THE CHARTER OF SCONE
The Charter of Scone Act 2014
An ACT to provide for the constitution of the various major aspects and institutions of the Sconnish State.
Whereas an earnest band of friends and compatriots has determined to unite together in a common bond, forming a community to be styled a kingdom and governed as such:
And whereas the said community has determined to be known to the world henceforth and forevermore by the name of SCONE:
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords and Burgesses of the Realm, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
I. SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the Charter of Scone Act 2014
1. All references within this Charter to the “King” or “His Majesty” and any and all other references by which the Sovereign is referred to in the masculine shall also be construed to refer to a regnant Queen (“Her Majesty”) in the event of a female occupant of the Throne.
2. This Charter, and all laws made under it, shall be binding upon all courts, judges, and people of every shire and of every part of this Kingdom.
3. This Charter shall come into force upon the publication of the same in sight of the People of Scone.
III. THE STYLE OF THIS REALM
This Kingdom shall be styled "The Kingdom of Scone."
IV. THE SOVEREIGN
1. His Majesty the King, who is the Sovereign, reigns under God as the first servant of the Sconnish People and as the governor of their common society. The Sovereign is the personification of the State, and shall be known by his royal style and titles proclaimed from time to time. All power and authority in and over the Sconnish realm emanates from the Sovereign and is exercised in His name.
2. The person of the Sovereign is inviolable. He shall not be prosecuted.
3. The Sovereign is not responsible. His Ministers are responsible.
4. All ambassadors, consuls, and other diplomatic representatives of foreign powers shall be accredited to the Sovereign; their credentials shall be received in the Sovereign’s name, in his presence or in the presence of His representative.
5. The Sovereign is the fount of honour. Honours are bestowed by the Sovereign or by His representative in his name.
6. The Command-in-Chief of any and all the protective services of the Kingdom of Scone is vested in the Sovereign, who may from time to time appoint officers as he shall think fit .
7. The Sovereign shall take care to appoint at least one but no more than five principal men or women of the kingdom to serve as Counsellors of State, any or all of which shall, according to the prescriptions of the Sovereign, have the responsibility of carrying out the duties of the Sovereign in any and all cases wherein temporary indispositions or sudden and unforeseen emergencies shall deprive the State of the necessary executive, legislative, or judicial actions or decisions of the Sovereign. In the event of the demise of the Sovereign, the Counsellors of State appointed by him shall retain their offices until they shall be dismissed from them by his lawful successor.
8. The laws of succession to the Throne shall be determined by Act of Parliament.
9. In the event that there shall be in place no clear laws of succession to the Throne upon the demise or abdication of the Sovereign, or in the event that no heir has been appointed by the Sovereign prior to his demise or abdication, some suitable successor to His Majesty shall be designated by Act of Parliament, or if there sits no Parliament, by the Government, by means of Orders-in-Council approved by the Counsellors of State.
10. In the event that the Sovereign shall be in his minority, a Regency shall be declared and a Regent appointed without delay by the Privy Council by means of Royal Proclamation signed by the Counsellors of State. The Regency for a Sovereign in his minority shall obtain until his 18th birthday, upon the commencement of which calendar day at midnight the said Regency shall cease and the Regent deprived automatically of his office.
11. In the event that the Sovereign shall inform Parliament of his own incapacity, or that, according to statute, he shall be judged by Parliament to be incapacitated, a Regency shall be declared by Act of Parliament, which Regency shall obtain until the Sovereign shall inform Parliament of the cessation of his incapacity by way of an instrument signed by the Sovereign in his own hand, sealed with the Great Seal, and countersigned by the Prime Minister or other the most senior minister or secretary of state of His Majesty’s Government.
12. His Majesty’s Government, alone, without the consent of Parliament, has neither the competence to determine the incapacity of the Sovereign, nor to initiate a Regency. At times when no Parliament is sitting, the Sovereign shall, if he is able, summon a Parliament to sit in order that Parliament may confirm his incapacity and initiate a Regency. If the Sovereign is incapable of summoning a Parliament, however, on account of severe incapacity, His Majesty’s Counsellors of State shall be empowered to summon a Parliament in His Majesty’s name at the Government’s request.
13. Every reference to the Sovereign in any document or instrument in force on or after the commencement of this Charter shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be deemed to include a reference to His Majesty’s heirs and successors.
