Allanean legal system
As is widely known, the Confederate States of Allanea is libertarian as a government system can be before descending into total anarchy – in fact, the UN ranks it as such gameplay-wise. This is an attempt to explain to anybody planning roleplaying with or in that nation how the legal system and law enforcement system works.
First, it is necessary to understand that the Allanean government is a Confederal system – which was devised based on a particular very narrow interpretation of the American constitution. Therefore, the Confederate government is very, very small – and enforces precious few laws. Its authority is limited to the pursuit of those accused of illegal immigration into the Confederate States, violations of civil rights, and forgery of Confederate government securities (bills of credit, loan papers, bonds, and so forth), as well as illegal possession of weapons of mass destruction. Piracy on the high seas and international terrorism are also dealt with by the Confederate law enforcement authorities.
Confederate law enforcement
For the enforcement of those varying laws, there exist in Allanea a number of Confederate LE agencies. Of these, the biggest and most prominent is the CBI, the Confederate Bureau of Investigation. Its role is to investigate crimes committed against Confederate law, with the exception of civil rights cases. Most agents of the CBI do not wear any form of uniform or identifying badges, with the exception of hostage rescue or special tactics teams, which wear uniforms as tactically preferable. The agents of the CBI are bound by law to carry all their weapons in a concealed fashion. Several Allanean states prohibit central government employees from carrying arms on their territory, except when off-duty, or carrying out a judge’s warrant.
Interestingly, the CBI also enforces the Heynison Narcotics and Food Safety Act 2067, Allanea’s only Confederate law impacting the production of drugs or food. It binds any producer of consumables to mark the products he sells with their exact contents, in a clear and legible fashion. Which means, sure you can sell cyanide in Allanea. Just don’t label it as ‘opium’. Violation of the law carries a hefty fine and a prison sentence, and if a person is injured or harmed in any way due to the fraud, the guilty party will also be charged with assault or homicide, as needed.
An important part of the responsibilities of the CBI is dealing illegal immigration. Since no quotas exist on immigration into the Confederate States, and since all an immigrant need do, generally, is to pass a (rather complex) psychological test and (not too thorough) background check, most Allaneans believe that anybody immigrating illegally must be up to no good. De-facto, up to 85% of all applicants for Allanean citizenship fail the test.
Because of that, illegal immigration is a constant problem – dealt with harshly. The CBI deals with investigating smuggler networks and suspect ‘kangaroos’ (professional smugglers of immigrants), while coordinating its effort with the Border Patrol and Customs as it relates to catching actual smugglers and smugglees. What’s more, state law enforcement assists the central government whenever possible on this. And if that weren’t enough, under Allanean law, trying to cross the border illegally is a felony offense – thus enabling citizen’s arrest to be carried out, allowing a plethora of civilian volunteers and militia groups to enroll to the effort. It is notable that an Allanean citizen aiding an abetting illegal immigration on a systematic basis (that is, the smuggling of groups of people, rather than simply helping one’s relative come over), would be charged with treason.
Another agency is CREST – is the Civil Rights Enforcement and Soliciting Task Force. It serves as a limit of sorts on state independence. Given the existence of the highly-conservative Twin Rivers Confederation States, and the left-wing Hash and Mgweni states, sometimes local or state legislatures pass bills which contradict the Allanean understanding of civil and human rights. And this is where CREST comes in.
The duty of CREST is to not only arrest local, state, and even central government officials accused of violating civil rights, but also, in cases where precedent or the consideration of the Civil Rights Commissioner’s Office requires it, to grant tax breaks, grants and loans to those willing to challenge local laws in the state or Confederate courts.
Currently, several legal challenges are under way, backed by CREST and several private groups, against the local governments of Allanean Florida and Allanean North Carolina for their local drug and pornography laws, and one against a Nmgweni ornance prohibiting carrying of guns within public schools (the Department of Education assists in the lawsuit, as well as the Firearms Coalition of Allanea and JPFO-A).
State law enforcement
Apart from the central government, local governments also equip and maintain local law enforcent units, among whom the most famous is the Port-Allanea Police Department and the Egeruo Ice Patrol (visualise a bunch of penguinoids on canine sleds). Those enforce a plethora of local laws, dealing with crimes from theft, to robbery, to serial killers.
Normally, state police are prohibited by their respective law to create uniforms, with the exception of a single, clearly-visible badge and hat, in the manner of Old West sheriffs, and to openly carry weapons. The only police units that are allowed to wear uniforms are SWAT teams and their equivalent. Under most states’ laws, a government official is bound to disarm himself before entering a citizen’s house, unless he’s acting on a warrant.
Standard police and legal procedure
Allanean police procedure is generally much more benign than that of most other countries, mostly because penalties for violations of civil rights are much more terrible. A police officer who commits a warrantless search of a private home is likely to be charged with both burglary and civil rights violation, and will likely face a maximum sentence for the burglary. Further, if a citizen kills a police officer during an otherwise illegal raid, search or no-knock warrant (which are illegal unless there are hostages inside the house), they will be able to plead self-defense.
The roadblocks which are becoming so common in real life are prohibited in the Confederacy (by virtue of Newton vs. State of Yurka-City, 2760, where Mr. Josh Newton had been accused of refusing to stop at a police roadblock.
On other issues, it is rather probably obvious to you by now that there is no duty to retreat in Allanean jurisprudence, and Allaneans can generally kill any attacker or attackers who give them reasonable grounds to believe they have the means, desire, and opportunity to inflict damage on life and limb, as well home intruders, unless it’s painfully obvious said home intruders mean no harm. This is not because Allaneans believe all home intruders should be shot on sight – it is just that they believe (whether rightfully or not) that it is wrong to convict a man for what, for Allaneans at least, is a semi-instinctual reaction.
In other ways Allanean legal and judicial procedure is similar to English common law, with the main difference being that Allaneans not merely have jury nullification, they believe it to be crucial. As such, juries swear to try the both the law and the facts, and remember that they can acquit the defendant at any time of their own choosing, regardless of any instructions to the contrary, even if I myself give you to them. To prevent jury tampering, prosecutors and attornees are specifically prohibited to screen potential jurors by political preference, skin color, or to ask any questions except to verify the jury members are not previously acquianted with or related to the defendant, plaintiff, or any of their immediate family.
- "This administration does not, and never will, claim to establish a state monopoly on armed force."
This quote, from sitting Allanean vice-president Abdallah Mahmoud al-Ibrahim, explains fully the meaning of Allanea’s treatment of civilian firepower and civilian law enforcement. Not only does Allanea tolerate civilian gun ownership (everything except biological and nuclear weaopns is legal), but it actually encourages it. Every state government maintains a militia - by keeping a roster of volunteering private individuals who are willing to turn up during an emergency if they are needed (though said list would probably be destroyed during an invasion, for obvious reasons) and during various drills, and furthermore a variety of private units exist on the same principle, for example the Benevolent Infantry Battalion of Florida and the Divine Glory Cavalry Squadron of central Allanea. Most of those groups traditionally cooperate with law enforcement.
More interestingly, Allanea’s law does not leave law enforcement to the professionals alone. Not only – as in the real-world United States – is a civilian allowed to detain a criminal caught in the act of a felony, but civilians can also serve judges’ search and arrest warrants, much in the same way as the RIAA received a warrant to search the property of some shareware company. Sheriff’s posses are also the order of the day, though lynching isn’t, of course (the penalty for participation would be cruelly severe).