Proposal: Lawbook of Arabel, 2nd edition - Civil Courts
The below is a document sent to myself and Commander Keline by a Squire within the Order of Samular, and aspirant Knight named Floki Barrdsen.
Please keep in mind this is a Civil Court document, meant to settle land disputes and common folk disputes. Not much use to us adventuring types, however necessary all the same.
Before this gets out of hand, this is merely a suggestion from a Tyrran who wishes to improve upon the city. I believe this document should be passed beyond the council of twelve into the hands of the Council of Peers. This is not our jobs, as I am reminded daily.
This is a framework, I am interested in his next article, Criminal Courts, which will be far more applicable.
Be that as it may, these notes ought to be pushed up, not down.
[A letter is pinned below]
Proposed Court System for the city of Arabel and surrounding lands.
A court system shall be established to judge all civil and criminal actions, not separate from government itself yet independent so they may judge anyone without bias.
The city of Arabel should have at least three judges to hold court on both civil and criminal affairs. Each judge should be as even-handed as possible and have not a position in any major faction or on a council. In the case they are a member of a government council they must immediately abdicate the position to meet their responsibilities as a judge. In the case of a major faction such as Misrim or The Crimson I would highly recommend not having them judge or at least abdicate their positions in their house and swear unto their gods in front of witnesses that they will be impartial. Furthermore, They should never stand in judgement of one of their former associates for in the least it calls into question their relative position of claimant, defendant or faction.
The surrounding villages and towns should elect or determine otherwise one judge from their own area of influence to judge the locality. These people who would be judges should be determined on both their perception, patience and understanding of law and society. The councils may consider that each of these judges may not hold court for their own people however hold court for other villages. The judges may be bias to their own inner village politics and therefore holding court for the others would be a much viable option if the roads are clear for this especially in civil matters such as property disputes.
Addendum: Houses and guilds that have a problem should be allowed to try their own members if the member breaks guild or house rules without breaking Arabel law, however they should not lawfully be allowed to try non-members for discretions against their guild. That would come under Arabellian law not guild or house law.
Courtrooms. There Should be areas allotted for courtrooms in the palace if none exists. In Arabel proper being a larger city, it needs to show that law is in effect. Courtrooms should be clean and well kept. All trials for the city proper should be reserved for these courtrooms.
In villages and towns that touch upon Arabel’s territory no such need for courtrooms exists being the expenses. A judge may hold court in the town square, a barn or arena whatever is available until the village or town grows enough to make a courtroom for itself.
Incarceration before the trial. Alleged criminals should be housed in a place that restrains them from fleeing Arabel or the forests surrounding until such time as they are tried. They should be offered some form of representation to gather evidence for their defense. Arabel needs a proper jail to house such people until they are proven innocent or guilty. A few cells within the Crimson just will not due for the populace at large.
Inmates should be able to speak to council, fed, and receive regular sleep. If found innocent, they should not pay a user’s fee for their jail stay. If found guilty they should be fined restitution by the state for services rendered to them during the time. If they are found guilty of a capital crime their personal property should be sold to meet upkeep for the jail.
Defense of an accused should be rigorous and allow at least a week to a month of discovery of evidence in their defense. A representative, defender and the inmate should be able to exchange information freely. Once the trial comes the defender/lawyer should seek the innocence of their charge. If it is discovered by the lawyer that in fact the defendant is guilty he or she should meet with prosecution and judge to determine punishment but only in the case that all crimes are proven without a doubt.
Prosecution should have the same time of discovery and offer just as rigorous search as the defense. If the defendant during discovery is found without question innocent due to discovery the prosecutor should take the information immediately to the judge for the release of the prisoner. A trial should not be considered a win or lose for the prosecution It should be about finding the truth and distributing even handed justice. Otherwise the prosecutor should put everything into the trial when it occurs to affect the judgement of the accused.
After hearing all issues and motions the Judge shall render proper judgement based on the evidence standing before him or her. If there is insufficient evidence to convict the verdict will be not guilty. This does not mean the accused is innocent nor guilty it means there was not enough evidence to convict nor to proscribe innocence. The subject will be released without prejudice. If proclaimed innocent the accused will be paid restitution from their accuser be it the state or a person assuring that if a false accusation is claimed that reparations are made.
The judge’s verdict is final on all outcomes. The sentence will be in the bounds of the rules of the court and the laws of the land.
If the crime be a capital offense a jury of the accused peers may stand in steed of a judge upon the request of the accused. The jury will be picked of no more than 5 of the same social class but must not know the accused in any way.
This is the proposed article one for a rudimentary judiciary system. It may be changed, or amended by the council for I am only an advisor representing the Order of Samular, who study the law for the betterment of our communities.
