Empires arise due to travel and communications difficulties. Nations are voluntary associations of homogenous groups, and empires involuntary associations of nonhomogenous groups. The main driver of imperial expansion is cost-effectiveness, and that is tied to transportation. Even fastest hyperdrives take half a year to cross the galaxy. This in turn makes galactic economy an oxymoron: often it is easier to steal resources than to trade for them. And those with best transportation technology form the empires. Generally, where instant communications are not possible, maximum reach of the empire is 10 to 15 weeks from the centre of power, but decentralization makes it easier. Due to size of the Empire, governance is 59% efficient in single-hierarchy system. And since most empires are inherently based on plunder, they inevitably collapse once plunder dries up. This means that Laigin Empire took pains to avoid becoming an actual, full-blown empire.
Nicomedian / Laigin Empire is defined in two terms: narrow and wide. In narrow sense, Laigin Empire is a "voluntary association of planets and countries based on same biological, historical and cultural heritage". In wider sense, Nicomedian/Laigin Empire is an "association of all planets and other political entities which accept authority of the Nicomedian/Laigin government". Citizenship in the Empire is gained by being born to parents who are citizens (jus sanguinis). For the process to be automatic, both parents have to be citizens.
The Empire is divided into twelve Commands (Praefectura, Thema, Ordú), which are then divided into Sectors (Dioecesis/Pars, Tourma, Limistéar), Subsectors (Principium/Infrapars, Droungos, Fo-Limistéar) and Districts (Regio, Bandon, Ceantar). Each District consists of a number of inhabited planets. The Empire in total has ~12.300 inhabited planets in (T+875) in narrow definition of Imperium.
Empire is based upon the principle of subsidiary: decisions are made at the lowest level possible. This generally means that each level of government makes decisions on matters that are internal to that level of government: a state is completely free to decide its own internal security, or its own political structure, for as long as it fulfills its tax- and security- -related obligations towards the Empire. Accountability is primarily to people, as increasing accountability towards central government would lead to centralization and loss of decisiveness.
Command (Praefectura / Praefectura Praetorio, Thema, Ordu)
Command is the largest territorial unit of the Empire. Each Command is assigned a standing Fleet which relies on the Command in question to provide logistical, recruitment and other support. Commander of the Fleet has the ability to unilaterally declare martial law in response to a crisis, allowing him to direct a maximum of resources to defense, but this applies only to space and orbital assets: he cannot unilaterally requisition any surface assets on the planets. Any requisitions are compensated later through tax returns. Commanding Admiral may also be the head of the civilian government in the Command, in which case he also receives the title of the High Lord (Vir Illustris). More often, High Lord is a separate position; nonetheless, Admiral has supreme authority in Command during the times of crisis (that is, all the time). He has freedom to persecute any campaign as he sees fit, and is accountable only to the Emperor, Parliament and the Admiralty. Duty of the civil administration is primarily to provide support for the military. There are a total of twelve Commands, with average of 4.100 planets each.
Sector (Dioecesis/Turma, Tourma, Limistear)
Sectors or Dioceses are less of distinct administrative regions, and more of conglomerates which coordinate administrative activities at lower levels. They also oversee fiscal and other activities in order to curb corruption and misconduct. Since job of sector government is merely to oversee and coordinate lower levels, staffs are comparatively small in size – tax collection is left to lower levels, and sectors primarily handle information. Instead, Dioceses track tax evasion, fraud, financial reports, remissions, revisions, reassessment, reallocations and auditing. They also review the integrity of military requisition returns. Each sector logistically supports part of the Imperial Navy. Usually, Command is divided into two to four Sectors, with 1.025 planets each.
Subsector (Principium/Drungus, Droungos, Fo-Limiestar)
Subsector is civilian and military administrative region. Each subsector has logistically supports part of the Imperial Navy. Usually, Sector is divided into five Subsectors, with 205 planets each.
