Law of Adammia

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The legal system of the Empire of Adammia is a statutory civil law system. The main source of law is primary legislation, which takes the form of the Empire's constitution, known as the Supreme Directive, its subsequent amendments, Acts of the Ruling Council and Imperial Decrees issued by the Monarch. A three-tier court system has jurisdiction over Adammic law, with separate first instance and appeal courts for criminal and civil cases, followed by the Grand Court, overseen by the Monarch themselves, as a court of final appeal. In cases where the Supreme Directive may have been violated or interpretation of the Supreme Directive is required, responsibility instead goes to the Office of State, which has the power to act as a constitutional court, with the Chancellor acting as judge. In theory, this is to prevent the Monarch from violating the Supreme Directive and then using their position as judge of the Grand Court to acquit themselves.

In practice, due to a lack of legal disputes, no court in Adammia has yet heard a single case to date; crime is virtually non-existent and most issues that do arise are settled either by passing emergency legislation, or by arriving by consensus on an informal convention.

Basis

Legal continuum

Adammic law derives its legitimacy from the Supreme Directive, the Empire of Adammia's constitution. Adammic political thought holds that the ratification of the Supreme Directive on 19 April 2013, backed by the criteria of the Declarative Theory of Statehood under the Montevideo Convention of 1933 using territory claimed by right of conquest, established the statutory framework - known as the legal continuum - from which all Adammic law can be derived.

Supreme Directive

The original Supreme Directive allowed itself to be amended by the head of state, and, later, by referendum. This was used as the basis for the referendum on 30 June 2013, which replaced the original Supreme Directive with the first version of the current document. This essentially repealed most of the original Supreme Directive, except for the opening lines which declared the existence of the state, and enacted the new Supreme Directive from there. The vast majority of Adammic law comes from primary legislation enacted under the statutory framework created by the Supreme Directive.

Macronational law

The Supreme Directive states that the laws of surrounding macronations should be upheld. The Empire can create law which contradicts macronational law, but macronational law holds precedence, and contradicting it only amounts to a symbolic gesture. This means that macronational law - which, in most parts of Adammia, is English law - is de-facto part of Adammic law. However, the Adammic government does not enforce macronational law, though it does obey it for the most part. Macronational law is not de-jure considered part of Adammic law and it is not codified by Adammia.

Civil code

All Adammic law is supposed to be codified in the Codex of Adammic Law, which is the civil code maintained by the Office of State. However, the most recent copy dates from May 2015, and is severely out of date. All legislation passed is archived on the empireofadammia.org.uk website, but this is organised chronologically rather than by topic, and does not signify which sections have been amended or repealed since a given statute was enacted. This means that, until the Codex is updated, it is somewhat difficult to get an overall picture of Adammic law without first reading all legislation ever passed in Adammia.

Courts

Office of State

Main article: Office of State

The Office of State, alongside its many other functions such as organising elections, serves as the Empire's constitutional court, with the Chancellor as its judge.

Grand Court

Main article: Grand Court

The Grand Court is Adammia's highest ordinary court, responsible for all law except for constitutional law. Its judge is the Monarch, with the Chancellor as a backup judge. It hears both criminal and civil cases. As well as acting as the court of final appeal, the Grand Court may also hear cases which a lower court has decided is of great significance.

Appellate Courts

Main articles: Criminal Appellate Court, Civil Appellate Court

Adammia's appellate courts hear appeals from the courts of first instances. They may decide to accept or reject the appeal, to order a retrial, or to refer the case to the Grand Court.

Courts of First Instance

Main articles: High Court, Crown Court

Adammia's court of first instance for criminal cases is the High Court, whilst civil cases are heard in the Crown Court. The main distinction between these two courts is that the High Court requires the use of a jury, whilst the Crown Court does not. Both courts may refer to the Grand Court in "extreme situations".

Legal officers

Judges

The Monarch and the Lord Chancellor are effectively judges ex-officio, sitting in the Grand Court or, in the Chancellor's case, the Office of State as a constitutional court. Additional ordinary judges are appointed by the Monarch. To date, no ordinary judges have been appointed.

Attorney General

The Attorney General of Adammia is the main legal representative of both the Imperial Government and the Monarch, acting as the Monarch's legal advisor ex-officio. Their main role is to act as the prosecution in criminal cases, and to represent the government in any legal cases involving it. The current Attorney General is Lord Helliker, who was appointed by the Emperor on 2 July 2018.

Areas of law

Criminal law

Very little law has been created concerning criminal activity since macronational law already covers most crimes against the person. However, in recent years it has become apparent that relying on macronational law is not sufficient when it comes to crimes against the state, since macronational law is defined in terms of macronational institutions. Therefore, recent legislation has created Adammia's own definitions of electoral offences such as bribery, and offences against the courts such as perjury. Other crimes with their own definitions in Adammia include trespassing (defined in terms of Adammic property law) and treason.

Company law

Company law in Adammia is distinct from macronational company law so as to allow companies to register in Adammia as opposed to London. The main source for company law is the Economy Act 2014. Besides a few basic obligations relating to registration, quarterly reports and the company tax, Adammic company law is relatively simple.

Administrative law

Administrative law is perhaps the most complex area of Adammic law, and a significant proportion of statutes are believed to relate solely to administration.

Constitutional law

Constitutional law, commonly known in Adammia as the fundamental law, relates to the Supreme Directive. It is closely linked to administrative law, as it lays out basic government structures which are then fleshed out by statutes concerning administrative law. It includes, in its current form, the Supreme Directive, its three Amendments, and the opening lines of the original April 2013 Supreme Directive.

Procedural law

The main statutes which govern the procedure of the courts themselves are the Courts, Judiciaries and Juries Act 2018 and the Court Procedures Act 2018. These two landmark acts were the first to "flesh out" Adammia's judicial system beyond what was defined in the Supreme Directive, and were a major part of the government's legislative agenda during VI Legislature.

Property law

The only area of Adammic property law which is distinct is land ownership law, which was created by the Land Ownership Act 2016. It defines two layers of land ownership - macronational and micronational - and mainly deals with how micronational land ownership works. Imperial Decree XXIV, which concerns protected objects, covers the status of objects owned by the Monarch, and as such could be considered part of property law.