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The Constitution of the Union of Force and its Territories

Renegalle

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The Constitution of the Union of Force and its Territories



Preamble: We the nations of Force and its Territories, come together to form a union in which all are equal, where liberty and democracy prevail, where freedom is not only protected, but embraced, and in which unity is held sacrosanct.

Article A: Citizenship

1. All nations in the Union are citizens.
2. Citizenship shall entitle nations to the rights outlined in Article B.
3. Citizenship may only be removed by the Court as a punishment following a criminal trial. Rights of Citizenship may be removed by the Court for the same reason, but only temporarily.
4. Citizenship shall only remain valid as long as the citizen's nation remains in the Union.
5. Citizens shall hold the sole power to remove a Representative and shall do so by holding a democratic vote in which a simple majority is required to remove them. A public hearing must be held prior to the vote.

Article B: Rights of Citizenship

1. The right to freedom of speech and free expression of political views.

1.1. This right shall not allow citizens to circumvent rules put in place on any offsite venue, as long as these rules are solely for the prevention of spam, flaming, impersonation, doxxing, harassment, to comply with a platform's terms of service, or similar.

1.1.1. Doxxing is defined as publishing private or identifying information about an individual without their consent.
1.1.2. Harassment is defined as repeated or continuing contact serving no useful purpose except to create alarm, annoyance, or cause emotional distress.
1.1.3. Impersonation is defined as deliberately attempting to mislead people to believe that you are a government official or a person who is a candidate for elected office.

1.2. Government officials shall be subject to restrictions on this right as it pertains to the release of information which if released, could threaten the safety and security of the Union.

2. The right to freedom of the press.
3. The right to protest freely and petition the government for the redress of any grievances.
4. The right to a fair trial.
5. The right to run for government office.

5.1. If a candidate in any election fails to answer all questions asked to them by the Founder or Speaker of the House within the debate period, they shall be disqualified from that election.

6. No citizen shall have to answer for a crime committed prior to that act being made criminal.

Article C: The Cabinet

1. The Founder of Force shall be the Union's head of state and the Prime Minister of Force shall be the Union's head of government.

1.1. The Founder shall be responsible for maintaining stability, overseeing the Cabinet, and stepping in to lead the Cabinet should the need arise.
1.2. The Prime Minister shall be responsible for actively leading the Union and Cabinet.

2. The Prime Minister shall appoint the Cabinet and have the power to remove any of its members, except for the Founder. They shall be responsible for, at minimum, appointing ministers charged with foreign affairs, internal affairs, communications, and culture.

2.1. A minister shall be responsible for maintaining existing diplomatic relationships and forging new ones, overseeing the signing of treaties, and ensuring The Force Flyer is distributed to all of them.
2.2. A minister shall be responsible for overseeing domestic matters, including recruitment, and ensuring new members of the Union understand how the government works and know about all the opportunities available to them.
2.3. A minister shall be responsible for publishing The Force Flyer on a monthly basis and producing any other official publications and documents.
2.4. A minister shall be responsible for creating and running events for citizens of the Union to participate in, continuing old and forging new traditions, and recording the history of the Union.
2.5. All members of the Cabinet may appoint deputies to assist them in their duties. If any deputy is delegated power or responsibilities through the administration of a formal oath affirming this, they shall be considered a government official.

3. Any military or intelligence forces within the Union shall be considered under the supreme command and authority of the Founder and Prime Minister.
4. The Prime Minister can appoint a Deputy Prime Minister to help oversee the ministries responsible for foreign affairs, internal affairs, communications, and culture.

4.1. The Prime Minister can dismiss the Deputy Prime Minister at any time for any reason.
4.2. The Prime Minister is held accountable for the Deputy Prime Minister's actions, and thus the Deputy Prime Minister is expected to be as professional as the Prime Minister.

Article D: Types of Law

1. Laws shall exist in a hierarchical manner, so that some are more important than others.
2. The Constitution

2.1. This Constitution shall function as the highest level of law.

3. House Law

3.1. The laws passed by the House of Representatives shall function as the second highest level of law and can do anything that does not contradict, amend (except by legal means), or suspend the Constitution.

4. Executive Law

4.1. Executive Orders may be issued by the Founder or Prime Minister which shall have the power to do anything except contradict, amend, or suspend the Constitution or House Law. In addition, they may not amend or suspend territorial law, but may contradict it as necessary in accordance with the powers given to them in this Constitution.

