Law of Gylias

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The law of Gylias is a civil law system, mainly derived from statutory law. The principles of the system are laid out in the Constitution of Gylias. Significant influences on the Gylian legal system include the civil law traditions of Tyran, customary laws of the Liúşai League, and the anarchist jurisprudence of the Free Territories. The main branches of Gylian law are public law, which regulates relations between people and public authorities, and private law, which governs relations between people.

There are six codes of Gylian law: the Civil Code and Civil Procedure Code, Penal Code and Penal Procedure Code, Administrative Code, and the Economic Code. Together with the Constitution, these form the basis of the Gylian legal system. Laws are enforced by the judiciary of Gylias.

History

Gylian law has been subject to many influences over the centuries. Much of the early law of the Liúşai League states was derived from local customs, and Kirisaki, Cacerta, and Tennai became significant influences on the Gylic peoples' legal thinking.

With the exception of several commonly-agreed principles necessary to ensure the coordination and functioning of the League, law was largely decentralised, and varied by territory. Collections of local laws were published during the pre-modern era, and the process of codification took place between the 5th and 8th centuries, opening the way for later reforms as the political system common to the states attained maturity.

A variety of geographic, economic, social, and political factors led the Gylic states to develop in a generally decentralised and democratic fashion. Popular assemblies were regularly convened at the local level, with the participation of all the attendants, to settle disputes and take decisions. These assemblies in turn would select delegates to be represented in governing councils.

The importance of procedure and record for such legislative insitutions drove the early Gylic efforts to collect and put into writing laws. Little distinction was made between laws made by local assemblies, federal councils, or—in elective monarchies—monarchs.

Historians observe that, in general, Gylic laws of the ancient and middle ages periods did not contain a significant component of religious law, but drew an influence from the development of Concordianism and its pluralistic, syncretic character. One manifestation of this is a tendency towards creating laws to prevent the spread of evangelistic religions, such as the Abrahamic religions.

Xevden's conquest of the Gylic states formed a break in these traditions. The Xevdenites abolished Gylic laws and instead imposed a legal system closer to common law. However, the Gylic legal tradition was maintained in memory by the dispossessed Gylic peoples and re-emerged as an influence during the Gylian ascendancy, a time in which it was fused with new radical ideologies taking hold, particularly anarchism, communism, feminism, and socialism.

An early modernisation of Gylian law took place in Alscia as a province of the Cacertian Empire. This became a significant source of experience with civil law systems.

The Free Territories, after their formation, largely evolved into a civil law system with strong anarchist influences. Emphasis was placed on the codification of legislation passed by communal assemblies and the General Council.

Miranian and Cacertian legal systems became the primary models for Gylian law. Notable features of Free Territories law included the absence of a legal hierarchy, with local assemblies' legislation being favoured as a source, and an uncodified constitution, where General Council legislation served to establish legal principles or affirm existing ones.

Much of the legal and political legacy of the Free Territories carried over into the independent Gylias after the Liberation War ended. A nationwide, popular participation project was undertaken to establish, consolidate, and update laws. This resulted in the creation of the Constitution and the other law codes that form the basis of Gylian law.

Jurisprudence was strongly influenced by legal positivism, with the philosophy of natural law and rule according to higher law rejected due to their religious heritage. Nevertheless, the constitutional drafting process emphasised establishing general principles — "the minimum standards necessary to ensure the development of a free and flourishing society", as Justina Mendonça Ferreira put it.

Gylian law has since come to be characterised by a mixture of concepts that grant legal supremacy to the people (as expressed through communal assemblies and elected legislatures), but enforce certain basic principles that laws must respect, found in the entrenched clauses of the Constitution. The judiciary also gained a judicial review responsibility with the establishment of the Constitutional Court of Gylias.

The Constitution and law codes have been subject to recodification, being reformatted and rewritten to maintain accessible and modern language. Recodifications took place in 1973, 1987–1991, 2000–2003, and 2013–2016. The last two recodifications coincided with the process of digitising the law codes to make them available online.

The passage of the Law on Legal Review and Expiration of 1992 introduced a process of automatic review and removal of old laws. All legislative proposals must include defined measures of success and a sunset provision, generally 5 or 10 years. After the defined period, a legislative committee hears testimony about how the law has met its goals, and if it remains relevant, can vote to reenact it for another 5 or 10 years. If no longer relevant or failing to achieve goals, it ceases to be law.