Criminal cases will be the next letter I send after reviewing the criminal laws in arabel fully and will propose amendments to these laws so that law will strengthen in the city and so that other countries will more readily recognize its independence from Cormyr. A good, intelligent system will instill order in the city and its surrounding territories helping to bring prosperity to the city.
I am willing to review these articles for amending with any and all council members, faction chiefs or order commanders for advice on amending this article.
Reveal the truth, punish the guilty, right the wrong, and be always true and just in your actions.
Squire Floki Barrdsen
Order of Samular.
Waldemar and several other clerks are seen laughing for the next few days
Fizzgig last edited by
If Arabel is to accept a court system, it needs to be much simpler and to the point. Floki clearly wishes for something righteous and proper, but it is not the Arabellan way. Also, this favors those of wealth quite a lot, which would mean the smaller communities will have little interest to appease it. Maybe ask him if he could write something simple, less flowery, and more focus on the adventuring populous. We don't need to meddle with how the everyday Arabellan lives, instead we should focus on specialist cases.
SyrusRayne last edited by
I don't think this is our wheelhouse, but if you folks want to come up with a proposal or something, and you haven't already been dissuaded, I'm not sure I could manage to do so. So in the interests of due diligence I guess I'll contribute to the discussion.
Point 1: Don't do this. Even if you could somehow convince the people who can actually put this into practice that it's good idea, it'll make us about as popular as gangrene.
Point B: So, you've decided to do this. Well, from an average adventurer's perspective, "less flowery" is a good call. I haven't read, and am not going to read, the attached "lawbook". It's really long. It's a dozen times longer than the entire list of crimes in the city. Also, as a mage and a sorceress, the idea that some idiot Tyrran or whoever could sit and judge the actions I take in the name of my craft and my goddess is offensive. No offense, but the idea that a mundane - or frankly even a priest, save those of Mystra and maybe Azuth - could ever be impartial in such a trial is ridiculous on its face. So you'd need to have some kind of Magical Crimes Judge, I guess.
AngryOwl last edited by
Sara has eloquently expressed my issues with this so called proposal. We are not lawmakers of Arabel nor do the general populous of Arabel want anyone attempting to exert more control over their lives in such a manner.
We are here to work together to protect and safeguard our home from the kind of threats that we as adventurers are uniquely positioned to counter, not to try and rule over the good people of this city as if we were their kings and queens.
The proposed 2nd edition covers settling basic civil disputes peacefully and fairly. It is comprehensive, and yes, it is incomplete.
Nowhere in the entire document does it mention Magic.
This would likely be covered under a separate section.
As I stated, 'Before this gets out of hand, this is merely a suggestion from a Tyrran who wishes to improve the city'
I know this is out of our wheelhouse. He wanted to pass along the document as a suggestion to the Council of Peers, and he has no means of reaching them.
This isn't for us to handle, i'm asking if anyone has improvements. This is a /suggestion/ to build on a system that does not exist. Right now.. How does Bospir settle disputes? Or Immersea for that matter? These are empty questions because there is no right answer.
Ideally, the Council of Peers will handle this in due time. Years, perhaps, in the future. Long after the adventurers have vacated the land and Nanthleenee has planted flowers on my grave.
But just because a Zhentarim army isn't trying to take Joes Lambs illegally doesn't mean Joe shouldn't be protected by laws. This is important.
However - I do agree, there are a plethora of other issues far more pressing, far more "Council of Twelve" oriented that demand our attention. Floki wishes to aid the city, and this is how he can do that. Merely wished to put his best efforts forward to those who might have thoughts of their own.
This is the last I'll speak on this. The council is clear on the matter.
SyrusRayne last edited by
I would assume that Bospir and Immersea have their own local methods of adjudicating 'civil disputes', methods which haven't been written by foreign Tyrrans and dictated by folks in a different city fully fifty miles away (in the case of Immersea), and who have no real knowledge of their local needs, but instead by folks who live in those communities. It's quite possible they don't have these methods written down at all, because you don't really need to do that when you live in a small village with like fifty people in it. I don't need a lawbook if I can throw a rock from anywhere in town and hit the mayor's house.
They have people for this, is what I'm saying, and it's not us.
AngryOwl last edited by
I think I understand now, it wasn’t brought to us in some odd belief we would vote on this but instead in an inane attempt by someone not on the council to use the standing of the council as a tool for their own selfish political gain and roped you into helping them with such.
If you are going to attempt to abuse the Council’s unique position of influence in Arabel for someone else’s profit at least try to be clever about it, Appleberry.