In the fall of 2789 Emperor Rogar convened a committee to determine the structure of the new Empire. From these discussions the Imperial Charter took shape. This committee was composed of Empress Hanna of Terra, King Joseph II of Venus, Queen Katrina of Kalmar and King John of Libertas. The following is a sanitized transcript of the questions the Empeor posed to this committee.
(Rogar’s questions are in bold and his follow-ups in bold italics, the committee’s remarks are indented and in italics):
What is the definition of a member state? World? System? Continent? What are the exceptions? What are the minimum requirements for full member status? What about dual systems like Romulus/Remus or Pyramus/Thisbe or Amaterasu/Dante?
A member of the Empire of Humanity is generally defined as a world and its attendant system, bounded by the gravitational domain of its stellar system. In systems where more than one world is generally habitable or suitable for colonization, each world can choose to be a separate member of the Empire and any system disputes between these members is subject to Imperial adjudication.
The Solar System, as the home of Humanity and the bulk of Humankind is an exception to this rule, and the following worlds will be full members: Venus, Terra, Luna, Mars and the Asteroid Belt; the status of the Outer System and Mercury is currently that of a dependency of the member world of Mars, but that status is subject to Imperial review and revision as the Emperor sees fit.
The General requirement for full member status is a system with a permanent population of at least 100,000 member sentients. A member must have a united government and must present a head of state and a permanent diplomatic presence on Terra.
Romulus and Remus, Pyramus and Thisbe can determine their membership status as listed above. Dante is a dependency of Amaterasu.
So we will not give member status to Terran continents? That is acceptable. Charles will not be pleased but we can deal with other solar bodies later. Done.
What do we do about dependant states like the Pact populated dependencies? What about the un-populated dependencies or Pact research stations like Coman III?
Systems with less than 100,000 member sentient residents will be treated as Imperial dependencies and will have an appointed Imperial Governor assigned. When such a world reaches the requisite population for full membership, the Emperor will have discretion as to the form of the member government, which must convene within a decade of the world achieving the requisite status.
Unpopulated dependencies will be Imperial reserves and can be developed or colonized at Imperial discretion. Public research or military facilities, such as those of the Kalmar Pact of Libertas Union will revert to Imperial control. Private facilities will remain private, subject to Imperial commercial regulation.
We should require decadal censuses to determine population and decree that a newly qualifying world must have a government in place by the time of the next census. Do artificial intelligences count toward the total?
Artificial intelligences do not count toward the 100,000 with the exception of sentients that have Imperial Citizenship.
How do we deal with world dependencies like Libertas’s UV Ceti base or Atlantis’s Proxima colony or Fomalhaut V dependency (once Atlantis joins- assume they will)?
All dependencies within a system will be dependencies of the member world; out-system dependencies will fall under Imperial jurisdiction. Therefore, the UV Ceti base and the Fomalhaut colony will become Imperial facilities or dependencies and Proxima will remain an Atlantian dependency.
Will which ministry will these dependencies fall under? Do we need to do it case by case?
This is a one-time issue, the limited number of bases will be assigned jurisdiction by Imperial decree.
What about for new states added later? Hachiman? Alien?
These will become imperial installations at the time of entry into the Empire with ministerial assignments based on Imperial decree.
How do we deal with aliens? The Alimeen? The Khzraut? Minor races? Future contacts? What is a minor or major race?
The Empire of Humanity can incorporate other species, though it should strive to maintain a Human dominated structure. The Alimeen are welcome to join the Empire and as a clearly “major” species will have full autonomy rights to govern themselves. Each Alimeen system will have independent membership in the Empire and the Alimeen as a whole are free to govern themselves in a manner that does not contradict Imperial law.
The Khzraut are not currently acceptable for Imperial membership. Kzhraut systems should be considered interdicted and will not be visited by civilian or military vessels. In the event that the Khzraut and the Empire desire to claim the same system, the Empire should allow the Khzraut access to system if the Medusan-type is suitable for Khzraut occupation and no suitable Terran-type world exists in system. In cases where no Medusan-type world exists in system, the Emperor should deny the claim at his discretion. In the event that both a Medusan and Terran type world exists in system, the Emperor should attempt mediation.
The other races discovered by the Terran Confederation are all “minor races”. The Empire should interdict the home systems of these races and allow only Imperial sanctioned scientific contact with the minor races until such time as the Emperor accepts scientific determination that the race in question should be allowed to request Imperial membership.
Future contacts require classification of the race in question as major or minor and as suitable or unsuitable for Imperial membership.
