Posts Tagged ‘Laws’

Updated criminal code published

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, in his capacity as Home Secretary, has published an updated version of the Austenasian criminal code.

The criminal code, which can be read here, is an updated version of one published in July 2013.

The definitions of those actions considered crimes under Austenasian law are spread over many separate Acts of Parliament and Imperial Decrees. The criminal code lists the crimes by category in a single document, together with commentary by the Emperor.

The previous code had become outdated, with new offences having since been created and reform having been made to legal areas such as drug laws.

Codex Jonathanus enters into force

A copy of the Codex Jonathanus in Parliament Hall.

What has been described as “one of the most extensive pieces of legislation” in the history of small nations was adopted today as the long awaited Austenasian civil code came into force.

Known as the Codex Jonathanus, the civil code is an amended version of the Codex Justinianus, an extremely influential codification of Roman law ordered by Emperor Justinian I in the early 6th century. Laws related to archaic issues such as slavery have been removed, and some dealing with local matters amended to refer to Representatives, Town Councils and the like, but for the most part this civil code consists of genuine Roman laws passed between 146 and 532 AD.

The code, which is comprised of over five hundred laws, covers matters including contract and family law, debts, marriage, property, and the justice system. It will be used mostly by magistrates when deciding on how to settle disputes.

The Codex Jonathanus – meaning Code of Jonathan – was compiled by the Emperor, who started work on the massive project at the start of May last year, making use of an English translation of the Codex Justinianus. The adoption of the code was authorised by Parliament last week.

The Codex Justinianus, of which this code is effectively an abridged version, served as the civil code of the Roman Empire from 534 until 892, and has been described as one of the foundations of the western legal tradition. The adoption of the Codex Jonathanus, as well as having great practical benefits, has also strengthened the Roman inheritance of Austenasia.

A printed copy of the Codex has been stored in the Imperial Residence, and copies will be available upon request to be sent to any Representatives, judges, or magistrates. The Codex Jonathanus can be read online here.

Palm oil banned in Austenasia

Deforestation in Riau, Indonesia to make way for palm oil plantations.

Austenasia has become the first government in the world to ban the importation and trade of palm oil.

Palm oil is a vegetable oil which is produced in a way which is extremely damaging to the environment, with mass deforestation leading to huge amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and to the loss of precious habitat for critically endangered species such as the Sumatran rhinoceros and orangutan.

Under new legislation passed this morning, the intentional importation or trade of palm oil is now punishable by a fine of between £5 and £15. An Imperial Decree passed shortly afterwards made an exception for importing palm oil to be used for medical reasons, but this can only be done with the permission of the Representative of one’s Town.

Palm oil is in many products, such as several brands of peanut butter. However, because only the intentional importation and trade of palm oil is banned, negligent importation and trade of products containing it (e.g., not checking ingredient labels) would not be prosecuted. The main aim of this legislation is to raise awareness of the environmental damage caused by the production of the oil.

The ban only applies to Austenasian Towns and Territories, with Crown Dependencies free to choose whether or not to implement it. Palm oil has already been banned in the Crown Dependency of New Richmond since last year.

The Palm Act 2014 was passed by three votes to two in the House of Representatives after having been written and proposed by newly appointed Minister for the Environment, Lord Hengest Crannis, yesterday evening. Lord Hengest has written a message concerning the reasons behind the ban, which can be read here.


Tax system reformed

An Act of Parliament passed this morning has abolished the collection of taxes by the Treasury in peacetime.

The Tax Reform Act 2013 states that from now on, the Treasury can only collect taxes if authorised by Parliament or an Imperial Decree during a state of emergency or war. Town Councils may impose taxes upon their Towns to fund themselves, but these must be “of a fair and proportionate nature”.

The Austenasian tax system was initiated alongside the founding of the Empire on 20 September 2008. Subjects had to pay £1 per month, increased to £2 per month on 6 December 2008, to go towards the upkeep of the Empire. The following month, an extra tax of 20p for each fossil-fuel-powered vehicle owned per month was introduced for environmental purposes.

However, with the annexation of South Kilttown (now known as Zephyria) in April 2009, the collection of taxes was restricted to Wrythe’s population. A similar caveat was made with the annexation of Thanasia in May 2013, and taxes were not even mentioned upon the annexation of Palasia in July 2013. For all practical purposes, the three subjects of Wrythe have borne the burden of the financial upkeep of the Empire since its founding, a state of affairs which has now been put to an end.

Instead of the Treasury funding Government Ministries by distributing annual grants from the money it collects through taxes, Government Ministries shall from now on be expected to find ways of funding their own projects. Should extra money be required, they may apply for a grant from the Treasury, which will henceforth gain money primarily through donations and fund-raising.

New territory annexed as administrative changes take place

The Territory of Corinium Terentium, annexed earlier today.

A field in the British country of Gloucestershire has been annexed to the Empire as the Territory of Corinium Terentium.

The Empire of Austenasia Act 2013, passed at 17:00 this afternoon, annexed the new land to Austenasia as well as making a three-fold division between different types of administrative divisions in the Empire. From now on, all land in Austenasia shall be either a Town, a Territory, or a Crown Dependency.

Wrythe and Zephyria remain Towns, but Glencrannog has become a Territory along with Corinium Terentium. Towns and Territories are both fully incorporated into the Empire under the hierarchy of provinces, duchies and regions, but the former are inhabited and represented in Parliament whereas the latter are not. Crown Dependencies are autonomous territories under the direct rule of a representative of the Emperor.

The annexation of Corinium Terentium – the first non-contiguous British territory to be added to the Empire since April 2009 – adds a further 428,000 square feet to the Empire.

The Territory is governed by Lord Centurion William Wade, a British citizen who lives nearby and who has agreed to enforce Austenasian law in Corinium Terentium as its Governor. A new military unit, Centuria I Gloucestria, has been founded to defend the Territory, and at present has two enlisted soldiers who live within a mile of it.

The annexation of Corinium Terentium has necessitated an expansion of the administrative hierarchy – the Province of Greater Corinium and the Duchy of Davidopia have been founded to contain it, within the already existing Region of Inner Austenasia. The title Duke of Davidopia has been granted by Parliament to HIH Emperor Father Terry.

Winter starts in Austenasia as new laws are passed

28 November 2012 1 comment

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor has announced the start of winter in the Austenasian calendar, and given Imperial Consent to two new Acts of Parliament.

Austenasia has been battered by heavy winds and large amounts of rain over the past week, although thankfully there have been no floods as in the surrounding United Kingdom. This morning finally saw an end to the rain, although the temperature was several degrees colder than yesterday. This change in weather conditions has been used to mark the turning point from autumn to winter this year.

The Emperor has also given Imperial Consent to two Acts of Parliament, passing them into law. The first has revised the law on homicide, defining the required acts and intentions for murder and manslaughter in greater detail and creating a separate offence of second-degree murder for killings in which, while harm was intended, it was not realised death was a possibility. The second act has codified Austenasian law on the subject of how international treaties are to be ratified.