Judicial system in Albion | World Anvil

Judicial system

The Judicial system is based in the Ministry Quarter of Trellech  Albion has the ability - in specific circumstances - to enforce truth-telling in court. This can be done mostly easily in a space designed for it when enforced by someone trained to make the process flow smoothly. Thus, Trellech has several courtrooms and smaller spaces designed for this magical work.   (They have appeared in On The Bias, Fool's Gold, and Point By Point.)  


Judges handle cases in the Trellech courts, and sometimes other places. They also oversee a range of contract negotiations, fulfillments, and other formal agreements. (Major criminal cases are relatively rare, so a lot more of their work is civil.)   Judges, along with the magistrates and lord/lady for an area can enforce Silence oaths (the latter two on property they control. In practical terms, there are special magistrates for Trellech, and for Schola, and the other Five Schools and their nearby villages. The heads of each school are equal in rank and ability to a Lord or Lady of the Land.)   Some higher-level Guard officers also have the ability to enforce Silence oaths anywhere the Silence covers (basically, they are sworn to Albion as a whole, as well as to their particular lands, with related ongoing ritual commitments). Usually these officers are also either Lords, Ladies, or oathed heirs in their own right.  


Each district also has at least two (but commonly three to five) magistrates depending on the population. More than two are preferred, since some may travel, have other duties and not be available, etc.   It's also common to collaborate with nearby districts, especially for sensitive cases or ones requiring expertise. Usually 3-5 districts will work closely together to build up resources.   When someone is acting as magistrate, they are under Silence Oath, standing in for Justice and Truth. So to some extent, their actual competence as individuals is less relevant than it might be, so long as you can get them to step into the oath-held space.   The magistrates oversee justice in their area and may coordinate punishments for minor issues as needed. It's a somewhat political role and some magistrates are a lot better than others. (Geoffrey Carillon has some opinions about this in Outcrossing.) The role is sometimes given to people as an award for service, to be able to call on particular expertise without having to go through formal service oaths each time, or to pension off Ministry officials at retirement age.   In general, a magistrate needs to be someone of moderately strong magical ability (not deft with it, just a certain amount of raw capability). They should be present in the area they serves regularly, and be able to travel to locations within their area on request within a reasonable timeframe, as well as respond to emergencies if needed.   Magistrates help coordinate emergency response, deal with unusual crisis situations until the Guard or other professional help can get there, and maintain certain stores of magical healing materials in case of emergency.   Magistrates are expected to retire if they have ongoing poor health that affects their duties. Sometimes this actually happens.   It's rare for someone to become a magistrate before they're 30. Lords or Ladies of the land are often one of the magistrates, but are not normally asked unless they've been the Lord or Lady for at least 3-5 years. The oath requires a substantial commitment to the magic of justice.   Richard Edgarton becomes a magistrate during Pastiche, and Geoffrey Carillon mentions several during Outcrossing.