Any race with interstellar capability, as defined a successful crewed faster or slower than light travel to another star system, is automatically a major race. The Emperor has sole discretion to allow the membership of major races that request and understand the limitations and obligations of such membership. No races will be incorporated into the Empire against their will, though the Emperor can choose to interdict hostile or potentially dangerous major races. A major race will have similar rights as offered to the Alimeen. Where ecosystems are dissimilar, the guidelines outlined for the Khzraut should take precedence; if ecosystems are similar to those of humans or other member species, the Emperor has discretion over conflicting colonization goals.
Minor races are those that have not achieved interstellar capability as defined above. A minor race can become a member of the Empire, if it so requests, if it meets the basic membership requirements and has at least a space travel capable technology. Minor races do not have the rights to system colonization. The Emperor has discretion to promote a member minor race to major race status.
We must spell this out in generic form: Rights to Major member races, Relations with Major non-member races, Major/minor classifications and membership requirements and issues. All these issues will be placed in an Imperial Charter to be accepted by all members. Otherwise done.
Will there be an Imperial consultative body? How will it be organized?
The governing authority of each member state has sole authority to appoint a representative to the Imperial Congress. This body will follow rules established for the Kalmar Pact Planetary Congress and will have the power to petition the Emperor and make public declarations, but will not have the authority of law. The Imperial Congress will have the power to confirm the appointment of a new Emperor as specified by the succession choice of the former Emperor and will have the power to appoint a new Emperor by two thirds vote if the succession is unclear and in dispute.
The Emperor may appoint and dismiss Ministers at will and may create or remove Ministerial positions as necessary, though the creation of a new bureaucratic office requires the simple majority approval of the Imperial Congress.
To clarify: The Emperor should specify a heir. The vote to affirm this heir is a simple majority if no legal challenge to this heir exists. If the claim is unclear or the Emperor has not specified an heir, the vote is two thirds for any one claimant, and the congress must continue to vote until this is achieved. What is the quorum?
We should make the basic ministries: Defense, Commerce, Justice and Science part of the basic Imperial Charter.
The quorum should be a simple majority of member states.
That makes it possible to push though an Emperor with one-third approval. Make it the vote for disputed Emperor two thirds of those present and at least one half of all members. Done.
How do we deal with the Nobility? Do we recognize local titles? Should we create Imperial titles and Orders? Will this be restricted to Nobilis?
All members of the Nobilis race will have a generic Noble distinction and will be entitled to the honorific “Lord” or “Lady”. The governing authority of each member may create titles at will, though no individual can be granted the title of Emperor or King or equivalent. Local titles have no force of law outside the member’s jurisdiction. A member ruler may have the title of King or Queen or equivalent, and this title will be recognized throughout the Empire while the ruler is in office.
The Emperor has sole authority over Imperial titles. These titles will be restricted to the masculine and feminine forms of Duke, Earl, Count and Baron. These titles are not automatically inherited and must be reconfirmed upon heirs by the Empire. At the Emperor’s discretion these titles may or may not include a grant or fiefdom, which must also be renewed. Only Homo Nobilis can receive an Imperial Noble title.
The Emperor can create, amend or disband orders of Knighthood and can grant the title of Knight to deserving Sapiens, though these titles cannot be renewed upon an individual’s death and do not confer grants or fiefdoms.
No viscounts and marquis? I like the single syllable approach. That is done. Titles will be reconfirmed by the Emperor for Dukes, and by the Emperor’s designates, most likely the Ministry of Justice for lesser titles. Does this mean we make Charles a King and not an Emperor? What about the Continental Kings of Terra? To clarify, only the title/position of planetary ruler is a valid off-world local title?
Charles of Mars should be a King.
The rulers of Terran continents should be ranked as Princes, and if part of the Imperial family, they would be Imperial, not Terran Princes. These continental rulers and the ruler of Terra, if such should exist, should be subject to Imperial approval. The Byzantium region of Terra should be an independent Imperial reserve and not part of any continental fief.
Only the title of the ruler of a member is recognized off world. That title cannot be Emperor or equivalent, but can be King, Prince, President, Khan, Grand Poppah or whatever.
How do we treat Nobilis, Sapiens and Constructs? Will we have universal Citizenship requirements? What will be the status of Natural and Construct slaves?
In addition to the generic honorific, all Nobilis will have full Imperial citizenship by birthright, though they will be subject to local laws as applicable.
Member states will be responsible for citizenship requirements and will define these privileges. The Empire may establish a uniform citizenship code for Sapiens members of the military, civil service, or residents of Imperial installations where those installations are not subject to member state law.
