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Posts Tagged ‘Acts of Parliament’

Two new Towns annexed as Axvalley dissolved

6 August 2017 1 comment

A satellite view of Jovanovo, one of the Empire’s two new Towns.

This morning, an Act of Parliament was passed dissolving the Crown Dependency of Axvalley while annexing two new Towns, Jovanovo and Ionisia.

Axvalley, a farming estate bordered by Brazil, had joined the Empire in February 2013, one of the first of the great territorial expansions that Austenasia had seen under Emperor Jonathan I. As a Crown Dependency, Axvalley functioned with complete autonomy under its Governing Commissioner, Rubens Machado.

However, after four and a half years under Austenasian sovereignty, the people of Axvalley decided that they wished to return to Brazil. Their right to political self-determination being respected, legislation was drawn up to dissolve the Crown Dependency.

However, at the same time, the government received requests from two other places to be annexed as Towns.

The first, Jovanovo, consists of two rural properties bordered by Montenegro, measuring nine and a half acres. The second, Ionisia, is comprised of a residential property on the Greek island of Samos.

Jovanovo and Ionisia have populations of twelve and three, respectively, and are both wholly Orthodox Christian in the religious composition of their residents.

Ionisia is home to Prince Aggelos of Imvrassia, who has been appointed Acting Representative of the new Town.

These latest changes leave the Empire of Austenasia with a population of 84, and a land area of roughly eighty one acres.

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Parliament declares Austenasia a Christian country

The Christian “Chi Ro” sign, already used on state symbols from the national coat of arms to the ensign of the Imperial Air Force.

At 7:40 am this morning, Imperial Consent was given to an Act of Parliament establishing Christianity as the state religion of the Empire.

Christians make up the majority of the Empire’s population, and much of Austenasia’s symbolism and ceremonies have been inspired by Christianity. For example, the Chi-Ro holds a prominent place on the Empire’s coat of arms, and Emperor Jonathan I made his coronation oaths while holding a Bible.

The Act of Parliament has reaffirmed the provisions included in the Constitution that all have the right to choose and practice their own religion without discrimination or persecution. The Emperor has announced that he will consider the creation of an ombudsman-like position to ensure that no religious discrimination takes place.

No particular denomination has been specified as Austenasia’s state religion, but rather Trinitarian Christianity as a whole.

Austenasia has never before had an official religion, but since its founding the largest religion in the Empire has always been Christianity, which has influenced many of its laws and national symbols.

Several Christian feast days have been made national public holidays, and local authorities have been given the right to declare a local public holiday on the feast day of the patron saint of their town or territory.

Three towns dissolved in unprecedented Act of Parliament

Thanasia (L) and Porthbokon (R), two of the Towns which were yesterday ceded back to the United Kingdom.

At 9:00 am Wrythe time yesterday morning, an Act of Parliament was passed ceding the Towns of Zephyria, Thanasia and Porthbokon back to the United Kingdom.

Zephyria, which was the first inhabited territory to join the Empire outside of Wrythe, was annexed in April 2009. As the residential property of which it is comprised is soon to be rented out by the Town’s residents – the family of Lord Marshal William – while they move to another property, it was considered best that it no longer be part of Austenasia. However, Zephyria’s former population of three have retained their status as Austenasian subjects.

Thanasia and Porthbokon have both been ceded absolutely, with their populations also having lost their Austenasian nationality. Thanasia was ceded by the request of its population, whereas Porthbokon was ceded unilaterally by the government due to it having been unable to contact its Representative, Lady Evren, for over a year.

Two non-residential subjects, contactable only via Thanasia, have also had their status as such revoked.

Speaking earlier to Parliament, Prime Minister Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy stated that the cessions “should not be misinterpreted as a sign of the Empire stagnating. The Government is working on a series of reforms that will soon be presented, and first among those reforms is guaranteeing that the House of Representatives will be comprised of active Representatives who will actually partake in the governance of our beloved Empire.”

The House of Representatives now has six instead of nine members. The three towns which have been ceded rarely voted, meaning that legislation required near unanimity of all voting rather than a simple majority; with the three less active towns gone, the legislature should become far more efficient.

Despite one third of the Empire’s Towns having been ceded, less than a tenth – 9.75% – of Austenasia’s population has been lost. Of even less magnitude has been the effect on the Empire’s land area, with Zephyria, Thanasia and Porthbokon together having comprised a mere 0.21% of Austenasian territory.

One demographic effect of this has been to push the proportion of Christians in the Austenasian population into the majority, from 49% to 54%, with both Thanasia and Porthbokon having been entirely atheist.

The total population of the Empire now stands at seventy four people, including thirteen non-residential subjects.

 

 

Anti-bribery law passed

It is now a criminal offence to receive a bribe as well as to give one.

