LAW & ORDER
The evolution of law and order in the colonised galaxy is linked very much to how the human race – whether augmented or unaugmented – expanded into the stars and formed its nations.
Prior to the Red Empire of Mars, the disparate nations operated to their own laws, often birthed from the waves of colonisation, and policed them in a wide variety of ways. Laws would be based a mix of ideological and social principles, mixed with practical application based on the nature of the planets in which they were to be enforced. Sometimes the laws would be enforced from a top-down approach, following guiding principles, or they would be enforced bottom-up, following what was practical for the region they were to be enforced in, and mixes of such approaches along the entire spectrum.
Quite often the laws in the early days would follow strict adherence to the early corporate laws being enforced by the colonisers, which had their routes in the corporations and nations from old Earth. The various waves of expansion, and the formation of ever larger and bigger nations would lead to laws being based more on ideological beliefs as a means of control.
History will judge whether the Red Empire of Mars was a “good” or “bad” thing for the development of mankind – if such absolute terms can apply – but as the True Emperor continued his fathers unification of all the various colonies, territories and nations and eventually created the first unified Empire of mankind stretching across the stars, so the law and order system being applied became unified.
There were two systems as far as justice was concerned. The True Emperor recognised that some laws had to be localised, to reflect the disparate colonial nations. As such He in His wisdom allowed for “House Law” systems to exist, based on the previous colonial laws. However, all House Laws were superceded by his Imperial Edicts, which put into place and effect Imperial Law, which overrided all House Law. Under Imperial Law, mankind united under one justice system.
For just over two hundred years, the human race operated under this system of one unified law, the Imperial Law, with its localised and colony-specific House Laws.
However, the Houses were not allowed their own policing and sentencing mechanisms, this being controlled centrally by the Red Empire of Mars. The justice system and sentencing, and the policing and law enforcement system, was split as outlined below, and could be enforced either on the streets or in special courts known as Circuits :
Justiciars – court officials who judged and sentenced on Imperial Law and House Law
Adjudicators – “street” judges, who could dispense law on the streets
Enforcers – the “police”, who had no sentencing powers
Where the Justiciars reported directly into the Imperial machine, the Enforcers would report into the House of the landholding they were stationed in.
The Imperial Justiciars of the Imperial Circuit – this Circuit was the highest possible, and dealt with the most serious of crimes.
The Justiciars of the First to Ninth Circuits – these Circuits dealt with specific crimes per circuit, the lower the Circuit number the lower the importance of the crime in Imperial eyes.
It is worth noting that the True Emperor, whilst borgite in his beliefs, was sensible enough to tread a fine line in how far he took some of the anti-unaugmented policies into Imperial Law. The False Emperor showed no such discretion, bringing many overt and anti-humanist laws into Imperial Law, no doubt hastening the collapse of the Red Empire as many objected.
The collapse of the Red Empire saw many changes. The Imperial Justiciars vanished, or became subsumed into the Houses that were forming their own nations, as did the High Justiciars and the Justiciars. It was only natural that the Adjudicators and the Enforcers joined the Houses, as frequently they were from the House they had jurisdiction over. In some nations, Imperial Law was rejected, whilst in others it was upheld.
As the colonised galaxy fragments, like shattered glass, so the laws and the policing of those laws also fragments, with humanist nations introducing anti-borg laws and vice versa. The once unified law system of the Red Empire is once again beginning to diverge, a reaction to the False Emperors strict imposition of anti-humanist ideals.
Ironically, although the laws themselves are changing, the Imperial structure remains, with Enforcers, Adjudicators, and Justiciars still found in almost all nations that are now being formed.