The Vasoyevic Legal Compendium
I: Legal Process
II: Degrees of Offence
III: Criminal Law
I: Crimes upon Persons
II: Crimes upon Property III: Crimes upon Order
IV: Crimes upon Government
IV: Civil Law
I: Property and Tax
II: Magic and Alchemy
III: Vasoyevic Oaths
V: Basic Rights
Law in Vasiyeva is upheld through a process of judgement by government and peers. When a criminal is detained for a serious offence, they are brought to court before a judge and a jury, at which time the following procedure is followed, with modifications permissible by the judge’s preference.
I: A trial shall be publicly called, and a jury of up to six peers selected.
II: The defendant is presented and their charges stated for the judge and jury.
III: A call will be made for any witnesses to step forth and lend their service.
IV: All involved in the trial shall be made to recite a binding verbal oath.
I: The arresting officer or investigator will provide all relevant evidence.
II: The defendant may then state their plea; guilty or innocent.
III: The defendant may speak their case, and present any relevant information.
IV: The witness or witnesses are called forth to provide their testimony.
V: The presiding judge and jury will make any pertinent inquiries.
VI: Controlled discussion of the case will be moderated by the judge.
I: The jury will be requested to come to a unanimous conclusion.
II: The defendant is provided a final opportunity for comment and defense.
III: The judge will render a verdict, and if necessary, appropriate punishment.
Though Infractions may be rendered without such an at times lengthy affair, usually by determination of the judge alone, any crime of Misdemeanor severity or greater will require a full trial to ensure that justice is reached.
Notably, in the case that the defendant is a child or in some other capacity incapable of representing themselves, an individual may be chosen and approved by the judge as their representative in court.
Degrees of Offence
Crimes in Vasiyeva are separated into several degrees of severity based upon the nature of the offense, with each degree constituting a certain set of potential punishments as fair retribution for the wrong.
A judge, should they wish, may also determine unique punishments in-line with the severity of those mandated. All crimes of greater severity have the option of including punishments from those beneath them. If more than a single crime applies, the punishment may be escalated to higher degrees as deemed necessary, and repeat offenses may be treated more harshly.
Infractions: Are the mildest severity of crime. An Infraction can result in no punishment greater than:
-Monetary fine of up to 100 minas.
-Public apology and repentance.
-Mandated civil service.
Misdemeanors: Are the moderate severity of crime. A Misdemeanor can result in no punishment greater than:
-Monetary fine of up to 500 minas.
-Stripping of titles and property.
-The loss of the pinky finger.
Felonies: Are the second-highest severity of crime. A Felony can result in punishment no greater than:
-Monetary fine of suitable proportion.
-Permanent banishment and loss of citizenship.
-Removal of limb, tongue, or eyes.
Treason: Is the highest crime one can commit. There is only one suitable punishment for Treason, and it is:
Herein is compiled a comprehensive list of criminal offenses for which all entering the Despotate of Vasiyeva will be punished, regardless of affiliation. These offences are broken up by category, and then by severity.
I: Crimes upon Persons
Crimes upon Persons constitute all actions involving an individual or individuals causing harm, be it physical, mental, or social, to others without lawful jurisdiction to do so, and outside of one’s right to self-defense.
Infraction Assault: The act of causing bodily harm to an individual outside of self-defense or legal jurisdiction, resulting in no meaningful or lasting injury.
Misdemeanor Assault: The act of causing bodily harm to an individual outside of self-defense or legal jurisdiction, resulting in significant but not permanent injury.
Felony Assault: The act of causing bodily harm to an individual outside of self-defense or legal jurisdiction, resulting in permanent or debilitating injury.
Manslaughter & Murder:
Misdemeanor Manslaughter: The act of causing the accidental or otherwise unintentional death of any individual outside of self-defense and legal jurisdiction.
Felony Murder: The act of causing the intentional death of any individual outside of self-defense or legal jurisdiction.
Treasonous Murder: The act of causing the intentional death of any member of government, or any foreign official outside of legal jurisdiction.
Misdemeanor Kidnapping: The act of moving any individual by force and against their will to another location, outside of legal jurisdiction, without causing any harm or injury.
Felony Kidnapping: The act of moving any individual by force and against their will to another location, outside of legal jurisdiction, and causing or threatening harm to them.
Treasonous Kidnapping: The act of moving any member of government by force and against their will to another location, outside of legal jurisdiction, and causing or threatening harm to them.
