The Law

These laws are based on the Lex Gasgano, and it’s jurisdiction stems from the right of a Lord to set the laws for his own land. . It comprises three basic rights, a number of crimes and a list of suitable punishments. Whiule the responsibility remains with the Lord, administration is carried out by a combination of Magistrates and Marshals.

Magistrates are senior officials appointed by a Lord to hold court in his absence, however, the Lord may always take responsibility for a case if they so wish. Marshals are officials who represent the law away from population centres, settle minor disputes, deal with bandits or outlaws, and assist magistrates.

This is an inquisitorial system, where the Lord, Magistrate or Marshal is responsible for the entire case. There is no investigating police force, participants make their case in court and witnesses are questioned by the presiding officer. There is, generally, a right of appeal to a magistrate or the Lord, however appeals that are a declined tend to attract an increased fine or punishment for time wasting.

Rights
Freedom of Speech But not, necessarily, from the consequences
Freedom of Travel No tolls for people – although there may be road and gate tolls for vehicles and animals.
Freedom from Slavery Owning another intelligent being is not permitted
Crimes
I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I Crimes against the Person I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
Public Insult Name Calling, Libel, Defamation, Slander.
Assault Pushing, Shoving, Punching, Kicking, Minor Fight
Wounding An assault that causes physical wounds
Kidnap Includes wrongful imprisonment and similar crimes.
Rape -
Killing Unintentional killing
Murder Deliberate killing
I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I Crimes against property I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
Housebreaking Entering someone’s property without consent.
Theft Taking something that isn’t yours.
Arson Burning something that isn’t yours
Damage done to Crops -
Injuring or killing Animals -
I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I Crimes against Society I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
Public Disorder Anything from swearing in church to urinating in the street
Threatening Behaviour Treats of Violence
Affray Mass public disorder – Street Fights, Riots etc
Tax Evasion -
Non-Appearance at a court -
Perjury -
Oath Breaking -
Punishments
Restitution Repayment of value of item stolen. Public Apology. Etc
Compensation Extra payment to the victim for trouble caused (cash, labour, hiring a bard to apologise)
Fine Normally Cash – paid to the court, state as a penalty.
Community work Minor work carried out, unsupervised, in the community. Repairing local roads, weeding the park, painting the town hall, cleaning grave stones. etc
Stocks Public Humiliation - put on public display along with details of the offence. May well be pelted with rotten fruit ….
Flogging Corporal Punishment – normally up to a dozen lashes. Often left on public display for an added element of humiliation.
Indenture Contracted to an employer for a fixed period (often years) paid a minimal wage while the rest goes to meet fines, compensation etc. However, the punishment allows the convict to live with their family, albeit in very poor conditions.
Hard Labour The closest we get to prison. Supervised labour, often in a mine, quarry or galley – for a fixed period. The convict is generally chained and lives at their site of their work, in very basic conditions.
Branding Last Chance Saloon. If a person with a Brand is found to be responsible for a serious crime it is the death penalty next.
Exile Stay out of the land. Even setting foot here is worth the death penalty.
Death Penalty Normally by Sword or Axe.

Notes for Magistrates and Marshals

Give careful thought to the crime that you try an offender for. Sometimes more than one crime has been committed at the same time, the mugger who knocks a man to the floor and steals their purse has committed assault and theft. Sometimes there might be three, four or even more crimes to answer for.

You can stack punishments as well. A suitable penalty for a youth who steals a loaf of bread as a first offence might be an apology and community work. For a hardened pickpocket, it might be restitution, compensation and a fine. For an accidental killing caused in a fight, branding followed by an Indenture might be appropriate.

Branding, Exile and the Death Penalty should only be handed out by a panel of senior officials, as they cannot be appealed. However, a branded criminal who is caught red handed or one who is killed during the prevention of a crime, will be considered to be a legal application of the death penalty. However, be prepared to justify your actions within a Zone of Truth.

We do not send people to prison, remove limbs or disfigure them as a form of legal punishment. We do not have a prison, and do not want the expense of building and running one. Amputations just reduce the criminal’s ability to earn an honest living and are not a clear warning sign in the same way that a brand is.

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