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 Post subject: Charter of Emerald Magistrates
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:41 pm 
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The version in black font below is very close to the original one written by Soshi Saibankan; later legal developments and binding or dominant interpretations accepted by the Emperors, the Emerald Champions or by Hashira Horitsu, the annual Imperial conference of jurists or simply resulting from long-time practice are outlined in italics below each section.

Charter of the Emerald Magistrates

Wherein is delineated: those matters which concern the Emerald Magistrate; those duties the Emerald Magistrate shall at all times labour to discharge: those restrictions placed upon the Emerald Magistrate to ensure honourable justice within his or her jurisdiction: and those rights and privileges given to the Emerald Magistrate to aid the the pursuit of justice and social order.

Part One: Jurisdiction

Wherein is delineated those crimes which are specifically the concern of the Emerald Magistrate and which require diligent pursuit.

Section One: Crimes against the Emperor
Any attempt to harm, slander, insult, endanger, steal from or otherwise inconvenience the Son of Heaven is a crime deserving of the utmost attention from all Emerald Magistrates. Any similar action taken against a member of the Emperor's family shall be constituted as a gesture against the Emperor himself and as such merits the attention of the Emerald Magistrate. Similarly, any action against a direct servant of the Emperor or the Imperial Family shall also be a matter of concern for the Emerald Magistrate.

The scope of subjects a criminal action specified above taken against qualifies as a gesture against the Emperor himself are: members of Hantei, Otomo, Seppun and Miya families, ranking officers of the Imperial Legions, Imperial Guardsmen, Imperial Heralds and other ranking members of the civilian Imperial Bureaucracy as well as Emerald and Jade Magistrates (but not their yoriki).

Section Two: Crimes of an Imperial Nature or Scope
Crimes (including theft, murder, treason, robbery, forgery, armed uprising, smuggling, tax fraud and any other transgression of local law) which exceed the jurisdiction of one Clan, either in planning or execution, are a concern for all Emerald Magistrates.

The claim of a crime being of an Imperial nature or scope in planning is usually easy to make and hard to refute. It has been common practice for the Emerald Magistrates to involve themselves in investigations of their concern by making such claims. Usually their senior yoriki are assumed to have power to do it provisionally; if they don't obtain their superior's approval for interfering with local jurisdiction right after (within a day) the matter is fully returned to the purview of local law enforcement.

Section Three: Shadowlands Incursions
Any entry into Rokugan by denizens of the Shadowlands. or by those who have been corrupted be the influence of the Shadowlands, or by those who have made pacts with the sinister forces of the Shadowlands, are forbidden by law. The enforcement of this law is the duty of the Emerald Magistrates. Crimes committed within Rokugan by violators of this law also fall within the enforcement charter of the Emerald Magistrates.

In fact Emerald Magistrates are only one of the groups dealing with these problems, the other being the Crab Clan, the Imperial Legions and, last but not least, the new corps of Jade Magistrates. There are legal disputes over how to divide this purview but they are inconclusive. Kuni Tokaji's strong assertion during several last Hashira Houritsu is that the Emerald Magistrates have only a supplementary role, though this has met with opposition from the Emerald Office. The emerging consensus is that the Emerald Magistrates are supposed to involve Jade Magistrates in such cases without delay, though still bear the responsibility for Shadowlands creatures roaming free in the Empire.

Section Four: Fugitives from the Law
The capture of any criminal who has fled crime scene, custody or apprehension and attempts to cross or has crossed territorial boundaries between clans becomes a matter of concern of the Emerald Magistrates, regardless of the scope of the crime or the location of its commission.

What constitutes a flight attempt is open for interpretation. Some Emerald Magistrates prefer to spare themselves the ordeal of arbitrating cases of successful fugitives between clans which can escalate into armed conflict and instead involve themselves before the border is crossed. This is a tolerated practice, if not particularly liked by local law enforcement. The decision to pursue fugitives has to be made by the Emerald Magistrates themselves.

Section Five: Organised Blasphemy
Any meeting of more than two individuals for the express purpose of participating in blasphemous or obscene rituals is forbidden, and is a matter of concern for the Emerald Magistrates.

