The Ministry of Law and Justice (also referred to as the Sphere of Law and Justice) is the governmental name for the ministry responsible for the enforcement of the Emperor's Laws, fair adjudication of citizens accused of crimes, incarceration of offenders, and interrogation of suspects.
Organization and Composition
The role of Minister of Law and Justice is currently occupied by Alor Drossix Vizla, who also sits upon the Dark Council and is conferred the title of High Judicator.
The Ministry itself is comprised of three main branches, each with a different yet crucial purpose: the Judicial, the Correctional, and the Constabulary. These branches are populated by a variety of personnel, ranging from members of the police force to courtroom officials.
While only tangentially connected, the Knights of the Imperium are considered the fourth branch of the ministry.
The Hall of Justice
Located on the Imperium's capital world of Amgarrak, the Hall of Justice is home to the Imperium's court system. A spacious facility located just outside Solaria City, the Hall also houses the following:
- The office of the Minister
- Headquarters for the Imperium Advocacy Group and the Throne Prosecution Service
- Meeting rooms
- Holding cells
- Interrogation and interview chambers
- Temporary living quarters for ministry personnel and the Imperium Knights, including medical facilities and a training area
The Law and Justice headquarters is also heavily outfitted with state-of-the-art security measures (purposed with preventing both unauthorized ingress and egress, as well as assault against the building), forensics laboratories, and identification software. It houses extensive records on all Imperium citizens and prior investigations, as well as the Imperium's foremost legal library. A heavily guarded compound by all accounts, access to the Hall of Justice is restricted to Law and Justice personnel, the Dark Council, the Will, and the Emperor - unless otherwise indicated.
In the event of emergency, the Hall of Justice is used as a secure location to protect the Emperor and Dark Council.
The HMS Itinerant
The HMS Itinerant is the Imperium's maximum security prison ship. It holds those convicted of heinous crimes who are either awaiting sentencing, awaiting punishment, or have been sentenced to imprisonment. It is fully equipped with a ray-shielded recreation area, mess hall, medbay, and living quarters for the Overseer and any Imperium Knights stationed there. Prisoners are each assigned separate, solitary cells - no communication with other prisoners is possible when in a cell.
Each cell aboard the HMS Itinerant is a box of durasteel and permacrete, and is equipped with raysheilding on all walls, durasteel doors, dampeners, and basic amenities (i.e. bed, sink, toilet, and sealable drains in the floor). In addition, the HMS Itinerant travels on a random, roving flight path. This flight path is known only to the High Judicator, Grand Inquisitor, the staff aboard the ship, the Will, and the Lord Emperor.
Branches Within the Ministry
The Ministry of Law and Justice is made up of three separate branches. Each branch is tasked with a separate portion of the Ministry's overall function. All three branches are overseen by the High Judicator, who is responsible for the overall management of the Ministry of Law and Justice and presides over all High Crime cases and any cases requested by the Lord Emperor. In addition, members of the three branches may also answer to the Grand Inquisitor, who is considered Deputy Minister and is responsible for mediation between the prosecution and defense, the approval of warrants, and aiding the High Judicator in any fashion.
Despite their positions at the head of the Ministry, the High Judicator and Grand Inquisitor are both barred from influencing any investigation or trial. They are held to the same standards and protocols as every member of the Ministry.
Note: There are currently no assigned uniforms within the ministry, however all members are expected to maintain the highest level of professionalism at all times.
The Judicial Branch
- The Judicial Branch of the ministry oversees the fair adjudication and sentencing of any Imperium citizen who has been formally charged with breaking the Emperor's Laws. This branch is lead by the Judicators - members of the ministry who possess the knowledge and temperament to sit on a tribunal panel for felonies, or pass individual sentences during misdemeanor hearings.
- Aside from Judicators, who can direct officers of the Constabulary as necessary, members of the Judicial branch have no power over ministry personnel outside their branch.
The Corrections Branch
- The Corrections Branch of the ministry is tasked with carrying out the incarceration of any and all convicts, primarily those who are sentenced to imprisonment aboard the HMS Itinerant. The Overseer of the HMS Itinerant leads this Branch, and coordinates with Judicators, Imperium Knights, and members of the constabulary to ensure security and order.
The Constabulary Branch
- Inquisitors: Inquisitors are tasked with recording and correlating any information retrieved from suspects, as well as reaching conclusions about cases and presenting this information to the court. They are also charged with retrieving information and confessions in the most humane manner possible.
Arrests of citizens of the Imperium must be for a crime, unless the arrest is issued by the Emperor.
To arrest a citizen for a crime, the crime must be reported to/discovered by and investigated by either the Constabulary Branch of Law & Justice, or the Imperium Knights. Upon completion of the investigation, the Grand Inquisitor will then get a warrant for the arrest of the citizen which must be approved by either the High Judicator (Head of the Ministry), the Will or the Emperor.
