Concerto of Deliverance
Starship Being Light
Love to Love
About SS Forum
Go to SS Forum
~ * ~
[To: An Introduction]
The Republic of Minerva
This Constitution has been written to enable the effective
governing of widely scattered land areas and islands. Each
district or city will govern itself within the limits of this
Constitution. Its ties to the central government are intended to
be strong, with a minimum of interference.
The following terms are defined as they are to be interpreted
in this Constitution, and are included to prevent innocent or
willful misinterpretations of the clauses set forth therein.
Any human of either sex, and of any race, origin or
Any corporation, club, business agency, or other type of
organization, formed for any purpose.
- Personal Rights
The rights of a person to his life, property, and freedom.
Personal rights extend not only to human beings but, in most
instances, also to entities (i.e., right to property, and freedom
of action). By this definition, no person has the right to life or
property of any other person.
The material and intellectual belongings of a person or
entity. Intellectual belongings include thoughts, beliefs, ideas,
patents, and copyrights.
A condition which exists when persons have control over
their individual lives and properties. Freedom is also applicable
to entities (i.e., the right to control its own
A society so established that all personal rights are
A physical act by one or more persons and/or entities which
is destructive to the personal rights of others. The threat to
execute such an act also constitutes force. When force is
willfully carried out, it constitutes a criminal offense. When
force is carried out as a result of an accident, the person or
entity found responsible may have to pay damages.
- A willful misrepresentation of a contract.
- Any avoidable breach of a contract.
- Any misrepresentation of a product, property, skill, or person,
to induce another person or entity to part with property, or to
surrender a right. Fraud constitutes either a criminal or civil
offense, according to the case.
- Government (under this Constitution)
An entity hired by participating persons and entities to
protect their personal rights against external and internal force
The fundamental principles and law of this government to
guarantee the Capitalistic structure of this country.
- Participating Person
A person who participates in this government by paying for
its upkeep. All persons have equal rights. However, with the few
exceptions set forth in this Constitution, the services of
government are limited to participating persons only.
- Participating Entity
An entity which participates in this government by paying
for its upkeep. All entities have equal rights, however, with the
few exceptions set forth in this Constitution, the services of
government are limited to participating entities only.
Any participating person or entity.
As used in this Constitution includes streets, highways,
railroad lines, and other ground or near-ground systems of
transportation that technology may develop.
- Utility System
As used in this Constitution, includes water, gas, sewer,
electric power, telephone, or any other such system which is used
by many people.
This Constitution is founded on the principle that the only
true and proper function of government is to protect its citizens
from force and fraud, and that this government is limited to this
Article I — Structure of Government
The Government shall consist of a Bicameral Legislative Branch,
Judiciary Branch and an Executive Branch. The sole purpose of any
of the above branches of government shall he to protect persons
and entities from internal and external force and fraud. Neither
the government nor governmental agency shall pass any acts or
laws, nor concern itself with any affairs not dealing with the
duties specifically designated in this Constitution as its proper
sphere of action, nor does the preceding imply the right of any of
the branches of government to set up and maintain a governmental
agency of any kind.
All members of the government shall, prior to taking office, be
required to swear an oath of loyalty to the Government of Minerva
and this Constitution.
B. Legislative Branch
The Legislative Branch shall be composed of an Upper Council
and a Lower Council, whose members shall be elected as
The Lower Council shall be composed of representatives from
each district elected by majority vote of all eligible voters of
their respective district. Eligible voters shall consist of
participating persons who are at least twenty years of age. Each
district shall send one representative to the Lower Council for
each five hundred participating persons residing therein. The
original Lower Council shall be composed of one representative
from each district for each fifty participating persons. When the
Lower Council reaches a minimum of twenty members it shall be
reapportioned so that each district shall receive a percentage of
representatives equal to its population percentage. The total
number of representatives shall not exceed seventy-five, unless
this number is increased at the request of the Lower and Upper
Councils, with approval of a majority of eligible voters.
Reapportionment shall take place at ten year intervals
A representative of the Lower Council shall serve for a
three-year term, be a participating person, twenty-six years of
age or older, and a resident of the district from which elected at
the time of election and during the entire term of his
The Upper Council shall be composed of two representatives
from each district, to be elected by the eligible voters of their
respective districts. A representative of the Upper Council shall
serve for six years, be a participating person thirty years of age
or older, and a resident of the district from which elected at the
time of election and during the entire term of his office. The
original Upper Council shall be elected and take office at the
same time as the first members of the Lower Council.
C. Judiciary Branch
The Judiciary Branch shall be composed of a Lower Council
Judiciary Board, an Upper Council Judiciary Board, and an
Executive Judiciary Board. The three boards shall consist of
Judiciary Supervisors, to be elected as follows:
1. Lower Council Judiciary Board
Each district shall elect two Judiciary Supervisors to serve on
the Lower Council Judiciary Board The Lower Council Judiciary
Board shall elect, from among its own members, a minimum of two
Supervisors to serve on the Upper Council Judiciary Board, and one
member to serve on the Executive Judiciary Board.
Each district shall elect Judiciary Supervisors in accordance
with criteria established by the eligible voters within that
Lower Council Judiciary Supervisors shall serve for a term of
four years A Supervisor must be an attorney of good repute, with
at least five years of practice.
2. Upper Council Judiciary Board
Upper Council Judiciary Supervisors shall serve for two years
and, at the time of election from the Lower Council Judiciary
Board, shall have at least two years left to serve.
3. Executive Judiciary Board
Executive Judiciary Supervisors shall serve for two years and,
at the time of election from the Lower Council Judiciary Board,
shall have at least two years left to serve.
The requirement for Lower Council Judiciary Supervisors to be
attorneys with five years experience is waived until such time as
there are enough participating persons having these
qualifications. The Executive Judiciary Supervisor is not exempt
from this qualification.
The original Lower Council of Judiciary Supervisors shall be
elected simultaneously with the original Council.
The original Upper Council Judiciary Board shall be elected and
take office within one week after the first meeting of the
original Council, or prior to adjournment of the first Council
session, whichever comes first. The original Executive Judiciary
Board shall be elected and take office within one week after the
meeting of the original Council, or prior to adjournment of the
first Council session, whichever comes first.
D. Executive Branch
The Executive Branch shall consist of a Panel composed of two
representatives elected from the membership of the Lower Council,
one representative elected from the membership of the Upper
Council, and one Supervisor elected from the Lower Council
Judiciary Board. The number of this designated membership shall
not be lowered.
The Executive Panel shall be elected every two years, before
adjournment of a Legislative session. Members of the Panel from
the Lower Council shall be elected by that body with Upper Council
approval. The members of the Panel from the Upper Council shall be
elected by that body with Lower Council approval. The Judiciary
member of the Panel shall be elected by the Lower Council
Judiciary Board and requires approval of at least two-thirds of
the members of both the Lower Council and the Upper Council. All
members of the Executive Panel shall serve for a maximum term of
two years, and may not immediately be re-elected to the Panel for
three years after completing the two-year term of service.
Membership of the Panel may be increased in number to a total of
ten, upon approval of at least two-thirds of the membership of
each Council. If enlarged, the Panel shall include four members
from the Lower Council, three members from the Upper Council and
three members from the Lower Council Judiciary Board.
The Executive Panel shall select a chairman, from among its own
members, who shall serve as Chairman of the National Security
Council. This chairman shall have no special powers other than to
exercise immediate observance and supervision over the activities
of the Chief of Staff, and such other powers as those delegated to
chairmen so as to facilitate orderly procedures during meetings of
the Executive Panel and the National Security Council.
E. Election, Replacement, and Salary of Members of the
In case of death or removal from office for any reason, each
district shall provide for a manner of replacement for the
duration of the un-expired term. Each district may pass additional
requirements for office holders provided that none of the
principles of this Constitution are violated. The salaries of
representatives of both Councils and the Judiciary Supervisors
shall be ascertained by law and paid out of the government
treasury. No representatives of either Council or Judiciary
Supervisor shall, during the time for which he/she was elected,
benefit from any increase in salary.
Members of the Executive Panel shall be expected to be on duty
during their entire term of service, and shall, therefore, receive
additional compensation. The amount of additional compensation
shall be determined by the Council.
Article II — Time of Assembly, Quorums, Procedures,
Rules and Impeachments
A. The Council
The Council shall convene a minimum of once during each fiscal
year. Neither Body may adjourn during a legislative session
without the consent of the other Body. A majority of members in
each Body shall constitute a quorum to do business therein, and
neither body shall be authorized to conduct any business without a
quorum being present. Each Body shall be authorized to compel
attendance of absent members in such a manner and under such
penalties as its rules may provide, but such rules shall apply
equally to all members.
Each Body shall determine the rules of its own proceedings and
may, with concurrence of a two-thirds majority, expel a member
from any meeting or session.
Each Body shall keep a journal of its own proceedings and
shall, from time to time, publish the same. The yeas and nays of
each member shall be recorded and published therein.
B. Lower Council and Upper Council Judiciary Boards
The Council Judiciary Boards shall convene whenever the Council
is in session. The two Boards shall also be convened in
conjunction with the Executive Judiciary Supervisors for action as
a Final. Court of Appeals. A majority of members of the Council
Judiciary Boards shall constitute a quorum for doing business
therein, and no business may be conducted without a quorum being
present. Each Board shall be authorized to compel attendance of
absent members in such a manner and under such penalties as its
rules may provide, but such rules shall apply equally to all
members. Each Board shall determine the rules of its own
C. Executive Panel
At least two-thirds of the membership of the Executive Panel
shall always be at or near the seat of Government unless
technology enables them to perform their duties as well,
regardless of location. Provisions shall be made so that all
members can be contacted in case of emergency.
The Executive Panel shall decide on the rules of its own
Meetings of the Executive Panel may be called by any member for
any reason. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum, and
no business may be conducted in the absence of a quorum except
that under circumstances of extreme emergency the provisions of
Article IV, Section A, shall apply.
D. Impeachment and Removal from Office
Any member of the Government, whose actions are repeatedly in
conflict with the principles of this Constitution or who is
suspected of treason, shall be subject to impeachment. Conviction
on either of these counts shall result in immediate removal from
office and/or criminal proceedings, according to the case. Each
Branch of Government may set forth additional conditions governing
the proper action of its members, violation of which could result
Any of the various Judiciary Supervisors, Council
representatives, or Executive Panel members, may initiate
impeachment proceedings against any other Supervisor, Council
representative, or Executive Panel member. Any district may press
charges of impeachment and/or recall against any person from its
district elected to government office, via a recall and/or
impeachment election. Such a measure must be passed by at least a
two-thirds majority of all eligible voters within the
Any member of the Government, who habitually initiates
impeachment proceedings for the purpose of nuisance, shall
himself/herself become subject to impeachment.
The combined Judiciary Boards of the Lower and Upper Council
shall sit as a court in an impeachment against any Council
representative, or Executive Panel member, and shall decide the
issue by a two-thirds majority vote.
In the event of impeachment of a Judiciary Supervisor, the
remainder of the Board shall sit as a court, and shall decide the
issue by a two-thirds majority vote.
Article III — Duties of the Government
The duties delegated to the Government by this Constitution are
limited to those specified in this Article.
A. Duties of the Council
The principal duties of the Council shall be:
To approve, reject, and make recommendations concerning the
budget submitted by the National Security Council for funds
necessary to establish and maintain an adequate military force for
the protection of the citizens.
To approve, reject and make recommendations concerning the
budget for operating other government branches and agencies. This
does not imply any special permission for the Council to establish
any governmental agencies not specifically authorized by this
To distribute funds.
To negotiate international agreements within the limits of
The Upper Council shall examine bills passed by the Lower
Council and accept or reject them. Disagreements shall be resolved
by a joint Council committee. A bill shall become law when its
identical versions have been approved by at least a simple
majority vote of both the Upper and Lower Councils, and when the
Upper and Lower Council Judiciary Boards have passed by at least a
simple majority vote on its legality under this Constitution. No
bill shall be voted on unless quorums are present in the Upper and
Lower Council and the Upper and Lower Council Judiciary
Each Government branch shall determine its own budget and send
it to the Council for approval, resection or recommendations.
Either the Upper or Lower Council may originate a bill and,
after approval therein by a simple majority vote, may send it to
the other for consideration.
B. Duties of the Executive Panel
Duties of the Executive Panel shall be as follows:
To act as a part of the National Security Council in
performing all duties designated in Article IV, Section B and
To enact emergency legislation which the Council, with
approval of the Judiciary Boards, has authorized in advance in
case of emergency.
To declare a state of emergency during a disaster of any
type, when the Council is not in session or unable for any reason
Any declaration by the Executive Panel of an emergency, or any
enactment of emergency legislation, or any issuance of emergency
order to the National Security Council, shall be accompanied by a
call to the Council to convene in special session, if the Council
is not already in session.
Judiciary Supervisors within the Executive Panel shall advise
other Panel members regarding the legality of any activity being
contemplated or performed by the Panel.
The Executive Panel decisions shall be rendered by at least a
simple majority of present Panel members. No decision shall be
made unless a quorum is present, except that in case of extreme
emergency, the provisions of Article IV, Section A, shall
C. Curbing a Proliferation of Legislative Acts
Any legislative act shall automatically become null and void
five years after passage, unless it was originally passed for a
lesser period of time. Acts authorizing contracts requiring more
than five years for completion shall contain a provision to permit
continuing work without reopening bids, provided that the act
passed both Legislative Bodies by a two-third majority. All other
acts concerning long-term contracts may be extended only with
Legislative approval. Any act thus extended shall be considered as
a new act.
A schedule of all acts due to expire within any twelve months
shall be posted on a list available to each Council
representative, and shall be updated each month.
Any act may be repealed by a two-thirds vote of each Council at
any time after passage. Any act may also be reviewed by the
Council Judiciary Boards, on their own initiative or at the
request of any district which has passed by referendum a
“Request for Review”, and any such act may then be
repealed by a two-thirds vote of the Judicial Supervisors of both
Boards. A written notice of a repealed act shall be sent to the
Council stating the legal basis for repeal.
Any act may be repealed for any reason, if a simple majority of
the electors from each district vote for such repeal.
Article IV — Functions and Organization of the Military
A. Function of the Military Force
The function of the Military Force shall be to defend the
country from internal disorder in case of riot, insurrection or
other criminal acts, or any hostile external action, when ordered
to do so by the Council or by the Executive Panel of the
In case of sudden and unexpected hostile action, a simple
majority of the Executive Panel in residence at the seat of
government, or a simple majority of said Panel who survive such
hostile action anywhere within the country may order instant
retaliatory and defensive action. Also, the National Security
Council (Section B of this Article) shall have standing orders for
instant retaliatory and defensive action, in such instances that
none of the Executive Panel survive such hostile action.
B. Organization and Planning
The Military Forces shall be organized by Act of Legislature
into three services. These services shall be Land (Army), Sea
(Navy) and Air (Air Force). The Council shall appoint from each
service a Service Chief. The Chiefs of all the services shall
comprise the Joint Chiefs. The Joint Chiefs, together with the
Executive Panel, shall constitute the National Security
The National Security Council shall meet as often as necessary,
to draft and coordinate strategic planning and major contracts,
and to decide on the active and reserve requirements of military
personnel and materials.
The Council shall select from among the Service Chiefs, a Chief
Coordinator, to facilitate speedy and efficient coordination of
strategic and tactical planning. The Chief Coordinator shall be
under the immediate observance and supervision of the Chairman of
the Executive Panel (Article I, Section D).
The National Security Council shall prepare each year an
itemized list for the Council, containing material, personnel, and
land requirements which the Commission deems necessary for
maintaining effective and adequate active and reserve Military
Forces. The Council shall, in coordination with the National
Security Council, resolve differences regarding said list and the
Council shall authorize such funds as it deems necessary.
Military projects requiring expenditures over a period
exceeding five years shall need approval of a two-thirds majority
of the Council (Article III Section C).
Funds for the Military Forces or for persons or entities
contracted by the National Security Council shall be disbursed
directly by the Council, or under immediate supervision of the
National Security Council.
D. Military Personnel
Service in the Military Forces shall be on a voluntary basis
only. This Constitution forbids the forcible drafting of any
person into any service or other governmental agency at any level
E. Maintenance of Loyalty
Each person entering any branch of the Military Forces shall,
prior to being admitted for service, be required to swear an oath
to uphold and defend this Constitution and this government.
Maintenance of continued loyalty shall be the responsibility of
the respective Service Chiefs. In addition, the Council shall
appoint a civilian inspector to assist the respective Service
Chiefs in helping to maintain loyalty of military personnel.
Any Service Chief suspected of disloyalty, or of any
treasonable activity, or of condoning treason or disloyalty by
personnel within his services, shall be tried by the joint Council
Judiciary Boards. When guilt or innocence cannot be established
beyond doubt, a Service Chief shall be held innocent, but shall be
removed to a less sensitive position with the same pay. If found
guilty, a Service Chief shall be removed from position and suffer
such other punishment as may be directed by the court. During
trial a Service Chief shall be suspended from duty.