5. Treaty Law

5.1. This constitutes all official treaties between the Union and other sovereign governments and ordinances passed through the framework of these treaties. These may not contradict, amend, or suspend the Constitution, House Law, or Executive Law.

6. Territorial Law

6.1. The laws passed by each respective territory shall have the power to do anything within that territory which does not contradict, amend, or suspend the Constitution, House Law, Executive Law, or Treaties.

Article E: The House of Representatives

1. The House shall consist of Representatives from each region in the Union, proportional to the total number of World Assembly members in each region.
2. The total number of seats in the House of Representatives shall be decided at the start of every House election. Each region will be able to elect one Representative for every 5 World Assembly nations they have.
3. The House shall hold the power to pass and repeal laws.
4. The House may pass or repeal any of its laws with a simple majority vote by its members in favor of the change.
5. The House may hold impeachment proceedings against any government official, except House Representatives, Cabinet Ministers, and the Founder.

5.1. Any House member may initiate impeachment proceedings by writing articles of impeachment specifying the official to be impeached and the reasons for why they are being impeached. If these articles are seconded by another House Representative, they must be put to vote.

5.1.1. The Prime Minister and Justices shall require a 2/3 majority vote of the House to be impeached.
5.1.2. All other government officials, besides those excluded from impeachment in E.6, shall require a simple majority vote to be impeached.

5.2. If the House passes articles of impeachment against any official other than a justice, those Articles of Impeachment shall go to the Justices for a vote on whether the reasons within those articles warrant removal from office. If the Justices vote with a simple majority in favor of removal, the official shall be removed from office.

5.2.1. In considering whether or not the articles warrant removal from office, the Justices must consider all factors: the specific circumstances, the opinion of the public on whether that official should be removed, and any other factors brought up in or related to the Articles of Impeachment. If the impeachment was for reasons other than breaking the law, the Justices must only consider those factors and not whether a law was broken, in choosing whether the official should be removed. Once they have come to a decision, the Chief Justice must write a detailed explanation of why they believe the official should or should not be removed from office.

5.3. If the House passes articles of impeachment against a justice, then those Articles of Impeachment shall go to the citizens for a vote on whether the reasons within those articles warrant removal from office. If the citizens vote with a simple majority in favor of removal, the Justice shall be removed from office.

6. Any member of the House may propose an amendment to this Constitution. Once every member of the House has had the chance to review the Amendment, the Amendment may be seconded and subsequently, sent to vote. If the House votes in favor of it, with a simple majority, it will then be sent to the citizens for a vote, lasting 4 days. If the citizens approve of the amendment with a 2/3 majority, the amendment will be sent to the Founder for approval.

6.1. If the Founder signs the amendment, the Constitution shall be amended and the amendment shall become law. In signing it, the Founder may fix any spelling errors in the passed amendment and that fixed version shall become law.
6.2. If the Founder vetoes it, providing reasoning for their veto, it shall not become law, with no option to override the veto.

Article F: The Court

1. The Court shall consist of three or five justices.
2. At the beginning of each elected term, the Justices shall elect from among themselves a Chief Justice, who shall be responsible for ensuring that all responsibilities of the Court are upheld.
3. Any citizen may bring a case before the Court. The Justices collectively shall hold the responsibility of deciding whether or not to hear the case. They may only deny a case if it accuses the defendant of an action which is not illegal under any law or statute which applies to them in the Union or which has been found legal by precedent of another case that, except for those involved, was identical.

3.1. If a case brought to the Court indicts a justice, that justice must recuse themselves from involvement in all stages of that case. The Founder must appoint a special justice to temporarily fulfill their role for that case.

4. If the case shall be heard, the defendant is required to enter a plea of guilt, innocence, or no contest within a week of the case's acceptance.

4.1. A plea of guilt will skip a trial and move directly to sentencing.
4.2. A plea of innocence shall move forward with a trial.
4.3. A plea of no contest means that you do not admit guilt or innocence. The case will move before the justices for sentencing.

5. Each case in which a plea of not guilty was entered into the record shall be heard by a jury of 3 citizens selected at random by the Justices. The following are prohibited from serving on a jury: the defendant, the plaintiff, any citizen currently on trial or that has charges pending, any close personal friends, or any citizen who has served on a jury in the past 3 months.
6. A maximum of two court cases may be heard at one time, based upon the seriousness of the accusation(s). A queue shall be created if more than two cases are pending.
7. The Chief Justice shall oversee all trials except in the case of clause 3.1, in this case the Court may nominate any other justice not indicted or involved to lead the trial. Each trial shall consist of three stages: opening statements, witness testimony and/or the presentation of evidence, and closing arguments. The trial must be accessible for viewership by all citizens.

