This article belongs to the lore of Gaia.

Objective law

Objective law (正法) is a legal system prevalent across many parts of the world. It is largely based on, and implemented as, a form of customary law.

Objective law was created by Yang the Thirteenth, a charismatic prophet of the 13th century who created the Axial Empire, which was the first polity to implement it. With the collapse of the Empire in the 17th century, the practice of objective law has received variations in different areas, but is nominally still upheld across much of Aussia, and has extended to other parts of the world, though with notable variations in practice. Although Ashihara is in principle founded on objective law, it is implemented so differently that western scholarship do not place it within the sphere of objective law.

Principles

The principles of objective law holds that it is essentially natural law, expressed through human reason. There are a number of axioms, but they are only philosophical postulates explaining the concepts supporting the practice of objective law, such as explanations of why custom is the arbiter of law.

The divinity and objectivity of objective law is a paramount axiom, meaning that laws can not be 'created', and thus legislation not only does not exist but is anathematical and even sacrilegious. Objective law treats human actors as objects subject to transcendent forces, so the law is evident through the interaction of these objects ('custom'), but not arbitrary will. Subjective impositions, including 'created' legal systems such as civil law, are considered obfuscations of man's true nature and purpose by a worldly and confused mind (an idea of Aussian religion and ontological philosophy).

A proceeding of objective law is seen as an exchange between largely equal agents and actors abetted by reason, supervised and arbitrated by a neutral but knowledgeable quasi-divine authority. This underlies its adversarial system.

Precedent is a highly important element of objective law, but it is not axiomatic; as with many other elements of the system, the validity of precedent is dependent on custom, but in the same way it is in practice almost undefiable.

As practiced, objective law places strong emphases on property rights, and often practices some form of the non-aggression principle. These are not unchangeable aspects of it however, and have merely become effectively fundamental simply by their ubiquitous use as customs.

Theory of organizations

Axiomatically, objective law views practically all organizations (団) as they exist as being of the same nature, and thus able to be evaluated by the same criteria. Objective law considers organizations to possess both connective ('horizontal') and authoritative ('vertical') aspects.

In practice (particularly based on the work of 15th-century jurist Tin Muk), objective law distinguishes between four main types of organizations, or actors, in society. They are:

  • proprietors, persons or organizations that own 'capital property' (本), usually meaning real estate, but since the 19th century has also expanded to include new factors of production. An individual who is a proprietor is known as a gentleman (绅), while an individual who is not is a subscriber or client (侍), with the proprietor person or organization whose property they survive on within the framework of a contract being known as a patron (主).
  • partnerships, a joint effort by proprietors organizing their actions together to achieve a common goal, but as an organization they do not possess any form of ownership in themselves.
  • vigilancies, an organization that undertakes the enforcement and defense of law, usually performing punitive, policing, and military functions. In much of Aussia, vigilancies effectively perform the function of states in objective law societies.
  • courts, organizations helping to arbitrate law through offering their knowledgeable and widely-respected expertise.

These categories are not entirely mutually exclusive. Vigilancies may either be partnerships (as with the Ioktsou Confederacy in Ragland) or single proprietors (though this is less common, as the maintenance of protection services and armed forces for vigilancies is very expensive, and can only be shouldered by large firms; single, smaller agencies dedicated to security typically place themselves within a larger partnership). Different schools of objective law differ on whether an organization can intrinsically be a vigilancy, or their vigilante function is to be considered a separate component. A court however is completely independent, and is especially to be separated from law enforcement.

In objective law there is no intrinsic difference between, for example, corporations that enforce law in their jurisdiction, and conventional states. Therefore, no 'exceptions' are given to particular organizations in the same category of organizational and corporate law. The practice of this is most striking to western scholars in that objective law views states in an indifferent fashion, and views conventions that are exceptions for states, such as ideas of 'national sovereignty' or citizen obligations that exceed that of a contractual relationship, as immaterial at best and illegitimate at worst.

When interacting with the objective law sphere, the western world deals with vigilancies as if they are states; for example, the largest vigilancies have established diplomatic relations with western states, and also sit in the Assembly of Nations.

Courts

The basis of the objective legal system is the court (理廷). Strictly speaking, courts do not 'exist' as 'beings', and only represent a process by which objects are aligned to objective law. Courts are called upon in otherwise unresolvable disputes, where they consider evidence and issue a judgement. The judgement is not binding per se; the agency and initiative is completely up to the parties to the dispute, but the court's nature with its quasi-divine authority makes disregarding judgements often of grave social consequence.

Originally the implementation of objective law was achieved through a loose hierarchy unified under the Axial Empire. However, since the Settlement War, no court claims universal jurisdiction over the practice of objective law.

Grand courts (大理廷) take near-absolute precedence in areas that by custom recognize their authority. They hold a status equal to, if not surpassing, supreme courts in non-objective legal systems. However, both theoretically and practically, the status of any grand court is not sacred, and they may be out-competed and displaced by other grand courts if possible; thus the status of a court as a grand court is largely dependent on custom and recognition, although Aussian political and legal theory has numerous different ideas as to the true guarantors of the status of grand courts. A grand court also frequently upholds its own spin on objective law, which much like the court's own position is only valid as long as proprietors uphold it.

Most serious proceedings are done at regional-local levels by general courts, and local courts of less prestige and ability serve issues of lesser importance. The hierarchy of these courts is largely customary and not enshrined by any means, besides some general guidelines to behavior by the grand court or by the axioms of objective law. Again their validity and legitimacy is contingent on popular recognition, or in more realistic interpretations the most powerful proprietors.

Objective law today

Altogether, objective law governs the lives of ??? million people, and areas practicing objective law produce a total GDP of ?? trillion as of 2019. Objective law constitutes the legal system and/or the political order of the following areas:

There are the following Grand Courts: