Parliament vs. HIH Princess Caroline
Parliament vs. HIH Princess Caroline was the first judicial trial to have taken place in the Empire of Austenasia. The case was heard by the Parliament of Austenasia on 31 May 2009, and concerned what punishment the then Princess Caroline would be given for her part in the Skirmish of the Treasury six days prior.
National flag of Austenasia
|Court||Parliament of Austenasia|
|Date||31 May 2009|
|Location||Carshalton, UK and Parliament Hall, Wrythe|
|Full name||Parliament vs. HIH Princess Caroline|
|Judges||1) HIM Emperor Terry I|
2) HIH Crown Prince Jonathan
3) Lord General William K., Duke of Royton, KOR, KCA, DSC
|Prosecutor||HIH Crown Prince Jonathan|
|Defendant||HIH Crown Princess Caroline|
|Result||Defendant found innocent of two counts of high treason and one count of treason; found guilty of armed robbery, attempted assault, and conspiracy to commit assault.|
|Sentence||Public apology; between four and nine (at the discretion of the Monarch) community services.|
|MSLC Citation||Parliament vs. HIH Princess Caroline AST 2009|
On 25 May 2009, several school friends of Princess Caroline were invited to the Imperial Residence to celebrate her birthday. Once there, they launched an attack on the Prime Minister's Office, which was defended by the then Emperor Terry I, Crown Prince Jonathan, and Lord General William. The Princess and her friends used cans of air freshener to spray aerosol at the defenders, and Princess Caroline stole the Austenasian Treasury, which was later retrieved. The British attackers were eventually made to leave, and Princess Caroline was arrested for treason.
In accordance with Act 29 of the Austenasian Parliament, a person who had been arrested for high treason or treason was to be tried by Parliament. In May 2009, Parliament consisted of three people: Emperor Terry I, Crown Prince Jonathan, and Lord General William. The Princess was therefore to be tried by the three people she had fought against in the Skirmish; a scenario difficult to avoid in a nation so small, yet which may retrospectively appear to have been unjust.
The trial took place on 31 May, when the Princess and Crown Prince met with the Lord General after a service at Carshalton Methodist Church. The first part of the trial took place partially on the church premises and partially in the then Empress Margaret's car while the three were driven back to their respective homes, the trial having to be postponed when Lord General William had to leave the car. While in the car, Empress Margaret acted as an unofficial defence lawyer for the Princess.
Although Emperor Terry was not present, the Crown Prince and Lord General decided to nevertheless review the evidence for the charges against the Princess, with Crown Prince Jonathan to later present their conclusions to his father for consideration.
The first charge brought against Princess Caroline was two counts of high treason, having been accused of having sprayed both Terry I and Crown Prince Jonathan with air freshener. The air freshener was semi-jocularly referred to as "chemical weapons" during the trial, as while non-lethal it could have caused genuine harm had it made contact with somebody's eyes.
Act 39, Law 3 made "Attempting to... harm a member of the Royal [sic] Family" the crime of high treason; if it could be established that Princess Caroline had indeed attempted to harm either the Emperor or Crown Prince with air freshener, she would be found guilty.
The Princess pleaded innocent to both counts of high treason. Crown Prince Jonathan admitted that he had no evidence beyond his own word that his sister had sprayed him with air freshener, and Lord General William stated that he could not remember with any certainty whether she had done so. In regards to her alleged attack on the Emperor, the filmed footage of the Skirmish does not show who sprayed him with the aerosol, and neither the Crown Prince or the Lord General saw who it was; Princess Caroline claimed it was not her, and when she and her brother arrived back at Wrythe, the Emperor stated that he could not remember whether the culprit was his daughter or not. She was therefore found innocent of both counts of high treason.
The charge on which Princess Caroline had actually been arrested was for that of treason. Act 29, Law 4, Paragraph W, Subsection III stated that "Encouraging another country to invade Austenasia" was treason; despite the fact that the attackers were simply citizens of the United Kingdom and not following orders from its government, Crown Prince Jonathan and Lord Marshal William decided that if the Princess had organised the attack, she would have fulfilled this definition.
Princess Caroline pleaded duress, admitting that the attack had been partially organised her but denying that she had started it or that it had been her idea, and laying the blame on her friends from school. She argued that she had been made to go along with the idea, and did not consider the gravity of the situation, believing that losing popularity with her friends would be worse than what she did not mean to go beyond simply harassing her brother.
Neither the Crown Prince nor Lord General could prove her defence wrong, and so found her innocent of treason.
Act 29, Law 4, Paragraph B defined armed robbery as "taking goods that belong to another person through means of force or intimidation, achieved by the wielding of a weapon." The video footage of the Skirmish clearly showed Princess Caroline taking the Treasury from the Prime Minister's Office and running away with it. She was not holding a can of air freshener at the time, but she and the other attackers had already been using them as weapons.
The Princess pleased guilty to armed robbery, and was found such.
Princess Caroline was charged with individual counts of attempted assault and of conspiracy to commit assault.
The former charge was for having sprayed Lord General William with air freshener. He stated that although this had gone in his eyes, he quickly rinsed it out and suffered no lasting harm, and so refused to accuse her of assault itself (then defined by Act 29, Law 4, Paragraph A as "causing bodily injury to another person").
Although the Princess apologised to Lord General William and stated that she had not meant to hurt him, she nevertheless pleaded guilty to attempted assault, and so was found guilty of such.
The second charge - conspiracy to commit assault - was for conspiring with the other attackers to attack the Crown Prince with air freshener. Princess Caroline admitted this and pleaded guilty, and so was found guilty of such.
Sentencing and aftermath
Crown Prince Jonathan and Lord Marshal William had decided on provisional verdicts and sentences while still in the car, which were then approved by Emperor Terry I in the second part of the trial when the Crown Prince and Princess returned to the Imperial Residence (except for one of the counts of high treason, for which the Emperor's testimony was required for the Princess to be found innocent).
Princess Caroline was given the following sentences:
- For armed robbery: a community service and a public apology.
- For attempted assault: five or fewer community services, to be undertaken at the direction of the Monarch before 1 October 2009.
- For conspiracy to commit assault: three community services, to be undertaken under the supervision of a Respresentative.
The Princess undertook her community services over the following few months. She gave her public apology on 14 June later that year during a barbecue, in front of all seven of the then residents of Austenasia and some members of the extended Imperial Family.