long as it is not openly hazardous to the public.
- -I. A fence or wall around the land may obviate the public hazard.
- -II. The Britannian Housing Committee may condemn a structure if it poses a significant public hazard.
- b. Foreign Powers may build one Embassy on Britannian soil, subject to their laws.
- -I. Murders committed on this land are covered under Britannian Law and subject to investigation by Britannian forces.
2. Land may not be ceded to a foreign power by any landholder, guild, City Official, Councilor, Minister or the High Chancellor. Only Lord British, his legitimate heir, or the Ruling Council may cede land to a foreign power.
- a. Any ceding of land by an unauthorized party will be considered fraud, thus null and void.
- -I. Should the unauthorized party fraudulently cede land to a hostile power; that party may be brought up on charges of High Treason.
Ratified February 4th, 2008
Article VI updated December 13th, 2008
Article VI updated December 13th, 2008