Natural Sapiens slavery will not be legal in the Empire for any member state. A member state may determine the legal status of Constructs created in or imported to that state, but those regulations will not be enforceable outside the legal boundaries of that member state.
Imperial Constructs may be chattel or emancipated at the discretion of creating or owning organizations, but an Imperial emancipation, once granted, cannot be revoked except though criminal proceeding. Neither the Empire nor another member state is responsible for the enforcement of any member states Construct regulations. A Construct can be granted Imperial Citizenship only by the Emperor’s recommendation.
All Ministerial Sapiens employees with 20 years honorable service will receive Imperial Citizenship. To clarify, if on one member world, a local gives full Citizen rights to a Construct, but that Construct travels to a world where Constructs are considered food, then the eaten Construct and its dependents have no recourse unless that Construct has Imperial Citizenship?
There will be no attempt to dictate Construct rights to individual member worlds.
Agreed, but this may cause trouble and we should look at amending it at a future date.
How do we organization the bureaucracy? Which functions will be Imperial and which will be member organization? Will there be a hierarchy of sectors or other administrative units? Will those higher units be strictly administrative or feudal as well?
The Imperial bureaucracy will be ministerial in organization. It will concern itself with issues of defense, foreign relations, interstellar commerce, Imperial law, system development and exploration, and other issues as determined by the Emperor and confirmed by the Imperial Congress.
There is no need for a formal structure above the member state or system level, though ministerial agencies can determine administrative districts as required.
Is it practical to have no sector or district units? What if this becomes a Galactic Empire with a billion members?
Direct votes of a billion planetary members are practical. The Congress could determine rules of order and committees to handle this size, and the ministerial districts can adapt to handle size increases. The major issue would be housing a billion member delegates and their entourages on Terra, though this is a remote and unlikely issue. It would not be wise to move away from a one-member one-vote structure.
How do we generate Imperial revenue? How will we manage the currency? How will taxation occur? What are the limits on taxations?
The Empire will establish a common currency and central banking system. Each member state will be responsible for providing Imperial tax of a value equal to a fixed percentage of its domestic product, to be paid annual in Imperial currency. All interstellar commercial transitions will be taxed at a fixed value added rate.
The Emperor will determine the base domestic product tax rate and the base VAT tax rate. The Emperor will propose changes to these rates that must be ratified by a simple majority of the Imperial Congress.
The tax rate should be the same for all worlds and all transactions. If the GDP determines taxes, then we need a carrot to prevent worlds from understating wealth. Do we need a horde of Imperial accountants to enforce this?
Budget returns to worlds will also be based on domestic product rather than population. The domestic product and population will both be part of the decadal census process.
Done. The Ministry of Commerce will handle the census.
How will the legal system function? What is Imperial law versus member law?
Imperial law will govern inter-member disputes and criminal offenses perpetuated on Imperial property or Imperial representatives. Imperial law will govern the crimes of sedition and treason and the murder of Nobilis or Imperial Citizens where not acceptably prosecuted by local law.
Crimes of genocide or illegal manufacture, possession or use of weapons of mass destruction will fall under Imperial jurisdiction.
The Emperor is the final arbiter of Imperial law. The Emperor has the discretion to hear appeals and can pardon Imperial offenses.
What is the hierarchy of Imperial courts? How many layers? Is there any appeal of local issues to Imperial authority?
The Ministry of Justice will determine and appoint courts with judges appointed by Imperial authority. The Emperor can hire or dismiss judges at will. There will be an intermediate appeals court before Imperial review and the Emperor has sole discretion to accept further appeals. Only Nobles and Imperial Citizens can appeal local legal issues to Imperial law, and the front-line Imperial judge has the discretion to accept the appeal.
Done. Each member state will get at least one Imperial judge, with further judges as caseload warrants. The Ministry of Justice will determine appellate districts.
How will we manage interstellar trade?
The Empire will tax and regulate all interstellar trade and trading vessels. All interstellar vessels will require an imperial license and will be subject to basic operational regulations.
Done. This will fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce. Each member state will get at least one Inspector, who might also be responsible for census and tax collection issues on small worlds.
How will we manage exploration and colonization? What will be government and what will be privately allowed? Who enforces this?
The Empire will conduct external exploration and first contact with alien species. All permanent settlements will require an Imperial charter and the appointment of an Imperial governor. Commercial facilities will be regulated as interstellar vessels.
The private exploration and exploitation of territories within established Imperial boundaries will be subject to Imperial commercial regulation. The Emperor has discretion to designate any system as off-limits or quarantined and to enforce that quarantine by military force as deemed necessary.
