The Supreme Directive is the constitution of the Empire of Adammia, written primarily by its first monarch, Emperor Adam I. The first version, the April 2013 Supreme Directive, was written on 16 April 2013. Its first amendment was issued on 2 May 2013. However, due to the poor quality of this Supreme Directive, a new one was written by the Emperor and presented in a press conference on 23 June 2013. A referendum held on 30 June determined that the new Supreme Directive would be adopted, replacing the original and introducing many new concepts. The current version of the Supreme Directive has been amended eight times.
When it was first implemented in 2013, the Supreme Directive was noted for being heavily based on the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, though subsequent amendments have since taken both constitutions in different directions.
Article I gives a summary of the circumstances under which the Supreme Directive was first enacted, mentioning the result of the June 2013 referendum and how it was valid under the original April 2013 Supreme Directive.
Article II relates to the Supreme Directive's status as the Empire's fundamental law. Section 1 repeals the majority of the April 2013 Supreme Directive, with the exception of its first line, which declared the establishment of the state; it was considered that repealing this line would technically dissolve the Empire, so it remains in effect. It is also in this section that the document's author, Emperor Adam I, identifies himself, listing his patrilineal line all the way back to George Belcher of Pontefract, born in 1748.
Section 2 outlines the procedure by which the Supreme Directive may be amended or suspended; this procedure has been followed with the six constitutional amendment referendums that have taken place since the document was enacted.
Article III relates to the Empire's status as a sovereign nation. Section 1 sets out the Empire's relationship with its neighbouring macronations (chiefly the United Kingdom), stating that macronational laws should still be upheld even if they contradict the Empire's laws. This section is designed to prevent the Empire's government from carrying out any illegal actions which may attract unwanted attention from the UK, due to the fact that the UK could shut down the Empire with relative ease. Whilst this clause greatly limits the Empire's sovereignty in practical terms, the document later claims that the Empire is sovereign regardless.
Section 2 prohibits the government from interfering with macronational land ownership. This clause was primarily written with Emperor Father Kevin in mind, whom the Emperor lived with at the time it was written; it was considered important that the Empire must have a positive relationship with the Emperor Father and other macronational landowners, as they could greatly limit the Empire's ability to operate if they were not on good terms. The clause acts as an assurance for landowners who are considering offering their property as a new Adammic province, promising them that being part of the Empire will not greatly affect their day-to-day life.
Section 3 is where the Empire actually claims the status of a sovereign state, listing three of the four criteria set out at the Montevideo Convention of 1933: territory, population, and government. It does not mention the fourth requirement, the ability to enter into diplomatic relations with other states.
Article IV deals with the status of Adammia's territory and sets out the various kinds of territorial divisions. Section 1 is a general enacting clause which establishes the sovereignty set out in Article III over the territory claimed by treaties of annexation and by primary legislation.
Section 2 outlines the different kinds of territorial division and their roles. Subsection a) defines the Empire as being made up of the Country, the Colonies and the Territories. Subsection b) defines the Country, stating that the Monarch has the power to decide whether a territorial division falls inside the Country or not, depending on whether it could, theoretically, send representatives to the Ruling Council; Emperor Adam I has exercised this power on numerous occasions. Subsection c) defines the Colonies, subsection d) defines the Provinces, subsection e) defines the Territories, subsection f) defines Regions, and subsection g) permits for lower-level subdivisions.
Section 3 deals with jurisdiction. Subsection a) establishes the jurisdiction of the Supreme Directive as applying to the whole Empire. Subsection b) defines the default jurisdiction of primary legislation as only applying to the Provinces, whilst stating that deviations from this default jurisdiction are permissible.
Article V relates to citizenship of the Empire. Section 1 states that citizens can either be full or honourary.
