Act 11 (Parliament and Treason)

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Act 11 (Parliament and Treason)
Proposed 8 November 2008
Imperial Consent given on 8 November 2008
Imperial Consent given at Parliament Hall, Wrythe
Imperial Consent given by HRH Emperor Terry I
Amended by  • Act 12 (1st Revision to Existing Laws)
 • Act 29 (Crime and Punishment)
 • Act 35 (States of Emergency)
 • Act 107 (Regents and Counsellors of State)
 • Act 119 (15th Revision to Existing Laws))

Act 11 (Parliament and Treason) of the Parliament of Austenasia was an Act of Parliament passed on 8 November 2008 and repealed on 22 September 2011. This Act structured the institution of Parliament, set up a system for states of emergency and DEFCONs to be announced, and defined several acts as treason.

Act 11 can be divided into three sections: Laws 1-4, 5-7, and 8-10. The first part of the Act sets out laws regarding Parliament. Before the implementation of this Act, the institution formed by the Monarch, Prime Minister and Representatives passing Acts was simply referred to as "Government" - this was when said body was officially named Parliament. Laws 1 and 2 designated the Monarch, Prime Minister and all Representatives to comprise Parliament, with Law 2 specifying that all of them have the right to take part in a meeting. Law 3 set out an agenda on which all Parliament meetings should be based, although use of this had been discontinued within a few weeks of the Act being passed. Law 4 established the rule upheld ever since that the Prime Minister may cast a deciding vote should the Representatives cast a tied vote on a matter.

Laws 5, 6 and 7 dealt with states of emergency for Austenasia. A DEFCON system was set up for the Empire, with the Monarch having the power to declare the condition of the Empire's defence readiness, the Prime Minister having the power to declare a state of emergency should Austenasia be at DEFCON 2 or 1, and either having the power to call an emergency meeting of Parliament if the Empire were in a state of emergency.

In Act 7 (Emergency Services), it had been established that British police would be permitted to prosecute any individual whom the Emperor considered to have committed a crime (British jurisdiction over law enforcement was rescinded in December 2008). Laws 8 and 9 gave Parliament the power to try crimes not prosecuted by the United Kingdom, and to impose punishments such as fines and periods of exile. Law 10 defined five different forms of treason (High Treason, Treason to the Heir, Treason to Austenasia, Royal Treason, and Rebellion) against the Austenasian state, the first time that actions not illegal in the United Kingdom were explicitly declared to be crimes in Austenasia.

Act 11 was amended several times:

  • Law 3 of Act 12 (1st Revision to Existing Laws) added theft of property owned by the Monarch or their relatives to the definition of Royal Treason - Act 12 was passed mere minutes after Act 11, clearly indicating that the idea to expand said definition had been had very soon after the Act was passed.
  • Act 29 (Crime and Punishment) repealed Laws 8, 9 and 10 of Act 11 to reject British jurisdiction over law enforcement in Austenasia and make a rudimentary Austenasian criminal code (in which the different types of treason were reduced to just two, "Treason" and "High Treason", with regicide and rebellion being made separate offences).
  • Law 2 of Act 35 (States of Emergency) repealed Laws 5 and 6 of Act 11, but did not change much of their content other than allow states of emergency to be declared in cases of natural disaster.
  • Law 2 of Act 107 (Regents and Counsellors of State) amended Paragraph G of Law 3 of Act 11 so that the Prime Minister set the DEFCON level instead of the Monarch. Interestingly, it did not repeal or amend the rest of Law 3, which set out a structure for agendas of Parliament meetings which had not been used for roughly a year and remained in place (and ignored) until the entire Act was repealed in September 2011.
  • Law 3 of Act 119 (15th Revision to Existing Laws) repealed Law 1 of Act 11, removing an obsolete requirement for meetings of Parliament to be held on a Saturday and confirming as valid and legitimate all Acts of Parliament which had not been passed on a Saturday. This law also repealed a near-identical statute found in Act 9 (Members of Cabinet), although the meeting was not named Parliament in that Act.

As with all Acts of Parliament passed before the implementation of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011, Act 11 was repealed on 22 September 2011. However, some elements introduced by Act 11 have survived to the present day. The power of the Prime Minister to cast a deciding vote in the case of a tie amongst the Representatives is entrenched in the 2011 Constitution, and a slightly more developed version of the DEFCON and states of emergency system is set out in the States of Emergency Act 2011.