Literal application allows individuals or pairs practising maho, gaijin magic or similar to not be covered by jurisdiction of the Emerald Magistrates and constitutes grounds for relinquishing the case to local law enforcement or, more likely, to the Jade Magistrates. More liberal interpretations are possible that define maho practitioners as organised and consorting with theirs by default. While less and less gaijin practices might be considered blasphemous (though worshipping their gods still is), some progressive Emerald Magistrates try to use this clause to cover practising magic in general even though it's still quite far from criminalising spellcasting. This is were sections of Emerald Office and the Jade Office may soon start to vehemently disagree if the former is led by someone more progressive than Doji Shioden.

Section Six: Civil Disorder and General Lawlessness
Any crimes or actions which result in widespread civil disorder and/or general disrespect for the law and its enforcers are within the jurisdiction of the Emerald Magistrates.

This encompasses both actually quelling the disorder by whatever means necessary and dealing with the aftermath, but the practice is for the Emerald Magistrates to let local forces deal with disorder first and step in only if this is unsuccessful or the rioting is major in scale.

Part Two: Duties

Wherein are delinaeated those taks that the Emerald Magistrate is honour-bound in addition to enforcing Imperial Law.

Section One: Tax and Tariff Collection
It is the duty of the office of the Emerald Magistrate to oversee the collection of the yearly Imperial Tax and to enforce tariffs upon goods being transported across clan boundaries. In the case of larger cities the duty may be delegated to tax officials operating under official charter from the Emerald Champion. In such cases, it is still the duty of the local Emerald Magistrates to audit the collections, ensure the accuracy, and protect the tax collectors and the gathered taxes.

The fact that most major cities have been granted special taxing arrangements by the Emerald Champions at some point of Rokugani history makes it very convoluted. The Emerald Magistrates usually don't want to oversee collecting bushels directly and appoint or agree to specific officials. Therefore, the responsibility is usually fluid and shared with civilian bureaucracy, both Imperial and local, though the Emerald Magistrates remain the main armed hand behind collecting taxes. To know how the tax money really flow in a given city or province is a rare knowledge.

Section Two: Authorising Travel Papers
It is the duty of the Emerald Magistrate to make him- or herself available at least one day a week to sign Imperial travel documents. Such documents are required only in the following instances: for persons who intend to travel across boundaries of two clans; for persons who require an open pass to all points within the Emerald Empire; for persons whose travel papers are to remain valid for longer than one year but no longer than five years; or for residents who are not native to Rokugan.

This obligation can go both ways in practice. The Emerald Magistrates within their purview can authorise travel within territories of one clan though they have to be aware that if it countermands decision of local authorities it may cause their significant displeasure. This privilege is both tedious and corruptible so many Emerald Magistrates are not fond of this weekly experience of being pestered by applicants and delegate proxies to handle the matter in all but the final chop.

Section Three: Protection of Visiting Dignitaries
Dignitaries from outside the Clan boundaries may, if they wish, request that the local Emerald Magistrates provide protection against threats mundane, military and supernatural. The Emerald Champion is bound to provide protection appropriate to the threat and to the visitor's social station.

The Emerald Magistrates usually have limited manpower to dispense as bodyguards for self-important personages. Attempts to abuse the protection so given often result in its withdrawal. There is an unspoken practice that the Emerald Magistrates can refuse such a request without violating the Charter if the request comes from someone beneath their own station who is not a kuge.

Section Four: Briefing the Emerald Champion
Once per month the Emerald Magistrate shall meet with the Emerald Champion to provide a briefing on his or her current and ongoing activities and investigations. The Emerald Champion shall also be informed about any matters of national concern.

The practice has long been far more relaxed; the Emerald Magistrates often report to the Emerald Champion via encrypted messages carried by a messenger rather than personally, and reporting does not have to be that regular.

Section Five: Notification of Non-Jurisdictional Crimes
When any Emerald Magistrate becomes aware of a crime that is outside his or her jurisdiction, the Magistrate is honour-bound to give a thorough briefing on the matter to whatever authority has jurisdiction over the crime in question.

If Emerald yoriki become aware of a crime before the local law enforcement, they are honour-bound to consult their magistrate without delay on the issue of jurisdiction before taking any other jurisdictional steps. They do have the right to take necessary action if in their assessment there is a threat of escape from justice or further wrongdoing on the part of suspect or suspects. Those actions are subject to magisterial scrutiny, however, and abuse of power may result in disciplinary consequences.

Section Six: Briefing the Governor
The city of regional Governor of the province in which an Emerald Magistrate is station may, at any time, demand an accounting of the Magistrate's current and ongoing investigations. The Emerald Magistrate is to provide a detailed accounting in no less than three days. The Governor may not demand such an accounting more than once per month.