V. THE EXECUTIVE POWER
1. The Executive Government and Authority of and over the Kingdom of Scone is vested in the Sovereign and shall be exercised in his name.
2. The Sovereign may, from time to time, create public offices as he shall think fit and shall summon and appoint persons to those offices by instrument under the Great Seal.
3. The Sovereign shall appoint from time to time, as elections or other circumstances warrant, a Prime Minister to preside over His Majesty’s Government, and shall compose his Ministry of various subjects, on the Prime Minister’s advice.
4. There shall be a council to advise and aid the Sovereign to be styled His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council. The persons who are to be members of that Council shall be from time to time chosen and summoned by the Sovereign as he shall think fit, and members thereof may be from time to time removed by the Sovereign as he shall think fit. Executive orders issued in Council and approved by His Majesty shall bear the counter-signature of the Prime Minister, or in his absence the next most senior secretary of state, minister, or other member of His Majesty’s Government.
5. Privy Counsellors, His Majesty’s ministers, and all holders of public offices shall, before assuming the duties of their offices, make and subscribe before the Sovereign or some person authorized by him the Affirmation of Loyalty as prescribed in the First Schedule of this Charter. Members of the Privy Council may furthermore be required to subscribe to a special affirmation for Privy Counsellors at His Majesty’s direction or as mandated by statute.
VI. THE LEGISLATIVE POWER
1. There shall be One Parliament for the Kingdom of Scone which shall ordinarily consist of the Sovereign, the Peers of the Realm, and any other His Majesty’s subjects qualified to have a place and a voice in Parliament, which subjects shall be styled Burgesses. Parliament may, at the discretion of His Majesty in consultation with his ministers, consist extraordinarily of the Sovereign together with the Peers of the Realm, only, at times when the kingdom shall be manifestly depopulated, or whenever the Burgesses of the Realm cannot be conveniently summoned to attend upon His Majesty.
2. His Majesty the King in Parliament, under God, is the most profound and perfect expression of the State, and is furthermore, as the common Council of the Realm, the insuperable source of Legislation.
3. The Peers of the Realm may sit together with the Burgesses in one single house, or they may resolve, instead, to sit separately in a house of their own. The Peers of the Realm should not resolve to sit separately from the Burgesses at times when inadequate numbers should cause such an arrangement to be impracticable.
4. Should the Peers of the Realm sit separately from the Burgesses in a house of their own, their assembly shall be styled the House of Peers, whereas the assembly of the Burgesses shall be styled the House of Burgesses.
5. The Chancellor of the Kingdom of Scone (under any style or title by which he shall be known) shall be the ordinary moderator of the whole of Parliament for as often as the Peers and the Burgesses shall sit together in the same house, or over the House of Peers whenever they shall sit in separate houses. For as often as the Peers and the Burgesses shall sit in separate houses, a Speaker shall be elected by the House of Burgesses, according to their own rules or customs, to preside therein.
6. For as often as the Peers of the Realm shall sit separately from the Burgesses in a house of their own, a Bill initiated and passed in one house shall, upon passage, be introduced and passed in the other before being sent to the Sovereign for the Royal Assent. A bill that shall fail in the house which initiated it shall not be introduced to the other house. A bill that shall pass in one house but shall subsequently fail in the other shall not be introduced again during the same Parliamentary session.
7. The size of the population permitting, there shall be a session of Parliament once at least in every year, either in its ordinary or extraordinary consistency according to the first Article of this Section, so that twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of Parliament in one session and its first sitting in the next.
8. A Parliament shall commence upon the opening of the same by the Sovereign, a Regent, or otherwise His Majesty’s lawful representative and no sooner, and shall persist until the Sovereign, a Regent, or otherwise His Majesty’s lawful representative shall dissolve it. No session of a sitting Parliament shall conclude until it shall be prorogued by the Sovereign, a Regent, or otherwise His Majesty’s lawful representative.
9. The Sovereign (or a Regent) shall be free to legislate personally, on the advice and consent of the Privy Council, by Royal Proclamation, Orders-in-Council, or other instrument at times when a Parliament cannot be summoned. Parliament, when convened, however, shall be free to review and to amend all such unilateral statutory decrees of the Sovereign (or Regent).
