Constitution of Urcea

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The Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea does not have a codified constitution such as other countries tend to have. Instead of such a constitution, certain documents, precedents, and agreements stand to serve as replacements in lieu of one. These texts and their provisions therein are considered to be constitutional, such that the "constitution of Urcea" or "Urcean constitution" may refer to a number of historical and momentous laws and principles like the Concession of 1747 and the Great Bull of 1811 which formulate the country's body politic. Thus the term "Urcean constitution" is sometimes said to refer to an "unwritten" or uncodified constitution. The Urcean constitution primarily draws from five sources: statute law (laws passed by the Concilium Daoni), common law (laws established through court judgments), conciliar conventions, works of Royal authority (such as Royal decrees or concessions made by the Apostolic King of Urcea to the Concilium Daoni), and least frequently, canon law. Similar to a constitutional document, it also concerns both the relationship between the individual and the state and the functioning of the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.

Since the era of the Caroline Wars and the early modern period, the concept of "shared sovereignty", between the King as one party and the people through the councils as the other party, has been the bedrock of the Urcean legislative constitution. The statutes passed by the Concilium Daoni and Concilium Purpaidá are the binding source of law in the Apostolic Kingdom. The Constitution can thus by changed by the Councils with some final input from the King, as binding constitutional advice does not, and Constitutionally cannot, apply to changes to the Constitution.

Development

Many of the constitutional institutions of Urcea find their origins in the government of Great Levantia, a classical republic based on executive Consuls, an aristocratic Senate, and a democratic tribal assembly. Many scholars have noted that Urcea is characterized by such an embrasure of semi-democratic institutions while eschewing total democracy, either classical or modern, and scholars have posited that this impulse is a cultural tradition handed down from the days of Great Levantia. The tribal assemblies were the only institution to survive the collapse of Great Levantia, and in their Urceopolitan form they elected Saint Julius I and his predecessors as Dux of Urceopolis, and formed the backbone of political life in Urceopolis until the elevation of the Duchy into the hereditary Archduchy of Urceopolis, when the Assemblies began to lose their authority vis-a-vis the Archduke. Meeting regularly until 852, they continued to meet intermittently up through 917 in some form or other as the Archduke began to consolidate authority over the affairs of state. For a century, the Archduke sat alone, though far from ruling with anything resembling the later impulse of absolutism. The tribes continued to exist even as they did not meet, the authority of the Archduke was largely checked by powerful landowners and optimates throughout the Archduchy.

From the assembly's tribes came the Estates of Urcea, groupings of people with not only an important impact on Urcean culture, but also groupings that had a profound impact on the development of the Constitution of Urcea and the general political climate of early Urcea. Due to the continued growth of the realm and the need for administrative assistance, Emperor Adrian II, first Emperor of the Levantines from Urcea, decided to call for a new assembly to replace the lapsed ancient institution, creating the system of Great Landsmeets, which would directly represent the fifty Estates. The Landsmeet would remain in place following the Golden Bull of 1098 and the creation of Urcea as a Kingdom. The Great Landsmeet would subsequently be called often during the two centuries of its existence, solving legal disputes put before them by the King, administering newly acquired territories on behalf of the King, and serving as something like the Kingdom's highest arbitration court (besides that of the Apostolic King himself).