Table of Contents
WE, THE FOUNDERS of Oceania, do not believe in the initiation of force or fraud by the government or others. Like the peaceful dolphin, we believe such actions should only be used in defense. We disagree with governments that imitate the shark, using force and fraud to extract wealth and labor from their citizens.
Oceania is founded on the principle that the only true and proper function of government is to protect its citizens from force and fraud. This government is to be strictly limited to providing that protection.
This constitution is the result of the collaboration of many who have seen the deterioration or destruction of societies based on other constitutions. The U.S. constitution in particular, while an inspired document, has shown itself to be vague enough to allow its government to pass laws clearly at odds with the spirit of liberty in which that once-free nation was founded. It is for this reason that the document here is painfully specific about exactly what powers belong to whom. All of the powers listed here are usurped by present governments somewhere on Earth.
Even at this level of detail, it is impossible for any document to fully account for all conditions that may arise in future. The natural progress of all governments is to gain more power as time progresses. It Must be made clear that under no circumstance is the government created under this constitution ever to assume any power or authority not explicitly granted here. We hope that whenever crises arrive in the future, the people of Oceania will have as much imagination in finding peaceful solutions as historical governments have had in finding despotic ones.
There has been considerable debate over all issues here, in particular the perceived need for a tax-funded defense force. We believe that we have found solutions to these issues consistent with the spirit of freedom. Oceania will set an example we hope the rest of the world will follow.
Words capitalized throughout this constitution are to be interpreted exactly as defined here. The remaining text of this document should be interpreted strictly and exactly as written in common English language usage at the time of its adoption. Conflicts may be resolved by Webster's Third International Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language.
To make it clear that we include all persons who love liberty, regardless of sex, race, or beliefs, the pronouns in this document are gender-neutral ones formed by removing the initial th from the plural pronouns. That is, ey means he/she, eir means his/her, em means him/her, and similarly for eirs and emself. It is recommended that ey be pronounced to rhyme with he/she.
Shall, Must and Will indicate legal compulsion. Should indicates suggestion. May indicates permission. Including always means "including but not necessarily limited to". Recommendations do not have the force of law.
Oceania is the name of our peaceful country.
A Person is any born human being of either sex, and of any race, origin, or beliefs who is currently on territory in Oceania or was on such territory until abducted in violation of Oceanian law. Other beings may be granted the status of Person by law as necessary. The point of birth is defined as that point at which the organism becomes detached from its mother's biological systems and can function independently of that system.
An Entity is any corporation, club, foundation, charity, or other type of organization, formed for any purpose, that is operating in Oceania. Business is a synonym for Entity.
An Oceanian is a Person or Entity other than the Government.
A Right is a freedom guaranteed to every Oceanian. These include Life, Liberty, Property, and Privacy. Rights extend not only to Persons, but also to Entities. All rights of Entities are derived from personal rights, therefore Entities can have no rights that Persons do not also have.
An Entitlement is a positive obligation on one Oceanian to provide something for another, or a Right that interferes with someone else's Rights.
A Privilege is an action that can only be done with a License from the Government.
A License is the granting of a Privilege by the Government to an Oceanian. Oceanians do NOT need Licenses for anything that is a Right. A Permit is a synonym for this word.
Life is the biological state of animation. Persons who are unconscious, in cryonic suspension, or otherwise supported by technology are still considered alive and have all the Rights of conscious Persons.
Liberty is a condition that exists when Persons have control over their individual lives and Property and where all Rights are protected. Liberty also applies to Entities.
Property is the material and intellectual belongings of an Oceanian. Material belongings include Land, Contracts, and personal effects. Intellectual belongings include patents and copyrights.
Privacy is the expectation of a Person not to be subject to public scrutiny of eir personal affairs.
Weapons are technological devices used for defense. These include, but are not limited to, firearms, artillery, booby traps, mines, mace, tear gas, and any such devices that may be invented in the future.
A Child is a born human of age less than sixteen years old. Children are a special case in many laws that otherwise apply to all Persons. This age was chosen by studying the traditions of ancient cultures.
A Teen is a human at least sixteen years of age, and younger than eighteen.
An Adult is a human eighteen years of age or older. A Person may be declared a Child, Teen, or Adult by a Court.
A Parent is a Teen or Adult who has assumed responsibility for the care of a Child. This may or may not be the Child's biological Parents. A Child does not have the Right to be classified as a Parent.
A Spouse is one of two or more Oceanians who have signed a Marriage Contract with each other.
The Nearest Relative of an Oceanian may be defined by law.
A Contract is a binding agreement to which there is evidence of between two or more Oceanians, written or oral.
An Implied Contract is a Contract inferred by a Person's words or actions. For example, claims in advertisements and labeling are considered an Implied Contract between the seller and the customer.
Force is a physical act by one or more Oceanians that is destructive to the Rights of others. The threat to execute such an act also constitutes Force.
Fraud is the intentional deceit of another Oceanian to induce em to part with Property or to surrender a Right. This includes the willful use of another's name or trademark to do business.
The Free Market is a voluntary exchange between two or more parties of goods and services.
A Voter is a Person allowed to vote in Oceania.
A Permanent Oceanian is a Person who has lived a total of twelve months in Oceania, or an Oceanian under the age of twelve months.
The Government (under this Constitution) is a restricted Entity that protects Oceanians against external and internal Force and Fraud. Unlike other Entities, the Government has had most of its Rights restricted by laws and regulations.
Treason is defined as the act of an Oceanian waging war upon the territory and people of Oceania or giving military aid to its declared enemies. Giving food, medical care, or other humanitarian aid to anyone cannot be Treason (but could be physically hazardous during warfare). Election Fraud and defrauding of the people by Government agencies are also defined as Treason. Violating any of the restrictions of Article Four, National Security, is also declared to be Treason.
The Constitution is this document. It enumerates the Government's powers, and places limits upon those powers. It defines the structure of the Government, and defines the Rights of people it serves.
Land is an area composed of dirt, concrete, steel, or other substances that people are able to live on for extended periods of time.
Land Owner is a Person who owns at least one square meter of land.
A Housing Development is a voluntary private association of Land Owners and residents formed for the purpose of maintaining the infrastructure of a parcel of Land. A Housing Development may not contain more than 5,000 Persons, and can contain as few as one.
A Locality is a Government level that does not encompass more than 100 square kilometers.
A County is a Government level that does not encompass more than 10,000 square kilometers.
A City is a grouping of population with a geographical border. A City MAY NOT possess a Governmental structure. It may have one mayor to act as its ambassador for ceremonial purposes.
A Court is a forum in which Oceanians resolve conflicts, establish liability for wrongdoing, and assign penalties for such liability.
ARTICLE ONE A Partial Listing of Rights
This article requires a 95% vote to remove a Right or add an Entitlement, and a 66% vote to add a Right or remove an Entitlement.
Powers not specifically delegated to the Government are reserved to Oceanians. The enumeration of certain Rights in this Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by Oceanians. No other power is granted to the Government, and no powers unspecified, either herein, or later amended, are considered de facto powers of the Government. This article shall be binding on all subordinate organized Government agencies within territories in Oceania.
No Entitlements not listed here are implicitly granted to the people. In particular, no persons (except Children) have an entitlement to receive food, housing, health care, education, or clothing.
A. The Right to Life: A Person has the Right not to be killed or harmed by others. While a Person is in a coma or is otherwise unconscious, all of eir money will be used to keep em alive unless ey has signed explicit instructions to the contrary. When the money runs out, the hospital in charge of the patient has the Right to turn off the life support. The patient's family or any other Person or Entity may provide additional money for life support.
The Court of Oceania may not repress this Right except to stop someone from escaping arrest.
B. The Right to Self-Defense: An Oceanian may injure or kill in defense of emself or eir Property. This includes the Right to defend other Persons or their Property. This includes the Right to defend yourself against the Government if it becomes corrupt and stops honoring this Constitutition.
An Oceanian (except a Child) has the Right to keep and bear Weaponry, concealed and non-concealed. This Right extends to all Weaponry with the exception of Weapons of mass destruction as detailed in Article Four, National Security. Supplies for Weaponry, such as bullets, are included in this Right. Of course, minor weapons such as shiriken, water pistols (realistic and not), knives (long and short), brass knuckles, swords, and nunchaku are included in this right. A society that has banned such minor weapons is a society very close to banning all means of defense from innocent people living within it.
