Law of Layonara
For many years after the Congregation of the Principium during the reign of Raklin Diamoniar, the Law on Layonara was governed by the churches of Toran and Rofirein. However, when the Toranites withdrew in 1406, only the Rofireinites remained to keep the laws and judge the lawbreakers wherever they could.
Organization of the Law
Rofirein's laws may be constant and his justice unchanging, but one's experience with laws, rules, courts and the treatment of criminals may differ from realm to realm. The organization of the law in most realms is in the hands of the Church of Rofirein, but while many realms rely on Rofirein's church and clergy to keep the laws and punish criminals, not all realms recognize the Church of Rofirein as the sole body possessing the power to set the laws and some realms possess nothing at all resembling Rofireinite justice. The Zuan Kingdom on Alibor, for example, has only those laws set by its ruler and justice is meted out at his whim, while the more civilized kingdoms like Brelin, Trelania, and the realms on Corsain follow the law books of the Divine Court nearly to the letter. In these realms where the laws of the Divine Court are recognized, a difference in interpretation of the laws is settled by the Rofireinite church, which has the final say in all matter of justice's interpretation.
How the local laws ' whatever they may be ' are enforced also varies from realm to realm; some nations have their militia enforce the law, some have a special guard for this task, and others hand the responsibility over to the capable hands of the Rofirein church. Certainly the fate of the criminals, once apprehended, usually falls to the Rofireinites. Judges of courthouses in the larger cities are almost always members of the church, as are most of the other staff working in the large courthouses.
In small towns, villages and settlements, if a judge is present, he or she may not always be a member of the Church of Rofirein. However, these rural judges may still have been trained in one of the Rofireinite temples.
Principles of the Divine Court
- Justice will be done in line with the dogma of Rofirein
- Each individual has a right to a fair trial
- Each individual is innocent until proven guilty
- Each individual has the right to appoint a representative to speak for him on his behalf
Anything not covered by these rights will be left to the discretion of the representatives of Rofirein, and considered on a case by case basis.
Classification of Crimes
Both the nature of a crime and its fitting punishment are ultimately decided by the judge. However, a rough classification of crimes and their common punishments can be made:
Crimes against the life of others and the order of society, punishable by death or life long imprisonment:
- Murder in any shape or form
- Conspiracy to overthrow a rightful government of a realm
Crimes against others or the structure of society, punishable by several years of imprisonment:
- Burglary and theft
- Impersonating governmental officials or Rofireinites
Other crimes, punishable by imprisonment for less than a year, forced labor, flogging, or community service:
The above is intended to be only a rough guide to Layonara's crimes and their punishments. Ultimately, these decisions rest in the hands of the presiding judge of any given case.
Punishment of Special Cases
For creatures bound to the bindstones punishment by death is often not permanent, although it can be. Life long imprisonment is then a good alternative.
Users of magic can often not be contained in normal prisons, they can be sentenced to the Walk of Unravelling and imprisoned in Al'Noth's Denial.
Adherence to the Law
The idea behind the Congregation of the Principium and the Divine Court is that its laws should be universal and applicable everywhere on Layonara and to each of its citizens. However, there are areas in the world where these laws are not wholly supported, and even places where they are not supported at all or even mocked.
Not all areas that do not recognize the laws of the Divine Court are necessarily lawless, though. While piracy and banditry are common problems in some regions, other lands simply have a different set of laws.
Even the pirate bands, thieves' guilds and other organizations which operate outside of society each usually has its own code of conduct and rules, which may or may not be in line with the Divine Court version of Layonaran law.
Good and Evil
It is commonly said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the same can also be said of good and evil. People interpret good and evil in different ways. Such abstractions are subject to culture, upbringing, and other social forces. Something that one person sees as evil might be perceived as good in another area of the world. In lands where the definitions of good and evil differ from what is thought of as the norm, the law can ' and often does ' become complicated.