10. The Sovereign (or a Regent) shall be free to issue Royal Proclamations, Orders-in-Council, or other instruments of the Royal Will with the advice and consent of the Privy Council, provided that all such Proclamations, Orders-in-Council, and other instruments shall in no wise contradict Acts of Parliament in force at the time.
VII. THE JUDICIAL POWER
1. His Majesty the King in Parliament constitutes the highest court within and over the Kingdom of Scone, beyond which there is no appeal. A Judicial Committee of the Peers of the Realm, presided over by the Chancellor of the Kingdom of Scone (under any style or title by which he shall be known), and otherwise comprised of Peers learned in the Laws of the Realm and appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council, shall hear and adjudicate in His Majesty’s name all cases appealed to the King in Parliament from the Court of His Majesty in Council. His Majesty the King in Parliament shall be the court of first instance and of final appeal for all cases touching upon acts of treason, or the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Peers of the Realm, the Great Officers of State, the Burgesses of Parliament, and Members of the Privy Council.
2. His Majesty the King in Council shall constitute the court of first instance for all cases of every nature arising concerning the affairs of His Majesty’s ministers, and shall be the court of appeal for any and all cases adjudicated by lower courts having no other courts above them. For as often as no court lower than the Court of His Majesty in Council shall be constituted, His Majesty in Council shall be the court of first instance for any and all civil and criminal cases arising. A Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, presided over by the presiding moderator of the Council (under any style or title by which he shall be known), and otherwise comprised of other members of the Privy Council appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, shall hear and adjudicate in His Majesty’s name all cases brought before His Majesty in Council.
3. His Majesty the King in Parliament may constitute lower courts from time to time by Act of Parliament.
4. The Sovereign may appoint judges and legal officers from time to time by instrument under the Great Seal.
VIII. THE COUNTIES AND OTHER LOCAL COMMUNITIES
1. The Kingdom of Scone shall be composed of five Counties, as constituted in the Third Schedule of this Charter.
2. His Majesty the King may devise and grant charters for cities, towns, villages, and other local communities from time to time as he shall think fit.
3. Fully-initiated subjects of His Majesty shall be registered as freemen of one borough or another, and as such shall be qualified to have a seat and a voice in Parliament.
IX. THE PEERAGE
His Majesty the King shall be free to constitute a Peerage through the creation, by Letters Patent, of any ranks or titles of nobility that he shall think fit from time to time to create, and to elevate to the Peerage such subjects as he shall think fit to elevate.
X. THE GREAT OFFICERS OF STATE
The Sovereign shall, from time to time as he shall think fit, constitute the Great Officers of State by Royal Proclamation, appointing them by instrument under the Great Seal.
XI. ALTERATION OF THIS CHARTER
Any and all amendments to or alterations of this Charter shall be made by Act of Parliament.
XII. EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT
This Act shall come into force upon the date that it shall receive the Royal Assent.
THE FIRST SCHEDULE.
The Affirmation of Loyalty.
I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King James, his heirs and successors according to law.
(NOTE- The name of the King or Queen for the time being is to be substituted from time to time.)
THE SECOND SCHEDULE.
The Royal Capital.
The Royal Capital of Our Kingdom of Scone shall be styled "The City of Tartannac” and shall be regarded to subsist within the Shire of Glennainshire.
THE THIRD SCHEDULE.
Administrative Divisions of the Kingdom of Scone.
A. The Kingdom of Scone shall be divided into five counties, which counties shall be:
B. The counties of Scone shall each have a borough, and they shall be as follows:
1. For the County of Glennainshire: Glennainburgh
2. For the County of Mountcastle: Heathminster
3. For the County of Forth: Greenwood
4. For the County of Murchaidh: Breninton
5. For the County of Willanchurch: Kingston
NOTES ON THE CHARTER OF SCONE.
Students and interpreters of this Charter should be very mindful of the fact that it has been composed in the context of the same paradigm by which all nations in the English-speaking world subscribing to the Westminster system of government conceive of law and government. This Charter should never be adjudged, therefore, according to the standards of American-style democracy or looked at through the lens of any other tradition of law and government foreign to our own, as to do so would be to remove this document, entirely, from its proper context.