C. The Right to Self-Sovereignty: A Person has the Right to determine what ey wishes to put into eir body or wear on eir body; how to use, decorate or modify eir body; and when ey will die. This includes the Right to control the medical care ey receives. The Government may not under any circumstances require a Person to modify eir body by sterilization, tattooing, piercing, or any other method. The Government may not require a Person to take drugs against eir will or wear uniforms or other clothing.
This Right continues after death. A Person has the Right to specify in eir will what can and cannot be done with eir body. The Government may not perform autopsies without the prior consent of the deceased, even for criminal investigations. In the absence of an explicit will, no family or other Entity can grant such permission.
D. The Right to Free Speech: An Oceanian has the Right to speak or publish without interference from the Government. This Right is granted to all media including television, radio, cable, paper and electronic media and is extended to all advertisements and entertainment as well as editorial speech. There are no exceptions for obscenity, sedition, or other controversial speech. A speaker who directly incites illegal activity or causes damage to Property or persons may be held responsible as an accessory to such activity.
This Right does not allow a broadcaster to broadcast a signal that interferes with an Oceanian who owns a frequency band. Frequency bands are considered Property. Such bands are given away in a lottery at the time Oceania is formed according to Oceania law. All Land Owners will be able to participate in this lottery.
E. The Right to Work: A Person and a Business have the Right to agree to a Contract of employment. A Business may not be Forced to agree to a union Contract, unless stipulated by former Contract. A Person may not be Forced to join a union, unless that Person has a prior Contract voluntarily waiving this Right.
F. The Right to Religion: An Oceanian has the Right to practice or not practice any religion that ey chooses.
A. The Right to Liberty: An Oceanian has the Right to determine for emself how and where ey will live, work, and play. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, not even as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in Oceania or in any territory subject to its jurisdiction.
B. The Right to Travel: An Oceanian may travel from point A to point B provided the traveler has the property owner's permission to enter eir property.
In addition to this Right, Land in Oceania Must contain eight-meter wide and eight meter high easements in a grid format of squares with eight kilometer sides on which there is an Entitlement to travel. This Entitlement means that no permission is needed from anyone to use the easement for traveling. The grid is determined by the initial owners of Land incorporated into Oceania. Land Owners bordering easements may pay for or authorize maintenance of easements.
No charge may be made for traveling in these easements. Since no profit can be made from the easements, it is expected that they will not be used as main roads. Instead they will be used to help people who have been denied access to private roads. Easements are not required on islands less than eight kilometers across. These easements are not for camping, sleeping, or loitering - only for traveling.
On floating structures, it will be the duty of neighboring Land Owners to make sure that these easements are not allowed to fall into such disrepair that the floating structure is endangered in any way. The Land Owners will be responsible according to the percentage of the easement touching their Land, i.e., total cost of maintenance will be divided according to the percentage of the easement touching the Land in question.
The Right to Life overrules the Right to Travel. Therefore Persons with highly infectious diseases may not Travel. For a disease to be considered highly infectious takes an 80% vote in a referendum. It takes a majority vote to remove a disease from the infectious list. Quarantines may be placed on people who have highly infectious diseases. Oceanians under quarantine do have the Right to travel to countries who will accept them. To be quarantined requires that a jury declare a Person infected and order them to be quarantined.
C. The Right to Assemble: Oceanians have the Right to freely assemble together either physically on Land or by means of a communication medium. Note that the Government is not allowed to own Land or control media.
D. The Right to Associate and Discriminate: An Oceanian has the Right to choose with whom ey will associate or do Business, and whom ey will not.
The Government does not have this Right. The Government may not ask Persons about their race, creed, gender, sexual preference, handicap, age, or anything else not related to job qualifications. Of course, this also prevents the Government from practicing reverse discrimination.
E. The Right to Knowledge: An Oceanian has the Right to make use of whatever knowledge ey has.
The one exception to the Right to Knowledge is the Entitlement to Intellectual Property. Because this is a powerful Entitlement, many restrictions are placed on it as detailed in Section Three of this article.
F. The Right to Listen: An Oceanian has the Right to listen, view, or otherwise receive broadcasts from television, radio, and the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum, including cellular phone conversations, police and military radio traffic, and any other signal broadcast through eir body or Property.
This does not include the power to violate another's Right to Property by spying on em with bugging devices, such as shining a laser on a window and listening to conversations by decoding the modulated reflected beam. Such spying may be prosecuted as a trespass, because it involves physically entering the other person's Property or putting something on eir Property.
A. The Right to Property: An Oceanian has the Right to own Property and to not have eir Property taken from em by Force or Fraud.
A Person's body and the fruits of eir labor are eir Property. No one may claim another's work as eir own by taxation, civil forfeiture, eminent domain, or other forms of theft. An Oceanian may sell or rent parts of eir body. This includes becoming a surrogate mother, prostitute, or subject of medical experiments.
In the absence of an explicit will, it will be assumed that the deceased does not wish to sell or give away eir body parts.
B.The Right to Own and Operate a Business: An Oceanian has the Right to run a Business, for profit or not for profit, and for any purpose.
A Business may not be Forced by the Government to offer a minimum wage, family leave benefits, medical insurance, disability benefits, unemployment insurance, or workers' compensation, or any other benefit that robs the employer of eir Right to control eir own Property. Mandatory disability benefits for transvestites, pedophiles, pyromaniacs, kleptomaniacs, drug addicts, and compulsive gamblers are obviously forbidden.
C. The Right to Negotiate Contracts: Two or more Oceanians may negotiate a Contract for goods or services without Government interference. Government agencies do not have this right and may only negotiate contracts that do not violate restrictions given to them by the laws of Oceania.
Marriage is a private Contract between consenting Persons, and as such, the Government may take no part in it other than enforcing the terms agreed upon by the participants. All Contracts for sexual behavior, cohabitation, reproduction, survivorship benefits, or other aspects of marriage, for money or otherwise, are legal and enforceable.
D. The Right to Free Enterprise: An Oceanian has the Right to buy and sell anything without Government interference. The only exceptions to this Right are listed in Article Two (restricted private Entities for patents, etc.) and Article Four (Weapons, drugs, etc.).
E. The Right to Free Trade: An Oceanian has the Right to import and export without Government interference. This means that it is illegal for the Government to put tariffs, quotas, or taxes on imported goods. If another country puts such tariffs, quotas, taxes, or other restrictions on Oceania's exports, the Government of Oceania may not retaliate in any way.
F.The Entitlement to Intellectual Property: An Oceanian is Entitled to receive patents and copyrights on eir creative works. If two or more Oceanians make the same discovery independently, both shall be granted patents even when the discoveries are not made simultaneously. Burden of proof of independence of development shall rest upon the party making the later application.
Intellectual Property is an Entitlement because it interferes with the Right to Knowledge. Because of this, many restrictions are placed on this Entitlement, and it is expected that juries will favor the Right to Knowledge in close decisions.
No patent or copyright may last for more than ten years from the date of first application. In the case of simultaneous patents or copyrights, all expire when the earliest one does. Foreign patents and copyrights will be recognized for ten years from the date they were first introduced into Oceania. After that date, such patents and copyrights may not be ignored when products based on them are exported out of Oceania. Trademarks are recognized as long as they are being actively used. A creation that is shown to have existed before the date of invention claimed in the first application is in the public domain, and may not be patented or copyrighted. Any work explicitly placed in the public domain may not subsequently be patented or copyrighted by others.
Reverse Engineering is making a copy of something by looking at what it does, not at its blueprints. Reverse engineering is legal in Oceania. In particular, computer chips and software may be reverse engineered. "Look and feel" of computer programs cannot be copyrighted. Computer code, algorithms, processes, and other intangible creations cannot be patented. Created animals can be patented with the exception of Persons.
"Fair use" of copyrighted works for the sake of education, comment, criticism, parody, comparison, etc., is allowed.
The copyrights on this Constitution and Laws will automatically expire on the day the first person moves to Oceania.
G. The Right to Set Contract Length: There will be no laws against setting Contracts in perpetuity. The Government of Oceania does not have this Right. The Government of Oceania may not participate in a Contract lasting longer than ten years.
H. The Entitlement to Bankruptcy: The people may provide by law the protection of Bankruptcy upon those who cannot meet their debts. Whatever bankruptcy laws exist at the time a debt is incurred remain in effect for that debt until it is paid, regardless of future laws to the contrary.
A. The Right to Privacy: An Oceanian has the Right to be secure in eir person, house, papers, and effects, against all search and seizure, without a warrant issued by a grand jury of the Court of Oceania.
Like the Right to Liberty, this Right is also subordinate to a crime victim's Entitlement to Justice, and similar protections are granted to the accused.
