Constitution of Orioni

The Constitution of Orioni (Oharic: Ye’orīyoni Higi) is the collection of legal rules based on Statutes of 1709 (Oharic: Higochi) and the Declaration of Citizen Rights of 1874 as amended in 1922. The constitutional system has influences from the Corpus Juris Civilis and Aroman customary law, which contains some of the oldest surviving legal texts of any sovereign state on Eurth.

Aroman customary law

The earliest extant texts of Aroman customary law claim to be based on a 7th-century Sahrabic translation Sirr al-Asrar (Sahrabic: كتاب سر الأسرار) of a Suverin translation of the lost Aroman original. Its contents range from ethical questions that face provincial rulers, health, justice and comportment. It's one of the most widely read texts of the Post-Classical Era. The Sahrabic version was eventually translated into Miirosi, Oharic, and even Old Buranic. The 1582 Oharic translation was based on a Miirosi version.

Pertaining to the treatment of citizens:

I requyre the swete sone that thou of thy goodnesse thynke and inquyre oftentymes of thy poore subgectes, and knowe theyr necessytees. And set amonge them suche men as be vertuous and that loveth god and Justyce and that knoweth theyr maners, and understandeth theyr speches, and can governe them peasybly and in love. And yf thou do thus, thou shalt do the pleasure of thy creatoure. And it shall be saufegarde to thy realme, and gladnesse of the and thy people.[1]

Pertaining to a monarch's role:

A Kynge ought to ordre hym soo that he do no wronge, nor harme to marchauntes, but ought to cherysshe them. For they go thoroughout all the wurlde, and by them is reported the good and all renownes of lordes & prynces. And a kynge ought by veray Justyce to yelde every man his. And so his landes and cytees shal be garnysshed with all welthes. And the kynges werkes shall multyply to his honoure and glory, and shal be the more redoubted of his foes, and shall lyve & reygne at his wyl & desyre in quyetnesse.[2]

Counsel of the Sea

The Counsel of the Sea (Iverican: Consigli de'l mar) was a judicial body set up in the late post-classical period to dispense maritime and commercial law. Setup for the colonial holdings of Orioni, the laws later spread throughout southern Europa. The Orinese institution was first mentioned in 1285 in a dispute between Orioni and the Sacred Aroman Realm. This gave Orinese merchants the right to settle their commercial disputes without interference from the royal courts: in return, the monarch received much needed financial support for her wars of restoration.

The Statutes of 1709

Illustration of the title page

The current legal system of Orioni began on December 8, 1709. Empress Ogimachi I gave binding force to a compilation of Statuti (Oharic: Higochi) written by noted jurisprudence scholar Camila Nobelli (1667-1728), covering the institutions and practices of Orioni imperial government and justice at that time. It was written in Aroman and contained in six books. The title in Aroman is Statuta Decreta ac Ordinamenta Illustris Imperiae ac Perpetuae Libertatis Terrae Orionii.

The new system was an update on the Statuti Comunali (Town Statute) which had served Orioni from about 1023. Existing institutions, such as the Imperial Council, were carried forward from this period. The Statutes form the basis of all law in effect today, so it may be one of the oldest constitutions of any existing nation.

Book One

The first book contains 62 articles. It is constitutional in character and describes the role of the monarch, various councils of Orioni, courts, a number of administrative positions, including the viceroys, and the powers assigned to them. The last two articles explain how the law is to be interpreted and altered, including how the law is to be promulgated.

Book Two

The second book, called Civilium Causarum, contains 75 articles. The first half provides for civil law procedures covering subpoenas, evidence, the examination of witnesses and judicial expenses. The second half covers minors, education, the salaries of the civil service and wills. There is a section which promotes compromise to resolve disputes and another which regulates the salary of lawyers.

Book Three

The third book, called Maleficiorum, contains 74 articles and covers criminal law. Prosecution of criminal acts is reserved for the state alone. The laws provide a formula by which the punishment shall be proportional to the offence and any mitigating circumstances. Special attention is given to protecting the assets of the state, and to preventing the pollution of water sources.

Book Four

The fourth book, called De Appellationibus, contains 15 articles. The volume explains how judges are nominated, the classification of sentences, appeals and appellant guarantees.

Book Five

The fifth book, called Extraordinarium, contains 46 articles covering a range of topics. These include the sale of meat, sanitation and health, water reserves and roads.

Book Six

The sixth book contains 42 articles and covers compensation, weights and plant cultivation. In particular, it explains that female family heads are responsible for the actions of their sons and any servants.

Separation of powers

The separation of powers, often imprecisely and metonymically used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the government of Orioni. Under this model, the government is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches. For Orioni the division of branches is into a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.

To prevent one branch from becoming supreme, protect the "opulent minority" from the majority, and to induce the branches to cooperate, government systems that employ a separation of powers need a way to balance each of the branches. Typically this was accomplished through a system of "checks and balances", the origin of which, like separation of powers itself, is specifically credited to the Europan Elevation political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755). Checks and balances allow for a system-based regulation that allows one branch to limit another, such as the power of the Sibiseba to alter the composition and jurisdiction of the imperial courts.

Declaration of Citizen Rights

On 12 July 1874 the Empress Jomi Nabérrie signed a law adopted by the Imperial Council and Sibiseba containing a declaration of citizen rights and the fundamental principles of the juridical order of Orioni. The Declaration begins with a repudiation of war. It states the people are sovereign and explains how the separation of powers doctrine is applicable to Orioni. Citizens are guaranteed certain rights including equality, inviolability and freedom. In 1922 the Declaration was amended by Empress Oshita Nabérrie to include universal suffrage.

Europan Convention on Human Rights

The Eurth Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms on Eurth. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed World Congress, the convention entered into force when Empress Owa Nabérrie signed it on on 3 September 1953. All members of the Entente of Oriental States are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity.

References

  1. How the kynge ought to remembre his subgectes in Secretum secretorum (9 September 2001)
  2. Of the Justyce of a kynge in Secretum secretorum (9 September 2001)