Stormwind Rights is the document that outlines the rights of Citizens and Nobles within the Kingdom of Stormwind. The rights are established by the House of Wrynn through guidance by the Stormwind House of Nobles.
Note: This document was originally produced as part of the Purple Monday project, borrowed for the purpose of enhancing Stormwind City's roleplay on Moon Guard US and subsequently modfied. All laws apply only to those who opt-in.
Note: Participants of the Stormwind Law Project will be expected to follow and uphold these laws. The Stormwind House of Nobles component of the project convenes to make amendments and Acts of the Stormwind House of Nobles.
This is a wholly out-of-character document, explaining quickly what 'rights' are held by citizens and nobles in the Kingdom of Stormwind. Note that people would not necessarily think of these rights as they do today, as 'human rights' or 'civil rights'; they might not even be conscious of them. Note secondly that there is no Bill or Charter of Rights. We find it attractive and plausible that Stormwind's constitution would be rather like that of the UK – not codified, but pieced together from various bits and bobs of statute and tradition over the years, available in summary only if you read a textbook or a wikipedia article (alas, those won't be available for three hundred years).
Both citizens and nobility of Stormwind have certain rights which are, as we said, uncodified, but which are guaranteed by a combination of statute, tradition and convention. Of course, in what sense they are 'guaranteed' and what practical barriers stop them from being violated remains to be played out. We've chosen them half on the basis of which ones we think would realistically apply in a city like Stormwind (no free speech), and half on the basis of what would create interesting RP (double jeopardy).
Here follows a summary of the rights of citizens and nobles!
Rights of CitizensEdit
That is, rights of all citizen and nobles.
Right of PetitionEdit
The right to take one's grievances to the King, or any of his appointed servants, in the hope of them being addressed.
"Bring forth the body” in Church Thalassian. Citizens cannot be held in custody without a criminal charge for more than twenty four hours.
Right to TrialEdit
Citizens have the right to be tried by a magistrate for indictable offences.
Right of ConfrontationEdit
When a citizen is tried for a criminal offence, he has the right to know the witnesses and the evidence against him.
Right to RepresentationEdit
But not what you think. Citizens have the right to represent themselves in their defence, and the right to be represented by another, but they have no automatic right for this to be provided free. A citizen has to pay a fee to be represented by an officer of the crown, so, in practice, representation by others is only available to the rich or well-connected.
The right of a citizen not to be tried for the same offence twice. Note: that's the same instance of an offence (i.e. the same specific murder) rather than the crime in general (any murder).
Right of AppealEdit
a citizen has the right to appeal against verdicts for serious crimes. Except...the appeal has to be granted by the Lord Magistrate, and he's unlikely to allow it to many people, unless he feels the case (or the accused) is particularly important, or unless there is some point of law that needs to be worked out. So, in practice, don't bet on it.
Rights of NoblesEdit
All the rights of Citizens, plus:
Right of PositionEdit
Nobles have the right to governance and political participation.
Right of RedressEdit
Nobles have the absolute right to have their disputes tried by a civil court, whereas citizens may only request. Plus, even if such a request is granted to citizens, nobles are far more likely to be able to afford the damages if they should lose their case.
Protection from Unreasonable Search and SeizureEdit
Nobles shall not have their persons or private houses and properties searched without Probable Cause.
Trial by a Jury of PeersEdit
Nobles have the right, in serious offences, to demand to be tried by a jury of other nobles.
Rights of the AccusedEdit
Nobles have the right to be treated well during their arrest and the entire process of justice.
Right of BailEdit
Nobles cannot be imprisoned before being found guilty of an offence. They are always bailed pending trial – but the bail is often secured against their property and even titles, meaning that the noble in question would forfeit everything by failing to turn up.
Rights of NobodyEdit
Freedom of Speech, Religion or of the PressEdit
Treason by word is forbidden, as is blasphemy in print, and the King may order specific Proclamations against certain pamphlets; nobody has the freedom to say what they like or print what they like. Further, Stormwind is a kingdom deeply entrenched in the Holy Light. The religions of allies – Elune, and the Mystery of the Makers – are always treated well, although holding them may be a barrier to public office. But the religions of enemies, especially of the Shadow, are unlikely to be tolerated.
Right to Peaceful ProtestEdit
There is no automatic right of citizens to protest against authority just because they might remain peaceful while doing so. However, guards will sometimes let protests go ahead if they don't feel that the cause is worth the trouble of breaking it up (for example if the cause is not directly seditious). Would-be protesters are advised to try and frame their protest as petition, i.e. they are asking the King to change things.
Right to a Speedy TrialEdit
Nobody has the right to speedy justice, although, let's face it, this is unlikely to come up in RP, where everything happens overnight.
Right to Remain SilentEdit
In some modern countries, someone accused in a criminal case may refuse to answer questions, and their refusal to answer won't be taken as evidence. However, this right is not extended in Stormwind. Silence can be considered evidence towards a criminal conviction.
Protection from Eminent DomainEdit
'Eminent domain' is when the government forces you to sell land or property to them. The King, since in theory he owns everything within the Kingdom, can do this as he wills, and nobody is safe from it, but, in practice, a discerning government will be careful not to aggravate its richer and more important landowners.