Warrants shall be issued upon probable cause, supported by open affirmation, describing in detail the place to be searched and the Persons or things to be seized. Probable cause in the absence of a warrant is insufficient for a search. Anonymous tips are insufficient for a search. Warrants are required to intercept private communications that are not transmitted by air, such as wiretaps or even recording address information from written or electronic mail, or telephone numbers.
A Person who is caught in the act of committing a crime may be detained if the detaining officer identifies emself, and takes immediate steps to obtain an arrest warrant.
B. The Right to Self-Identity: An Oceanian may identify emself by any name ey wishes, so long as ey is not doing so to defraud. The Government may not issue numbers or any other form of "official" identification to Oceanians, nor may it require anyone to carry or present identification at any time. An Oceanian's use of different names or refusal to give eir name cannot be used as probable cause for a search or seizure (though it may, of course, be used as evidence if the Person does appear in Court).
C. The Right to Financial Privacy: An Oceanian has the Right to expect all Business transactions to be completely private when there is a Contractual agreement to that effect. An Oceanian may not be required by the Government to reveal eir income or any other financial information ey wishes to keep private.
D. The Right to Encryption: An Oceanian has the Right to encrypt eir conversations and data. Such encryption cannot be used as evidence that the Oceanian is doing something wrong or illegal. This Right extends to all forms of information an Oceanian deems should be secure regardless of format, whether paper, electronic, holographic or other, and regardless of content.
E. The Right to Secure Conversations: Oceanians have the Right to not have their conversations tapped, recorded, or be otherwise compromised, by persons not party to the conversation, unless permission has been granted by at least one person who is party to the conversation. One party to a conversation or eir agent may record a conversation without the permission of the other party, as this is an exercise of eir Right to Knowledge.
F. The Right to Privacy on Government Leased Property: An Oceanian does not lose eir Privacy Rights by entering Government leased Property, including customs checkpoints, assuming that the Government of Oceania ever has such checkpoints. The practice of inflicting strip searches and body cavity searches on law abiding Oceanians without a warrant is particularly abhorred.
G. The Right to Privacy in the Workplace: Oceanians have the Right to Privacy in the workplace with the exception of anything in their work Contract that specifies otherwise.
Unlike Adults, Children have many Entitlements. Every Child Must have at least one Adult Parent to provide these Entitlements. Initial Parental responsibility falls upon the biological Parents jointly as an implied Contract, unless an explicit Contract exists assigning it elsewhere. This responsibility will restart if an offspring is declared to be a Child by a court. All marriage Contracts, sperm donor agreements, and other Contracts assigning Parental responsibility are valid and enforceable as long as no Child is deprived of Parental care thereby. Parental responsibility assigned by Contract (as in adoptions) may not be arbitrarily dissolved by a Court or other Entity. The Courts will not recognize biological Parenthood as having any legal priority over Contractual Parenthood.
Children's Entitlements are based upon the assumption that a Child is incapable of sustaining eir own Life without them. Any Child who feels ey is capable of bearing full responsibility for eir own Life has the Right to petition a Court to declare em a Teen or Adult.
Children do not have any Entitlements not listed here, or have any other restrictions of eir Rights not listed here. In particular, Parents do not own their Children's Property and are not responsible for their debts, nor are Children exempt from criminal prosecution.
The people may, by referendum, remove or confer other Rights and Entitlements upon Children. Unless otherwise noted in this Constitution, a referendum takes a two thirds vote to pass.
A. Additional Entitlements: A Child is entitled to food, housing, clothing, basic health care, and basic education. A Parent may provide any of these directly, or hire others to provide them. The precise manner in which they are provided is up to the discretion of the Parent. In particular, the Government may not impose standards for education, and juries are not required to judge the quality of education given a Child. Of course, providing food or other things that actually injure a Child may result in liability.
B. Restricted Rights. Children have most of the Rights of Adults, including not being subject to warrant-less searches. The following Rights of Adults are not granted to Children:
C. Jury Review: A Child has the Right to sue eir Parent for failure to provide these entitlements or for other injuries. If a Child is incapable or unwilling to bring such a suit, any Oceanian may sue on eir behalf. Under no circumstances shall a Child be removed from eir Parent until that Parent is convicted in Court and ordered to relinquish custody by a jury.
Teens have all the Rights of Adults plus the Right to Terminate Contracts. A Teen may bring a Contract to a jury, and if the jury votes unanimously that the Contract is unreasonable, the Contract may be broken. When the Contract is broken, no fines or penalties may be inflicted on the other party who signed the Contract as long as no fraud or misrepresentation was used by that party. A Teen may not terminate eir implied Contractual responsibility for the care of eir Children.
A Teen who has sexual intercourse with a Child may be held responsible for damages as if ey was an Adult, or may be acquitted at the jury's discretion. Teens do not have the Entitlements of Children.
Any Teen who feels ey is capable of bearing full responsibility for eir own Life has the Right to petition a Court to declare em an Adult.
7. Animals and Other Beings
Animals may not be given cruel and unusual mistreatment. If it is suspected that an animal has been mistreated by a Person, then any Oceanian may bring suit on the animal's behalf and a jury may decide the issue. A unanimous decision is required to convict the Person.
Any being whose species or type (for example, cybernetic beings) is not recognized as a Person may individually petition a jury for individual recognition as a Person. The jury Must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the being is not a Person to refuse recognition. Upon recognition of a member of a new class of Person, a referendum will be held to refuse recognition of the being's class as a class of Persons; the referendum requires a 80% majority to refuse recognition. In the event of a referendum's class refusal, individual members of the class may still apply for individual recognition.
The ages for Child, Teen, and Adult would vary for different species as determined by law.
ARTICLE TWO: Government Agencies and Power Structure
This article requires a 95% vote to add an agency or office and a 66% vote to remove an agency or office.
Under no circumstances may a Person hold a particular office for more than four years consecutively. Any Adult not currently in jail may run for any office. No Government official will have to make any religious oath. The only oath ey will have to make is to uphold the Constitution of the peaceful country of Oceania.
1.The Judicial Branch
The Justice system exists to resolve conflicts among Oceanians, both Persons and Entities. Justice is accomplished by one Oceanian, called the Plaintiff, filing suit against another, called the Defendant, in a Court. The Court Must decide if either party has been wronged and to what degree. The Court may then impose penalties upon the losing party, including the costs of the trial. Because there can be no "victimless crimes", there is no distinction between criminal and civil law.
When both parties to a suit agree, any Entity in Oceania may serve as a Court to resolve their conflict, and all judgments and findings by that Court, including jail sentences, will be legal and enforceable. It is recommended that all Contracts specify a private Court in which to resolve disputes. Appeal is allowed from private Court only if the Court Contract allows it. Where the Defendant does not agree to appear in a Court acceptable to the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff may bring suit in the Court of Oceania, which has the power to seize the Defendant, if the Plaintiff is a Member of the Court of Oceania.
A 95% vote of Oceanians within a respective jurisdiction is necessary to grant subpoena power of Defendant to another Court. A 75% vote is sufficient to remove this power.
The Court of Oceania consists of the Supreme Court, one or more County Courts, and one or more Local Courts. Every case brought before the Court of Oceania Must be tried first in a Local Court. It may then be appealed to a County Court, and finally may be appealed to the Supreme Court. All Judges of these Courts are elected with Supreme Court and County Court Judges serving four years and Local Court Judges serving two years. Judges are not required to have lawyer Licenses.
Because the Court of Oceania is a department of the Government, the people may, by referendum, regulate how it is operated. Initially, the Voters will elect a Chief Director of the Court of Oceania with the responsibility to administrate the Supreme Court and lower Courts, including appointing judges and setting procedures for the courts consistent with Oceanian law.
The Judicial Branch also includes Local Grand Juries who are elected every year.
Military Courts are private Courts to which military personnel have voluntarily granted power by Contract. The Department of War may not interfere with, control, or fund these Courts in any way. It is strongly recommended that these Courts allow appeal to the Court of Oceania, as military Courts have a history of overzealous prosecution.
In this article, the following terms have the specific meanings below:
The Plaintiff is the Oceanian who initiates a Court suit. Ey is also what other legal systems calls a "prosecutor", in that ey controls the prosecution of the case at all times.
The Defendant is the party accused of a criminal act or liability.
Court Costs are costs incurred by the Court administering a suit, e.g., the room rental, fees of the judge and jurors, etc.
Legal Costs are costs incurred by the litigants on their own behalf, e.g., lawyer's fees, witness fees, police fees for subpoenaing witnesses, investigation fees, etc.