It is now a criminal offence to receive a bribe as well as to give one.

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.

Emperor Father Terry and Countess Victoria elected Mayors

HIH Emperor Father Terry, newly elected Mayor of Wrythe (photographed in July last year).

HIH Emperor Father Terry, newly elected Mayor of Wrythe (photographed in July last year).

Apologies for the delayed publication of this news due to technical difficulties.

Local elections on Thursday 9th February in Wrythe and New Richmond saw HIH Emperor Father Terry and Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney elected as the respective Mayor for each city.

The local elections also saw – as expected – the incumbents Emperor Jonathan I and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy re-elected as Representatives of Wrythe and of New Richmond respectively.

An Act of Parliament passed last month created city status to be granted to various prominent towns. The Emperor called local elections in the two towns granted city status in order for them to elect a mayor.

Mayors have the power to chair their city council, veto changes to the city arms, and unilaterally implement bye-laws in relation to local governance.

Since his abdication as Emperor in February 2010 up until now, the now Emperor Father Terry has not been involved in politics, but enlisted in the Austenasian Army in August 2011 and served as a consul in 2013.

Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney is a resident of a new area of New Richmond annexed to the city in December 2016, and was appointed one of this year’s two consuls on New Year’s Day.

New embassy and ambassador to the United Kingdom

Mr Cant, new Ambassador to the UK, outside the embassy.

Mr Cant, new Ambassador to the UK, outside the embassy.

A new Austenasian Embassy to the United Kingdom was officially claimed this morning, the residence of the newly appointed Ambassador to the UK.

Lee Cant, a retired accountant who volunteers as an anti-corruption activist, was appointed Austenasian Ambassador to the United Kingdom by Emperor Jonathan I on 4 February.

The position had previously been held ex officio by the Chief Ambassador, a remnant of the time when the United Kingdom was the only country bordering the Empire. As of September last year, however, the Chief Ambassador has been Lord Rear Admiral Alastair Cranston of Shineshore; as Shineshore is an exclave of Canada, it was thought time that the offices of Chief Ambassador and Ambassador to the UK were separated, which was done by an Act of Parliament last month.

The university accommodation rented by the Emperor during his time at the University of Roehampton was previously claimed as Austenasia’s Embassy to the UK between September 2015 and June 2016.

The new embassy – officially claimed this morning – consists of Mr Cant’s own residence in Hackney, London.

As Austenasia holds no diplomatic relations with the UK, both ambassador and embassy are primarily ceremonial, with their main function currently being to raise awareness of the Empire rather than to maintain actual diplomatic relations.

Dissolution of St.Charlian recognised

26 January 2017 1 comment

National flag of the Federal Republic of St.Charlie.

An Act of Parliament was passed last night which finally recognised the Federal Republic of St.Charlie to be defunct.

After Prime Minister Alexander Eastwood controversially took supreme power as Chancellor in August 2015, the St.Charlian government effectively ceased to function. After a year and a half of complete inactivity, Eastwood informed Emperor Jonathan I on Saturday 21st earlier this month that he considered the nation “defunct”.

Yesterday’s Foreign Affairs Act 2017, amongst other provisions, cites “the inability of the St.Charlian government to continue to function to the extent necessary to exercise sovereignty” as the reason for the Empire revoking recognition of the Federal Republic.

Although the inactivity of St.Charlie’s government has long been known, Chancellor Eastwood’s admission that he himself considers the nation defunct has been seen as the official death-blow to the country.

Alexander Reinhardt, arguably St.Charlie’s most famous politician, refused suggestions that he should declare himself monarch in an attempt to restore the nation’s sovereignty.

St.Charlie was founded as a Kingdom on Christmas Day 2000 by King Patrizio I, who ruled until overthrown in November 2008 by Reinhardt, who established the Federal Republic. For years afterwards, St.Charlie was known as one of the most politically and culturally advanced small nations in the MicroWiki community, with a population peaking at 150 and land claims around the world.

Austenasia entered into mutual relations with St.Charlie in August 2009, signing an official treaty of mutual friendship with the nation in December later that year, and the now Emperor Jonathan I met with St.Charlian leaders in 2011 and 2012.

A decrease in governmental activity had been noted in St.Charlie by early 2014, which the then President put down to many St.Charlian leaders having to spend more time on other commitments as they grew older. The Presidency was abolished by Prime Minister Eastwood the following year, who declared himself head of both state and government as Chancellor.

There has been reaction to St.Charlie’s ‘official’ demise from members of the MicroWiki community. King Adam I of Uberstadt and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy both reflected on how they had warned Eastwood that his reforms would damage St.Charlie, whereas Mercian diarch Richard Cunningham called it the “End of an era”.