Legal foundations

The legal framework of Gylias is contained in the following body of law, promulgated and adopted in 1960–1961:

  1. The Constitution
  2. The Civil Code
  3. The Civil Procedure Code
  4. The Penal Code
  5. The Penal Procedure Code
  6. The Administrative Code
  7. The Economic Code

The formulation of the Constitution and codes reflects the anarchist legacy of the Free Territories. Their phrasing specifically avoids claims to hierarchical authority, instead referring to the "administration of justice" and the "realisation of popular self-governance". The Constitution establishes that no laws may contravene the established principles, and domestic forms of law that infringe on the principles are not valid.

Gylian law is divided into two main categories: private law — which governs relationships between individuals — and public law — which governs relationships between individuals and administration, as well as the functioning of administrative institutions.

Private law

Civil law

Civil law is represented by the Civil Code of Gylias. It encompasses five parts: general dispositions, laws regarding persons, family law, inheritance law, laws regarding possession and ownership, contract law, and law of obligations.

The most important principle of the Civil Code is liberty; its first article establishes its purpose as "fostering a society of free individuals cooperating as equals". Most of the code's provisions refer to the general structure in which free agreements are concluded, means of resolving disputes, and standards that apply in the absence of explicit agreements.

The sections on possession and ownership are notable for only recognising two forms of ownership: personal and social. Private property is thus unrecognised, and the definition of social ownership in the code encompasses several forms of ownership, including public ownership. The primary right governing possession is usufruct, while recognition of title is limited, generally restricted to real estate.

Commercial law

Commercial law is represented by the Economic Code of Gylias. It contains extensive regulations on trade and commercial activities, outlining the basis of Gylias' economic system.

The company law contained the Economic Code has unique traits among Tyranian law, including the constitution of any companies as cooperatives, workers' self-management as a fundamental principle, non-recognition of corporate personhood, and the definition of companies' primary responsibility as being towards stakeholders.

The basic types of companies use French terms and abbreviations:

Although in practice any company created in Gylias is a cooperative, companies can also constitute themselves as Société coopérative (SC or SCo), or choose names with the abbreviation "Co-Op".

Publicly-owned companies are generally constituted as SP.

Labour law

Labour law is represented by the Law on Industrial Organisation of 1958, which operates within the framework established by the Constitution and Economic Code. The law establishes the legal minimums for employment in Gylias, including minimum wages, the maximum length of a work day, workplace democracy, and occupational safety and health standards.

The Law on Industrial Organisation features some of the most strongly pro-worker provisions in Tyranian law. Trade unions are greatly empowered, with union busting and strikebreaking acts carrying punitive punishments. The minimum wage is legally defined as equivalent to a living wage, the 35-hour workweek is legally required, and workers have mandatory paid vacation time, as well as minimum rest while at work and a maximum overtime limit. Regulations also impose limits on firings, and make severance packages mandatory in the event of firing.

The law also requires that companies above a certain size allocate half the seats on their supervisory board to workers and union representatives.

Public law

Penal law

Penal law is represented by the Penal Code of Gylias. Reflecting the civil law status of the country, Gylian penal law distinguishes between three type of infractions, defined using French terms:

  1. Contraventions, which are minor violations of the law, a treaty, or an agreement the party has made.
  2. Delicts, which are more serious violations of the law, equivalent to a misdemeanour. The definition of delicts includes civil wrongs caused by negligent or intentional breach of duty of care which inflicts loss or harm, thus incurring legal liability.
  3. Crimes, which are the most serious violations of the law.

The infractions are in turn classified according to seriousness, based on the criteria of intention, aggravating factors, and scope of the infraction.

The Penal Code is notably shorter than other Tyranian penal codes, due to the lack of need to define private property. It also lacks the victimless crimes that appeared in older penal codes, due to the constitutional prohibition on using the law as a means of enforcing morality.

The main categories of crime, according to the Penal Code, are crimes against the person, crimes against society, and crimes against the public peace. No crimes against the state are defined due to the legally impermanent nature of the state; property crimes are similarly defined as either crimes against the person or society.

The law explicitly forbids use of the death penalty, and features strengthened definitions of penal procedure and the rights of the accused, such as a right to silence which specifies that anything the person says can be used either for or against them in court.

Prisons were abolished in the Free Territories during the Liberation War, a feature that was preserved in Gylian law. Rehabilitation is the main aim of the legal system. The most common punishments in use are amendes, the payment of restitution or damages to victims, probation, community service, house arrest, and supervised release.

The most severe punishments, unique to Gylian law and originating in the Free Territories, are dégradation civique ("civic disgrace") — deprivation of political, civic, and professional rights — and "expulsion from the community" — removal to social quarantine areas.

Gylias uses a nonadversarial system. Public procurators (procureures publiques) carry out pre-trial investigations into criminal allegations and make recommendations for prosecution. Both the prosecution and the defense assist the court in actively investigating and establishing the facts of the case, with a judge determining the final verdict. All trials are bench trials.