F. Discipline and Administration of Justice
Discipline of lower rank military personnel shall be maintained
through the service chain of command according to a Uniform
Military Code, drawn up by the Joint Chiefs and approved by the
National Security Council, the Council and a majority of Judiciary
Supervisors. No provisions of the Uniform Military Code shall, in
any way, violate the principles of this Constitution.
A person joining the Military Forces shall sign a contract to
perform his duties and accept discipline. Under normal
circumstances, unsatisfactory performance will usually result in
dismissal. During time of emergency, disobedience, desertion, or
willful negligence shall be considered more severe and subject to
higher penalties. The Council shall, through the civil inspector,
keep a watch to insure that justice is carried out in accordance
with this Constitution and the Uniform Military Code. The same
justice shall be applicable to all military personnel. It is of
the highest importance to have discipline, but no person,
regardless of rank, shall be permitted to confuse discipline with
tyranny, nor shall persons be dismissed from service without good
cause. Violation of these principles result in appropriate action
by the courts.
G. Limits on the Activities of Civil Inspector
Neither the civil Inspector nor any of his staff shall
interfere in purely military matters. Service Chiefs may bring
formal complaint concerning such interference to the Council. The
Council shall investigate such charges and shall take such action
as may be required.
H. Use of Military Resource to Assist Civilians During
Military personnel and supplies may be used to help civilians
in disaster areas during floods, earthquakes, extensive fire, or
other perils, if help from other organizations or persons is not
available or is inadequate at the time of disaster. To the extent
possible, insurance companies or other sources from persons thus
helped, shall be utilized to repay the Government for services
Article V — Foreign Relations and Immigration
A. Limits on International Treaties and Agreements
The Government shall he prohibited from negotiating or entering
into any treaties or international agreements except:
Those trade agreements necessary for conducting business
within any specific country.
Agreements necessary for the purchase or lease of land from
foreign governments required by participating persons or entities
of Minerva. The participating person or entity must pay for such
services. Such lands purchased or leased will be under Minervan
Agreements of Extradition of accused persons or fugitives
from justice seeking sanctuary within the jurisdiction of Minerva.
See Article V Section 0.
B. Prohibition to Maintain Embassies, Consulates, or
The Government may not under any circumstances maintain
embassies, consulates, or legations in any foreign country, nor
accept any such delegation from a foreign country. Trade
commissions may be established in foreign countries by any entity
with government sanction; however, no expenditures of government
funds for the establishment or maintenance of said trade
commissions shall be permitted.
C. Immigration and Transient
Any person wishing to visit Minerva shall be required upon
arrival to submit an application for temporary residence with
proper credentials (passport) to the authorized agent. Denial of
“Permission to Enter” by an authorized agent may be
appealed to the Council Judiciary Board. All visiting permits
shall be for a sixty-day period and shall be renewable once.
All persons wishing to immigrate to Minerva shall make formal
application to the Council Judiciary Board. All such applications
shall be processed in accordance with the Immigration
Any transient desiring the same government services as
participants shall be charged for such services according to
length of stay.
No participating person shall be extradited from Minerva
without due process of law. Any Judiciary Supervisor may order
compliance with the request of a demanding state; however, the
arrestee may sue for a writ of habeas corpus. In the subsequent
hearing, neither the merits of the charge nor wrongful motives for
starting the prosecution are relevant. The issues are confined to
whether the arrestee is the person named in the indictment or
information, whether he was in the demanding state when the crime
charged was committed there, and whether the information or
indictment is substantially correct in alleging the essential
elements of a crime under the laws of the demanding state.
The offense must not be of a political character nor must the
requisition have been made with a view to punish a fugitive for an
offense of a political character unless the act constitutes a
To establish a political offense it is necessary to show that
the accused was connected with an uprising of a revolutionary
character in the demanding state and that the act charged was
incidental to his/her participation in the movement.
None of the above guarantees political asylum for political
Requisitions for petty offenses are not to be honored save
under exceptional circumstances.
Article VI — Fiscal Matters
A. Issuance of Money
No government agency or any branch or level of government shall
be permitted to coin, print, issue, or distribute money or any
other medium of exchange.
Any entity or person may issue coins of silver, gold, platinum,
or any other metal without additional collateral provided the
composition and weight of such coins is clearly marked upon the
coin and in the case of copper or other such metals of no
appreciable value, the words “no intrinsic value” must
appear on the coin.