It is an accepted practice that the governror's or daimyo's karo is entitled to request such a report. However, this procedure is usually used to indicate lack of confidence of the local authorities in the Emerald Magistrate.

Section Seven: Notification of Accusations
If a person of samurai class has been accused of or implicated in a crime investigated by the Emerald Magistrates it is the duty of the said Magistrates to inform the samurai in question if they have not been aware of charges already, or local family and/or clan leader if the samurai is dead.

There is no obligation to do it immediately even though this is the most honourable move, despite difficulties or embarrassment it may cause. Still, it is acceptable to pragmatically do it after a time as notifying the suspect too early into investigation could adversely affect its conduct.

Part Three: Restrictions

Wherein are delineated those tasks, investigations and duties which are excluded from the obligations of the Emerald Magistrate.

Section One: Incidental Law Enforcement
It is not the duty of the Emerald Magistrates to provide street patrols or random policing.

In practice aid from the Emerald Office is more often than not welcome by local law enforcement as long as respect and operational procedures are maintained. There are many ways to circumvent this limitation and this restriction works mostly as a warning for the Emerald Magistrates and their yoriki not to disregard local jurisdictions. The practice of enforcing this restriction varies from place to place though.

Section Two: Problems of Limited Scope
It is not the duty of the Emerald Magistrates to investigate crimes which are of strictly local concern.

See above.

Section Three: Authorisation of Blood Feuds
Emerald Magistrates have no authority in the matter of adjudicating blood feuds. They can neither authorise such a feud nor declare it invalid.

This restriction is absolute. Any Emerald Magistrate who oversteps him- or herself in this regard will likely be stripped of rank. The Emerald Office is not supposed to be embroiled in deeply political conflicts between Clans.

Section Four: Levying of Troops
Emerald Magistrates have no authority to command the service of troops, except as noted below in Part Four, Sections Five and Six.

Since the exceptions are rare and inconvenient, an Emerald Magistrate is expected to form a corps of yoriki and doshin answerable to him. The internal structure of the corps is his or her to determine. He or she of course receives recommendations for candidates from various sources, some candidates being hard to reject, but his acceptance or refusal have political rather than legal ramifications. In practice, most Emerald Magistrates try to balance out political and professional appointments so as to have a corps that is both efficient and politically connected. Funding of the force is done from special stipend defrayed by the Emerald Champion but it is usually insufficient and all members of the corps are supposed to hire ji-samurai, ronin, ashigaru or budoka doshin from personal funds - all the more reason to accept affluent samurai as yoriki.

Section Five: Acceptance of Gifts and Monies
No Emerald Magistrate shall accept gifts, favours, monies, services or special considerations in exchange for any aspect of his or her duties as magistrate.

What constitutes a violation of this section is subject to never ending and probably unsolvable debate - there are many social excuses which can serve as examples of receiving profits without exchanging them for any aspect of magisterial duties, while Emerald Magistrates also routinely dispense minor favours to secure friends and allies within their purview. In practice usually only the most corrupt Emerald Magistrates are legally challenged on these aspects of their duties.

Part Four: Rights

Wherein are delineated those special privileges, powers and rights which are given to Emerald Magistrates to enable them to better pursue their goals and duties.

Section One: Right of Questioning
In the case of persons of inferior social class, station or worth, an Emerald Magistrate may arrest and restrain the individual for questioning about criminal matters. The right of arrest, restraint and inquisition also applies to individuals of superior social class, worth or station who are apprehended in a criminal act by an Emerald Magistrate. Persons of higher social rank, station or value may be apprehended, imprisoned and questioned if the Emerald Magistrate has obtained a valid Order of Appearance (c.f. Part Four, Section Three)

The standing interpretation is that an Emerald Magistrate and his or her yoriki can question any bonge and ronin any time as long as they have jurisdiction to do so; they can question samurai of status equal or lower to theirs without an Order of Appearance only if those have been caught when committing a crime; for any samurai not caught in such a manner or any samurai exceeding them in status any act of questioning requires a valid Order of Appearance. The questioning is normally understood not only as detainment and verbal interrogation but also application of various techniques that can be considered torture, though applying the latter onto samurai questioned under the Order of Appearance is often politically risky.

