The Corcillum of Caphiria, officially the Assemblies of Caphiria and known simply as the Corcillum, is the national parliament of the Imperium of Caphiria. It is a tetracameral legislature consisting of four chambers: the National Assembly, Military Assembly, Tribune Assembly, and the Senate. Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location within the the Forum Magnum in the Ostrum District of Venceia.
Each chamber functions semi-autonomously from one another, each with its own regulations and rules of procedure. However, they may occasionally meet as a single house, the Corcillum. As a result, the National Assembly has nominal authority over the entire Corcillum which means the National Assembly is functionally the national legislature. Through their legislative role, the Imperator is the legal head of the Corcillum (and by extension the head of each chamber) but rarely executes this power. The most-senior official in the Corcillum is the leader of the National Assembly - the First Tribune.
Despite each chamber having separate regulations and procedures, they all gather for two 20-week sessions per year. Under special circumstances, the Imperator can call an emergency session. The structure of the Corcillum has undergone several major reorganizations throughout history and the specific powers of its chambers have varied considerably over the last millennium, sometimes overshadowing and at other times being overshadowed by the Imperator. After the Second Civil War, the constitutional balance of power shifted from the Corcillum to the Imperator. Though retaining its legal position as under a republic, in practice, however, the actual authority of the Corcillum was negligible, as the Imperator held the true power in the state. As such, membership in the Corcillum became sought after by individuals seeking prestige and social standing, rather than actual authority.
The Military Assembly is composed of every Commander in the Imperial Armed Forces and are responsible of the conduct of wars as well as the prosecution of war and peace. The Tribune Assembly is composed of non-parliamentary magistrates such as Aediles, Proaediles, Censores, and more. The Tribune Assembly is responsible for nationwide administrative tasks, and the organizing and reorganization of provinces and regions. The fourth chamber, the Senate, deals with national economic policy and treaties relating to trade, succession, grants of nobility, and more. Members of the National Assembly and Senate are chosen through direct election and every member of the Corcillum is elected to a five-year term.
Legislators enjoy parliamentary immunity. All assemblies have sub-committees that write reports on a variety of topics. If necessary, the National Assembly has the authority to establish parliamentary enquiry commissions with broad investigative power. However, since 1972 this possibility is almost never exercised, since the majority can reject a proposition by the opposition to create an investigation commission. Also, such a commission may only be created if it does not interfere with a judiciary investigation, meaning that in order to cancel its creation, one just needs to press charges on the topic concerned by the investigation commission.
The Imperator, through his legislative authority, is the de facto head of all four chambers and oversees parliament as President of the Corcillum, a ceremonial title with no practical power - although the Imperator does have the auctoritas principis (primary legislative authority), it is almost never exercised.
Composition and function
Comprised of four main chambers, a combination of mais maiorum and statute determines the roles of each chamber. Many measures must be considered by more than one chamber, and these measures are known as "final decrees" (consultum ultimum) as their decisions cannot be overridden due to their acceptance by more than one chamber. The four chambers are divided into two categories; those which are said to be "representative", which are the Senate and National Assembly, and those which are said to be "meritorious", which are the Military and Tribunal Assemblies. The representative assemblies are viewed as a direct voice of the people of Caphiria within the nation's decision-making, whereas the meritorious chambers are the voice of those who are viewed to have sacrificed on behalf of the nation as a consequence of their service.
The National Assembly is the national legislature of Caphiria and is nominally responsible for the adoption of all laws as well as any amendments to the Constitution of Caphiria. Consisting of 1000 members elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage in equal population districts, the Assembly primarily controls the Caphirian national budget and has delegated most of its major lawmaking authority to the other Assemblies. The Assembly is also nominally responsible for the oversight of the Ministries of Caphiria, with each ministry having a corresponding committee. The Assembly serves five year terms and cannot be dissolved. Assembly seat districts are elected by first past the post and are reallocated every five years by the Tribunal Assembly based on the results of the national census. It is presided over by the Imperator or his designee in his role as First Tribune.
The National Assembly was created with the current Constitution of Caphiria as a replacement for the earlier plebeian assembly, which formed in the earliest days of Caphiria as the representative bodies of each of the original tribes which settled Caphiria. As each tribe had one vote, the body was initially created as a popular body but fell into obsolescence as tribal leaders were subverted first by the Senate and then by the first Imperators. With the establishment of the Great Landsmeet in Urcea during the medieval period, the resurrection of the plebeian assembly was a popular idea which receded following the XXXX CIVIL WAR XXXX. The plebeian assembly last fully met in 1640, and was replaced by the directly representative National Assembly in the 19th century.
The Senate is an assembly of 782 men of senatorial rank who are at least 40 years of age. The Senate is primarily responsible for overseeing the nation's economic policies, having suspensive veto authority over any legislation put before the National Assembly which is said to have an economic impact. Additionally, the Senate is responsible for ratifying any trade treaty or agreement made by Caphiria with a foreign power. Internally, the Senate is responsible for elevating families to senatorial rank and functionally serves as the body which resolves succession for the position of Imperator. Notably, the Senate is responsible for the conveyance of the honorary title Imperator to the nation's ruler, which has become synonymous with the position. It is presided over by the Imperator or his designee in his role as princeps senatus.
Finding its historical root in the classical senates of Latinic civilization, historical Caphirian Senates served primarily as an advisory council of elders, but gradually grew to assume a legislative role during the initial consolidation of power in the position of the Imperator. In the current Constitution of Caphiria, the Senate is comprised of one member per million residents of the Imperium, with new Senators added on the death of previous members and every five years on the occasion of censuses. New members are chosen by the Imperator by virtue of his position as princeps senatus. The Senate is said to employ virtual representation by way of it including a large enough cross-section of the Caphirian population to represent the whole nation.
The Military Assembly is an assembly of every flag officer of the Imperial Armed Forces from each of the three branches. It is nominally responsible for the prosecution of Caphiria's wars and organization of the Imperial Armed Forces, responsibilities that it delegates to the Imperator on a day-to-day basis. As an Assembly, the Military Assembly considers formal declarations of war as well as peace treaties. Peace treaties which include economic benefits or concessions must also be considered by the Senate, while treaties with include acquisition or cession of land must also be considered by the Tribunal Assembly. The Military Assembly is also responsible for confirming appointment of the Minister of Defense made by the Imperator. As flag officers, every member of the military assembly is appointed by the Imperator as he is responsible for the promotion and commissioning of officers. It is presided over by the Imperator or his designee,
The Tribunal Assembly is an assembly of every magistrate of Censore rank and above. The Assembly is responsible for overseeing the public administration of Caphiria. Specifically, it considers all motions which cedes or accepts lands into Caphiria and also organizes and reorganizes the Provinces of Caphiria and their subdivisions as the need presents. It is additionally responsible for creating the electoral districts of the National Assembly based on census results every five years. The Tribunal Assembly also confirms appointments of the government ministers by the Imperator from among men of senatorial rank excepting the Minister of Defense. Within the Tribunal Assembly is the Censorial Assembly, which is organized as a committee within the Tribunal Assembly for protection of the Constitution and serves as the internal ethical, legal, and moral oversight body of the Government of Caphiria. The Tribunal Assembly is presided over by the Imperator or his designee.