Section 2 defines full citizenship. Subsection a) outlines the criteria for full citizenship: being a resident of Adammic land who "acknowledges" the Empire's sovereignty, or contributing to the Empire in a "meaningful way". The former criteria is usually strictly followed - there are residents of some Adammic provinces, such as one in Serkatia, who are not citizens because they have no relationship with Adammia and likely have little awareness that it exists; these individuals are sometimes jocularly referred to as "illegal immigrants". The latter criteria was once restricted mostly only to soldiers who had served the Empire in battle; soldiers who were at the Skirmish of Astley Meadow were given full citizenship under this principle. However, there is a long history of full citizenship being granted to people who had not contributed to the Empire much, sometimes being given as a gift by the Emperor to his personal friends; this has become much more prevalent in recent times, often being used as a mechanism to allow interested individuals to be able to join the Ruling Council. Subsection b) subjects full citizens to Adammic law, and subsection c) states that only full citizens count towards the Empire's official population; this is to prevent the Empire's population from being disingenously bloated by a large number of honourary citizens.
Section 3 defines honourary citizenship. Subsection a) defines it as being for individuals living abroad who have "good relations" with the Empire; this is normally interpreted very broadly, and since December 2013 anyone has been able to apply for honourary citizenship via the Empire's national website. Subsection b) clarifies that honourary citizens have no specific rights or responsibilities; this is both an assurance to encourage people to apply for honourary citizenship in the knowledge that it is not a major commitment, whilst also acting as a disclaimer for honourary citizens that they will not be able to vote or exercise other rights held by full citizens.
Section 4 is another important assurance clause, stating that the government may not force any job or role upon a citizen. Besides encouraging people to become citizens by eliminating unexpected commitments, this clause also has the effect of keeping the Empire more "real", preventing the government from appointing people to roles without informing them or other such lazy practices which were common in Emperor Adam I's earlier projects throughout his childhood. The clause has the effect of essentially banning personal taxes in Adammia, as being a taxpayer is considered to be a role; instead, the Ministry of Finance raises funds from citizens through a voluntary Contributions Scheme.
Article VI grants special powers to the Founder of Adammia, Emperor Adam I. In Section 1, the Emperor, as the author of the document, grants himself these rights, stating that he shall continue to hold them even if he ceases to be Emperor (i.e. after any potential future abdication). Section 2 declares that the powers are irremovable and will terminate with Adam's eventual death. Section 3 defines the first power - the ability to appoint a new Monarch at any point, even if the Founder is no longer the Emperor. This gives Emperor Adam a degree of flexibility, allowing himself to temporarily appoint a new Monarch, and then re-assume the throne himself at a later date. This power has never been used to date. Section 4 defines the second power - the ability to amend the Supreme Directive unilaterally, without calling a referendum. This power was exercised in a sense when the Emperor first proclaimed the April 2013 Supreme Directive (though he did so with the "ratification" of Sir Alex Helliker) and when he enacted its First Amendment. Since then, all changes to the Empire's fundamental law have been done through the usual method of a public referendum.
Generally speaking, the Founder's rights are considered to be emergency powers, to be used if the Empire takes a course which wildly differs from Emperor Adam's original vision for the nation. It is not expected that the powers will be used very much, if at all, throughout Emperor Adam's lifetime.
Article VII deals with the powers and responsibilities of the Monarch.
Section 1 establishes the Monarch's role as Head of State of the Empire, and outlines their various titles and styles, for male, female and non-binary monarchs. It also affirms that the Monarch may not serve as Prime Minister of Adammia under any circumstances, a condition which was almost directly taken from the Austenasian constitution.
Section 2 deals with the legislative powers of the Monarch, specifically the status of Imperial Decrees as an instrument of primary legislation, and it outlines the process through which Decrees are issued and subsequently reviewed by the other components of Parliament.
Section 3 defines the Monarch's executive powers, which include the issuing of titles, pardons from judicial rulings, and the granting of full or honourary citizenship. It also defines the Office of the Emperor, and permits for Advisors, including a Chief Advisor, to be appointed to this office. This latter provision is largely for historical reasons, as the Chief Advisor is perhaps the oldest political office in Adammia after that of the Monarch themself.
