Constitutional Structure and Powers of the Frenzy
Scope and nature of laws passed by the Frenzy
Article III - The Frenzy
1. All legislative powers shall be vested in a Frenzy of the Bovic Empire.
2. The Frenzy shall be composed of Representatives chosen by the citizens and governments of the Demesnes.
3. No citizen shall be a Representative who shall not be a resident of that Demesne for which they shall be chosen.
4. The Frenzy creates laws that govern the Bovic Empire, known as the Caprine Code.
5. The Caprine Code's authority extends to all territories, demesnes, and other jurisdictions where the Empire or any entity of the Empire has the authority to govern.
6. Acts of Frenzy become law when passed by a majority of Representatives present and given assent by the Emperor. The law is then added to the Caprine Code by the Chancellor.
7. The Frenzy, by passing Resolutions, may direct Imperial officials to act in accordance with the Constitution and Caprine Code, enact the ratification process of a treaty or other agreement, overturn Chancellorial and Imperial Decrees, claim additional land for the Empire, cede Imperial land, redraw internal boundaries, rename cities, issue city charters, or any other similar action to ensure effective governing.
8. Any Representative may propose a Bill for consideration.
9. The Frenzy may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish Representatives for disorderly behavior, and, by a two-thirds majority, expel a member.
10. The Emperor, through the process of granting Imperial Assent, approves an Act of Frenzy. Only bills that receive approval through Imperial Assent shall be made into Law and added to the Caprine Code. Bills that do not receive the approval of the Emperor within seven (7) days after being dispatched to the Emperor for his Assent shall be passed into Law with Imperial Assent being automatically assumed.
11. The Emperor, by issuing a veto, returns a Bill back to the Frenzy, attached with an explanation from the Emperor of the veto, and can only be overturned by a three-fifth's (3/5's) vote of the Frenzy.
The composition and rules of the Frenzy
Chapter I - The Caprine Code and Natopian Law
1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the Empire and the Constitution's authority extends to all territories, demesnes, and other jurisdictions where the Empire or any entity of the Empire has the authority to govern.
2. The Caprine Code is the body of laws that govern the Empire and its authority extends to all territories, demesnes, and other jurisdictions where the Empire or any entity of the empire has the authority to govern.
3. Ignorance of the law does not excuse from compliance therewith.
4. Laws shall not have a retroactive effect unless it is so expressed.
5. In no case shall the retroactive effect of a law operate to the prejudice of rights acquired under previous legislative action.
6. Acts executed contrary to the provisions of the law are void except when the law preserves their validity.
7. Rights granted by the laws may be renounced, provided such renunciation be not contrary to law, to the public interest or public order, or prejudicial to the interest of a third person.
8. Laws shall only be repealed by means of subsequent laws, by directly amending the Caprine Code; and disuse, custom or practice to the contrary shall not impede their enforcement.
9. Laws may be repealed either entirely or in part by other laws by removing entire sections or only certain clauses in the Caprine Code.
10. A repeal is either express or implied. It is express when it is literally declared by a subsequent law; it is implied when the new law contains provision either contrary to or irreconcilable with those of the former law.
11. Any court in Natopia which shall refuse to render a decision on the pretext of silence, obscurity or unintelligibility of the laws, or for any other reason, shall be held liable, therefore.
12. When there is no statute applicable to the case at issue, the court shall decide in accordance with equity, which means that natural justice, as embodied in the general principles of jurisprudence and in accepted and established usages and customs of Natopia only, shall be taken into consideration.
13. The laws relating to family rights and obligations, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons, shall be binding upon the citizens of Natopia, even if they may reside in a foreign country.
14. Personal property is subject to the laws of the nation of the owner thereof; real property to the laws of the country in which it is situated.
15. In matters which are the subject of special laws, any deficiency in such laws shall be supplied by the provisions of this Section.
16. When a law is clear and free from all ambiguity, the letter of the same shall not be disregarded, under the pretext of fulfilling the spirit thereof.
17. The words of a law shall generally be understood in their most usual definition, taking into consideration, not so much the exact grammatical rules governing the same, as their general and popular use.
18. Technical terms and phrases used in the arts and sciences shall be interpreted according to their received meaning and acceptation with the experts and authorities in the science, art or profession to which they refer.
19. When the words of a law are dubious, their meaning should be sought by examining and comparing the obscure expressions with other related words and sentences in an orderly manner, in order to ascertain their true meaning.
20. Laws which refer to the same matter, or whose object is the same, shall be interpreted with reference to each other, in order that what is clear in one may be employed for the purpose of explaining what is doubtful in another.
21. The most effectual and universal manner of discovering the true meaning of a law, when its expressions are dubious, is by considering the reason and spirit thereof, or the cause or motives which induced its enactment.
22. If a provision of an Act is or becomes illegal, invalid or unenforceable, that shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of the Act.
23. The distinction of laws into odious or favorable with a view of limiting or extending their provisions, shall not be made by those whose duty it is to interpret them.
24. Laws are equally applied to all without distinction of person or sex, except in the cases otherwise specially provided in the law.
25. The expressions "Natopia", "Natopian Empire", "Bovic Empire", "Natopian Nation" shall be held to comprehend, for all purposes, the Bovic Empire of the Natopian Nation and all their lands, possessions and occupied territories.
26. For the purposes of this Section, a law shall be defined as a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by the government of the Bovic Empire of the Natopian Nation.
Chapter II - The Frenzy
Section 1 - Composition
1. The Frenzy is composed of no more than ten Representatives from each Demesne.
2. The Representatives are chosen as the law of the Demesne shall provide; provided that at least one Representative shall be elected by the People of the Demesne.