The Entitlement to Justice
Justice in the Court of Oceania is an Entitlement to the Plaintiff because the Defendant may be physically seized and brought to trial, in conflict with eir Right to Liberty. Because this is such a dangerous power, many restrictions are placed on the Court's power. Also, the Entitlement to bring suit in the Court of Oceania is granted only to those who have obtained a Court Membership. An Oceanian who acquires a Court Membership may not bring suit for any acts committed before ey attained Membership.
If an Oceanian has been harmed by a diplomat or other foreign national, Government official, or Government agency, ey has the same Entitlement to Justice as if the Defendant were an ordinary Oceanian. There will be no "sovereign immunity" or "diplomatic immunity" in Oceania. In the interest of better international relations, any diplomat may accept exile for one century instead of a prison sentence. However, violation of this exile could result in a prison sentence. Fines not paid by the diplomat are the responsibility of the diplomat's Government.
The Government of Oceania may not grant immunity from prosecution to any Oceanian or other Person. A Defendant may sign a Contract with a Plaintiff stipulating that the Plaintiff declines to prosecute for a particular offense, but that power rests solely with the Plaintiff. Such Contracts are valid and enforceable.
Children, the mentally ill or retarded, and others with "diminished capacity" are granted no special exemption from responsibility for their actions although they should not be placed in prisons with Adults. Placing a Child in a detention center does not end eir Parent's responsibility to provide food, health care, and other Entitlements granted to Children. Charities would be responsible for those that are unable to provide for themselves.
A. Definition and properties of Court Membership. Members of the Court of Oceania Must consent to allow themselves to be subpoenaed as witnesses and compelled to testify. The Court of Oceania SHALL NOT require Members to surrender any Rights other than the Right to Liberty for the purpose of subpoenaing witnesses and the Right of Free Speech for compelling their testimony. In particular, the Court may not require its Members to surrender their Right to Property by charging a fee or tax for Membership in the Court, though it may charge for an actual printed evidence of such Membership in the form of a card or certificate. Those who chose not to buy the card or certificate have the same Entitlements as those who do. A Child is assumed to be a Member if eir primary guardian is. An Entity is assumed to be a Member if the majority of the Persons controlling it are.
B.Selection of Juries. Juries will be selected at random from a pool of peers so designated by the Defendant as outlined by the laws of Oceania. Jurors may be volunteers or may ask for pay but may not be forced into duty.
The Rights and Entitlements of the Accused in the Court of Oceania
A. The Right to Fair Prosecution: When the injured party is available and capable of bringing suit or of appointing an agent on eir behalf, or has previously appointed an agent by power of attorney or will, only ey or eir agent has standing to sue. If the injured party is a Child, the Child's Parent has standing, except when a conflict of interest exists with the Defendant (as in a Parental abuse case). When the injured party is unavailable (for example, due to murder), or incapable of naming an agent, the injured party's Nearest Relative Must bring suit. In a Parental abuse case, any Oceanian may sue on behalf of the injured Child. Any Oceanian may bring suit on behalf of non-Persons such as animals or other things. At all times during the trial, the Plaintiff has complete control of the prosecution of the case. A jury may determine if there are conflicts of interest among the Plaintiff, judge, or Defendant.
To avoid conflicts of interest, it is recommended that officials and employees of the Court of Oceania use private Courts to settle their disputes. They are still Entitled to use the Court of Oceania if they Must, in which case they Must bring suit in a Court other than the one that actually employs them. Of course, employees of the Supreme Court have no option but to use it. The Government of Oceania may bring suit only in the case of Treason.
B. The Right to a Jury: In all cases, the Right to trial by jury shall be preserved. Final judgment in all suits is entirely within the power of the jury. Judges preside the Court and may instruct the jury, but have no power to render or set aside jury judgments, to decide sentences, or cite participants for contempt. All these functions belong to the jury. This statement applies to the Supreme Court as well as the other court levels.
C. The Right to a Level Playing Field: In all suits, each side will declare the maximum amount of Legal Costs ey will spend in the case. We will define the party declaring the larger amount Rich and the other party Poor. The maximum amount of recoverable Legal Costs spent by each side is the lesser of these amounts. If the Rich party wishes, ey may subsidize the Poor party. If such subsidy is offered as part of the recoverable Legal Costs, the Poor party may refuse the subsidy. If the subsidy is offered out-of-pocket, the Poor party Must accept it, or at least allow the Rich party to spend that amount as if the Poor party had accepted the subsidy. In this latter case, the Poor party has no obligation to spend the out-of-pocket subsidy on Legal Costs, but may spend it as ey pleases. Private Entities may also provide money for Poor parties to pursue cases.
The costs of the Court itself are determined by the Court and are always part of the judgment against the loser, even if ey chose to spend no money in the case. Spending money under-the-table on legal costs without claiming them is prosecutable as contempt of Court.
D. The Right to Fair Bail and Fines: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Bail and fines may not be imposed without informing the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation. A bail hearing can be requested with one hour notice. Bails and all other requests for money by the Government will be accepted in all convertible currencies. Any monies that a Person has on em when ey is arrested may be used for bail including any electronic forms of money such as credit cards and credit lines. Likewise, anyone who wishes to bail out someone need not appear at the Court in person, instead they may use any electronic forms of money such as credit cards and credit lines.
An Oceanian is Entitled to immediately ask for a standing grand jury to decide whether this or any other Right in this article has been violated. Ey Must be put in front of this grand jury within two hours of eir request. This will prevent Oceanians from being held in jail cells for days or weeks without cause. As usual, they will have to pay for the cost of the jury if their complaint is deemed invalid by the jury.
An Oceanian will receive all of eir bail money back in exactly the same form in which it was posted when ey appears at eir Court date as promised. If the Person who posted bail for an Oceanian fails to pick up eir bail money after the accused has attended eir Court date, then bail money Must be mailed to the Person who posted bail within 24 hours.
E. The Right to Presumption of Innocence: Until an Oceanian is convicted of a crime, ey cannot be jailed or denied any other basic Rights of innocent Oceanians. Bail holding facilities Must be very comfortable, including full communication services, televisions, good food service, private showers, well mannered hosts, etc. In addition, any Person who voluntarily walks into a Court Must be told if there are any warrants for eir arrest and be allowed to pay bail instead of being put in a holding facility. If ey does not have bail money on em, ey will still not be arrested until ey has walked off the Court's Property. There Must be communication facilities on the Court's Property so ey can call someone to provide bail.
Taking or denying use or control of any Property of an Oceanian not specifically convicted and fined is a violation of this Right. Preventing the accused from using eir money to hire attorneys is a violation of this Right.
F. The Right to a Speedy Trial: The time between accusation and trial may not be more than 30 days unless both the Plaintiff and Defendant agree otherwise. The same applies to time between appeals. There may not be more than one hour between the time of appearance set by the Court and the time that the trial or hearing begins. This is not an Entitlement, because it is a limitation on the Plaintiff's Entitlement to Justice.
G. The Right to a Public Trial: All trials Must be open to the public unless both the Plaintiff and Defendant agree otherwise. To prevent the creation of star chambers, the document whereby the Plaintiff and Defendant agree to a closed trial Must itself be made public. Trial proceedings Must be recorded.
Television cameras and other mass media may be allowed in Court if the Plaintiff and Defendant agree. The media are allowed to pay the litigants for this privilege. If the Plaintiff is the Government, then the Government is declared by this Constitution to agree to television cameras and other mass media in the Court.
The order of cases to be tried on a particular day Must be random, or assigned by a published procedure and not at the discretion of the Court. This is to prevent a Court from trying controversial cases last or at odd hours of the day to avoid public scrutiny.
H. The Right to Trial in Oceania: If a Person is accused of crimes that occurred outside Oceania, ey will not be extradited to the country accusing em of the crimes. Instead, the Person will be tried in Oceania under the laws of Oceania. The foreign prosecution, public or private, will pay for the costs of prosecuting the accused individual if it is the loser in such case. Failure for the foreign prosecution to pay will result in it be banned from being a prosecutor in further trials.
This Right exists in place of "political asylum". The accused individual will be placed in a prison in Oceania if ey is convicted of the crime and subsequently sentenced to serve time in prison. The country that was the plaintiff will pay for this imprisonment. No treaty may ever override this right.
I. The Right to Protection from Double Jeopardy: If a Person is found innocent of a crime, ey may not be tried again for the same crime. The penalty for violating this Right is the same penalty as for false arrest.