Section 4 outlines the circumstances by which the Monarch may abdicate, which may be done by presenting a signed document to both the Ruling Council, and a citizen who is not a member of the Ruling Council. This clause is another part of the document which was almost directly taken from the Austenasian constitution.
Section 5 deals with the critical matter of the succession to the throne. It outlines the manner by which the Heir should be invited to assume the throne following the succession of the throne. It then defines the Heir by implementing a form of Absolute primogeniture. This section was completely rewritten by the Sixth Amendment, and replaces the original implementation, which was considered a less robust implementation of absolute primogeniture. The application is not perfectly gender-neutral, preferring uncles and aunts on the father's side before the mother's side, but only if there are no children or siblings of the Monarch otherwise available. This section also defines the usage of the titles of Crown Prince / Princess to refer to the Heir, and the titles of Prince and Princess.
Section 6 outlines the circumstances under which a Regency may be declared. It allows both the Monarch and the Ruling Council to declare regencies under various conditions. It also specifies that a Regency is automatically in place if the Monarch is younger than 14, defines the official titles and styles of Regents, and states the preferred candidates for Regents.
Sections 4, 5 and 6 have all never been exercised in practice.
Section 1 defines the composition of the Parliament (the Emperor-in-Parliament and the Ruling Council) and the powers of the Parliament to enact legislation, to direct the executive Imperial Government, and to order effectively any executive action; this effectively establishes the Parliament, collectively, as being sovereign over the Empire.
Section 2 defines the upper house of Parliament, the Ruling Council. It defines its composition of provincial representatives and national councilors, the status of its chair (the Monarch) and vice-chairs (the Chancellor and two others), and its basic meeting and voting procedures.
Section 3 establishes the Adammic nobility, giving provisions specifically for Archdukes / Archduchesses (of Regions) and Dukes / Duchesses (of Provinces), outlining their means of appointment, their titles and styles, and their means of succesion.
Section 4 outlines the means of election of the national councilors. It defines the general election procedures, which are an implementation of the single transferable vote.
Section 5 deals with the procedure by which Acts of Parliament are passed, stating that any member of the Council may propose an Act. It must then be passed by the Council and given Imperial Consent by the Monarch. Prior to the Ninth Amendment, this was in Section 7, as Sections 5 and 6 dealt with the now-dissolved House of Citizens.
Article IX defines the role of the Office of State as being responsible for the enforcement of the Supreme Directive. It charges the Office of State with organising all elections and referenda, keeping records of all parliamentary meetings and legislation, and tracking the line of succession. It also defines the procedure of appointment of the Lord/Lady Chancellor, the head of the Office of State, as well as providing for impeachment proceedings against them.
Prior to the Sixth Amendment, this article was a section of Article VIII, which at the time was known as "Representation and the Ruling Council".
Article X deals with the Empire's executive branch, the Imperial Government. Section 2 defines its roles as implementing legislation, maintaining the Empire's security, administering the assets of the state (in practice, the Treasury), and representing the Empire abroad.
Section 3 defines the powers, and limits, of the Government, giving it general executive competency, but requiring the consent of Parliament in order to levy taxes, spend money, sign treaties or declare war. This gives the Parliament a large degree of control over the Government's finances and its foreign policy; the political ramification of this financial control is that the Government needs to get supply, as well as confidence, from Parliament in order to function.
Sections 4, 5 and 6 define the role of the Prime Minister of Adammia, the Head of Government. Section 6 outlines their means of appointment, requiring them to be nominated by the Ruling Council. This creates an explicit requirement that the Prime Minister must have the confidence of the Ruling Council, and it means that the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party or coalition within the House.
Section 7 provides for the appointment of Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister.
Section 8 provides for early general elections if the Council is unable to select a Prime Minister within two months.
Section 9 deals with the Government's accountability to Parliament, stating that the Prime Minister and other ministers should maintain regular contact with the Monarch and should make themselves available to the Ruling Council to answer questions.