Section Two: Right of Sentencing
If a signed confession has been notarised by an Emerald Magistrate, that Magistrate may opt to sentence the confessed criminal. The right of sentencing may be passed on to a different Emerald Magistrate at the option of the notarising Magistrate. Transcribed confessions are legitimate only in the case of illiterate criminals. Sentences are to be appropriate for the crime and its circumstances. Possible sentences include, but are not limited to the following: execution by beheading for samurai criminals; execution by hanging from the neck for criminals of lower class; class-appropriate executions for the spouses, parents or children of the criminals; cuffing for periods not to exceed three months; public beatings with rods, sticks or whips; house arrest; or fines, the sum of which is to be remitted to the office of the Emerald Champion.

Senior yoriki can notarise written confessions and transcribe them for illiterate criminals, but sentencing is an exclusive realm of the Emerald Magistrates. Still, as they are often involved in the details of the crime they are usually given permission to advise their superior on proper punishment.

Section Three: Orders of Appearance
An Emerald Magistrate may exercise rights of arrest, imprisonment and inquisition upon persons of higher social worth only upon the presentation of a valid Order of Appearance. An Order of Appearance must describe in detail the crime of which the samurai is accused, it must be dated within one month of its presentation, and it must be signed by the presenting Magistrate or Magistrates. In addition to this signature, it must also have the signature of one of the following: the Emerald Champion; the city or province Governor; or the local chief magistrate. The date of the Order of Appearance must be listed as the date on which the last individual signed it.

Senior yoriki are usually the ones tasked to prepare Orders of Appearance. Depending on local conditions, the signature of the daimyo's or governor's karo can be considered sufficient to legitimise the Order, though this is more dangerous politically than obtaining approvals from dignitaries mentioned in the section.

Section Four: Right to Prior Information
It is the duty of the local Governors and daimyo to inform Emerald Magistrates of large scale military or police actions within that Emerald Magistrate's jurisdiction at least one day before the action occurs.

Governors and daimyo who don't find it politically convenient for a given Emerald Magistrate to know about military moves are notorious in arranging situations and finding excuses not to abide by this section, and usually get away with it.

Section Five: Right to Commandeer Troops
Emerald Magistrates have the right to amass groups of troops for necessary operations, provided that they inform the local daimyo or Governor of their intentions. They may commandeer troops from local leaders if they can show demonstrable need and provide reasonable financial compensation for the troops' services.

What is a demonstrable need has never been specified in Imperial Law while in most cases Emerald Magistrates cannot afford the financial compensation required so this section is rarely enacted, though not as rarely attempted.

Section Six: Right of Imperial Levy
Emerald Magistrates may, at any time, petition the Emerald Champion for the command of Imperial Legions. The assignment of these Legions is entirely at the discretion of the Emerald Champion. Imperial Legions have rights of action and armament in any and all places of the Emerald Empire.

This motion is very rarely enacted by the Emerald Magistrates as it is routinely perceived by the Emerald Champion, the commanders of the Legions and by the members of the Imperial House as gross overstepping magisterial bounds. An Emerald Magistrate has to have very powerful allies in the highest echelons of Imperial power to hope for exercising this right.

Section Seven: Right of Privy Investigation
If there is a conflict of jurisdiction between an Emerald Magistrate and a local magistrate, the jurisdiction of the Emerald Magistrate takes precedence. If the Emerald Magistrate presents the local magistrate with a signed and dated Order of Privy Investigation that magistrate must immediately cease all new investigations into the matter of contention. An Order of Privy Investigation is valid only if it fulfils the following conditions: it is dated on the day it was completed; it is signed by the Emerald Magistrate; it contains a complete description of the crime in question; and it explains, completely and reasonably, why the two investigations cannot proceed in parallel fashion.

Yoriki can attempt to claim jurisdiction in so direct a manner if they have Order of Privy Investigation signed by their Emerald Magistrate in hand. Yoriki are usually the ones who prepare the Order. This motion is usually unnecessary and is exercised mostly in cases of acute jurisdictional conflict between the Emerald Office and local law enforcement.

Section Eight: Right of Travel Authorisation
In addition to their power to pen Imperial travel documents (defined in Part Two, Section Two), Emerald Magistrates also have the right to provide valid travel documents of limited scope. These documents cannot be confiscated or contradicted by local magistrates for more than two days.

As above, this right is usually exercised in cases of acute jurisdictional conflict between the Emerald Office and local law enforcement. It is a way to countermand the latter's decision to detain someone, effective with two days' delay. The limited scope may pertain to leaving the city, castle or province but can also be used for changing full arrest into house arrest. It can be exercised by yoriki who have been specifically tasked to authorise such 'travel' by their Emerald Magistrate.



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