Sunday, June 14, 2009

Renaissance Lawyer

In RK I was asked to take appear in the County Court as defence counsel for Rothum, the Rector of the University. She was prosecuted for Treason. She had excluded from consideration for appointment to a lecturerer position one of the main characters in the Girvan Crisis, namely the Chief of the MacGregors - who had been responsible for the highway murder by the Ducal Marines of a wandering scholar who had been heading to Galloway to teach.

Up until I received Rothum's request I had kept clear of the Renaissance courts on the twin grounds that I have been busy enough, and that legal work is too similar to what I do in real life for a living. However, I made in exception in this matter because I (a) have a lot of respect for what Rothum has achieved so far with the university and the manner in which she conducts herself generally, (b) I didn't like the bullying that she had recently been subject to by Campbells and MacGregors, (c) most others would be scared off of the job because of the larger conflict it was a part of and the reprisals which usually follow standing up to the bullies, (d) in real life I have a bit of a history of activism over education issues and this gelled neatly with that, (e) I am still recovering in Wigtown and this was one way of being involved in larger affairs.

So I took the case. We were successful in getting Rothum aquited, though the Judge reasoned differently to what we had argued in the case. Still, it was fun.

Below is the transcript of the trial as it played out in the court over several days. You will note that it is a very different approach to the previous time I and a friend had been hauled before a similar court in the Aztec World, charged with highway robbery.

Lawsuit between Rothum and County of Galloway

Rothum was charged with the act of treason.

The sentence has been passed

The verdict
The defendant has been discharged.
The charges filed in this case were brought under the following statute.

Article 2.4.6: An act of abuse of power is defined as the use of public position beyond normal duties to earn

political or personal gain for himself or an accomplice.

It is the duty of this Court to determine if the prosecution has met its burden of proof in showing the elements of this statute were shown to have been done, beyond a reasonable doubt.
Immediately, the Court observes that there are problems with this statute. It does not define an act of abuse of power as a crime. It simply defines that act to be one that is the �use of a public position beyond normal duties to earn political or personal gain for himself or an accomplice.� Though located within the Penal Code, it fails to recite that this is a crime, and what level of crime it is. The Court finds that this is a fatal defect in the law, such that it cannot be used to charge a crime, as it makes no declaration that an abuse of public power is found to be a crime under the laws of the County of Galloway. The Court finds that this statute is merely definitional, and does not in fact set out a matter that is a crime. The Court is constrained to read the laws as they are on the books. The Court cannot infer that this was intended to be a crime. In matters so serious as criminal proceedings, the law must be clear. As the Court has noted in its previous rulings, one function of the law is to put residents and citizens on notice of what is considered to be criminal behaviour in the County. And in this, this statute falls far short of what is required for a statute under which a criminal proceeding can be held.

As such, this case is dismissed with prejudice.

Nevertheless, were the Court to make a ruling on the merits of the case, the Court finds that the power inherent in the Rector�s job, to appoint teachers, and the exercise thereof, does not rise to the level of using a position beyond normal duties. It is within the purview and normal duties of the Rector to use her or her considered judgement in appointing teachers at the University. A disagreement over the exercise of judgment, a matter upon which reasonable men may well disagree, does not make such disagreement rise to the level of an abuse of the power of the position of the Rector, and the charge in any event would again be dismissed with prejudice.

Bill of indictment

The defendant stands in court, being charged for the crime within the Penal Code, in "Article 2.4.6: An act of abuse of power is defined as the use of public position beyond normal duties to earn political or personal gain for himself or an accomplice."

The Defendant, is Rector of the County University, and due to this, is expected to guide the University in an unbiased, and fair manner. The evidence below, shows the defendant in a confession-like manner, abusing her role as Rector. The King states that no one charged with a crime, can be punished afterwards, yet the crime claimed in the evidence isnt a charged crime, or law within the County of Galloway.

The Rector is not a prosecution, or a judge for that matter, and should be worrying about the teaching and stability of the University, rather than the personal quarrels with others.

The prosecution presses this case in regard of this, in an unbiased, and fair way. If the Rector wishes to prosecute, or judge, perhaps she needs to take my, or your job your honor..

*Julius says, with a laugh..*


First defence pleading

Not Guilty

Prosecutor indictment

The personal and political gain the defendant has gained is easily stated within the evidence. The ability to withhold teachers from teaching, for personal reasons, without there even being a crime pressed. Now, lets not sway from the point.

Was the Defendant, considering the well being of the University? Or was the Rector considering a personal quarrel with the plaintiff? No matter which way you answer, personal feelings, which is something to consider no matter how you put it, can be gained. Personal gain therefor is made, in the form of vengeance. If you know me, you would know that my family was badly injured due to the plaintiff's actions, and in this, I would love to see vengeance on him for his actions..

