Magistrates of Caphiria
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According to the Caphirian classification, a Magistrate (Latin: Magistratus) is an elected bureaucratic official who has been afforded to some degree of imperium. Magistrates can be divided into two main categories: parliamentary and non-parliamentary. Parliamentary magistrates are directly involved with the government of Caphiria whereas non-parliamentary are not.
Most offices are allowed to appoint a vicarius (deputy magistrate) who assists in their duties and replaces them in the event of incapacitation or death. Since vicarii are not elected, their abilities to perform the duties of a real magistrate are severely limited by the law, kept only to essential functions.
- 1 Parliamentary magistrates
- 1.1 Executive magistrates
- 1.2 Senatorial magistrates
- 1.3 Judicial magistrates
- 1.4 Military magistrates
- 2 Non-parliamentary magistrates
- 3 Requirements
First among the magistrates and the citizens is the Imperator.
As chief executive and legislative official of Caphiria, the emperor is assisted by his Prime Minister, an appointed minister of state who performs a share of the imperial duties and advises the emperor on administrative matters. The Prime minister is the leader of the Office of the Imperium, the principal executive organ of the Government of Caphiria.
Advisors to the Imperator form the Office of the Imperium. The aforementioned advisors constitute part of the Imperial Ministries of Caphiria (Ministeria Imperiarum), a collection of 16 organs that carry out the functions of the state. Nearly every Ministry is governed by a magistrate known as its praeministrum (prime minister or minister), including the Proprinceps and Judex Magnus.
Within the Ministry of the Treasury are the ten quaestores, chief tax collectors who appoint minor civil servants by province to do the direct collection of taxes and transfer that revenue to the Aerarium (Treasury) in Venceia. Money cannot enter the national accounts of the Treasury without their authorization.
In Caphirian politics, a Praetor is the elected chief administrator of a Province of the Imperium of Caphiria. As Provinces are the most direct divisions under the Imperium, a Praetor reports directly to the Imperator and acts on behalf of the province. The government of the province is called the provinciarum, holding legal and administrative jurisdiction within its bounds. Each provincial government is free to organize its executive departments and agencies in any way it likes. This has resulted in substantial diversity among provinces with regard to every aspect of how their governments are organized, though the Imperium does mandate certain things for the sake of continuity across the state.
In theory, the Praetor is subservient to the Imperator, effectively acting as his representative. In practice however, Praetors have de facto authority over their province and the Imperator seldom interferes at the provincial level. However, provinces lack separate legislative authority and therefore cannot write their own statutory law. They levy their own taxes and, in return, receive a decreasing part of their budget from the central government, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies. They also have considerable budgets managed by a regional council made up of representatives voted into office in provincial elections.
Their power is derived directly from the Imperator, who appoints each praetor with his supreme power to act in his name. As such, praetors are responsible for implementing state laws and overseeing the operation of the state executive branch. As state leaders, praetors advance and pursue new and revised policies and programs using a variety of tools, among them executive orders, executive budgets, and legislative proposals and vetoes. Praetors carry out their management and leadership responsibilities and objectives with the support and assistance of department and agency heads, many of whom they are empowered to appoint. A majority of praetors have the authority to appoint state court judges as well, in most cases from a list of names submitted by a nominations committee.
Praetors are charged with the duty to make sure the roads under their care are well maintained. The roads and highways in each state are divided between local, provincial and federal governments. Provinces build and maintain roads and highways through their local provincial Ministry of Transportation. These state transportation departments oversee the building of new roads, and the maintenance of interprovincial transportation for the Imperium's Ministry of Transportation. The states are also responsible for public safety, as in the case of state troopers. If the Imperium issues a mandate, it is the duty of the Praetor and his provinciarum to make plans and implement them to fulfill the mandate. Examples of mandates are if the imperial government requires provinces to cut air pollution, or requires that a province's public transportation meet particular safety standards. The imperial government is required by law to fund the mandated programs.Provincial governments are also responsible for the education of their residents. Provinces have freedom in administering the imperial public education system, which receives the lion’s share of state and local money. The nation’s 150,000 school districts are governed by elected school boards.
Laws are crafted by the magistrates of the Imperial Senate as part of Caphiria's legislative government. Its chief officials are the Princeps Senatus and Consul Latine, the elected heads of the Curiate Assembly and Consular Congress respectively. The former is first ahead of the Assembly's 200 senatores while the latter is the most prestigious of the empire's 80 consules. Each type of magistrate has its own type of curia, or electoral district.