Any entity or person may issue trading currency Collateral for
any issue shall be in gold Thirty days prior to actual release of
such currency, the issuer shall record and publish a freely
available account of total currency of the intended issue, stating
the amount of each denomination and actual collateral. The name of
the issuer, date of issue, denomination and collateral, and the
words “payable to the bearer on demand” shall appear
on each bill or coin.
The burden of proof concerning sufficient backing for a
currency issue shall rest with the issuer. Any participant shall
have the right to challenge an issue or proposed issue before a
court. If it is shown that collateral for a proposed issue is
insufficient, the issue shall be declared illegal and must be
withdrawn. If it is shown that collateral for an existing issue is
insufficient, the issue shall be withdrawn and adjustments shall
be made by the issuer to those persons or entities holding said
currency. In addition, the issuer may be subject to prosecution
Any entity or person may issue trading warrants. Collateral for
any issue shall be in real property (that property which does not
depreciate in value because of use or age, i.e., land, raw stock
adequately protected, etc.).
Thirty days prior to actual release of such warrants, the
issuer shall record and publish a freely available account of
total warrants of the intended issue, stating the amount of each
denomination and actual collateral. The name of issuer, date of
issue, denomination, total value of warrants issued and collateral
shall appear on each warrant.
The burden of proof concerning clear title to such collateral
shall rest with the issuer. No person or entity shall dispose of
such collateral except as provided for by law. The issuer shall
not be held accountable for devaluation of such warrants for any
reason except the willful disposition of all or part of said
collateral, in which case the issuer shall be subject to criminal
B. Sources to Finance Government
1. Voluntary System of Premiums
No government agency or branch of government, at any level,
shall have the power to levy taxes or compel any person or entity
to supply funds for government activities of any sort, except as
provided for in this Article.
The financing of all other government activities shall be
accomplished by the voluntary payment of premiums by participants
who wish to receive the services of government, as specified in
this Constitution. Collection of premiums and issuance of
participation certificates shall be as provided by law. This in no
way implies the right of government or government agency to place
any restrictions or additional requirements on participants.
2. Participation in Government
No person or entity shall be allowed to participate in only
that particular portion of government he/she/it chooses.
Government services are available only as a unit.
3. Determination of Premiums
The government shall determine the total premium required from
The premium for an entity shall be five times that of an adult
person. The premium for a minor to age 18 years shall be one-fifth
of the premium of an adult. The premium for a person 18 to 20
years of age shall be one-half of the premium of an adult. A
person 20 years of age or older shall be considered an adult.
Premiums shall be pro-rated based on budget requirements for
the subsequent fiscal year. Once a premium is established, its
amount shall not be changed during a fiscal year, except by
special request as provided by law during an emergency.
4. Categories of Court Funds
Court funds shall be divided into three categories, as follows:
Funds for the general upkeep of the courts.
Funds to cover court cost resulting from civil suit.
Funds to cover cost of registering contracts.
The funds for (a) above are to be obtained from participation
premiums. Funds for (b) above are to be paid by the losing party.
In the event a civil suit is thrown out of court the person
bringing suit shall be considered the losing party. The funds for
(c) above shall come from a fixed fee, payable to the Office of
Clerk of Court, for the registration of contracts, deeds, etc.
5. Additional funds may be obtained through the registration
6. Total surplus funds on hand shall never exceed one-tenth of
the total annual participation fee.
7. The Fiscal Year
The government shall establish and adopt budgets at the
beginning of each fiscal year. Funds appropriated shall be
transferred from the collection agencies to each branch and level
of government for disbursement.
Article VII — The Judicial System
Judicial duties of the government shall be delegated to the
Judicial Supervisors and such lesser courts as the council may
from time to time ordain and establish. The Judicial Supervisors
and lesser judges shall hold their offices during good behavior,
and shall at stated times receive for their services a
compensation which shall not be increased nor decreased during
their continuance in office.
Judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity,
arising under this Constitution and the laws of Minerva; to all
cases of maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which Minerva
shall be a party.
The Judicial Supervisors shall have appellate jurisdiction
The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be
Limitation on Legal Code
Penalties imposed in civil suits shall be limited to payment of
all court costs incurred by all parties involved, plus reasonable
compensation to the innocent party for damages done by the
In criminal cases, punitive fines shall be imposed against the
guilty, except in cases when, in addition, jail sentences are
deemed mandatory because of the nature of the crime. The guilty
party shall also be liable for all court costs and shall be made
responsible for restitution to his victim.
