Ars Magica Theban Tribunal
Theban Tribunal Politikk
Theban Tribunal Politics
When the Order of Hermes formed, a typikon offered by a Jerbiton magus of Prokopios’ line was influential in constructing the Order’s system of governance. As a result, the Order developed into a democratic organization largely unknown to eighth century Europeans.
However, the Theban League did not feel that the Order went far enough in its principles of fairness and democracy, and when the Theban Tribunal was formed in 865 they swiftly executed rulings of the Peripheral Code that moved the governance of the Tribunal closer to that used by the original typikon of Prokopios rather than the diluted version practiced in the rest of the Order.
The members of the Theban Tribunal are very proud of their political system. They consider the weakened governance practiced by the rest of the Order to be inherently corruptible, requiring men and women of great character to prevent that corruption from affecting the members of the Order themselves.
In the Theban polity, all decisions are delegated to the Hermetic Assembly; that is, the magi of the Tribunal. However, the business of the Assembly is initiated, prepared, and implemented through magistrates who are selected by lot — the magistrates themselves are excluded from the actual decision-making procedure. Theban magi believe that their system removes block voting and factionalism (since magistrates are chosen at random), prevents cronyism (since the figures in power cannot serve for more than seven years at a time), and negates corruption (since agistrates
have no executive or political power).
Furthermore, the system encourages a sense of responsibility and altruism by rewarding acts that strengthen the Tribunal, and punishing antisocial acts.
The Hermetic Polity
The cornerstones of the polity of the Theban Tribunal are twofold. The citizens of the polity have all the executive power, whereas the Council of Magistrates has all he administrative power.
Take, for instance, the most common example of an alleged violation of the Code of Hermes: in Thebes it is the magistrates who prepare the evidence for the prosecution and the defense, not the principles involved.
The decision of guilt or innocence is determined by the citizens (which is true for both Thebes and the usual Hermetic system), but deciding the punishment to be levied against a guilty party — which would normally be the job of the Quaesitores — is again the province of the polity. House Guernicus remains the expert in the study of Hermetic law, but has little role in the execution of it.
This is quite deliberate; by putting the interpretation of the Code into the hands of amateurs, the Tribunal ensures that its rulings are intelligible to the average member of the Tribunal rather than being the arcane minefield common in so many other Tribunals.
Technicalities of the law and legal loopholes are far less common in the Theban Tribunal. The Tribunal’s procedures are mediated through the election of archai (singular “arche”), a council of 16 magistrates who manage the Tribunal’s resources, review the law, and investigate cases.
Archai are selected at each Tribunal meeting, and serve for seven years at a time. They elect one of their number to be the archon, who acts as chairman to the council. There are two other executive positions: the logothete who marshals the Tribunal’s bureaucracy, and the polemarch who ensures its edicts are carried out.
Sider som er relevante:
The Ceremony of Propitiation