After the warrant is approved, the Grand Inquisitor must present the warrant to an authority who can execute the warrant. The Grand Master of the Knights of the Imperium, the Will, and the Emperor of the Sith Imperium each have the authority to issue an order to execute an arrest warrant.
- The Supreme Commander may only approve the warrant if the crimes are directed against or involve members of the Ministry of War. If the Supreme Commander approves the execution of the warrant they may command military personnel to execute the arrest.
- If the Grandmaster of the Knights of the Imperium approves the execution of the warrant they may command Knights to execute the arrest.
- If the Emperor approves the execution of the warrant they may command anyone to execute the arrest.
- If any of the above authorities refuse to issue an execution of a warrant the Grand Inquisitor has the right to seek permission from a seperate authority. If the Emperor refuses to issue an execution of a warrant then the warrant is considered nullified.
Should the Grand Inquisitor wish to arrest a member of the High Council the warrant must be approved by the Will and/or a majority vote of the Dark Council and the execution of arrest order must be issued by the Emperor or his designee.
Should the Grand Inquisitor wish to arrest a member of the Aristocracy the warrant must be approved by a Hand of the Emperor and/or a majority vote of the Dark Council and execution of arrest order must be issued by the Emperor or his designee.
In theory a warrant may be sought by any member of the High Council or Judicator who has reason to believe a citizen is guilty of a crime, should the Grand Inquisitor not be available.
Non-judicial arrests such as arrests in relation to a military operation, the immediate security of the state, or by the command of the Emperor are not governed by this policy.
All investigations must adhere to the guidelines given below, or else any and all evidence, conclusions, and reports compiled over the course of the investigation are subject to dismissal by the court.
- Any and all evidence must be collected as soon as possible.
- Any and all evidence must be collected and handled with care, and shall remain un-tampered. Efforts to achieve this include, but are not limited to the use of gloves, evidence bags, sterile testing environments, and masks.
- To further maintain this chain of evidence, any officer who handles evidence during the course of an investigation is required to check out and sign in any report or item that pertains to the case.
- Interviews with witnesses and suspects will be thorough and without bias. All statements made by witnesses and suspects will be investigated fully.
- Witness intimidation or coercion will not be tolerated.
- Constabulary members who have investigations involving the same party or parties will cooperate to the fullest extent possible.
- All evidence, statements, and conclusions must be detailed in the final report to the High Judicator or Grand Inquisitor and must include the following: Name of Investigator(s), crime or incident, list of witnesses and suspects, statements from witnesses and suspects, any and all interrogation reports, list of evidence and findings, any and all links to other active investigations, and any media (photographs, video, audio) related to the case. The report will then be forwarded to the appropriate parties (including, but not limited to: prosecutors, defense advocates, the judicator panel, the Lord Emperor, and the Ministry of Intelligence.)
- The details of any investigation are not to be shared with the public for any reason during the course of an investigation and/or tribunal, and may be kept under a gag order for a maximum of five years following the conclusion of the case.
All interrogations must adhere to the guidelines given below, or else any evidence revealed during them is subject to dismissal by the court.
- All interrogations must be held with both an Interrogator and at least one other member of the Constabulary present.
- Both the Interrogator and the Investigator must file a report with the High Judicator or Grand Inquisitor after the interrogation, who will then forward it to the appropriate parties (including, but not limited to: prosecutors, defense advocates, the judicator panel, the Lord Emperor, and the head of the Ministry of Intelligence.) These reports must include the following: Investigator's name, Interrogator's name, Subject's name, ministry, and crime (or what they witnessed) the interrogation tactics used, any and all things said by the Subject, and any damage done to the Subject. A template for said reports can be found here.
- No damage to the head and/or brain is permitted, as this may bring the subject's testimony into question.
- No truth serums of any kind my be used, as these may actually leave the subject in a suggestive state.
- For misdemeanors, Interrogators may only use minor Force powers and shock collars in order to interrogate.
- For high crimes, Interrogators may utilize all Force powers (with the exception of persuasion and all mind-penetrating powers), interrogation probes, shock collars, and physical torture.
- All subjects must be able to stand trial after interrogation.
- The details of any interrogation are not to be shared with the public for any reason during the course of an investigation and/or tribunal, and may be kept under a gag order for a maximum of five years following the conclusion of the case.
When not subjected to interrogation, all suspects must remain in their detainment cells. Unsupervised and un-detained suspects will not be tolerated and will be dealt with harshly.
Additionally, members of the Constabulary are expected to remain on-premises so long as one of their suspects is detained at the Hall of Justice.