Minimum and maximum sentences for every type of crime are prescribed in the Penal Code and related legislation.

Administrative law

Administrative law is represented by the Administrative Code. The Administrative Code largely serves as an expansion of the constitutional law principles established in the Constitution, and governs the responsibilities and functioning of administrative agencies.

The fundamental principle of the Administrative Code is dualistic public administration: governments establish legislation, but the civil service oversees its application. Governments may only use general policy instruments to influence the law's interpretation and application, namely the drafting and adoption of laws, the setting of budgets, the determination of agencies' general activities and objectives, the appointment and dismissal of agency heads, and the use of special institutions to handle concerns about government.

The result of this principle is a clear separation between ministries as governmental organisations — which formulate policy — and administrative agencies — which constitute the public service and implement policy. The Cabinet of Gylias retains a specific post, generally a minister without portfolio with varying terminology, that bears responsiblity for coordination between the cabinet and civil service.

The autonomy of the administrative agencies is guaranteed by law, and ministers are prevented from interfering with the functioning of public agencies except through the general policy instruments, an act referred to as "ministerial reign" (règne ministèriale). The use of the monarchical term of "reign" in this context underlines the breach of constitutional principles.

Administrative law is enforced by a separate system of administrative courts, with the Constitutional Court being the court of last resort.

Constitutional law

The Constitution prescribes a federal structure of government, with three levels being specified: federal (or national), regional, and local. Governance is based on the principle of subsidiarity, with a preference for resolving issues at the most local level practicable, with the possibility of pooling and delegating responsibilities to larger institutions. Municipalities and regions have the right to legislate on matters apart from those that cannot be dealt with at the local or federal level, and have fiscal autonomy.

Procedural law

The procedural system is represented by the Civil Procedure Code of Gylias and Penal Procedure Code of Gylias. The two codes regulate the process of dispute resolution and adjudication. The standards established in the codes protect the right to a speedy trial, define the stages of legal proceedings that culminate in a trial, define the formulation of judgements, and delineate the process of appeal.

Other laws

Intellectual rights law

Copyright is represented by the Law on Intellectual Rights of 1960 and Law on Cultural Protection of 1992. The term "copyright" is generally not used in Gylias, except in the form of copyright notices. Instead, legislation and popular use favour the terms "intellectual rights" or "authors' rights".

The main organisation that administers copyright in Gylias is the Creative Rights Organisation (CRO), which is the only organisation legally empowered to carry out copyright registration and collective rights management.

Gylian intellectual rights law is notable in Tyran for its non-capitalist aspects and emphasis on incentivising creativity. Copyright is automatic on the creation of a work, with the CRO requiring certain copyright formalities before publication, such as registration and notices. The copyright term for published works is as follows:

  1. Free 10-year copyright for a work, subject to registration.
  2. Elective 10-year renewal, at a cost of 1% of all revenue earned.
  3. Elective 5-year renewal, at a cost of 3% of all revenue earned.
  4. Elective 5-year renewal, at a cost of 5% of all revenue earned.
  5. Elective 10-year renewal, at a cost of 10% of all revenue earned.

The maximum possible length of copyright is thus 40 years, with repeated renewals incurring greater penalties in terms of cost. The CRO's office for copyright renewal is also required to take into account a creator's financial situation and history, and can refuse renewal on the grounds of rent-seeking.

The Law on Intellectual Rights defines two specific types of intellectual rights:

  • Economic rights — limited in duration, intended to allow the author to financially benefit from their creation.
  • Moral rights — permanent, non-transferable, and inalieanable. These include the right to attribution, the right to anonymous or pseudonymous publication, and the right to integrity of the work. Moral rights remain in effect even after a work has entered the public domain.

Intellectual rights are limited to the creators in person — distributors only receive an exclusive license from the creators to distribute the work.

Gylian law is characterised by a strong emphasis on balancing the rights of creators and the public good. The law contains well-defined limitations and exceptions to copyright, including strong fair use provisions. Free uses of a work include:

  • The permission to create new, creatively independent derivative works, with the exception of adaptations of a work from one medium to another.
  • The permission to reproduce published scientific, artistic, or literary works as excerpts (or even entirely) in scientific, critical, or educational publications
  • The permission to use scientific, artistic, or literary works in news reporting.
  • The permission to use scientific, artistic, literary, or oral works (speeches) in film, radio, and on television, provided the original work existed already in a form amenable to such use.

Compulsory licenses are provided for performances of public works, public broadcasting, retransmission, and the creation of derivative works.