Regular enforcement of commercial and colonial relations will be a civilian matter, though the Emperor may authorize military enforcement as necessary.
Done. Exploration and civilian quarantine will fall under the Ministry of Science. Exploitation of resources will fall under the Ministry of Commerce. The Ministry of Science can refer issues to Defense or Commerce at its discretion.
How will we manage local militaries? Bogotá was a mistake. Can we ban local weapons of mass destruction? How do we handle the manufacture, storage and use of antimatter for power and vessels? How do we handle hazardous biological and nanotech materials?
Member states may maintain local defense forces, including non-interstellar capable space vessels. Only the member government may maintain weapons of mass destruction. Individuals, including fiefed Nobles have no rights to maintain weapons of mass destruction and manufacture, possession and use of such will be treated as an Imperial offense.
The commercial regulations for interstellar commerce will govern the operation of shipboard vacuum distillation equipment and the transport and control of antimatter fuel sources for vessels. Vacuum distillation power plants must be regulated by member states, subject to Imperial oversight.
The manufacture and handling of potentially hazardous biotech and nanotech materials will require an Imperial license, regardless of whether such material crosses member state boundaries.
Done. Hazmat is under the Ministry of Commerce, though it can refer enforcement or questionable new technologies to Justice or Science as necessary.
What are the limits of Imperial, member, Nobilis, Citizen and Resident rights?
Member states have all rights not explicitly given to the Empire.
Nobilis and Citizens of the Empire will have rights to a trial by peers and reasonable expectations of privacy from Imperial authorities. All Nobilis and Imperial Citizens have the right to petition Imperial officials.
Resident and potential Construct rights in member states are subject to local laws. Residents and Constructs under direct Imperial jurisdiction are subject to Imperial laws.
Petition rights go to the Ministry of Justice. What is the limit of the Emperor’s power? What immunities exist for officials? What, if any, Empire-wide rules exist for inheritance of titles or wealth? Are there any impeachment procedures?
The Emperor is subject to Imperial law, but immune from all member state local laws. The Emperor has an unrestricted right to pardon any individual, other than himself, and to provide Imperial sanctuary to any individual. The Emperor can be impeached for treason against the Empire or violation of Imperial felony statues by a trial in the Imperial Congress and a vote to convict of two-thirds of the total membership.
Imperial officials must follow Imperial law and are immune from local law only when performing Imperial duties though they retain the right to petition the Emperor.
The Emperor can designate his heirs, but cannot divide Imperial authority. Succession of Imperial titles is covered above, there will be no Imperial estate tax, though Imperial fiefs are Imperial property and can be revoked and reassigned at the Emperor’s discretion.
What are the rules of evidence and procedure for Imperial impeachment? If the Emperor is the Empire, how is treason possible? We don’t want frivolous charges.
The Emperor is the trustee of the Empire; it is not a personal fief. Without a third branch of government to act as arbiter of the impeachment process, it is problematic. We propose this process: The Imperial Congress must determine to initiate an impeachment investigation by a two-thirds vote of the total membership. The Congress then votes for individual members to form an investigating body. The twelve individuals with the highest vote totals will form the investigative committee, which will review the evidence and vote on whether to proceed with the impeachment by a three quarter majority. The full Congress will then vote for a twelve-member jury to try the Emperor with the investigative committee as prosecutors and the chairman of the Congress as judge. A conviction requires a three quarter majority and removes the Emperor from office. The heir then requires a two-thirds majority confirmation by the Congress.
This is acceptable. What should be the amendment process for the charter?
The Emperor must propose an amendment, which must then be passed by a two-thirds majority of the full membership of the Congress.
Done. We’ll write up the charter and review it.
These issues, the Emperor decided himself:
What will be the division between Imperial and member militaries?
The Empire is responsible for the defense of the realm and for the patrol of regions outside the territory of member states.
Member states are responsible for their planetary and system defense, though the Empire can supplement these forces at the Emperor’s discretion in times of war or other unrest.
How will the Imperial military be structured?
The Imperial military will consist of the Imperial Navy, the Imperial Marines and the Imperial Guard.
The Imperial Navy is responsible for all space military action and transport of other Imperial units.
The Imperial Marines in the primary force for direct combat, including, but not limited to ground, sea or air operations on planetary bodies and boarding actions aboard space vessels or installations.
The Imperial Guard is an elite force responsible for the protection of the Emperor and Imperial Family and for military and covert operations under the direct command of the Emperor.
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