Misdemeanor Extortion: The act of using coercive force of any kind to make an individual or entity comply with a particular demand or set of demands.
Felony Extortion: The act of using coercive force of any kind to make an individual or entity comply with demands which threaten public safety.
Treasonous Extortion: The act of using coercive force of any kind to make an individual or entity comply with demands which threaten governmental integrity.
Infraction Slander: The act of spreading false information about an individual as a means to harm their reputation or standing.
Misdemeanor Slander: The act of spreading false information about an individual as a means to harm their reputation or standing, via public forum or publication.
Infraction Intimidation: The act of threatening bodily harm or death to an individual, with no obvious intent to follow through on this action.
Misdemeanor Intimidation: The act of threatening bodily harm or death to an individual, with apparent intent to follow through with the action.
Infraction Harassment: The act of applying pressure or providing unwanted physical or verbal attention to an individual against their explicit wishes.
Misdemeanor Harassment: The act of applying pressure or providing unwanted physical or verbal attention to an individual against their explicit wishes, in multiple or repeated instances, or by following them without permission.
Misdemeanor Oathbreaking: The act of failing to uphold a sworn verbal oath to any citizen of the Despotate.
Felony Oathbreaking: The act of failing to uphold a sworn verbal oath to any member of Government.
Infraction Adultery: The act of infidelity to one’s lawful spouse, or the act of extra-marital engagement with a married individual.
Felony Slavery: The act of owning, selling, or attempting to acquire a slave.
II: Crimes upon Property
Crimes upon Property constitute all actions involving an individual or individuals causing harm to, acquiring, or otherwise mishandling or disrespecting the property and holdings of others.
Infraction Theft: The act of stealing an item or items valued at no greater than 100 minas, without violence or threat of physical harm to the owner.
Misdemeanor Theft: The act of stealing an item or items valued at no greater than 300 minas, without violence or threat of physical harm to the owner.
Felony Theft: The act of stealing an item or items valued at over 300 minas, or any theft including injury or threat of harm to the owner.
Infraction Vandalism: The act of causing damage to private or public property through negligence, or causing damage valued at no greater than 100 minas.
Misdemeanor Vandalism: The act of causing intentful damage to private or public property, or causing damage valued at no greater than 300 minas.
Felony Vandalism: The act of causing intentful damage to private or public property, resulting in extensive damage.
Infraction Trespassing: The act of entering private or public property without permission or against the wishes of its owner or proprietor.
Misdemeanor Trespassing: The act of entering private or public property without permission or against the wishes of its owner or proprietor, with refusal to depart.
III: Crimes upon Order
Crimes upon Order constitute all actions involving an individual or individuals creating chaos or disrupting the intended workings of the government and law, as well as undermining the cultural or religious values and sanctity of the Despotate.
Disruption of the Peace:
Infraction Disruption of the Peace: The act of creating unwelcome chaos or disruption in public or private spaces, via excessive noise, incitation of fights, or general disorderly conduct.
Misdemeanor Bribery: The act of attempting to provide material wealth to a government official in exchange for any sort of advantage or favor.
Felony Bribery: The act of attempting to provide material wealth to a government official in exchange for a favor or advantage which undermines the rule of law or endangers public safety. Acceptance of any bribe also qualifies.
Infraction Obstruction: The act of intentionally or negligently impeding the course of justice and law through disruptive, hostile behaviour or refusal to comply.
Misdemeanor Obstruction: The act of intentionally or negligently impeding the course of justice and law through providing false or misleading information, or tampering with evidence.
Infraction Witchcraft: The act of a non-citizen casting any manner of Voidal magic without explicit permission from a member of Government.
Misdemeanor Witchcraft: The act of any unauthorized individual practicing prophetic or deific magics.
Felony Witchcraft: The act of any individual practicing dark, unholy, heretical or blasphemous magics.
Misdemeanor Alchemical Malpractice: The act of any unauthorized individual utilizing any manner of offensive or destructive alchemical concoction.
Felony Alchemical Malpractice: The act of any unauthorized individual utilizing any manner of dark or black alchemy.
Felony Heresy: The act of practicing, preaching, or otherwise engaging in the heretical practices of Dragon worship or Ibleesian worship.
Misdemeanor Miscegenation: The act of procreation with an individual of another race, resulting in a verifiable half-breed child. Notably, the child is not penalized.