3. Each Representative has one vote, regardless of the method they were elected or selected by.
4. Only Representatives, and invited guests of the Representatives, may speak on the Floor of the Frenzy.
5. Representatives must be over the age of 25, of sound mind, not been convicted of treason or heinous major crimes, and not an idiot.
Section 2 - Committees
1. A Bill is first introduced to the floor of the Frenzy by the sponsoring Representative(s).
2. The Chancellor assigns the Bill to a committee for review. The committee has 5 days to either recommend the bill to the full Frenzy or to return it to the sponsor for revisions.
3. The Chancellor may bring any bill under committee review to the full Frenzy for a vote.
4. The standing committees of the Frenzy are:
a. Agriculture and Food
c. Armed Services and Veteran's Affairs
d. Housing and Urban Affairs
f. Commerce and Banking
h. Transportation and Mobility
j. Natural Resources and Forestry
l. Public Works
n. Foreign Relations
o. Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
p. National Security and Government Affairs
r. Rules and Administration
5. The Chancellor will appoint Representatives to chair the standing committees, and assign Representatives to sit on committees. The rules of the standing committees are determined by the committees.
6. The Chancellor may create special committees as needed. Special committees dissolve after two years unless renewed by a Frenzy resolution.
Section 3 - Rules of the Frenzy
1. The debating period for a Bill begins once it has been proposed, and lasts for at least 5 days.
2. The sponsor of a Bill may declare it to be withdrawn at any point during the period of debate.
3. The voting period for a Bill will begin after a representative moves the question, and a second representative approves. Voting will last no more than 3 days from the time of the seconding motion. The Chancellor may close a vote early if a) all representatives have voted or b) the outcome cannot be changed by uncast votes.
4. A Representative may call for a vote to be passed by unanimous consent.
5. When seconded, motions for unanimous consent will enter into a 3 day voting period. All Representatives will be assumed to have cast an "aye" vote unless they explicitly cast a negative vote before the 3 days have ended.
6. If a negative vote is cast, then a normal voting period begins automatically at that time; voting will last no more than 3 days and all Representatives must cast their votes, affirmative or negative, for them to be counted.
7. Representatives are encouraged to remind their colleagues of proper decorum, that voting has finished, that votes cast after a deadline cannot be counted, and of any breach of procedure.
8. Any Representative may propose amendments to a Bill while it is being debated. Grammatical, factual, stylistic, or other cosmetic changes are considered friendly by default and the Sponsor or Chancellor may freely amend such suggestions making careful note of the changes. Should a Sponsor disagree with an amendment, an amending vote will begin in which a majority of present Representatives must approve of the amended version. Amending votes will last 3 days.
9. The Sponsor of a Bill with the support of a second Representative, may move that a Bill be considered under revision of the Committee of the Whole Frenzy.
10. Bills that are under revision of the Committee of the Whole Frenzy can be rewritten without amending votes until a version of the Bill under review receives the verbal support of 1/3 of the Committee of the Whole Frenzy. The Sponsor of the Bill is still the Sponsor regardless of the change of the bill's content or character.
11. A Bill that passes the Committee of the Whole Frenzy is considered to be re-proposed and subject to the 5 day debate period.
12. The Chancellor may convene a Committee of the Whole Frenzy at anytime.
13. Should a situation arise that is not defined by these procedures, the Chancellor will issue emergency procedures to be followed until these Rules can be amended by the Frenzy to resolve the situation.
14. A Representative may move to suspend a rule, and if a majority of those present agree, that rule may be suspended for that debate session.
Section 4 - Groupings
1. Following passage of this Act, the Chancellor shall conduct a review of all national political parties and, within one year, shall create a single Register of all active national political parties.
2. An active national political party shall be any party that has membership in more than one Demesne, or is comprised of coalition of parties from more than one Demesne.
3. The Chancellor shall keep, as part of the Register, a record of the coalition or demesnial parties that form the national political party.
4. Representatives shall sit within the grouping of their national political parties, unless excepted.
5. The Speaker shall allow Representatives elected from regional parties that do not belong to any national political party, or independents, to sit as Independents in the Frenzy.
Section 5 - Elections
1. No later than 12 Novaber of every third year, the Emperor shall declare the Frenzy dissolved and issue writs for election and/or appointments to all Demesnes.
2. The writs for election and/or appointments shall include the final date by which Demesnes must certify their election and/or appointments results, which shall not be later than 12 Regnuary that same year.
3. Should the Emperor not issue such writs, for whatever reason, the Chancellor or the Speaker shall issue such writs at the earliest opportunity.
4. The Emperor, and if not the Chancellor, and if not the Speaker, shall announce the overall results for the entire Frenzy and call the Frenzy to its inaugural session.
Section 6 - Vacancies Due to Inactive Demesnes
1. In the event of a Demesne going inactive and being unable to elect or appoint Representatives, the Emperor will appoint that Demesne's Representatives.
2. The Emperor may only appoint residents of the inactive Demesne to serve as Representatives for that Demesne.
3. Representatives appointed to vacancies in inactive Demesnes shall have the same rights and privileges of the other duly elected and appointed members of the Frenzy.
4. The term of a Representative appointed by the Emperor shall end at the end of the Frenzy's session.
Section 7 - All Other Vacancies
1. Each Demesne shall be responsible for filling its own vacant seats in the Frenzy according to the laws of that Demesne.
2. Representatives appointed or elected by the Demesnes to fill vacancies caused by death or resignation shall serve out the term of the Representative whom they are replacing.