Law and Jurisprudence

Image from Bernd Helfert

The legal procedures and judgements that safeguard the rights of countless trillions of sentient beings, ensure good relations between sophonts of many toposophic types and levels, and guarantee that the Sephirotic Polities and empires are the best, fairest, and most just place for any sophont to be. These laws and procedures are devised not only by the Transapients and Archailects of those empires, but also by the modosophont citizens themselves, after long deliberations and debates drawing on thousands of years of experience (and guidance from aivisers).

Finding a consensus for a legal system among such diverse entities is challenging, and the source of endless philosophical debate, such as the debates between relativism and absolutism, and the debates between punishment, criminal rehabilitation or neuropsychological engineering.

Outside the mainstream centres of Sephirotic civilisation are hundreds of millions of systems that are independent, or are aligned with other metaempires; these polities often have legal procedures and systems of their own which may be different in many details to the ones followed by the Sephirotics.

  • Copy Rights  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The existence of copies results in legal conundrums of which there are a number of possible alternative solutions.
  • Crime - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Acts punishable by law, whether a violation of local regulations or of the sentient rights of another being. Crimes in the ultra-civilized systems of the Inner Sphere are in general very subtle - data manipulation, fraud, extortion with embarrassing information or purely software crimes like mind casinos. In the less regulated systems smuggling, theft and more property-related crimes start to appear, and out in the simpler regions traditional seediness and crimes are common.
  • Criminal Rehabilitation  - Text by Ryan B
    Treatment of criminality caused by memetic disease.
  • Customs  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Duty levied on imports from foreign polities.
  • Deeper Covenant Rights  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Subsection of Transport Policy of the Deeper Covenant and its Associated Beamrider Networks, Systems, Habitations and Facilities.
  • Dividual Interaction Protocols  - Text by Daniel Eliot Boese
    A set of rules concerning the rights and responsibilities of dividuals (copies of an individual with identical personalities)
  • Executioners of Gesima  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    An unusual solution for a state that has the death penalty but regards state-run executions as unacceptable.
  • Import Controls - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Government imposed limits on the entry of goods into a polity.
  • Import Restrictions - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Limitations placed on the purchase of imports by quotas, tariffs, etc., favored by some centralized and isolationist polities. Megacorps often use aggressive memetic engineering to ensure maximum import penetration and minimum import restrictions. Megacorps also often work in favor of import restrictions in order to keep their competitors out of the market.
  • Individual - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Legally, an individual is an unitary conscious entity - a single copy of an upload, the mind in the biological body, and so on. See also Copy Rights.
  • Legal Spillover - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Legal spillover occurs when rules and regulations from an advanced culture (including transcendent systems) are imitated by a less advanced culture, without fully understanding their reason. This can sometimes cause very strange loopholes, such as the Duktig cloning regulation that make both the original and a clone the same legal entity, with a legal age equal to the sum of their ages.
  • Magnesium Issue, The  - Text by HÃ¥kan Andersson
    At the first singularity and beyond, new legal problems and solutions arise. Some of these solutions will doubtlessly have an impact upon baseline law. Among the classical problems, quoted at countless law academies in the Inner sphere, stands the Negentropic Magnesium Issue.
  • Mermo Lachbannia Case  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Infamous murder case on 6532 AT on Pardes world where Mermo Lachbannia II, heir of the Baza-Lachbannia Shares of Cygexpa, was found dead on her yacht more than 100 kilometres from the nearest turing-equivalent being.
  • Mobility Denial Hooks Chain  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    Class of deployable restraint technology for subduing mobile targets
  • Mobility Denial Myoribbon (MDMr)  - Text by Johnny Yesterday
    deployable restrictive technology for subduing mobile targets.
  • Modular Ethics  - Text by David Jackson
    Discrete packets of ethical and moral memes, reviewed and verified by authoritative bodies, and offered to immigrants as a precondition to entry to a particular polity.
  • Motoric Teamware - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, from Anders Sandberg's Big Ideas Grand Vision
    On Nova Terra during the First Federation period, some law enforcement people used teamware bionics to allow AI to take control of their bodies in a crisis situation, essentially allowing the teamware to use them as drones. It was not very popular. However, the basic technology is still widely available, especially away from the main empires and in the Outer Volume regions.
  • Omerta  - Text by Michael Beck
    Commercial organization that serves as a go-between to allow criminals to find work. Employs heavy public key encryption. Illegal on all civilized worlds, but you find them everywhere even so.
  • Partial Death - Text by Anders Sandberg
    When an extended entity suffers partial irrevocable destruction, removing sizable aspects of the previous individuality. Legal concept intermediate between wounding and death in many jurisdictions.
  • Person - Text by Anders Sandberg
    A person is an entity given rights. A legal person is an entity recognized by the law, usually identical with the person. See also Copy Rights.
  • Residual Law - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Laws left from ancient history, no longer relevant to modern systems but retained out of tradition or because various institutions have sprung up that protect them. An example of these are the Coronese duelling laws, which date from the Taurus Nexus breakup and have no place in the current legal system, but are protected by tradition and a sizable lobbying group supported by the duelling industry.
  • Sentient Rights Protocols  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Protocols that allow the creation, interpretation and modification of sentient rights in diverse circumstances.
  • Traplaws  - Text by Darren Ryding
    One of the many baffling qualities of Tylansia's inconsistent legal system. Indeed, inconsistency is the sole purpose of their existence.
  • Universal Declaration of Sophont Rights  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, John B
    The Universal Declaration of Sophont Rights is a carefully worded and fully interactive document that, whilst having been superseded, has remained the foundation for civilized galactic society.
  • Vanishment   - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Complete erasure of an entity from history and common memory. Possible within a virch that has no external records, or wherever personal memories may be accessed and revised by some central body and external records are not present. It is commonly believed that in the Civilized Galaxy in the modern era cases are rare and voluntary, but this was not true in the past and is not true elsewhere. The true extent of this practice is not known since successful Vanishment does not leave any record of whoever or whatever was erased.
  • Virtual Rights - Text by Max More in Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Terminology
    Rights given for convenience to a partial; these rights are really rights of the person whose partial it is, rather than of the partial itself. Similar in some respects to currently existing corporate rights.
  • War-lawyer  - Text by John B and Anders Sandberg
    Sophont whose primary mode of effort is to use legal, moral, memetic, and/or sociological engineering against a target group to attempt a specific goal.
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Additional material by Steve Bowers 2024
Initially published on 03 February 2004.

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