IV: Crimes upon Government
Crimes upon Government constitute all actions involving an individual or individuals undermining, working against, or attempting to harm or sabotage the government of the Despotate of Vasiyeva. All such crimes are defined as Treason.
The act of seeking to incite, via conspiracy or any other means, rebellion, hostility or disloyalty towards the Government.
The act of waging open and violent rebellion against the Government, seeking revolution or its destruction.
The act of coordinating or cooperating with hostile foreign powers in an attempt to undermine or bring harm to the Government.
Herein is compiled a comprehensive list of civil offenses for which citizens of the Despotate of Vasiyeva may be penalized, as well as guidelines for specific subjects.
I: Property and Tax
Property and Tax laws outline the limitations of what a registered citizen may do with their lawfully owned property, and the consequences of evading one’s payments to the Despotate. All such laws are by default qualified as Infractions, but may carry additional specific consequences, or be elevated at a judge’s discretion.
The act of making alterations to one’s lawful property, without the explicit permission of a steward. Infractory fines will be leveled for the unlawful construction of basements, housing renovations or exterior modifications, with potential rises in tax rate or the necessity to remove such changes included.
Alterations may be permitted in some circumstances.
The act of failing to pay one’s taxes for a period of two saint’s weeks or longer. Failure to pay taxes for this period will result in an eviction notice, for which there is a grace period of five saint’s days to clear one’s debt. Beyond this, property will be reclaimed and future purchases potentially denied or penalized.
Legal tax exemptions may be granted in some circumstances.
The act of inhabiting a home not documented in one’s own name. Exceptions are made for direct family, but other individuals inhabiting a home registered to another citizen will be penalized alongside the legal owner. If payment is made in the form of rent to the rightful owner, exceeding the standard tax rate, this charge may be raised to a Misdemeanor.
II: Magic and Alchemy
Magic and Alchemy laws outline the limitations of what and how registered citizens may engage with these practices, without being penalized for Witchcraft or Alchemical Malpractice.
Citizens wielding Voidal magics may utilize them freely for utility and convenience, and also offensively only under The Right to Defend Oneself. Misuse of these magics may however be charged under crimes of Assault, Manslaughter and Murder, Vandalism, etc. if situationally applicable.
Citizens and non-citizens alike are freely permitted to utilize medicinal potions at their own discretion, but explicit permission from the Court Alchemist must be obtained in order to be permitted use of any hostile or offensive potions, or any practices of dark or black alchemy. Failure to abide by this rule will result in an appropriate charge under Alchemical Malpractice.
Prophetic and Deific Practice:
Citizens and non-citizens alike are disallowed from any use of prophetic or deific powers, with permission to use such abilities granted only by the Sigismundarosie. Failure to abide by this rule will result in an appropriate charge under Witchcraft.
III: Vasoyevic Oaths
It is long-standing Vasoyevic tradition that one’s oath must be their bond, and that one’s word must always be ironclad and sacrosanct. To breach an oath made is to dishonor oneself and one’s people, and as such, this cultural tradition has been one adopted into the legal procedures of the Despotate. Sourced from a time when little but one’s word and oath could be given as collateral for deals made, it is upheld even to this day.
Speaking an Oath:
There is no set of words nor special incantation that must be spoken for an oath to be binding, as it is but a statement of one’s clear and earnest intent to honor a deal or sentiment. It may be spoken formally, or informally, requiring only that it be clearly stated that it is an oath, and that a suitable third party is present to witness it.
This third party must be one trusted by both those making and those receiving the oath, often a friend or fellow citizen whose duty it is to serve the court of law as verification to this verbal agreement. In lieu of an individual who is suitable for the role, judges are also tasked with the oversight of oaths.
Breaching an Oath:
Breaking an oath is treated harshly both socially and in courts of Vasoyevic law. Provided that the oath can be affirmed by a witness, and is proved to have been broken, it qualifies under the law of Oathbreaking as either a Misdemeanor, or a Felony if made to a member of Government.
Punishments for Oathbreaking follow the standard guidelines for both degrees of crime, but may also involve additional measures, and tend to prefer methods of physical punishment as well. For Misdemeanor Oathbreaking, the loss of a pinky is standard, and in the case of Felony Oathbreaking, the loss of an index or, in severe cases, the tongue.