7.1. Opening statements shall consist of statements by both the plaintiff and the defendant presenting their respective arguments and an overview, from their perspectives, of the case at hand.
7.2. Witness testimony shall consist of bringing in outside individuals with firsthand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing or lack thereof to testify. The presentation of evidence shall consist of the presentation of evidence to justify or refute the case at hand. Both the plaintiff and the defendant may choose to bring people or evidence forth for this stage.
7.3. Closing arguments shall consist of arguments by both the plaintiff and the defendant to reiterate their arguments. This may include refuting the testimony of witnesses or evidence from the previous stage. The defendant shall be entitled to deliver the last closing argument. Once closing arguments have concluded, the case shall move to the jury for deliberation.

8. The Jury shall have 3 days to determine, with a simple majority, whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. If they are considering voting guilty, a jury member must ensure that they have no reasonable doubt about that guilt before voting. Alongside their vote, they must provide fair reasoning for their decision.
9. The Justices collectively shall hold the responsibility of handing out a punishment to a defendant if they are found guilty or plead no contest.

9.1. Unanimous consensus among the justices (not including a recused justice, if there is one) shall be required to select a punishment for the guilty party. The Chief Justice must ensure consensus is reached on an appropriate punishment within 3 days of the guilty verdict. If a unanimous consensus cannot be reached after 3 days, a majority in favor shall suffice.
9.2. The punishment must be fair and appropriate for the crime committed, as outlined in Article J.

10. Any person convicted of a crime may petition the Court for a new trial based on new evidence.

10.1. On appeal, the Founder will appoint a special team of 3 justices to oversee the trial. This special team shall operate under the normal rules for a trial.
10.2. No jury member who served in the original trial shall be allowed to participate in a new trial.

11. The Justices shall hold the sole authority to judge the legality of all House Laws (excluding Constitutional amendments) and Territorial Laws. They shall provide a public statement on the legality of each of these laws within a week of their passage. They shall also hold the authority to judge the legality of executive and treaty law, though they are not required to provide statements on their legality.

11.1. All three Justices must present their individual verdict in a public statement.
11.2. A simple majority among the justices shall be required to find a law unconstitutional.
11.3. If they judge a law to be unconstitutional, they must suspend it, in its entirety, providing a comprehensive legal argument to explain the reasons for its unconstitutionality.

12. The Prime Minister may issue a pardon to anyone convicted of a crime, effectively canceling that person's sentence, provided that the person is not themselves, a close friend of theirs, or an associate in government. They may only issue a pardon once per term.

Article G: Absences

1. A government office is considered absent when:

1.1. The office holder has lost citizenship.
1.2. The office holder has not spoken or performed their duties on the NationStates website, Force forums, or Force Discord server in at least 1 week.

1.2.1. If a government official anticipates an absence this long, in order to keep their position, prior to the absence they must provide reasonable cause for it and designate another official in their area of government to take on their responsibilities. This shall not apply to the Court, who are subject to G.4, regardless of the circumstances.

1.3. The office holder has resigned.
1.4. The office holder has been removed from office.
1.5. The office was left absent following an election.

2. In the case of an absence in the office of Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister shall assume the position of Prime Minister. If there is no Deputy Prime Minister, or the Deputy Prime Minister chooses to not take the office, the Speaker of the House will become Prime Minister.

2.1. In the case of there being no Speaker of the House or them choosing not to take the office, the matter shall go to the House, who shall be responsible for choosing a new Prime Minister.
2.2. Any House Representative may nominate a member of the Cabinet or House for Prime Minister, provided that the nominee has agreed to their nomination. Both the nominations period and the subsequent vote shall last for 24 hours. The nominee with a majority of the vote shall become Prime Minister.

2.2.1. If no nominee receives a majority of the vote, a second vote shall be held in which only the two nominees with the highest vote totals remain. The nominee who receives a majority of the vote after 24 hours shall become Prime Minister.

2.3. If no nominations are made, an emergency election, following the same rules as a regular election, must be held.

3. In the case of an absence in the Cabinet, the Prime Minister must appoint a replacement within 7 days.
4. If all seats in the House of Representatives are vacant, an emergency election, following the same rules as a regular election, must be held if the next election for it is more than one month away.
5. In the case of an absence in the Court, the Founder must appoint a replacement within 5 days or choose to hold an emergency election for the position.
6. In the case of any other absence, unless otherwise specified by law, the office shall be considered vacant and no further action shall be taken.