Occupying the Lower House of the Senate is the Curiate Assembly (Comitia Curiata), 200 directly elected representatives of the citizens. Every senator currently in office was elected according to the majority opinion of the 550,000 citizens within a certain political district known as a curia. There is a perfect equality of votes for senators and, by the equipartition of the citizenry, for the citizens of Caphiria. The Census ensures a consistent 1 to 550,000 ratio of senators to citizens, with the exceptions of the districts of Caphiria where curiae have historical-geographical separations. Abiding by this rule is required under Proclamation 5 of the Constitution. The ratio's value is unessential as long as it is consistent throughout the empire.
Presiding over the Assembly and the de facto head of both houses is the President of the Senate (Princeps Senatus), a magistrate with no voting power but who decides the vote in the event of a tie, sways the opinion of senators by his influence, and can nullify a maximum of 10 votes with a valid reason. As figurehead of the Senate, the Princeps is often the public face for the legislature, speaking to the people of Caphiria several times a year.His duties as president include calling the either house of the Senate to assemble, issuing the final legislative position of the Assembly, maintaining order during parliamentary discussions, and delivering messages from the Assembly in person to the Imperator.
While senators bring local interests to the attention of the legislature, the Consular Congress (Comitium Consularis) is populated by 80 directly elected representatives of the major imperial Foederata (ethnocultural group). Each ethnocultural group revolves around a capital of its culture whose people elect its Consul. An individual consul wields significant power as a magistrate, taking part in both the legislative through his auctoritas nationalis and the executive through his imperium foederalis over his particular Foederata. In the Census, every resident of the Imperium is categorized as either cives or peregrini, and designated a member of one of seventy nationalities or ethnicities. By correlating this information with place of residence, the government cleanly segregates the populace into the 80 Foederatae.
The most powerful Consul is the Consul Latine, also known as the Consul Regio (First consul) with 13 out of the 80 votes. The Consul Latine possesses powers quite distinct from the other consuls. As president of Congress, he calls the consuls into session, takes bills in person from the Upper to the Lower house after each stage, and leads most consular sessions through speeches and the right of calling silence. This office most nearly resembles the Consul of Ancient Caphiria and is the peak of any male patricians cursus honorum (political career).
The judiciary of Caphiria acts on a largely informal basis where judges for an individual court case are selected from the album judicum, a list of all licensed jurists. Judges are public officials and, since they exercise one of the sovereign powers of the Imperium, only citizens of the Imperium are eligible for judgeship. In order to become a judge, applicants must obtain a degree of higher education as well as pass written and oral examinations. However, most training and experience is gained through the judicial organization itself. The potential candidates then work their way up from the bottom through promotions. Caphiria's independent judiciary enjoys special constitutional protection from the executive branch. Once appointed, judges serve for life and cannot be removed without specific disciplinary proceedings conducted in due process before the Supreme Court.
The Ministry of Justice handles the administration of courts and judiciary, including paying salaries and constructing new courthouses. The Ministry of Justice also administer the prison system. Lastly, the Ministry of Justice receives and processes applications for presidential pardons and proposes legislation dealing with matters of civil or criminal justice. When a civil or criminal case is heard, a jury is formed out of the citizenship but these temporary officials are not bureaucrats, nor are the jurists.
Only the ministry's head, the High Judge (Judex Magnus) - judge in the Supreme Court of Caphiria - is a juridical magistrate. Each provincial government possesses its own provinciarum judex, or provincial judge, who is subservient to the Ministry of Justice. While provincial judges have some leniency with their rulings and interpretations of the law, they are bound to the interpretation of law from the Ministry of Justice as a whole, meaning any ruling in one province will immediately affect the others.
The Supreme Court is organized into two divisions: a criminal section and a civil section. The court has a general president who is appointed by the Imperator, The Magnus Judex (High Judge), a deputy, and each section has its own president.Cases brought to the supreme court are normally heard by a panel of five judges. In more complex cases, especially those concerning compounded matters of statutory interpretation an extended panel of nine judges hear the case. In addition, in every case submitted to the supreme court, the office of public prosecutor must state their interpretation of the applicable law, to assist and facilitate the court, in a consultative capacity, in reaching its final decision.
Council of Supreme Judges
The Supreme Court itself is composed of 15 judges that are collectively known as the Council of Supreme Judges (Consilio Judicatis Magnus) for the term of service of two lustra (10 years total): 5 appointed by the Imperator, 5 elected by the Senate, and 5 elected by the ordinary and administrative courts. The Council then elects the Presidents of the court. The President is elected from among its members in a secret ballot, by an absolute majority (8 votes in the case of a full court). If no person gets a majority, a runoff election between the two judges with the most votes occurs.
