His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I this morning gave Imperial Consent to the Bribery Act 2017, which “makes new provision for the definition and prohibition of bribery”.
The Act of Parliament, which can be read here, gained the required five out of nine votes yesterday afternoon, and was passed by the Speaker on to the Monarch earlier this morning.
Prior to the passing of this Act, the crime of bribery was illegal only under a short subsection of a six year old Imperial Decree of the Emperor’s predecessor, Declan I.
The Bribery Act 2017 sets out a far more detailed definition of the crime, and also makes it a criminal offence to accept or request a bribe; it had previously been illegal only to offer or give one.
The Act was authored by the Emperor himself, who has an A-level qualification in Law. Its passage sees a return to the writing of detailed, comprehensive criminal law by Jonathan I, with the Emperor having authored several lengthy Acts of this type since his ascension to the Throne in 2013.
Fortunately, this new Act may never be needed; in Austenasia’s eight and a half year history, nobody has ever been charged with committing bribery.
A meeting of Terentia Town Council earlier today legalised the consumption of cannabis in the town.
Since the passing of the Drugs Acts 2015, illegal drugs have been classified as either Class A or Class B. Local authorities are permitted to legalise Class B drugs, which otherwise by default are illegal.
Cannabis, a Class B drug, has also been legalised in the towns of Palasia since September 2015 and New Richmond since April 2016.
The meeting of Terentia Town Council discussed a minimum age limit, but eventually decided against the measure, legalising cannabis completely.
His Imperial Highness Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy as Prime Minister of Austenasia has declared 2017 to be the year of the consulship of Adam Rex and Victoria Hathawia Comitessa Sidneae.
The two Consuls of Austenasia are the Empire’s highest judicial authorities, with the duty of passing sentence on convicted criminals. However, with Austenasia’s incredibly low crime rate, the office serves mostly as a ceremonial honour, with the two Consuls giving their names to the year in legislation and other various formal situations.
Lord Admiral Kennedy has appointed as 2017’s consuls King Adam I of Überstadt, Governing Commissioner of Oregonia and long-standing friend of the Empire, and Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney and the Lord Admiral’s romantic partner.
Happy New Year from the Austenasian Times!
Christmas has been celebrated by the extended Austenasian Imperial Family over the past few days.
Christmas Day (Sunday 25th) begun with the immediate Imperial Family opening presents in Parliament Hall, then joining the population of Zephyria and the Boxall family (the relatives of Emperor Mother Margaret) for a morning service at Carshalton Methodist Church. Emperor Jonathan I spent the rest of the day with his fiancée Princess Consort Hannah at her house, while the rest of the Imperial Family spent the day at the Boxalls’ house.
Emperor Jonathan I released his Christmas broadcast on YouTube, which can be heard here.
On Boxing Day (Monday 26th), the Imperial Family hosted the Boxalls and Princess Consort Hannah in the Imperial Residence for the afternoon and evening. A buffet was provided and parlour games enjoyed.
Finally, yesterday (Tuesday 27th), the Princess Consort again joined the Imperial Family as they hosted the Allens, family friends of the Imperial Family, for an evening meal.
The Austenasian Times hopes all its readers have had a Merry Christmas, and wishes you all a happy 2017.
The Austenasian capital of Wrythe yesterday saw its second tourist visit.
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I met Mike Lewis at Carshalton railway station, from which he gave him a guided tour of the Carshalton Nations which concluded at Wrythe.
Princess Consort Hannah joined the Emperor and Mr Lewis towards the end of the tour.
Mr Lewis was shown Orly, the site of Rushymia and the Midget Empire, and Muschamp Alley, all sites which are relevant to the Carshalton Nations and their history, with the Emperor giving commentary as they went.
They then walked to Wrythe, where – by this point joined by Princess Consort Hannah – the tour concluded with lunch.
At the Imperial Residence in Wrythe, Mr Lewis met with Emperor Father Terry, Emperor Mother Margaret, Crown Princess Caroline and imperial pets Edd and Rosie.
He was also shown various documents and artefacts of historical interest, presented with a gift of an Austenasian postcard, and signed a guestbook newly acquired for the Imperial Residence.
This is the second time a tourist has visited Wrythe, the first having been Jonny Blair in March last year.
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor earlier this morning granted Imperial Consent to the Cities Act 2016.
The Act of Parliament allows certain towns to be given the status of cities, and designates Wrythe (the capital) and New Richmond (Austenasia’s largest and most populous town) as the Empire’s first two cities.
Wrythe and New Richmond will officially become cities in January.
Cities will not only elect a Representative to elect them in Parliament, but a Mayor to oversee their local government.
The Cities Act specifies that Mayors will be elected alongside Representatives in local elections, but forbids the two offices from being simultaneously held by the same person.
An Act of Parliament, granted Imperial Consent this morning, has downgraded the Environmental Office from a government ministry to a department of the Home Office, renaming it to the Environmental Agency in the process.
The Environmental Office was founded in February 2009, administered by the Minister for the Environment. This office has now been renamed to the Under-Secretary for the Environment, and the holder of the position will be appointed by the Home Secretary.
The Environmental Agency retains all the powers and functions that were held by the Environmental Office. Emperor Jonathan I, who appointed himself Minister for the Environment after the resignation of Lord Charles Clarke in September, has remained as Under-Secretary for the Environment.
Speaking to the Austenasian Times, His Imperial Majesty said that “the care of Austenasia’s natural environment should not be seen as an issue separate from others, but as an intrinsic part of our government’s care for the Empire as a whole. All policy decisions made in regards to the internal affairs of Austenasia must be taken with the natural environment constantly in mind, not as an issue to be dealt with by another ministry, and so we felt it appropriate to merge the Environmental Office into the Home Office at the suggestion of His Imperial Highness the Prime Minister.”