In all cases when the accused is found innocent, but the
suspicion was nevertheless warranted, the initiator of court
proceedings (whether another person or government) shall merely be
liable for court costs and damages. When it can be shown that the
court proceedings were initiated merely for harassment, the
accusing party may also be liable for restitution to cover
expenses for loss of time and income.
Any government level(s), responsible for imprisoning a person
due to mistake in judgment, shall be financially responsible for
making proper restitution to that person.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines
imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Equal Rights Before The Law, Access to Courts, Police
All persons, regardless of race, religion, origin, wealth, or
influence shall have equal rights before the law; and any act of
force and/or fraud as defined in the Glossary, shall be considered
by the court as a civil or criminal offense, as the case may be.
However, only participants shall have the right to initiate civil
and/or criminal action against offenders. Any court may initiate
action against an offender because of:
An offense committed against a participant who, for valid
reason, cannot himself/herself/itself initiate court action (See
Glossary for definition of participant).
The violation of the rights of a minor, on whose behalf no
participation premium is paid, and whose rights are violated by
others, particularly parents or guardians.
An offense involving treason.
The determination by that court that a committed act is a
potential threat to the life or property of a participant, i.e.,
a capital crime.
Participants shall have the right to bring forth court action
against government agencies for failure to adequately protect
personal rights and for corruption.
The courts may select and pay for defense attorneys for adult
participants or non-participants during criminal proceedings. A
defendant found guilty shall be liable for reimbursement of all
court fees, including charges of the defense attorney; but
non-participants may also be fined an additional sum, in
accordance with cost of the participation premium for a certain
time period as may be established by law. If the defendant is
found innocent, the person or government agency initiating the
charges shall be responsible for reimbursement of attorney
When a minor is involved, a court may select and pay for an
attorney to defend his rights. If the minor is found guilty, his
parents or guardians shall be liable for reimbursement to the
court of all attorney fees.
Neither Judicial Supervisors nor lesser judges shall issue
warrants of search or seizure except upon probable cause,
supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the
place to be searched, and the person and/or things to be
No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise
infamous crime, unless on a presentment of formal charge; nor
shall any person be subject for the same offense, or a lesser
charge, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against
himself/herself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property
without due process of law.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right
to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, and to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be
confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory
process for obtaining witnesses in his/her favor, and to have the
assistance of counsel for his defense.
Article VIII — Activities Permitted to Government, and
A. Activities Permitted to Government
All agencies of government, regardless of branch or level,
shall be restricted so as to confine their activities and the
expenditure of funds for the following:
Maintenance of military and police forces.
Maintenance of courts.
Maintenance of all governmental branches and agencies whose
functions and methods are described in this Constitution.
Government may act as a registration agency for recordation
of births, deaths, contracts (including marriages and divorces)
and money issues. All such registrations, with exception of money
issues, shall be on a voluntary basis only. Money issues shall be
registered either with government or with a private agency, so as
to provide a ready record of collateral to back each
Government may register and guarantee access and
exploitation of water resources of a given area of ocean or seas
within domain of Minerva on a first-come, first-serve basis for as
long a time as actual work is maintained, in accordance with the
registration and provided that in doing so the rights of others
are not violated.
Government may grant and guarantee exclusive rights to a
patent to participants making new discoveries in the arts,
sciences, or any other field of endeavor. If two or more
participants make the same, or essentially the same, discovery
independently, both participants shall be granted patents even
when the discoveries are not made simultaneously. Burden of proof
of independency of development shall rest upon the participant
making application for a patent after the first patent has been
Government may also issue copyrights to participants for
original writings on any subject, and for musical
Government may prohibit importation of products from
foreign countries under any of the following conditions: (a) when
expert advice provides good evidence that a product may cause
disease in humans or in useful plants or animals; (b) when it can
be proven In court that arms or other materials are being imported
to help any subversive or criminal group; (c) when it can be
proven in court that trade (both import and export) is of material
benefit to an enemy of this country. In all cases when a foreign
country, by official proclamation of its authorities, openly
declares itself to be an enemy of Minerva, the courts shall assume
that such is indeed the case.
If it can be shown that investigation of products are being
instigated by persons or government officials merely to harass the
importer or exporter for competitive or other unwarranted reasons,
the instigator(s) shall be liable for all damages, and other civil
or criminal action, as the case may be.