District (Regio, Bandon, Ceantar)
District is civilian and military administrative region. Each district has logistically supports part of the Imperial Navy. Ideally, Subsector is divided into five Districts, with 41 planets each.
Planet (Colonia, Apoikia, Coilineacht)
Planetary governments manage non-hyperspace capable military spaceships, local space traffic and orbital assets such as space stations, orbital shipyards, defense satellites etc. As a rule, anything at or below low orbit is managed by the nation-state governments, while anything above it is managed by the planetary government. In war, planetary government manages coordination of nation-state ground forces. It also serves as court in case that states cannot agree upon mutually acceptable solution to some disagreement, but its involvement has to be requested by the parties.
Imperial tax and recruitment demands are issued to planets, based on planetary GDP and populace. Planetary government then allocates these to individual states according to states' GDP and populace, and oversee collection of assets so that more influental states or legal entities do not attempt to escape duties. This and other forms of oversight are carried out by agentes in rebus.
State (Tribus, Archonte, Coiced)
Nation-states are the basis of sovereignity. As such, nation state has sovereignity over any purely internal issues, and shared authority with planetary government over transitional issues. State can be a republic, democracy, autocracy, dictatorship etc. It determines its own political structure, laws, and internal security. Issues such as transit over state territory and migration are likewise decided by the state – it can follow an open-borders policy or be completely isolationist with no possibility for legitimate or legal intervention from the above. State is also responsible for maintenance of ground forces and ground defences, as well as for judical matters and tax collection. Unlike Imperial citizenship, state citizenship in most states is gained automatically on the basis of ethnicity, though differences exist.
Infantry equipment supply and building of ground infrastructure is also handled on state level. In case that one state is unable to meet commitments by itself, several states might enter multilateral compact. These compacts can be entered by states at will, and do not require approval of planetary government, except for compacts that would increase power of state governments at the expense of planetary or Imperial government. A state that wishes to either leave or join the Empire has to have approval of 50%+1 other states on the planet, as well as the approval of 2/3 majority of worlds in the Empire.
Territory (Praesidia, Katepanikon, Mor-tuatha)
Territory has two forms, both of the same legal status. First one, utilized generally in larger states, is a group of provinces.
Second form are areas on a newly-colonized world which is still in the process of colonization. These receive oversight and some assistance from home state, until such a time that local government is formed. Once government is formed, territory is promoted to status of a state.
Province (Provincia, Kephalatikon, Tuatha)
Province is a term for territorial division within a nation-state. It handles some aspects of government, but specifics are dependent on state legislature.
City (Urbs / Civitus, Metropoleis, Cathair)
City is an underground, fortified location capable of surviving sustained orbital bombardment. City is the basis of political organization, and due to its high defensive potential – especially when coupled with armed militia – it forms the basis of political system. With the exception of matters that are under purview of a nation-state (e.g. Taxes, military industry), cities are free to determine their own rules, and enjoy high level of fiscal independence.
Town (Municipium, Polis, Baile)
Town is any surface settlement with complete infrastructure, regardless of the size. Any city or town is liable to have several adjacent villages, where people live off land and go to city or town for specialist services. Therefore, towns, even more than cities, form the basis of the administration. Towns, like cities, are responsible for tax collection from local populace and businesses.
Offices and powers
Offices are not hereditary, and all titles are associated with function.
Emperor (Imperator, Basileus, Ri)
Emperor is the ruler of the Empire as a whole, and as such the most senior magistrate. He is the Commander in Chief of the military, head of the Church, and has the power to call – but not dismiss – assemblies. He also has the unlimited power to investigate any privilege or acquisition, or other financial misconduct or embezzelment. While Parliament creates laws and decides the general policy, specific decisions are made by councils, presided by the Emperor and including important officials as well as experts from various fields, depending on the matter being discussed.
In times of emergency, Emperor has the power to declare laws, but these laws can only remain in power for six months unless ratified by the Parliament. Under emergency, Emperor may be given authority by the Parliament to exercise maius imperium, allowing him to make executive decisions on his own. During Parliamentary sessions, Emperor can speak at any time. He can also convene the Parliament as he sees fit.
