The Unknown Past
The Tribunal Primus
During the war, many boys grew into men knowing no skill other than killing. After the war many of these men chose to use those murderous skills to their financial advantage. Roving bands of warriors found easy money in resolving trouble between neighbors or in offering protection from other bands. Frustrated by these roving bands of mercenaries selling their skills to any farmer or shopkeeper in a dispute and the increased killing and destruction, King Justintine ordered the creation of the Tribunal Primus in SR 124.
The Tribunal Primus was created first as an extension of the Royal Court system. The Royal Court system was created to allow the people of the kingdom to resolve disputes with each other in a safe and fair fashion. The Royal Court is made up of the King’s Court and each duke’s High Court. Initially the Tribunal Primus was given the responsibility of applying the king’s and the Royal Council’s laws to the situations that crop up around the kingdom. They were also tasked with acting as a neutral party in disputes between citizens. After a couple of years the Tribunal grew into such an important branch of the government that the king added it to the list of Factions of the Royal Council.When the charter was written for the Tribunal Primus is spelled out the responsibilities of the judicial branch of the government.
- The Tribunal Primus must create a court hierarchy that allows local issues to be resolved locally whenever possible and be resolved in a fair and consistent manner across the realm.
- The Tribunal must allow parties that are not content with the results of its hearing the ability to request a new hearing at a higher level. This hierarchy may not attempt to prevent or dissuade an individual of his right to petition the Royal Court, but may be required as a precursor to the system. Conflicts between nobility are the sole exception to this rule as those disputes must be resolved in the Royal Court.
- No man or woman who resides in the kingdom, save the king, is immune to judgment by Tribunal Primus.
- The Tribunal Primus must apply and enforce all laws made by the King and the Royal Council to the best of its ability in a fair and consistent manner. It must also, when requested, act as a neutral party in resolving disagreements between citizens of the realm even if no law was broken.
- The Tribunal Primus must build and maintain a courthouse in every region. These regions are defined as the distance a healthy man can walk from the courthouse during daylight hours in one day (approximately 25 miles).
- Every village must be governed by a district. A village is a group of at least 28 adult citizens of the realm who live very near each other.
- The Tribunal Primus may maintain an armed force with which to enforce its rulings. This force may only be used when enforcing security of the courthouse or enforcing the Tribunal’s rulings.
- The Tribunal Primus may not make laws nor search out law breakers; it may only apply existing laws to circumstances that are brought to its attention.
- No member of the Tribunal Primus may charge or accept any form of compensation from anyone but the crown for its services.
The Hierarchy of the Tribunal Primus:
- King’s Court (Royal Court)
- High Court (a Royal Court that a duke presides over)
- Supreme Court (all Appellate courts, In Paladius – Presided over by the High Chancellor and the two Magistrates Primus)
- Appellate Court (Large cities and its surrounding County Courts, usually in a duke’s capital – Presided over by a Magistrate Primus)
- County Court (Small cities and its surrounding District Courts, usually in a count’s capital – Presided over by a High Magistrate)
- District Court (Large town and its surrounding Regional Courts, usually in a baron’s capital – Presided over by a Magistrate)
- Regional Court (village or small town with a courthouse and its surrounding areas – Presided over by a Justice of the Peace)