Statutory damages for copyright infringement are limited, false copyright claims are punishable by law, and the CRO has the right to intervene in a copyright dispute — in the event that the two parties cannot come to an agreement — and craft a "balanced resolution" that is final and unchallangeable.

The digital revolution and emergence of sampling as an artistic process prompted updates to copyright law, which were codified in the Law on Cultural Protection of 1992. These included:

  • The expansion of compulsory licensing to digital copying.
  • The establishment of special protections and regulation for the process of sampling.
  • The reform of the licensing system to establish different public copyright licenses, with a more detailed system of legal permissions.

The resulting law is credited with incentivising the growth of a remix culture in Gylias — with the term "copyleft" and accompanying Copyleft.svg symbol becoming increasingly popular as a replacement for "copyright" — and preparing the ground for the creation of the country's publicly-owned digital distribution and streaming media services Proton and NetStream.

Media law

Media regulation is governed by the principles established in the Law on Freedom and Fairness in Information of 1962. The main regulatory bodies in this field are the National Broadcasting Office (NBO), which is legally empowered to investigate complains of malpractice, levy fines and enforce rulings, and the Information Bureau (IB), an organisation that operates as a fusion between a national news agency and fact checking service.

The key principles of media regulation are defined as follows:

  • Ensuring universal access to information.
  • Preserving the democratic nature of the community.
  • Preventing the consolidation of media ownership.
  • Guaranteeing fair coverage of public interest matters and diversity of viewpoints.
  • Maintaining good standards, ethics, and practices within the media.

Information privacy is governed by the Law on Privacy Protection of 1993.

Drug law

Gylias and the Free Territories never enforced prohibition of drugs. The legal regime, codified in the Law on Substance Controls of 1961, is based on classification of substances and maintenance of an integrated licensing scheme, administered by the Controlled Substances Administration. The aims of drug policy are to encourage responsible drug use and drinking, and harm reduction.

The CSA has complete control over all drug products, managing product type, production, packaging, and marketing. Production and distribution is carried out independently by licensed manufacturers, importers, and retailers. The CSA serves as the link between the two: producers compete to supply the CSA with raw materials, while retailers sell drug products to appropriate customers. The CSA determines packaging, controls promotion, sets conditions for sale, controls the price (in collaboration with the NPB), and incentivises production and use of harm-reduced products.

Nationality law

Gylian nationality law is jus soli, with the possibility of receiving citizenship by descent if born outside Gylias. Citizenship is established by Article 5 of the Constitution and the Law on Common Nationality of 1962. A unique feature of the Gylian legal system is that it legally does not distinguish between citizens and residents: people who live in Gylias without citizenship have the same rights and responsibilities as citizens, including payment of taxes and the right to vote in elections and stand for public office.

Naturalised Gylian citizens attend a ceremony, conducted by their local municipal council, at which they take the following affirmation:

"I, [name], solemnly and sincerely affirm that I will faithfully observe the laws of Gylias and fulfil my duties as a Gylian national."

Weapons law

Weapons law is among the strictest in Tyran.

Criticism

Labour laws

Gylias' labour laws have been criticised by capitalist-oriented commentators and organisations, on the grounds of complexity and restrictiveness, which they believe to cause inflexibility within the economy.

Religious laws

The Law on Religion of 1959 has been criticised by some groups for infringing freedom of religion. The law preserves the overall religious policy of the Free Territories: it bans proselytism, missionary work, religious conversion and religious disaffiliation — concepts that are largely alien to Gylian perspectives on religion —, and contains anti-clericalist provisions against "authoritarianism". The overall effect of the law thus favours religions with a decentralised and largely civic character similar to native Concordianism, and practically bans the activity of proselytist and universalist religions.

The Bureau of Religious Affairs, responsible for regulation of religious activities, rejects these criticisms. In response, it argues that universalist religions are inherently a threat to freedom of religion — a perspective drawn from Gylians' past experience with state religion — and that ensuring no one religion gains supremacy over the others is vital to protecting religious diversity and pluralism.

Media regulation

The powers and mission of the Information Bureau have been criticised as infringing on freedom of the press.

Copyright laws

Gylias' intellectual rights laws have been criticised for their primarily national character. Gylias is not party to any multilateral international copyright treaties, instead favouring bilateral contracts with other countries.

The liberal provisions regarding derivative works and a broadcasting quota that strongly favours Gylian content are seen as contributing to the "Gylian Magnet" phenomenon, in which foreign authors produce works in Gylias specifically to register them for copyright there and thus be eligible for classification as "Gylian content" for broadcast purposes.

The differences between Gylian and international copyright law have caused situations in which works that remain under copyright in other countries have fallen into the public domain in Gylias.

Specific legislation