Article XI deals with the system of local government, specifically within the Provinces. Section 1 defines the Local Councils, which consist of every resident citizen over the age of 12.
Section 2 gives Local Councils general competency, but states that they must comply with primary legislation passed by Parliament. This effectively makes Adammia a unitary state (as opposed to a federal one).
Section 3 states that provincial Ruling Council representatives should make themselves available to their Local Council to answer questions.
Article XII deals with the judicial process. Section 1 defines the scope of the Grand Court and the lower-level courts as relating to breaches of legislation and disputes relating to "legal matters in general".
Section 2 effectively permits Parliament to define the roles of any lower courts through primary legislation (which the Ruling Council effectively did by passing the Courts, Judiciaries and Juries Act 2018), but states that the Grand Court should always be the highest court of appeal for non-constitutional matters.
Section 3 commits the Imperial Government to assisting with the implementation of court decisions.
Section 4 declares the Monarch to be the Judge of the Grand Court, with the Chancellor as a deputy judge. It does not deal with any other aspect of the Grand Court, leaving such matters to be dealt with by primary legislation.
Section 5 establishes the Office of State's role as a constitutional court, making it effectively the final court of appeal for violations of the Supreme Directive, with the Chancellor acting as Judge. This role is given to the Office of State in order to prevent the Monarch (or any other component of Parliament) from getting away with violating the Supreme Directive and subsequently acquitting themselves; ironically, however, the Monarch and the Chancellor have always been the same person as of 2019, rendering this provision effectively useless in practice.
Article XIII is effectively Adammia's Bill of Rights, granting a wide range of rights to citizens (though it does not mention non-citizens).
Section 1 is a general equality clause, stating that all citizens are born equal and shall be treated as such by law.
Section 2 grants citizens the right to life and explicitly states that capital punishment is prohibited. This is arguably redundant, as a micronation such as Adammia would have no practical means of enforcing the death penalty, so its inclusion seems to be more of a political statement.
Section 3 grants the right to freedom of speech and expression. It does not go into much detail, and is arguably open to interpretation; the Defamation Act 2019, for example, was considered to be constitutional, despite being controversial.
Section 4 states that "no citizen shall be imprisoned or physically restricted against their will unless they have forfeited this right by committing a crime." This is a primitive implementation of habeas corpus, attempting to prevent arbitrary detention, though it is not clear on the mechanism by which it would be enforced.
Section 5 guarantees the freedom to practice religion and explicitly declares that Adammia is a secular state, treating all religions, or lack thereof, as equal. An exception is made for religious practices which threaten other people or "national security".
Section 6 grants a further degree of bodily autonomy, stating that citizens' bodies may only be "altered" with their consent (an exception is made for minors who require medical procedures from a government-backed body, for whom permission may be given by a parent or guardian). Female genital mutilation is given as an explicit example as the kind of practice which is prohibited.
Section 7 guarantees freedom for all safe and explicitly consensual sexual activities carried out in private. This applies to citizens "once reaching a certain age", which has never been defined in law, but is generally considered to be 16, which is the age of consent in the United Kingdom.
Section 8 guarantees the right for citizens to own property, and states that property may not be taken from a person without "good reason", though it is unclear what the definition of "good reason" is.
Section 9 is a semi-jocular right for citizens to have an Internet connection. The reasons for its inclusion have been lost to time.
Section 10 is effectively an extension of Section 1, explicitly stating that discrimination on a variety of grounds is illegal. These grounds are gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and faith.
Section 11 states that every citizen has the right to their own opinion. Section 3 arguably makes this section redundant.
Section 12 grants various political freedoms to citizens, including the right to vote, to stand as a candidate, and to maintain membership of political parties, where they are eligible.
Article XIV contains a number of miscellaneous provisions relating to the state itself.
Section 1 provides for the full name of the state - Empire of Adammia - and its shortened form, Adammia.
Section 2 defines the official language of the state as English, and requires all government documents to be written in English.