In lieu of these harsher punishments, Oathbreakers are generally provided an opportunity to make good on their word, able to choose between righting the wrong they have committed in the eyes of the court and their people, or to suffer the mandated consequence.
Annulling an Oath:
Oaths may legally be broken under certain circumstances, though they are relatively rare. The primary reason a Vasoyevic court may permit the breaking of an oath is if the one who received said oath appears to have failed to uphold, or to be taking advantage of, their side of the deal. Nonetheless, it is common practice never to swear an oath in which you are not confident, and especially never to permit a witness you do not trust in completely.
Outside of this, oaths may be broken through the willing agreement, before a suitable witness, of the receiver of the oath to annul it. Outside of these two possibilities, release from a sworn oath is rare, and will only happen on a case-by-case basis, by direct order of a Vasoyevic court of law.
Citizens and visitors to the lands of Vasiyeva are entitled to certain rights, constituting freedoms which must be acknowledged and upheld in the court of law. Additionally, the Despotate of Vasiyeva recognizes and upholds an age-old tradition of legally binding verbal oaths. Herein, we discuss each in turn.
The Rights of All
The Rights of All apply to everyone who steps foot within the lands of the Despotate, save for in instances where specific exceptions apply.
The Right to Defend Oneself
Any individual within the lands of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to defend themselves and their direct relatives or spouse from unlawful harm. This, however, includes the standard of Appropriate Force, meaning that one is entitled only to respond with a degree of force and lethality equal to that of their attacker.
Should an individual respond with force disproportionate to what is required, such maiming an individual that has already been subdued, or killing an individual not themselves using lethal force, charges of Assault, Manslaughter and Murder may be levied at a judge’s discretion.
The Right to Religious Practice
Any individual within the lands of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to practice or hold any religious belief not qualifying under the law of Heresy. Though the Vasoyevi are a Canonist people, worship of the Aenguls, Ancestors, Aspects, Brathmordakin, Spirits and All Father are all explicitly permissible.
Whilst one is entitled to hold and openly practice their own religion, attempts to convert other individuals away from their own beliefs may be considered under Harassment in a court of Vasoyevic law.
The Right to Due Process
Any individual within the lands of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to be tried in a court of law for any offense of Misdemeanor severity or greater. So too are they entitled to be protected under the laws of the Despotate, and have any crime committed against them be tried and punished as necessary.
This right does not apply to those already officially labeled as enemies of the Despotate, such as individuals who have been banished, are already proven to be agents or official citizens of hostile foreign states, or are known and proven heretics such as worshippers of Dragons or Iblees.
The Right to Receive an Oath
Any individual within the lands of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to receive a legally binding oath from any citizen of the Despotate and to have this oath, if properly performed, upheld in a court of Vasoyevic law.
One may not receive any oath which would involve a breach of Vasoyevic law.
The Rights of Citizens
The Rights of Citizens apply to all who are officially registered as citizens within the lands of the Despotate.
The Right to Bear Arms
Any citizen of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to carry and wield personal weaponry. A citizen may lawfully be requested to disarm by officials of the Despotate, but is otherwise free to carry and utilize their weapons for defense of themselves or their home, though must keep them sheathed or lowered if not in active use.
Weaponry excluded from this right includes any manner of volatile alchemical concoction, enchanted or otherwise magical weaponry, and any weaponry intended to cause excessive suffering and mutilation. It is the right of officials to judge a weapon’s suitability by these standards. Explicit permission may be obtained for exceptions to this rule.
The Right to Hold Property
Any citizen of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to purchase and own property within its lands, and to have this property protected by all relevant laws. Additional to this right is the right to defend one’s property by force if necessary.
As with the Right to Defend Oneself, the standard of Appropriate Force is applied, meaning that one is entitled only to respond with a degree of force and lethality equal to that of their attacker, or strictly required to remove a threat or unwanted presence from one’s property.
The Right to Swear an Oath
Any citizen of the Despotate of Vasiyeva is entitled to the right to swear a legally binding oath. This oath is considered viable currency for anything which it might be accepted in exchange for; housing, wares, service and so on, if following the proper procedure.
One may not swear any oath which would involve a breach of Vasoyevic law.
His Serene Grace,
Despot of Vasiyeva, Patriarch of House Vasović,
The Prophesied One, Defender of the Vasoyevi
Izaslanik Pravde, Envoy of Justice,
Patriarch of House de Sarkozy