Viceroy (Caesar, Kaisar, Tanist)
Viceroy is the Emperor-in-training. He can but does not have to be related to the Emperor. Emperor selects his successor, but prospective candidate has to be confirmed by the Parliament for it to become official. If the Emperor cannot find an appropriate candidate, Parliament might elect one on its own.
Chancellor (Magister Officiorum, Logothethes tou Dromou)
Chancellor supervises the palatine secretariat as well as postal and communications system of the Empire, including a system of hyperspace beacons. His role is primarily that of a watchdog, and direct orders come from the Parliament or the Emperor. For this reason he commands Palace intelligence and security service (agentes in rebus).
Parliament (Concillium, Oireachtas)
Parliament consists of of the Senate (Senatus, Synkletos, Seanad Laigin) and the Assembly (Comitia, Dail Laigin). It votes on laws and controls finances. Members of parliament cannot engage in banking or any form of public contract, or participate in any kind of commerce, and have to have a day job as they are not paid salary. It is generally presided by the Emperor or the Chancellor.
Senate represents particular interests. It consists of representatives of the civilian government, military, and sectors that are currently under military rule. It acts primarily as an advisory body, but it can intervene to solve a deadlock in the Assembly, and largely controls the foreign policy. Senate is the one that proposes declaration of war. While Senate's advice (Senatus Consultum) is usually obeyed, it is invalid if it clashes with currently valid legislation.
Assembly represents planetary and nation-state interests. Each planet has one representative, and planet can give him guidelines through either assembly of heads of nation-states, or popular referendum on state level (one state – one vote). Assembly elects magistrates, proposes or rejects laws, and declares war alongside Senate. Finances are also controlled jointly by the Senate and the Assembly.
Both Senate and Assembly can meet in two types of gatherings: concillium and conventio. Concillium is gathered for the purpose of reaching a decision, whereas conventio gathers for discussion and advisement.
Any representative in either council of Parliament can call for an Empire-wide popular vote. Due to delay in receiving counts, votes on Imperial level are only held for important long-term issues, and Parliament can make a temporary decision (tempus consilium) that remains valid until results of the referendum had been obtained. Referendum results are counted by states, with counting overseen by Imperial agents (defensores civitatum) to prevent irregularities. After counting, each state gives a vote based on the referendum results, and these votes determine planetary votes which then determine overall results. Term of membership in Parliament is legally unlimited, and any member of Assembly can be removed by his home government at any time.
In order to be allowed to join Parliament, individual has to be checked by the High Court as well as by the censor for adherence to moral standards. No prospective or acting MP is allowed to have a criminal record or engage in either illegal or merely unethical behaviour such as theft, prostitution or misleading the public.
Courts handle judicial matters. High Court is presided by Quaestor sacri palatii.
Magistrates are the individuals which do not belong to Parliament. Emperor, Viceroy and Chancellor are magistrates, whereas Consuls and other Members of Parliament are not. They have primarily executive power, legal power is held by the Senate and judicial power by the High Court.
Two Consuls (consul ordinaris) preside the Parliament, one presiding the Senate and another Assembly. They also have the authority to call for the sessions. If a Consul were to get sick, a replacement consul (consul suffectus) can be elected by the Parliament, and serves either until consul ordinaris gets better or dies, upon which a new consul ordinaris is elected. In the absence of Emperor and Viceroy, two Consuls jointly exercise Emperor's powers.
Quaestors (quaestores) investigate finances – flows, embezzelments and so on. After concluding investigations, they bring results to attention of appropriate governing bodies – either national, planetary, sector or Imperial government. Defensores civitatum specifically investigate and counter actors who try and subvert political system by illegal or extralegal means, especially those who try and subvert the basic principles of organization of the Empire. Several are assigned per sector at minimum.
