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The Cis-Lunar Legal System

The tasks of police and courts are carried out by a number of commercial organisations. As there is no central power to enforce rights, people have none unless they subscribe to a legal service or judicature. However, most polities extend cover to their employees or citizens, in a similar manner to the provision of healthcare. In addition the judicatures themselves provide limited pro bono aid to those people otherwise unprotected.

There are many different unaffiliated judicatures, each with a distinctive philosophy. Some are little more than protection rackets, but most are fairly run by people or machines that believe in justice. Surprisingly both the Mafia and the Yakuza run efficient (if somewhat harsh) judicatures.

Disputes between subscribers to different services are handled by agreements on protocol between the various service providers. The judicatures are mostly on good terms with each other, but in more important cases the actual trial may be held by a disinterested third party. Arrest warrants issued with the agreement of the target's legal service do not require an Ecclesial licence to be exempt from possible Praesidial intervention.

Those who do not subscribe (either directly, or indirectly through employers or phyle) to a legal service have no rights. The unconditional privacy provided by digital pseudonyms, however, means that it is almost impossible to discover whether somebody has any kind of cover, unless that person cooperates. Many people choose not to make their legal affiliation publicly available information (so that others cannot take advantage of any weaknesses in the cover). This is especially common among those subscribing to services without extensive coverage. As a side effect, the uncertainty generated discourages 'criminal' behaviours against those with no cover at all, for they are nearly impossible to identify.

Police and Investigative Forces

Police and security forces are usually employed on a geographical basis, protecting a certain region of claves, demes and arcologies. Their employers may be arcology administrations, corporations, phylai, societies or individuals. The local police forces are often franchises of a larger security company. The core company handles training, procurement, marketing and policy-making. The franchises are responsible for the actual day to day police work.

Crime is relative: activities may be criminal for one person, but perfectly legal for somebody else, even if both are within the same region. Most of this ambiguity, however, lies outside the realms of police work. There are many types of behaviour that are 'obviously criminal' such as assault, theft, rape and murder. The task of the police is to detect these crimes, prevent them if possible, and apprehend suspects with immediate involvement in the crime. The suspects are then handed over to their judicature for protection, and details of the crime given to the judicatures of both the plaintiff and defendant. Dealing with more subtle crimes is the task of the judicatures themselves.

Investigation and evidence gathering is the task not of police, but of dedicated investigative services. These are usually attached directly to a specific judicature. Large judicatures have teams of invesitgators stationed in regional headquarters across their area of operations (most usually Earth, Luna, or all of Cis-Luna). Smaller ones, without such extensive resources, rely on itinerant investigators, or subcontract to local groups.

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