J. The Right to Judicial Review: All three levels of Courts, the Supreme Court, the County Courts, and the Local Courts, have the responsibility to decide if a law is constitutional. Also, precedents from earlier trials may be presented to a jury, but the jury is free to decide each case on its own merit.
All proceedings in Court are to be recorded, even in trials closed to the public. If the Defendant or Plaintiff believes that either side is not following the Constitution in the proceedings, ey may stop the proceedings and ask for a local grand jury to decide if the Constitution may have been violated. A tape of the proceedings would be provided to the grand jury. If the grand jury determines that the Constitution may have been violated, a new trial shall be held in a different Court at the same level to determine if the Constitution was violated. If there are no other Courts at the same level, then the grand jury will try the case. Once this trial is over, the original case may be resumed.
The maximum time between request for a grand jury and being seated in front of one is two hours. This applies to all requests for a grand jury that this Constitution or the laws of Oceania allow.
K. The Right to Fair Jurisdiction: If both Plaintiff and Defendant agree, they may select a private Court. The Plaintiff, Defendant, and private Court Must agree to a Court Contract; the Government will recognize all terms in the Court Contract, including prison sentencing, but under no circumstances will the Government pay for any actions resulting from the private Court Contract.
For suits brought in the Court of Oceania, the Defendant has the Right to be tried in the Court most local to where ey resides. If Plaintiff and Defendant agree, the case may be moved to any other Court.
L. The Right to Attorney-Client Relationship: An Oceanian has the Right to have private conversations with eir attorney. Therefore wiretaps to interfere with this relationship Must never be granted. An Attorney may not be jailed for refusing to testify to the content of private conversations with a client. Of course, Privacy Must be explicitly made part of the Attorney-Client Contract so it does not violate the Attorney's Right to Knowledge.
M. The Right to Protection from Self-Incrimination: An Oceanian cannot be Forced to testify against emself. For example, ey can not be forced to produce business records, desk calendars, or private diaries. Ey may be forced to produce fingerprints or other identifying information from eir body for identification purposes only. For example, a hair sample could be forced for identification use but not for testing for drugs. This Right DOES include Entities. This Right should not be construed to apply to friends, relatives, or other associates of the accused.
N. The Right to a Fully Informed Jury: Before a trial begins, the judge Must notify the jury of its common law Right and duty to decide if a law is fair and just as it applies to the specific case they are judging. The jury Must also be informed that laws in violation of the Constitution are invalid.
The jury may not at any time be removed from the courtroom during a trial to prevent them from hearing evidence. A trial may not be declared a mistrial because of "prejudicial" evidence. The judge has no power to strike any testimony from the record, and no power to suppress any evidence presented during the trial. It is expected that juries are reasoning Adults who are as competent as the judge to decide who is lying and who is not.
Evidence uncovered by an illegal search WILL be allowed in Court. Unlike corrupt countries that allow both the criminal and the arresting officer to go free when an illegal search is made, Oceanians will be allowed to prosecute both.
The use of expert witnesses is allowed, but the jury Must be informed that no witness is completely unbiased.
O. The Right to Forgiveness: The statute of limitations on prosecuting a crime may not exceed ten years. This Right is given to foreign corporations and foreign Persons as well as to all Oceanians. Anyone who has not been tried for a crime until ten years after its commission will be forgiven, unless ey has spent that time in cryonic suspension or otherwise unconscious.
P. The Right to Witness Decision: Ex parte decisions, made when either the Defendant or Plaintiff are not in Court, are illegal. The Defendant or Plaintiff may wave this right by giving others power of attorney to represent them.
Q. The Right to Unbiased Judges and Juries: Judges and Juries may be paid on an hourly basis only. No bonuses may be given for convictions or acquittals. Conviction of a Judge or Juror on charges of such bribery is grounds for appeal to all Persons convicted by that Judge or Juror.
The only questions the Court may ask of the jurors before the trial are "Is there any reason in this case that you cannot give a fair and unbiased judgment?" and "Are you capable of understanding the evidence?". If, during a trial, a juror decides that ey is biased or not capable of understanding the evidence, ey may excuse emself without consequence. It is expected that juries will be seated with extra jurors for such contingencies.
R. The Entitlement to Subpoena: The Defendant shall be Entitled to subpoena witnesses who are Members of the Court of Oceania and physical evidence owned by Members on eir behalf. In the same manner, the Plaintiff shall be Entitled to subpoena witnesses and physical evidence on behalf of the prosecution. Persons subpoenaed may sue for false arrest if the jury finds the subpoena frivolous.
Subpoenaed witnesses who refuse to testify may be jailed for up to one year, time to be set by jury. No further compulsions may be used, and no more than one detention may be levied upon a witness for the duration of a trial, even if the witness is called to testify more than once for different reasons.
The Right to Attorney-Client Relationship overrides the Entitlement to Subpoena. An attorney may not be jailed for refusing to break the confidence of eir client. A journalist may not be jailed for refusing to identify eir source.
S. The Right to Writ of Habeas Corpus: An Oceanian may demand to be brought in front of a Court within two hours of eir imprisonment and told why ey has been imprisoned.
T. The Right to Immediate Countersuit: A Defendant acquitted of a crime may immediately countersue the Plaintiff for false arrest and have eir case tried in the same Court by the same jury. A Defendant either acquitted or convicted may immediately countersue for the use of unnecessary Force in eir arrest. Witnesses subpoenaed to testify in the case may sue for false arrest at this time as well.
If a jury finds a suit to be frivolous and unjustified, it may return a harassment judgment against the Plaintiff.
The judge and the Court itself are also subject to immediate countersuit to be heard by the same jury and different judge if either litigant wishes to sue for bias or illegal procedure. Only the litigants have this standing to sue, but others in the courtroom, including public audience members, may serve as witnesses. Jurors who fail in their responsibilities may be sued in a different Court.
U. The Right to Quick Service: If a Court of Oceania or other Government office keeps an Oceanian waiting an unreasonable amount of time, especially when arrested, that office may be sued for false arrest.
V. The Right to Reach Counsel: Any Person placed in a bail holding facility Must be allowed to reach counsel for eir defense, with the communication charges added to the eventual Court Costs. The Right to Quick Service applies here as well.
This Right includes the obligation of the arrestor to initially act as counsel for the person under arrest by repeating a list of Rights that includes the Right not to speak until ey has consulted with eir counsel.
W. The Right to Investigation: If an Oceanian finds evidence that a Government official is committing Fraud, ey has the Right to bring this to a grand jury which may then order further investigation or bring charges against the Government.
X. The Entitlement to Know the Law: Copies of all laws Must be available at all Courts of Oceania. It is legal to have the copies available only in an electronic format that can be processed by personal computers. The one exception to this is that the laws must be made available in a human readable format to persons in bail holding facilities. It is also recommended that important Court decisions be made available as well, even though Court precedents do not bear the full Force of law.
It is illegal to change laws retroactively. The Government of Oceania may not prosecute someone for an action that was not a crime when ey did the action. But the reverse, changing a law to retroactively allow an action, may be allowed. If the punishment for a crime is increased by a new law, the increased punishment does not apply to past crimes. If the punishment for a crime is decreased by a new law, this change does apply to past crimes.
Y. The Right to Humane Treatment: Prisoners may not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. A prisoner may request a grand jury hearing to decide if ey is being treated inhumanely. Of course, if ey loses, ey will have to pay the cost of the hearing.
Z. The Right to Not Be Punished for Others' Actions. An Oceanian will not be held responsible for the crimes of others, unless ey incited another to commit the crime.
The Rights of Prisoners
Prisoners are able to obtain food, shelter, basic health care, and clothing by working for such within the prison they are in. In addition, charities and other interested parties may provide such services to them as well. Prisoners have the Right to speak with an attorney as do other detainees. Prisoners retain their Right to Self-Sovereignty and may not be sterilized or tattooed. Prisoners retain their Right to Property that was not seized as part of their judgment, and may not be forced to labor for another. Prisoners may be allowed to work in exchange for reduction in their sentences.
2. The Executive Branch
A Major Law is a law that affects every Oceanian and therefore Must be decided by referendum.
A Minor Law is a law that only affects specific Entities in Oceania and therefore may be decided by a two thirds vote of a jury according to section three, The Legislative Branch. A Minor Law becomes a Major Law if a petition with the signatures of 1% of the Voters is presented to the Government.