Praetors are judges, praetor peregrinus is in charge of suits involving noncitizens, while praetor urbanus handles cases involving citizens. Each sector has several Imperial praetors at least, and often each planet as well. These are responsible for solving disputes between various planetary governments, while praetors assigned to individual planets have strictly advisory role. Praetor is a term that is also used for judges in individual state court systems, though naturally each state has its own terminology. Praetor praefecturalis is the head of overall administrative system of a Command (Prefecture), serving directly under the High Lord.
Counts or Lords are governors of areas, and are often military officers with civilian authority. Command is ruled by a High Lord (Vir Illustris) who is typically serving Admiral of the Fleet; in such a case, retirement from active command of the Fleet also means retirement from position of a High Lord. Sector is ruled by a Sector Lord (Vir Spectabilis). Subsector is ruled by a Lord (Vir Clarissimus), district by a District Lord (Vicarus) and planet by a Governor (Proconsul). Planetary governor is responsible for maintenance of planetary and system orbital defences, and in case of multiple inhabited planets in a system, governor of the most populous planet has authority over others. In solving disputes between nation-states making up planetary government, Governor is assisted by a Moderator (Corrector Provinciae, Moderator Provinciae).
Aediles are responsible for maintenance of public buildings, and also act as assistants to other magistrates. They also head the public treasury (Aerarium Populi) which also includes preserving digital and parchment (pergameno) copies of laws and edicts of various Imperial offices, as well as Parliamentary decrees, Senatus Consulta in particular.
Tribunes (Tribunis Plebis) are elected from the people by a "straw vote" (Suffragium Paleas or Sortitio - sortition or a random ballot). Their primary function is to ensure that Imperial government does not intrude onto internal rights of nation-states and planetary governments. They also protect the rights of citizens of the Empire who do not have citizenship of any nation-state (ivem). Tribunes also investigate complaints about improper workings of Imperial institutions, but have no authority to investigate state institutions.
Palatine secretariat / Imperial Chancellory
Palatine secretariat or Imperial chancellory is the executive part of the government, alongside the individual magistrates. It handles administration, petitions and correspondence with other governments.
Clerical bureau (scrinium memoriae) serves as Palace archive, and also drafts decrees and appointments for Emperor's approval. Due to its duty of preserving acts and studying history, it also offers advice to the Emperor and Parliament.
Correspondence bureau (scrinium epistularum) handles Emperor's correspondence with foreign dignitaries and Imperial public, as well as acting as a translation office.
Legal bureau (scrinium libellorum) handles legal matters.
Arrangement bureau (scrinium dispositionum) handles general matters of the executive government.
Imperial chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi) manages daily operations of the Imperial Palace and Chancellory.
Finances are handled by the Treasury (Res Summa). Treasury is headed by the Count of the Imperial Treasury (comes res summa), who answers to the Emperor and Parliament both.
Reserve treasury is divided into General Fund (Aerarium Sanctius) and Military Fund (Aerarium Militare). Reserve treasury is maintained by the general Imperial tax, each fund receiving 5% of tax income. Military Fund, also serving as source of pensions for Imperial military veterans, also receives money from the inheritance tax.
Census information is handled by censors. Censors also deal with property disputes, public contract, and management of public lands.
Patriarchate (patriarchalis) is the official title of the Church. Church is headed by the patriarch (patriarchae). While the Emperor is nominal head of the Church, actual authority in religious matters resides with the patriarch, while the Emperor regulates the secular matters such as finances, relationship with the state and others. Believers who are not members of the Church are termed laics (saecularia).
The Empire generally does not concern itself with personal beliefs, as long as they do not offend natural or divine laws, undermine mois maiorum (way of the ancestors), and follow three sacred rules (praecepta sacris). Rules are: 1. worshipping the same God, 2. not worshipping any demons, 3. the Empire and the political entities comprising it are owed allegiance in material matters and God in spiritual matters, each is the highest authority in their own area, and God demands obedience to rightful political government. Magic is banned due to possibility of demonic corruption, as are private cult organisations.
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