As a function of the Ministry of Justice, the High Judge also serves as Prime Minister of the Ministry of Justice which has its own place within the judicial system. The Ministry of Justice arranges the album judicum - a list of every licensed jurist eligible for judging cases in a lawful court - and decides on the time and place of sessions in every Caphirian court of law. It also serves as the backbone for all of the Imperium's provincial and municipal court systems.
Connecting the military to the government is the Ministry of War under the Master of Soldiers (Magister Militum). Commanders of branches for the armed forces also have the rank of magistrate, including the Generalissimus, supreme commander of the armies; the Admirallis, first officer of the high fleets and the Legatus Caelus, primary commander of the air forces.
Within the Ministry of the Treasury are 120 Aedilis who supervise spending of money from the treasury, giving them the reverse role of the quaestores. Whenever any Imperial funds are appropriated, an aedile must be consulted; consequently, the emperor always has three or four at hand. Furthermore, one or two will usually be sent to the construction sites of public monuments to ensure efficient spending of government funds.
Another major bureaucrat operating is the Plebeian Tribune, a position with extensive oversight of legislative activity in the Senate and the Palace. The duty of the Tribunus is to safeguard the well-being of the common people, the plebeian order, from the greed and corruption of magistrates, aristocrats, and collegiates. He is the sole magistrate from a non-patrician background and is immune to reproach from any office other than the Censors. The Plebeian Tribune is also the single member of the unusual Ministry of the Tribunate. His power of intercessio (veto) which allows him to veto bills that go against the interests of the lower classes is only superseded by the same power wielded by the Imperator.
The Censorial Assembly (Comitia Censoria) is populated by 18 censores, protectors of the Constitution and monitors of public morality. They are sacrosanct magistrates tasked with safeguarding the principles of the Constitution of Caphiria. Their task is to oversee the executive for constitutional violations, intercede against legislation which violates constitutional law, prosecute magistrates for poor moral and legal conduct, and uphold public morality by example and education.
Another 184,190 magistrates - the praefecti urborum (city prefects) - administer the empire's municipalities or urbes. These may be citizens of any social order who are elected by popular assembly of a city's inhabitants. Their role consists of allocating government expenditure on municipal programs and governing the city under federal laws.
Temporary bureaucrats can be created by appointment to a Decemvirate (ten man commission), a committee formed to deal with a problem that seems insoluble by other political means. As a magistrate, members of the commission receive their own toga praetexta - worn only by magistrates - and lictores, personal bodyguards allocated according to a magistrate's imperium. These are customs pertaining to the whole Caphirian bureaucracy.
There are hundreds of other miscellaneous non-parliamentary magistrates across the Imperium. Some unique to the Office of the Imperium are the numerarius, who keeps records of national finances; the adjutores, assistants to the emperor; and the magister equitum, organizer of the Imperator's transportation, to name a few.
Becoming a magistrate for Caphiria is no small feat. Public education makes it clear that bureaucratic offices confer duties not privileges and this would be what everyone from patrician to plebian grows up hearing. Such a notion is not inaccurate, but it would be unfair to say that there are not perks or private incentives for holding office. For this reason, a great deal of measures go toward ensuring a vigorous process for becoming a magistrate.
First, anyone aspiring to a political office must be heavily educated. Every Caphirian citizen receives an extensive moral education from lower school and many pursue a higher ethical education. Anyone wishing to hold the position of magistrate at any level must be a Doctor (PhD) of moral philosophy. This entails having knowledge of the primary Western texts on ethics and practical lessons on self-evaluating ethical behavior. The general moral character of the average Caphirian notwithstanding, magistrates tend to live impressively ethical lifestyles. A doctorate (Academy degree) is merely the minimum requirement for being a magistrate at any stage of politics. Senators must hold one economic and one moral degree while aspiring Censors will not even be considered for candidacy without three degrees and an outstanding record in government.
Second, candidates for any government post must have a history free of charges of corruption. While scandals are considered acceptable and generally do not happen for magisterial officials, there is no tolerance in government for magistrates who embezzle public funds, abuse power or ignore constitutional law. Such violators of proper conduct will be registered as unfit for government by the Censors until proof of genuine reform is brought forward.
Lastly, the Censorial Assembly goes to great lengths to check the backgrounds of all magistrates, even its own members. Not only is there a great deal of transparency in the investigations done by the Censors, but the public usually has no tolerance for unworthy bureaucrats and will force them out of office for serious transgressions.