The difference is, I did not choose to not press this case, simply based on my personal feelings, but the evidence within the King's own edicts, and the laws we have in Galloway. As PP, I am expected to act unbiased for the laws of Galloway, which I honestly couldnt care less about.. And I think we expect the same with the Rector, and any other arm of the County.

Let me ask this as well.

Your honor, would you punish someone, or choose not to punish them based on your personal feelings, or based on the laws and the safety and structural balance of Galloway?

Last defence pleading

Not Guilty

The defence called Dracmuller to the witness box

Dracmuller, bruised and battered from recent goings on in Ayr, steps forth to speak for the Defendant.

The plaintiff alleges misfeasance on the Rector's part but does not allege political or personal gain. Nor do they allege conspiracy. Therefore, they cannot prove the crime alleged (which requires such proof). We urge that the matter be dismissed without further ado.

However, if the judge would entertain further audience from the plaintiff, we would note that the Rector has not only not gained personally or politically through the actions alleged, but that she has indeed suffered grievously as a result of her lawful exercise of the Rector�s powers within the jurisdiction of the University. The fact of this vexatious matter being raised publicly, and the sadness which she feels at such ill use of court resources, forms but part of the constellation of harm which she bravely suffers as consequence to the performance of her duties.

The duty of the Rector, to advance the cause of the community of students and faculty who together constitute the university, is an onerous task and requires continual discretionary judgments on her part. Her duty is not one of care for individuals if that were to place her in conflict with her overwhelming responsibility to the University as a whole.

One of her guiding principles is to maintain standards within the university. Egregious behaviour by staff could bring the university into disrepute. The character of an applicant, as demonstrated by behaviour (and recent behaviour at that), is therefore an important consideration when deciding appointments.

When such egregious behaviour is constituted by the act of ordering the death of one who, for all we know, might himself have been coming to apply for a teaching position (a subsidiary point in the debate, granted, and one for which the only witness is presently incapacitated beyond the bounds of summons or subpoena due the aforementioned egregious act (a point for which we seek that no foul finding be made on the principle that no perpetrator benefit from an act so egregious and infamous as the one committed by the aggrieved in this matter)), the gravity of the discretion exercised is only compounded.

The plaintiff refers to the King's Edict regarding the principle of avoiding double jeopardy, or, the infliction of multiple punishments for a convicted crime. We note that the Rector has no capacity to punish for past crimes, nor does she purport to have done so in this instance. The Rector in this matter is simply maintaining a standard of conduct which would be recognised amongst all civilised institutions.


We remind the court that there never was a certainty of expectation on the part of the aggrieved that he would attain a position on faculty. Even if the court were to ascribe a value to such an expectation as he held, as nebulous as it was, it would be a far sight from saying that because this has been lost by the aggrieved that therefore the Rector has gained politically or personally from the affair.

Indeed, as we have indicated, the opposite is in fact the case.

We urge the Court to summarily dismiss this attack upon the academic and personal integrity of the Rector. However, we stand prepared to provide further argument or evidence if that be the court's desire.

The defence called Dracmuller to the witness box

The prosecutor asks that we not stray from the point. We will not do so, once we have identified it.

The duty of the Rector to make decisions about appointments is an inherent part of the job. An intrinsic component of this duty is the capacity to deny such appointment. The exercise of this capacity to deny appointment is a necessary corollary of the power to make appointments. In exercising this capacity in this case the Rector was fulfilling her duty.

We refute the prosecution�s allegation that the decision to deny appointment to the aggrieved was due to a �personal quarrel� (the Rector has never met the aggrieved and knows him not except by his public deeds). We agree that the decision was made after consideration of, and in accordance with, the well being of the university.

We agree with the prosecution that a person in the position of Rector might derive satisfaction from the successful exercise of her duties. We are puzzled at the relevance of this fact, as it constitutes no measurable gain and implies only that the Rector is doing a good job. Would the prosecutor prosecute a farmer who is pleased with a good crop, a blacksmith pleased with a good lump of steel? All of scotland�s fine citizens would stand guilty if our pleasure at a job well done were to constitute guilt of treachery. Such a position would be ludicrous in the extreme and make a mockery of the work of the law in furthering the cause of the people.

We are bemused by the prosecution�s ascription of �vengeance� to the above mentioned satisfaction with a job well done and the biographical details which follow. We ask that he be censured for dragging his personal predilection for such things into this esteemed hall. Never-the-less, we respect the office which he holds and the importance of his function within this court and ask that the verdict in this matter be adjudged on the facts as presented. No more, no less.

We deny any element of �punishment� in the Rector�s decision, we deny any sense of personal satisfaction other than that of fulfilling the broad purpose of the position of Rector, we urge all public officials to compliance with their duties in the furtherance of good order and public safety within our glorious county.

We ask that this matter be dismissed so that the Rector may return to her duties within the University.

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