Section 3 states that the official government system is an Executive Constitutional Monarchy, implementing a Parliamentary system.
Section 4 defines the official demonym to be Adammic.
Section 5 declares the official foundation date to be 13 April 2013. This date is celebrated as Foundation Day.
The First Amendment, passed on 16 November 2013, made many changes to the structure of the Ruling Council, altered the provisions for regency, and greatly expanded the list of rights for citizens. It incorporated the system of territory management, nobility and the Office of State into the fundamental law where they had previously only existed in Imperial Decrees or Acts of Council.
The Second Amendment, passed on 2 August 2015, allowed any member of the Ruling Council (apart from the Monarch and those aged under 12) to run for Prime Minister in National Elections, instead of only Councilors. It also introduced a rule forcing the Office of State to keep all future elections and referendums anonymous. Article IV was completely rewritten to make it more legally watertight, and other sections of the document were also improved on a technical level.
The Third Amendment, passed on 1 January 2017, rewrote Article XI to allow for future expansion of the judicial system. It also made technical improvements throughout the document.
The Fourth Amendment, passed on 29 October 2017, reduced the minimum term length from six months to one month, and reduced the required number of Ruling Council meetings from one per month to two per year. The tie-breaking extra vote was transferred from the Prime Minister to the Chancellor. Substantial technical improvements were also made.
The Fifth Amendment, passed on 31 July 2018, changed the method of election for Councilors and the Delegates from first-past-the-post to instant-runoff voting.
The most significant amendment passed to date, the Sixth Amendment was passed on 1 July 2019. It made the unicameral Ruling Council the upper house of the new bicameral Imperial Parliament, established the House of Citizens as the lower house, and changed the means of appointment of the Prime Minister to being the person with the confidence of the House. It also completely rewrote the section on the line of succession to make it more robust.
The Seventh Amendment, passed by referendum in October 2020 but only signed into law in August 2021, establishes non-binary versions of Adammia's imperial and noble titles and styles. It was meant to accompany the Transgender and Non-Binary Recognition Act 2020.
The Eighth Amendment was drafted as a result of the 2021 Adammic general election being uncontested. It sought to reduce the number of seats in the House of Citizens by replacing the D'Hondt system with the single transferable vote applied to constituencies based on the Empire's regions. It was passed on 8 February 2022. However, the number of seats in the House ended up being reduced only by two, and the subsequent general election was cancelled after it too went uncontested. For this reason, the Eighth Amendment was considered a failure; along with all procedures relating to the House of Citizens, it was repealed in its entirety by the Ninth Amendment.
The Ninth Amendment, perhaps the most radical yet, sought to address the worsening political inactivity in the Empire by abolishing the House of Citizens altogether. It also completely restructured the Ruling Council by cutting the number of representatives from each province from two to one, and replacing them with an equal number of national councilors elected via STV. It was passed on 3 November 2022.
The original Supreme Directive was set out as following: The Supreme Directive founded the Empire of Adammia, and declared its Head of State and territory in Article 1. Articles 2 and 3 defined the state's relationship with the outside world - macronational states and landowners. Article 4 created the role of the Emperor, gave a rudimentary overview of the process of deciding new Emperors, and gave the Emperor his basic powers. Article 5 entrenched the document, making it unchangeable except through a public referendum. Article 6 defined the role of citizens, and Article 7 gave them basic rights. Article 8 handled the virtually non-existant judiciary system.
Prior to the first amendment, there were two more articles. Article 9 handled how territory was managed, and Article 10 handled the national symbols. These were repealed so that Imperial Decrees could handle them in more detail. Prior to the first Amendment, the Emperor could amend almost any part of the Supreme Directive, but this was changed to require a public referendum. Also, before the First Amendment, there was no official structure for Imperial Decrees or the Office of the Emperor. Finally, justice was added to the list of rights in the First Amendment.
The Supreme Directive is signed by Emperor Adam I, on behalf of the People.