A. The Executive Branch includes a President and a Vice President whose sole duty is to replace the President if ey is killed or incapacitated. They are elected every four years on the tenth of June. The President has the powers to:
In all three cases, if a grand jury determines that there is a conflict of interest then the next Person in the chain of succession will have the obligation to take the President's duties for that particular case.
In all cases where the President signs Contracts or enacts legislation, ey Must go before a grand jury selected at random and get the consent of two-thirds of them for such actions. The President may bring many different Contracts and legislation in front of the jury at the same time if the Contracts and legislation are simple matters. All major Contracts and legislation Must be brought in front of the people in the form of referendums, which require a two-thirds vote to pass. Of course, an unconstitutional referendum or grand jury vote is not valid and should be ignored. No Government Contract may extend for more than ten years.
To ensure that all major Contracts and legislation are brought in front of the people, there is a 60 day waiting period after all minor Contracts and legislation are approved. During this waiting period, an Oceanian may gather the signatures of 1% of the Voters to call for a referendum on whether these measures should be approved. Not until this waiting period is over are the minor Contracts or legislation considered approved.
The President does not have the power to sign treaties until they have been adopted by a 75% Oceanian vote. Of course, Oceanians are forbidden to vote for an unconstitutional treaty. The President does not have the power to declare a national emergency giving em special powers.
If the President and Vice President are killed or incapacitated, the chain of succession is Commander in Chief, Air and Space Force Commander, Army Commander, Navy Commander, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, then the remaining members of the Supreme Court selected at random. The President appoints replacements to any elected vacancies if the Person is incapacitated by death, injury, illness, resignation, insanity, or imprisonment. If a Person has vacated eir office for more than 30 consecutive days, ey is considered to have resigned.
The process for impeachment of the President or another elected official is to convict them of a crime that sentences them to prison. Once they have been sentenced to prison, they may not hold that elected title for the remainder of their term.
B. The Department of War consists of a Commander in Chief, Air and Space Force Commander, Army Commander, and Navy Commander. These four positions are elected every four years, each position being elected on a different year. Initially, the Commander in Chief will only serve one year, the Air and Space Force Commander two years and the Army Commander three years. The Air and Space Force Commander is in charge of all appointed positions in the Air and Space Force, and likewise for the Army and Navy Commanders. These Commanders control the respective budgets of their departments, and have discretion to spend these budgets. Of course, the public has final control in that it elects the Commanders and directly chooses to fund or not fund their budgets.
The three agencies of Air and Space Force, Army, and Navy will Contract with private militias, using no fewer than three different militias per agency for active duty status. Militias who are not chosen for active duty status may be selected for national reserve status where they will normally only be asked to practice less than one month per year. Militias not selected for national reserve status may be selected for mothballed status where they will normally never be asked to practice. Militias may only receive access to Weapons of mass destruction via Privilege Licenses provided by the Department of War.
Active militias will be on 24-hour call but they may engage in other activities while they are not engaged in military activities.
C. The Anti-Law Department repeals laws by referendum for major laws, by jury trial for minor laws. This branch can request referendums and jury trials. Oceanians may make requests to this department or call for referendums by petitions signed by 1% or more of the Voters.
The Chief Director of the Anti-Law Department is elected by the people and is responsible for running the department and its budget as ey chooses, consistent with Oceanian law.
3. The Legislative Branch
All legislation in Oceania is passed directly by the people. This Constitution does not allow an elected representative body.
No law may violate the Rights of Oceanians. Unconstitutional laws may not be enforced. The people may pass laws in the following areas:
It is expected, and sincerely hoped, that the typical Oceanian may live eir entire life peacefully without ever encountering a law, using the Courts to resolve conflicts and control crime, and the War Department to provide defense. Whenever a need or a problem arises, it is hoped that Oceanians will not ask "What law can we pass?" but "What Business can we create?"
The actual method of voting is up to the private Entities hired to administer voting, but the method Must allow Voters to vote in secret, that is, without the possibility of anyone else influencing or discovering how a particular Voter decides. No votes may be made by absentee ballot, because they cannot guarantee secrecy. Votes may be done electronically or by any other methods that referendums have not banned with the exception of absentee ballots. Voters who will not be in Oceania during election day may vote in person during the 30 days before election day.
As mentioned earlier, election Fraud is prosecutable as Treason against Oceania. This includes voting more than once, voting on behalf of another Person, denying ballot access to legitimate candidates or referendums, bribing or intimidating Voters, accepting ballots not delivered in person, misrepresenting the content of a ballot, and breach of specific written promises made by candidates to Voters.
Political candidates do not surrender their Right to Free Speech or Privacy. It is illegal to require limits on campaign spending or to require candidates to reveal their sources of funding. The Government and Entities administering elections do not have this Right. It is forbidden for them to print materials that tell citizens which way they should vote in an election.
Elected officials do not surrender their Right to Free Speech. No restrictions may be made on their making speeches or writing articles, including restrictions on the amount of money they may make from such speeches or articles.
Oceanians do not give up their sovereignty as individuals by voting for any Person. Oceanians have a direct Government and do not need anyone to represent them in vital issues.
A. Passing Major Laws: Major laws Must be passed by referendum, as described below.
B. Passing Minor Laws: The President of Oceania may bring minor laws and Contracts to a grand jury and pass them with two-thirds consent. A waiting period of 60 days Must then elapse before the law becomes valid. If, in that 60-day period, a petition with the signatures of 1% of the Voters is presented to the President, the law becomes a major one and Must be brought before the people as a referendum.
C. Repealing Major Laws: Laws passed by referendum may be repealed by referendum. The Anti-Law Department may request that the repeal of a law be placed on a referendum.
D. Repealing Minor Laws: Laws that were instated by a jury vote may be removed by a jury vote at the request of the President or the Anti-Law Department. They may also be repealed in the same way that major laws are.
E. Conflicting Laws should both be repealed by grand jury vote.
F. The Right to Vote: All Adults and Teens in Oceania not currently in jail are Voters, and may vote in elections. Children, including older Oceanians who have been declared Children by a Court, may not vote. A Person under the age of sixteen who has been declared a Teen or Adult by a Court may vote. The Right of Adults and Teens to vote shall not be denied or abridged because of race, creed, sex, sexual preference, handicap, or any reason other than being in jail for a crime. The reason for this restriction is that grand juries and other officers of the Court are elected, and could be too influenced by organized crime if prisoners could vote.
G. Referendums: For a referendum to gain ballot access, a petition containing signatures of 1% of the Voters in the jurisdiction affected by the referendum Must be presented to the election administrators. The President of Oceania and the Anti-Law Department may also put referendums on the ballot. A referendum may not be denied ballot access because it has been found to be unconstitutional. Constitutionality may only be decided after the referendum passes. Voters may vote either "yes" or "no" to a referendum. If 66% of those voting on the referendum vote "yes", the referendum passes and becomes law (assuming it is constitutional), unless a different percentage is specified in this Constitution. The vote for a referendum Must be held no later than 60 days after it gains ballot access.
A referendum may be held to recall a public office holder, or to eliminate the office entirely.
H. Elective Offices: Any Adult or Teen not currently in jail may run for any elective office. At the discretion of the Entity administering elections, candidates may be required to present a petition with the signatures of 100 Voters eligible to vote for that office before that candidate is granted ballot access. This should only be done to prevent ballots from containing hundreds of names of frivolous candidates. It is normally recommended that all candidates desiring access be granted it. No fee may be levied for access to a ballot.
For each elective office, the ballot will list all candidates running, as well as "None of the Above" and "Remove This Office". Each Voter will indicate on eir ballot which, if any, of the candidates listed ey approves of for each office. The Voter may approve of none, one, or any number of candidates for an office. The candidate receiving the greatest number of approvals will be given the office. If "None of the Above" receives the greatest number of approvals, then the office will remain vacant and unfunded for its normal term. If "Remove This Office" wins, the elective office itself will be retired. Of course, no candidate may run under the names "None of the Above" or "Remove This Office".
No Oceanian may hold an office for more than four years in a row. Once these four years are up, ey may not run for that office again until four more years have passed.
I. Political Parties: Oceanians have the Right to form political parties. Political parties cannot be given any Rights or Privileges not given to individuals running for elective office. A petition for candidacy may be written to indicate that in the event of the death or incapacity of the named candidate, the ballot access granted to that candidate may be given to another Person designated by the party. Of course, one Person may form a political party and have the same Right.
The purpose of a political party is to give the Voters some idea of what philosophies and opinions are shared by members of a party, to aid them in their decision. Political parties have the Right to run any candidate they choose, and to refuse to run anyone they choose. Under no circumstances should political parties be used as a means to deny ballot access to those who want it, or to grant special Privileges to members of major parties that are denied to minor parties.