Article H: Elections

1. Stages

1.1. Elections shall begin with candidacy declarations, which shall be open for 3 days.
1.2. Following this, a debate, open to questions by all citizens, shall be held for 3 days.
1.3. The last stage shall be voting, which shall be held for 4 days.
1.4. Following the completion of one stage in an election, the next stage shall begin within 12 hours.
1.5. Should circumstances necessitate it, each stage may be shortened by up to one day. The length of a stage may not be changed once that stage has begun.

2. Voting

2.1. If an election ends with no candidate achieving a majority, voting shall continue until one does. If that election has only one candidate, a fresh election shall be held.
2.2. All ranked choice voting shall follow this process:

2.2.1. If there are more than two candidates, voters may rank their preferred candidates. Their favorite candidate shall be ranked 1, their second favorite 2, and so on as far as they wish to do rankings. Each candidate may only be ranked once.
2.2.2. The candidate with the majority of votes shall be elected. Abstentions shall not be considered.
2.2.3. If no candidate achieves a majority, an instant runoff shall be triggered. The second preference of those who voted for a candidate other than the two with the most votes shall be counted, then their third preference, and so on until a candidate has a majority of votes.

2.2.3.1. If the number of votes for all candidates is at parity, the second preferences of all voters shall be counted. This shall be repeated with each lower preference until two candidates have higher vote tallies than the others. H.2.2.3 shall then be followed as usual.

2.2.4. If all of a voter's preferences have been counted, their ballot shall not be used in further counting.

2.3. In elections for House Representatives, ballots shall allow residents of each territory to vote for or against each candidate running for that territory's seat(s). They may vote, at maximum, for as many candidates as there are available seats, as indicated by E.2. The candidates with more votes for than against them shall be elected.
2.4. In elections for Court Justices, ballots shall allow citizens to vote for or against each candidate. They may vote, at maximum, for up to five candidates if there are at least that many candidates for the position. Otherwise, they may vote, at maximum, for up to three candidates. The candidates with more votes for than against them shall be elected.

3. Oversight

3.1. All stages of general and midterm elections shall be started, overseen, and run by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
3.2. The Speaker shall be responsible for sending a telegram to all citizens of the Union's capital region and is urged to send one to each of its states, notifying them of the start of each election stage. They shall do the same on the Force Discord Server.
3.3. If the Speaker is unable to perform these duties, the responsibility of doing so shall fall to the Deputy Speaker. If for whatever reason, the Deputy Speaker is unable to fulfill these duties either, the Chief Justice shall be endowed with these responsibilities.

4. General Elections

4.1. These shall be held to elect the Prime Minister, all seats in the House of Representatives except for those from the capital territory, and all Court Justices.
4.2. They shall begin on the first of March, July, and November.
4.3. Elections for Prime Minister shall follow ranked choice voting procedures.

5. Midterm Elections

5.1. These shall be held to elect the capital territory's seats in the House of Representatives and all Court Justices.
5.2. They shall begin on the first of January, May, and September.

6. No emergency election for a vacant office shall conflict with a regularly scheduled election for that same office.

Article I: Illegal Activities

1. Treason

1.1. Attempting to or successfully undermining the legitimate government of the Union or its allies.
1.2. Attempting to or successfully harming the people of the Union or the people of the Union's allies.
1.3. Attempting to or successfully raiding or illegally occupying a territory of the Union of Force or its allies.

2. Espionage

2.1. Attempting to or successfully accessing sensitive information without prior approval from the Founder or Prime Minister.
2.2. Attempting to or successfully sharing sensitive information without prior approval from the Founder or Prime Minister.

3. Conspiracy

3.1. Collaborating with one or more other citizens to commit any of the activities in this Article.
3.2. Collaborating with one or more foreign nationals to commit any of the activities in this Article.
3.3. Collaborating with a mix of citizens and foreign nationals to commit any of the activities in this Article.

4. Voting Fraud

4.1. Attempting to or successfully undermining the validity of an election through the creation of multiple accounts.
4.2. Attempting to or successfully undermining the validity of an election, referendum, or vote of any other kind by bringing in nations to vote for one or more specific candidates or ideas.
4.3. Attempting to or successfully undermining the validity of an election by means of something other than that mentioned in I.4.1 and I.4.2.

