The Imperial Charter
The Imperial Charter was once the highest set of laws within the Galactic Empire. The First Galactic Empire created this charter from the former Galactic Republic constitution following their ascension to power, and it defined the laws to which the Empire obeyed. It was in effect the constitution of the Galactic Empire. The Second Galactic Empire was instead founded upon the principles of the Sith Order, and thus constitutional rule was one of the few things not carried over by this new Galactic Empire. Following the ousting of the Sith by Emperor Tarl, talks about returning the charter were had but no progress was made. Tarl liked the ability to rule without having to obey a set of laws. His death signified major changes within the Empire, initially only in regards to the Military and the ISB. Now the Emperor wants to recreate a constitution for the Empire, not only to reaffirm the rights of the people within the Empire but also to emphasize its rights to create an ordered society free of crime, anarchy, corruption and chaos. The following are the most relevant articles to the Charter.
Article 1a of the Imperial Charter describes the basic rights of its people, guaranteeing them a peaceful and prosperous life. The article allows for people to demand a trial if they believe that they are being falsely accused. Corruption and exploitation of the people are specifically outlawed, ensuring that those who abide by Imperial Law are protected from criminals, whether they be outside or within the Imperial Government. These rights are extended to those who are not Imperial citizens.
Subsection B of Article 1 reminds people that these rights are forfeit (including the right to a trial) if a person commits certain crimes against the state. These crimes include: Treason, Piracy, Crimes of War and Acts of War. Acts of defiance also render these rights forfeit. Acts of defiance are defined as corruption, anarchy, chaos, and criminal activity and must be confirmed as such by the Imperial Civilian Courts before the perpetrator(s) is classified under Article 1b.
Article 2 confirms who wields legislative, executive and judiciary powers in the Empire. The Emperor is named Head of State and has both executive and legislative powers. Currently, there also exists a Supreme Commander who has control of the Imperial Army and Navy and who can act independently in cases of emergency as per Article 16. The Imperial Civilian Courts have judiciary powers when it comes to those affected by Article 1a and the Imperial Security Bureau have judiciary powers over those affected by Article 1b.
Article 4 describes the power and position of the Moffs within the Empire's structure. Grand Moffs are governors of sectors, and have a seat on the Council of Grand Moffs headed by the Emperor. Moffs are governors of individual planets and have a seat on their sector's council, headed by the corresponding Grand Moff. Grand Moffs and Moffs have control over the Imperial Security Forces assigned to them but none over the rest of the Imperial Army, nor do they have the power to ignore the law. They exist to control the administration and enforce Imperial law and policies in their area of control.
The Galactic Empire is to uphold the law and ensure the security of its citizens. To that effect, the Imperial Civilian Courts have been created. Judges are chosen by the Imperial Government to oversee Civilian trials as per Article 1a and to decide whether an individual accused of an Act of Defiance is to be judged by the Imperial Security Bureau as per Article 1b. These Civilian Trials consist of a randomly chosen jury from the planet the trial is taking place on and a legal team is provided to both sides by the state.
The Imperial Security Bureau differs from this in that they do not have a say in civilian trials (though they may provide evidence or testimony due to their role as an Intelligence Agency) but they are always responsible for dealing with those classified under Article 1b. Such individuals are not given a trial and unless they or agents of the Imperial Security Bureau can provide evidence of their innocence then they are considered guilty and punished accordingly.
Any individual who contradicts Imperial law in Imperial territory is automatically tried according to Imperial law. This extends to individuals who are not Imperial citizens. The only exception to this is if the individual's government has an extradition treaty with the Empire and can negotiate this individual's return with the Imperial Government.
Article 10 affirms the position of the Imperial Senate. Representatives are elected by the Imperial people, each planet receiving a number of representatives proportional to their population. The Senate has the ability to raise issues and propose laws, and are allowed to voice their concerns to the Imperial Chancellor. Issues or concerns raised which affect the Empire as a whole can lead to Senators chosen by their peers and the Imperial Chancellor to meet with the Emperor in the Council of Representatives, to discuss and fix these issues. The Senate also oversees some aspects of the Bureaucracy and Budget, though final decisions are left to the Imperial Government. The Emperor has no rights to dissolve the Imperial Senate permanently, but he may do so temporarily in times of crisis under the terms outlined in Article 16.
Emergency Powers can be taken by the Emperor and Supreme Commander during a time of crisis. A crisis is defined as a state of war (external or internal) or a lack of leadership by the Government.
During a crisis, the Supreme Commander is given full control and authority over the Imperial Military and is able to ignore express orders by the Emperor on military matters. They may also enforce martial law in areas they deem necessary. Conscription laws may also be enacted, allowing the recruitment of all able bodied citizens from the ages of 18 to 35 to be called for service. An individual who refuses to do so without valid reason (decided upon by the Imperial Civilian Courts) is to be classified under Article 1b.
During a crisis, the Emperor may temporarily dissolve the Senate and centralize the power of the Imperial Government around him, allowing him to bypass the Grand Moffs when it comes to governing.
In the event of the Emperor dying, his powers are automatically handed to the Supreme Commander until a new Emperor is designated. In the event of the Supreme Commander dying, their powers are automatically handed to the Emperor until a new Supreme Commander is designated. If both die, their powers are given to the Council of Grand Moffs until a new Emperor is designated.
The Imperial Charter is subject to change. These changes must be presented to the Council of Grand Moffs and the Council of Representatives, but ultimately the final decision is left to the Security Council.
Any and all belief systems are tolerated within the Empire, so long as these belief systems do not directly oppose the Imperial Government. Direct Opposition is defined as systems which encourage anarchy, treason, corruption, criminal activity or chaos as per Article 1b. An individual cannot be persecuted based on their belief system alone, but if they are involved in a group with a belief system that directly opposes the Imperial Government then they may be detained as per Article 1b. These rights extend to Orders of Force Users.