J. Election Results: There will be no central Government agency collecting or reporting vote results. Election administrators will report directly to the press or other Entities with whom they have contracted to do so. Candidates for office Must discover for themselves who has won the office they seek, and in case of disputes, Must resolve their conflict in Court. Election administrators and their information may be subpoenaed for such cases.
4. The Power Structure of Oceania
Many of the traditional powers of the Government have been taken away from it. To make it clear that we are not omitting powers because we haven't thought of them, we will list here where the powers traditionally assumed by the Government have gone. The Government may not create new agencies or assume any new powers not explicitly granted herein.
A. The following powers are given to Restricted Businesses. All such Businesses Must release copies of relevant records at cost, but may otherwise operate as they choose, including setting their own hours of Business_even election Entities. Any Oceanian may create such an Entity. These Entities may involve themselves in more than one such Business.
B. The following powers are given to Unrestricted Businesses. In other words, the Government is prohibited from partaking in these activities other than enforcing Contracts created in the Free Market.
Employers may freely negotiate the following with their employees, customers, or insurers.
C. The following powers are given to Housing Developments. Of course, individuals may also hire these services on the Free Market if their Housing Development does not provide them or if they are not members of one.
D. The following powers are given to The People, to control by referendum:
E. The following powers are reserved for Each Individual Oceanian:
Article One, A Partial Listing of Rights, details the Rights of each Oceanian. We list here specific powers often usurped by Governments:
F. The following powers are denied to the Government and given to No One:
It is hoped that non-Oceanian readers of this Constitution will realize what a long list of powers that they have entrusted to their Government. They should remember that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
ARTICLE THREE: Powers Specifically Forbidden to the Government
If a power is forbidden this means that not only is it illegal for the Government to tax to fund this power, it is also illegal for the Government to accept voluntary contributions to fund this power. A 95% vote is necessary to remove an item from this list. A 66% vote is sufficient to add an item.
Many of these restrictions are mentioned elsewhere in this Constitution. They are repeated here for clarity and emphasis, because Governments traditionally usurp these powers.
A. Taxation: It is forbidden for the Government to tax. User fees may be required by the Justice System from losers in Court cases. No other user fees may be required by the Government. The use of revenue stamps, sales taxes, use taxes, excise taxes, inheritance taxes, vehicle and vehicle rental taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, income taxes, tariffs, License fees, "sin" taxes, Property taxes, room taxes including comp room taxes, taxes on illegal substances, self-employment taxes, unemployment taxes, service taxes, taxes on health benefits, duties, energy taxes, "gas- guzzler" taxes, Business or corporate taxes, food taxes, withholding taxes, value added taxes, social security taxes, school taxes, airport taxes, luxury taxes, capital gains taxes, inventory taxes, view taxes, windfall profits taxes, unitary taxes, hospital taxes, wealth taxes, departure taxes, capitations, franchise fees, going out of business fees, public air space taxes, training taxes, interest taxes, birth taxes, poll taxes, barge taxes, gas taxes, or registration fees by the Government is forbidden, as well as any mandatory collection under any other name.
To reduce the restrictions on the power of taxation in any way requires a dissolution of the Government along with a change of the country's name. This dissolution and renaming requires a 95% referendum vote.
B. Business: It is illegal for the Government to own, operate, subsidize, donate money to, insure, or loan money to Businesses. This includes the practice of a Government breaking a "monopoly" by launching a competing Business.
C. Embassies: It is forbidden for the Government to run embassies or appoint ambassadors.
It is not desired for the Government to get involved in foreign entanglements nor for the Government to try to enforce its laws in countries besides Oceania.
D. Property: It is forbidden for the Government to own real Property, i.e., Land and buildings. Government leases of real Property may not exceed ten years. Also, the Government may also not buy or lease any vehicles. Government employees Must finance their own transportation. Government employees Must finance their own housing.
E. Streets: It is forbidden for the Government to own streets or waterways.
F. Banking: It is forbidden for the Government to mint money or issue stamps. It is forbidden for the Government to borrow money, even in times of war. It may not assume the debts of any County, Locality, City, or other corporation whatever. The Government may not lend money.
G. Schools: It is forbidden for the Government to run, fund, subsidize, or regulate schools or universities.
It is also forbidden to create any laws standardizing education or defining what is or isn't an educational program. No laws may be created stating the amount of time a student Must spend in any educational program.
H. Welfare and Humanitarian Activities: It is forbidden for the Government to have welfare programs including Social Security programs or any redistribution or transfer schemes, or to give charity of any kind. It is forbidden for the Government to give aid to other countries or to help Oceanians or others after disasters. Likewise, it is forbidden for the Government to run, fund, or subsidize hospitals or any other health related programs. This includes institutions for the benefit of the insane, blind, and deaf and dumb, and such other benevolent institutions as the public may ask for. This includes helping Persons who, by reason of age and infirmity, or misfortunes, may have claim upon the sympathy and aid of society.
The one exception to this is that the Court of Oceania may hire private mental hospitals for holding people who have been convicted of a crime but are obviously insane and need more help than a jail can provide them.
Finally, it is forbidden for the Government to receive aid from other countries.
I. Scientific Research: It is forbidden for the Government to run, fund, or subsidize scientific research. This includes funding military research.
J. Police: It is forbidden for the Government to fund or subsidize police with the exception of those servicing Government facilities.
K. Fire Protection: It is forbidden for the Government to fund or subsidize fire departments with the exception of those servicing Government facilities.
L. Garbage Disposal: It is forbidden for the Government to fund or subsidize garbage disposal Entities with the exception of those servicing Government facilities.
M. Public Transportation: It is forbidden for the Government to fund or subsidize public transportation.
N. Emigration and Immigration: It is forbidden for the Government to refuse entry into the country based on someone's place of birth or to otherwise discriminate against Oceanians based on where they were born. Also, people who wish to emigrate from Oceania will not be fined or penalized in any way when they leave the country.
O. Insurance: It is forbidden for the Government to insure industries. Examples would be insuring banks, pension funds, health of Oceanians, and loans between individuals.
P. Eminent Domain: It is forbidden for the Government to give itself eminent domain.
Q. Emergency Powers: The Right to a Writ of Habeas Corpus cannot be suspended under any circumstances. The Government cannot pass a bill of attainder, ex post facto law, pre facto law (law declaring all future actions of a Person or Entity to be legal) or law impairing the obligation of Contracts.
R. Religion: It is forbidden for the Government to establish a national religion or support any religion in any way or to deny the Right to worship freely.
S. Records: It is forbidden for the Government to hold records on when someone was born, or when ey died. This will be a job for the private sector. Considering the importance of these records, it is suggested that an individual store eir records with more than one private Entity. It is illegal for the Government to conduct a census that asks anything besides number of beings existing in a location, and it may not compel even that information.
T. Art: It is forbidden for the Government to fund or subsidize art.
U. Prisons: Prisons are part of the Court system and are paid for and controlled as are other Court Costs. The Court of Oceania may collect voluntary donations and user fees as specified in Article Two for their maintenance. It is strictly forbidden for any other agency of government to create, run, or fund prisons, or to imprison or detain Oceanians. All Prisons are private in Oceania and Courts Must have regular bidding contests for the prison space they wish to use.
V. Multinational Organizations: The Government is forbidden to enter treaties placing it under organizations which conflict with any of the terms of this Constitution or Oceania's laws. Any treaty placing Oceania within any multinational organization will become null and void upon any action or agreement of said organization violating any terms of Oceania's Constitution or laws.
See Article Four, National Security, for one exception to this restriction.
W. Kidnapping: The Government is forbidden to kidnap Persons in other countries not on its declared enemies list.
X. Rationing: The Government is prohibited from taking control of items away from Oceanians and then rationing the use of such items. Having agencies such as water police is particularly abhorred.
ARTICLE FOUR: National Security
This article requires an 80% vote to reduce restrictions and an 80% vote to add restrictions. Once Oceania has been in existence for 20 years or has reached a population of 500,000 voters this article will require only a 66% vote to reduce restrictions.
A. A Declaration of War may be effected in one of three ways:
In situation one, any of the four executives named may initiate defensive attacks until there is time for the vote. In situations two and three, the people who collect the signatures necessary for the referendum or the President emself, if ey initiates the referendum, can demand the referendum be held within seven days of this request. If it is possible to hold the referendum even sooner, this Constitution allows it to be held at an even earlier time.