Persons familiar with the context in which this document was written will not scruple, therefore, over those parts of it which seem, out of context, to give the monarch sweeping and totalitarian authority. Lines written so as to seem to suggest that the King shall freely rule and make decisions “as he shall think fit,” for example, are understood by persons familiar with the proper context to give liberty to the King, as guided by his democratically elected ministers, to provide for the efficient administration of the kingdom, and nothing more. The Sovereign, of course, never acts independently of the advice of his ministers, all of whom are accountable to Parliament. In most if not all circumstances, in fact, the monarch does not really act at all, but rather gives his tacit approval to the decisions and activities of Parliament and his Government as a matter of course. While all power and authority must be said to emanate from the Crown, in theory, that same power and authority is not wielded by the person who wears the Crown, in practice. This principle is clearly understood by those familiar with the system of government upon which ours is based.
Readers of this Charter are apt to notice that it is a constitution in the strict sense, that is to say that it constitutes the state and its various major components. It is not, however, meant to be a document which outlines the rights and liberties of the people, as many republican constitutions are wont to be, inspired as they typically are by either the French or American constitutions. The rights, liberties, and responsibilities of the Sconnish people will be defined by subsequent Acts of Parliament, executive actions, judicial decisions, and local statutes, as circumstances warrant, as the people petition, and as time goes by. So many of the rights and liberties of the people are a matter of common supposition, and so much of what is not specifically spelled-out in this document is implied by the context in which it has been composed, that it will hardly be necessary to itemize or define every minute detail concerning the welfare of the populace until circumstances shall arise which warrant further clarifications. The purpose of this Charter is to constitute the major aspects of the Sconnish polity, and not to supply for every conceivable right, need, or contingency.
Readers of this Charter will immediately be struck by certain terms and usages which vary from those at Westminster and in the United Kingdom, generally. This is to be expected. Although the Kingdom of Scone is inspired by the United Kingdom and takes much of its instruction from Westminster, it is not supposed that our community must mimic, in every respect, the institutions, styles, and titles of Great Britain. This Charter, for example, does not mandate a bicameral Parliament composed of a “House of Lords” and a “House of Commons,” but instead allows for the possibility of a bicameral Parliament, but one composed of a “House of Peers” and a “House of Burgesses.” The Charter also advises that Parliament may, and ought to be, unicameral at times when the population of the Realm is too small to practically support a bicameral Parliament. Despite the variant terminology and the allowance for a single-house Parliament, however, the essential legislative principles of Westminster remain intact.
To address the concerns of those susceptible to fears for unexpected contingencies arising from the incapacitation, demise, indisposition, or minority of a figurehead monarch, this charter has extensively addressed such concerns in such a way as ought to put anyone’s mind at ease. The processes for compensating for a monarch’s absence or inability to attend to his or her duties is thoroughly treated by this Charter, including a detailed procedure outline for the initiation of a Regency. It should be stated, however, that undue concerns for the efficient operations of the mechanisms of the state in the event of the monarch’s absence, indisposition, or incapacity may be said to be misplaced in a mature environment in which modern democratic principles are understood to obtain. In any such environment, the polity is inherently equipped with a realization that the person of the Sovereign is neither a god nor a roadblock, but rather a device to be utilized by the state in such a way that the symbolic unity of the community is solemnly maintained and projected with dignity. The People of Scone are capable of governing themselves and of resolving, with their own ingenuity, any problems which may arise concerning the monarchy, within the context of the system they have adopted for their use. There is no circumstance which can be considered so inflexible that the People, utilizing the tools understood to be at their disposal, cannot adjust to suit their needs of the moment through thoughtful deliberation and mature consensus. The People of Scone do not exist for the benefit of this Charter, rather this Charter exists for the benefit of the People of Scone.
Section VIII and the corresponding Third Schedule of this Charter suppose that the Kingdom of Scone will be divided into five counties. It is understood by everyone, of course, that the Sconnish People possesses no territory. Scone is a kingdom of people, not of land. The proper way to interpret such localities, therefore, is to think of them as organizational tools by which the needs of a growing populace may be better managed. It will, of course, be observed that it is hardly necessary to style such divisions and subdivisions of the population as “counties” or “cities” or “boroughs,” however these designations are traditional and therefore lend a certain atmosphere to the community that has come to be expected.