5. Malfeasance and Nonfeasance

5.1. Malfeasance shall be defined as wrongdoing or misconduct by a government official.
5.2. Nonfeasance shall be defined as a failure to perform one's responsibilities in any government office.

Article J: Punishments

1. The crimes of treason and espionage may be punished with:

1.1. Removal of citizenship
1.2. Temporary removal of the ability to vote; for a maximum of 2 years.
1.3. Temporary removal of the right to run for public office; for a maximum of 2 years.

2. The crimes of voting fraud and malfeasance may be punished with:

2.1. Temporary removal of the ability to vote; for a maximum of 1 year.
2.2. Temporary removal of the right to hold or run for public office; for a maximum of 2 years.

3. The crime of nonfeasance may be punished with:

3.1. Temporary removal of the right to hold or run for public office; for a maximum of 6 months.

4. The crime of conspiracy to commit treason or espionage may be punished with:

4.1. Removal of citizenship
4.2. Temporary removal of the ability to vote; for a maximum of 1 year.
4.3. Temporary removal of the right to hold or run for public office; for a maximum of 1 year.

5. The crime of conspiracy to commit voting fraud or malfeasance may be punished with:

5.1. Temporary removal of the ability to vote; for a maximum of 6 months.
5.2. Temporary removal of the right to hold or run for public office; for a maximum of 1 year.

6. The crime of conspiracy to commit nonfeasance may be punished with:

6.1. Temporary removal of the right to hold or run for public office; for a maximum of 3 months.

Article K: Territories

1. The Union shall consist of territories, all (except military occupations) subject to the Constitution, House Law, Executive Law (where applicable), and Treaty Law.

1.1. All territories may by law establish courts.

1.1.1. These courts may only try crimes which are illegal in that territory, but not on a federal level. Only the Union High Court may try federal crimes.
1.1.2. Punishments for these crimes must be in line with the Union Constitution and may only remove privileges which exist within that territory and not on a federal level.

2. The Founder may create, remove, annex, combine, or disassociate any territories from the Union, except for the capital territory and states, at their discretion.
3. Territorial classifications (except those defined herein), with differing levels of sovereignty, may be created, modified, or removed at the discretion of the Founder or High Commissioner.

3.1. All territories, except the capital territory and states, may have their classifications modified at the discretion of the Founder. The capital territory and states may only have their classifications modified by an amendment to this Constitution.

4. The Founder may appoint and dismiss, at their discretion, a High Commissioner, who shall be charged with overseeing the affairs of the Union's territories. This shall include coordinating inter-union functions, tending to any issues that the territories may encounter, and ensuring that the law is upheld within them.

4.1. Each State and any other territories where it is deemed necessary shall have a viceroy, nominated by the High Commissioner and approved by the Founder.
4.2. Each Viceroy shall act as the official Union Representative to that territory, tasked with routinely reporting to the High Commissioner on that territory's activity, progress, and issues. They shall additionally be responsible for communicating to that territory important messages from the federal government, including the start of different stages in federal elections, voting on amendments, the release of The Force Flyer, and inter-union events.
4.3. Each Viceroy shall be the head of that territory's military and intelligence forces (if they exist), unless otherwise tasked by order of the Founder or High Commissioner, and must be given access to that territory's governmental meeting place(s).

5. The Capital Territory shall be the seat of the Federal Government and be administered solely by it.

5.1. Force is the only capital territory.

6. States shall exist as semi-sovereign entities. Each of them may form their own governments with power over all matters, except those concerning foreign relations and defense. The Founder or High Commissioner may grant these restricted powers to a State Government at their discretion.

6.1. RGBN and Heart are the only states.

7. Provinces shall exist as semi-sovereign entities. They may be led by a Governor, appointed by the Founder, put under direct Federal Government control at the order of the same, or have their own governments with power over all matters, except those concerning foreign relations and defense.
8. Military occupations shall be a special classification of territory where residents shall not hold Union citizenship and where usual laws shall not apply. They shall be subject solely to the orders of the Founder or a Military Governor appointed by the Founder to oversee them.

Article L: Emergency Powers

1. The Prime Minister may declare a State of Emergency with a simple majority vote from the House. This declaration, once passed, shall remain valid for 1 term unless cancelled by the Prime Minister or is overturned by a 2/3 majority vote from the House.
2. The Prime Minister shall also have the power to temporarily suspend cabinet positions and leave them vacant during the declaration.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 03:29:08 pm by Renegalle »