B. Multinational Organizations: Oceania may, by a vote of its people, become a member of the United Nations no matter what policies the United Nations engages in. A voluntary fund may be created to pay for membership fees of the United Nations. This will enable Oceania to gain recognition as a country and therefore reduce the chance of invasion by opposing forces. Of course, Oceania may not engage in actions as a member that violate this Constitution.
The following restrictions on Rights have been made in the interest of National Security:
C. The Right to Self-Defense is restricted by not allowing Oceanians to own, produce, import, or export Weapons of mass destruction. At the time of the adoption of this Constitution, this includes nuclear Weapons, large-scale chemical Weapons, and biological Weapons. It is felt that since such Weapons could be used to destroy the entire country with just one application, they are too dangerous to the Rights of other Property owners in Oceania. All other Weapons that are available at this time are not considered Weapons of mass destruction, including personal chemical Weapons such as mace and tear gas.
D. The Right to Free Trade is restricted by not allowing Oceanians to import or export mind-altering drugs to or from nations where they are illegal. Importing is restricted because it can be difficult to determine if a ship is importing or exporting a product. A Privilege License would be allowed to import a mind-altering drug that is currently not being grown or otherwise produced in Oceania. This License would be granted by the Commander in chief of Oceania.
Of course, this does not apply to vitamins, medicinal drugs, or other healthful substances. Marijuana would be considered a mind altering drug.
E. The Right to Free Trade is further restricted by not allowing Oceanians to export Weapons to nations or Entities that are on Oceania's forbidden list.
F. The Right to Travel into the country may be restricted during time of war. Travel through easements may also be restricted during time of war. The Right to leave Oceania may never be violated.
G. The Right to Own and Operate a Business is restricted for owners of airplane or ship registering companies whose clients fly the flag of Oceania. Such companies may be prosecuted by the Government for fraudulent actions because by flying the flag of Oceania they can be considered to represent the Government of Oceania. Of course, an airplane or ship registering company which does not authorize its clients to fly the flag of Oceania may not be prosecuted in such manner. And, finally, an airplane or ship that flies the flag of Oceania without authorization by a ship registering company can be prosecuted in like manner.
The same restrictions apply to passport providers since their passports will be considered to represent the country of Oceania.
ARTICLE FIVE: Abortion
This Constitution recognizes that abortion is a conflict of Rights between the mother and potential Child. It hereby declares that all abortions during the first three months of pregnancy are unrestricted. Even a pregnant Child may ask for an immediate abortion with no restrictions.
After three months, the Government may place restrictions on abortion with the exception of endangerment of the mother's Life. These restrictions may only be enacted through referendum.
In the case of frozen eggs, sperm, embryos, and fetuses, the frozen beings have the same Rights as if they were not frozen, i.e., they may not be destroyed if their unfrozen counterpart may not be destroyed. If funding for these items ceases, then either private parties may continue funding or these tissues may be destroyed. Public notice about the termination of funding Must be made two weeks in advance of the funding cutoff.
A doctor who knowingly performs an illegal abortion will get one quarter the penalty that the mother gets because ey will be an accomplice to the crime. Therefore if the mother was sentenced to one year in jail and fined 100 grams of gold, the doctor would be sentenced to three months and fined 25 grams of gold. None of this would be deducted from the mother's punishment.
ARTICLE SIX: Government Budgets
To encourage donations, all agencies will publish a list of all donors and the amount of their donations at least once a year. Of course, donors may request that the amount of the donations and/or their names be kept confidential. Agencies may also issue receipts that can be displayed by the donor.
The following budgets will exist and Oceanians may pick the specific ones that they would like to fund. Transferring money among these budgets except as specified below is a fraud against the people, i.e., Treason.
The following budgets should be mainly funded by user fees paid for by the losers in Court decisions:
All these agencies may create subsidiary budgets for specific projects. Any money left in the budget of a canceled project Must be refunded. Leftover anonymous donations may be kept by the agency creating the defunct project.
ARTICLE SEVEN: Housing Developments
Throughout history, Governments have imposed harmful monopolies on their citizens by deciding which "natural" monopoly will be used by the residents of a particular community. This article is meant to end the Government's ability to do this.
A Housing Development is the most powerful government-like structure in Oceania although it is not part of the Government of Oceania. Decisions made by the Housing Development can be by any method decided by the original founders of the Housing Development, i.e., the people who originally owned the land.
It is recommended that Land developers create a Housing Development, with its rules enforced by deed restrictions, private covenants with neighbors, or other private means, to manage the infrastructure of an area. Housing Developments may enact zoning laws, building codes, clothing standards, and other regulations. It may charge fees for police, fire, election, sanitation, and other services. It may provide infrastructure such as water (including treatment and fluoridation), drainage, sewers, gas lines, communications, power, television, graffiti control, animal control, disaster insurance, roads, and railroad lines. It may provide community facilities such as swimming pools, golf courses, hockey rinks, gymnasiums, baseball fields, football fields, and basketball courts.
Any services not provided by the Housing Development nor prohibited by it will be the responsibility of any individuals who want the service.
Residents moving into Land that is part of a Housing Development, and Land buyers buying pieces of such Land, Must be shown the deed restrictions and regulations of the Housing Development before they make their buying decision. Failure of the seller to disclose such regulations is Fraud.
While all of the above is a matter of Contract and mutual consent, the reason that a Housing Development is considered part of the Government is that Children born into the Housing Development are subject to its regulations without their consent. When such Children become Adults, they are still subject to the regulations of their Housing Development (but are, of course, free to move).
If a Housing Development grows beyond 5,000 Persons, it Must be divided into smaller ones within one year. We are concerned that a Person in a larger Housing Development would have too little influence on eir Government. Nothing prevents two or more Housing Developments from sharing their laws, their resources, and otherwise behaving as one. The restriction simply ensures that it would not take so many Persons to secede from such an arrangement that it would be a virtual impossibility. It is also strongly recommended that Contracts for the services above not last for more than ten years so that the residents will have more control over their infrastructure.
In a situation that effects more than one Housing Development, such as moving the created land that more than one Housing Development is on, all the Housing Developments must agree with the decision or no action may be taken. There is no eminent domain in Oceania.
ARTICLE EIGHT: Secession, Addition, Reorganization
A County or local Government may secede from Oceania upon a 75% or greater vote in favor of secession.
Secession means either breaking away from a County Government, or a local Government, or the national Government, or any combination of these three levels of Government. Parts of Oceania that secede from the national Government would have to physically break away from Oceania and move outside of its twelve mile territorial limit. The secessionists would have to pay for the cost of doing this.
A majority vote would be needed to add Land to Oceania. This is the necessary vote percentage needed by both the population joining Oceania and by a general vote conducted in Oceania. Creating Land within the twelve- mile territorial limit given by current international law does not require a vote.
A County or local Government may be reorganized into two or more territories upon a 75% or greater vote. If more than one County or local Government is involved in the reorganization because the new territory would span the borders of more than one County or local area, then a vote would have to be taken in all the relevant counties and/or local areas. Each County and/or local area would need a 75% or greater vote.
ARTICLE NINE: Ratification and Amendment
This Constitution may only be ratified by unanimous consent of the original Land Owners of Oceania.
It may be changed by a 80% vote of all Voters except where otherwise noted in the Constitution.
Such amendments shall be added to the end of the Constitution although footnotes may be added to printed copies of the Constitution for easier reference of these amendments.
ARTICLE TEN Suggestions
The following suggestions have no Force of law:
A. Adding Land to Oceania: It is suggested that when Land is added to Oceania, a 10% donation of its appraised value be made to the Department of War. This will help the Government defend that Land.
B. Drug Testing: It is suggested that instead of testing someone for drugs, a Person should be tested via a physical or mental task to see if ey is capable of performing eir job.
C. Endangered Species: The best way to protect endangered species is to have private groups buy the Land where the endangered species live.
D. Animal Plaintiff: Since the state is unable to be the Plaintiff except in cases of Treason, it is suggested that animal Right's groups be the Plaintiffs in animal Rights' cases.
E. Armed Forces: It is suggested that the armed forces challenge each other in games of skill. There should be armed forces football teams, boxing teams, and chess teams. They should be given a chance to prove themselves on areas besides the battlefield and to become financially self-sufficient.
F. Fire and Police Departments: It is suggested that fire and police departments be combined to save money and personnel.
G. National Language: It is suggested that all Government documents be in one language and that this language be English. This will reduce the cost of running the Government. Private groups could, of course, reproduce Government documents in other languages as the market demands.