The Government may prosecute, at the request of and/or
behalf of a participant or in accordance with other provisions of
the legal code, against any person who willfully and knowingly
enters into any agreement containing hidden stipulations,
conspiracies, or misrepresentations concerning stocks, bonds,
insurance, pension plans, real estate, or other properties,
services, or products. The offense may be termed criminal or
civil according to the nature, severity, and effect of the
Government, either at request of a participant or at its
own initiative, may initiate charges of civil or criminal fraud
against persons falsely representing their skills. Such charges
shall be particularly pressed against those who engage in
activities highly pertinent to health or safety (i.e., doctors,
nurses, airline pilots, etc.). In all such cases, qualified and
independent experts shall be brought forth to verify the validity
B. Personal Responsibilities
1. Responsibilities to Minors
This Constitution shall refer to two types of minors as
follows: (a) "minors", defined as any sane person from time of
birth to age 18 years; (b) "legal minors", defined as persons of
any age, who through proper court proceedings, augmented by ample
and competent medical evidence, are proven to be mentally
retarded, senile, or insane to the extent whereby they cannot be
held responsible for their actions.
Legal responsibility for a minor shall rest with one or both of
the surviving parents or with any competent and willing person, to
whom the natural parents have delegated any or all of the
functions associated with proper upbringing of minors.
In case of orphans or when neither of the natural parents can
be found, any reliable person may assume guardianship of a
Parents and guardians shall be held responsible for the
physical well-being, education, and proper upbringing of their
dependent minors and shall be prohibited from injuring or
impairing their health. Parents or guardians guilty of neglect or
maltreatment of minors under their care shall be liable for
criminal prosecution. A court may, upon conviction of parent(s)
or guardian(s) for crime against a minor, appoint a qualified
person willing to be legal guardian. However, unless otherwise
agreed on, the parent(s) or previous guardian(s) shall remain
financially responsible for the minor's proper support and
Responsibility to a legal minor shall rest with one or both of
the surviving parents or with any competent, willing person (be it
an individual or organization) assuming guardianship.
The law shall protect any minor or legal minor from
mistreatment, neglect, or other violations of his rights by
guardians or parents, whether or not a participation premium is
paid on his behalf. When the minor or legal minor is a
non-participant, the fine placed on violators shall be raised, so
as to cover both types, 1 and 2, of costs connected with court
trials, as enumerated in Article VII, Section B-4.
2. Boundaries of Land Parcels, Water and Mineral Rights, and
Prohibition to Adversely Change Nature
The owner of a land parcel shall have the right to said
property in accordance with the purchase agreement.
Space above the ground, or above any structure or natural
feature situated on a parcel of land, to a vertical distance of
500 feet, shall be considered as part of the parcel belonging to
A parcel bordering an ocean or sizable lake, may extend to the
water's edge. A parcel bordering a river open to public navigation
(see below) may also extend to the water's edge. In neither case
the owner shall not have the right to block public navigation. A
dam or other obstruction may be constructed on the water only if a
convenient alternate route is provided.
The following additional rules shall be applicable to use of
If the water body is a sizable lake or river, it shall not
be closed to the general public. (Justification for such a rule is
as follows: with very few exceptions there exist previous rights
for navigation, fishing, sport, or other purposes, which are not
relinquished merely because a person has purchased adjacent land.
Moreover, a large body of water borders properties of many
persons, often more than one nation. Blocking passage through
such water would violate rights of other owners.) Nevertheless,
usage of such water shall in no way extend to control or
infringement on adjacent land, and access from land to water shall
be only through roads on right-of-way easements.
If no previous agreements existed with other persons, a
small body of water may be closed to all but the owners of
surrounding land parcels.
The owner of a land parcel may use water for his own
purposes, but may not stop water from its downstream flow to other
parcels unless all sub-lessees of such parcels give
All persons shall be prohibited from polluting water and air to
the extent whereby life, health and safety of other persons, or of
useful plants or animals not on their property, are threatened.
Determination as to when such a threat exists shall be made by
courts, which shall consider the advice of experts in these
fields. Any participant shall have the right to bring court action
on this matter against any person or against government; and may,
when the circumstances so warrant, obtain a temporary injunction,
halting further introduction of pollutants until the case is
decided in court. Fines to be paid by the offender may include
payment of damages to the injured and all court costs. Extreme
cases of pollution may be found criminal in nature and judged
©Copyright 2002 Starship Aurora
An Objectivist Society