Act 3 (Subjects)

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Act 3 (Subjects)
Proposed 20 September 2008
Imperial Consent given on 20 September 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 104 (11th Revision to Existing Laws)

Act 3 (Subjects) of the Parliament of Austenasia was an Act of Parliament passed on 20 September 2008 and repealed on 25 October 2009. The law established two forms of Austenasian citizenship - residents are those who live in the Empire, whereas subjects were those over twelve years old who had lived in Austenasia for over three years.

Act 3 was passed within several hours of Austenasia declaring independence alongside five other Acts - Act 2 (Food and Trade), Act 4 (Taxes), Act 5 (Utilities), Act 6 (Honours) and Act 7 (Emergency Services). These were all given Imperial Consent by Emperor Terry I at the same time, but became law over the period of a few hours due to the then requirement of the Emperor reading out new laws to the assembled population of Wrythe; to prevent the Imperial Family from getting bored, the Acts were not read out uninterruptedly but with breaks between each, and so took several hours for all of them to become law.

The requirement for subjects to have lived in Austenasia for over three years has been interpreted by some as meaning that nobody could have been a subject, as Austenasia was merely a few hours old when Act 3 was passed. However, "Austenasia" was intended not to mean "land under Austenasian sovereignty", but "land now under Austenasian sovereignty" - subjects had to have lived for three years on the land which now comprised the Empire, and not in the Empire itself (the latter of which was, as already mentioned, impossible). As the Imperial Family had moved to the now Imperial Residence in January 2004, this meant that all of them but the then Princess Caroline (who was then only 10 years old and so not old enough) became subjects. This interpretation was confirmed by Article III, Section B of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011.

Interestingly, the wording of the law does not capitalise the word "subject" as is done in some later pieces of legislation (starting in Act 20 (Honorary Subjects), passed the following month, and ending with the enactment of the 2011 Constitution). Furthermore, Act 3 states that a subject could not be "a citizen/subject of any other country" - although this prohibition on dual citizenship was removed by Act 12 (1st Revision to Existing Laws) the following month (which also raised the minimum age of a subject to thirteen years), it could therefore be argued that between the Empire's founding and the implementation of Act 12 (between 20 September and 8 November 2008), all the immediate Imperial Family other than Princess Caroline did not hold the status of British citizens.

Law 9 of Act 104 (11th Revision to Existing Laws) changed the wording of Act 3 so that a resident was one who has their "permanent residence" in Austenasia, and not simply "lives" there. By replacing the only part of the Act still in its original form with an amended version in a later Act, the passing of Act 104 on 25 October 2009 effectively repealed Act 3.