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Author Topic: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress  (Read 462 times)

Azerty

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As criminal law, civil law concepts will take a great deal of importance for the Commerce Arc and when the Economy is reestablished. The existence of residents makes necessary the modeling of personal status, the presence of trade companies makes necessary the definition of contracts and corporations, and boats might require the definition of the responsability of a ship-owner in regard to the cargo and the passengers.

Civil law is traditionally divided in three parts: personal law, property law and obligation law. In my criminal law post, I mostly used ideas from common law, because I thought it would fit better the DF universe; here, I will take some concepts from continental law because I think they might be easier to simulate.

I hope this post will not be too long nor too difficult to understand; maybe re-reading this post after a first reading might be easier. Likewise, I hope I didn't make too much vocabulary errors.

LEGAL PERSONHOOD AND LEGAL CAPACITY

Legal persons will be the persons able to have rights and duties in civil law, such as owning property, having debts and an identity. In short, they are able to be in civil law.

Legal capacity shall refers to the ability to alter these rights and duties by using some, or all, of the legal instruments, such as suing in court, disposing of property and agreeing for contracts. In short, it is the capacity of being actor (as opposed to subject) in the civil law, being able to act.

Each legal person has an estate, which is the sum of his claims and obligations.

These legal persons shall be further divided in two categories: natural persons and moral persons.

Natural persons

They are, using the terms in the game, living sentient creatures (tokens CAN_LEARN and CAN_SPEAK).

Their legal personhood starts at birth (although inheritance might start before for unborn children in some legal systems) and ends at death (some civilizations might enact civil death and outlawry for some criminals and "abominations" such as vampires and werecreatures, while resurrection as a sentient being might allow these previously dead to regain their former legal personhood, thereby excluding undeads).

Legal differenciation and legal castes

The pre-1400 times featured what I could call heteronomy, or the contrary of isonomy, meaning some classes of persons could have different rights from each other because of their different legal statuses, and live under different laws (the term of "estate" might lend to confusion with property law, so legal status will do the trick).

Putting this part in the "Going further" part, as I did in my post about criminal law, was something I first envisaged, but since such distinctions already existed in the game (visitors aren't considered as fortress members but can petition for admittance, nobles have specific priviledges and there are POWs), I thought my ideas would be easier to implement than if I spoke about proposals about which no stubs are present in the game.

Such legal castes, defined in the raws, could have the following dividing factors among others: free or not? Belonging to the site or not? Belonging to the entity or not? Citizen or not? From a specified civilization or not? In short, they would be defined by status, race, culture and wealth among others.

Exemples of castes already present in a fortress: commoners, nobles, residents and POWs. Moreover, it seems entity citizenship is separate from site citizenship, as can show loyalty cascades involving separatists loyal to the fort and not the civilization, loyalists who are the reverse, citizens loyal to both and renegades enemy of both.

In game, they could have different personal statuses, with separated juridical capacities in each civilization (for exemple, in civilization A, slaves could have recognized property rights over chattel while in civilization B, slaves could own nothing, all their goods being their masters'). Rights might be defined in the raws, so that we might have flexibility. We could also have branching, so that, for exemple, property rights on land are separated of property rights on chattel.

  • Legal privileges shall mean, in this part, additional rights for a caste and differences from the baseline. For exemple, owning land in a civilization would be open only to the citizens while nobles would have the right to entail their lands.
  • In the opposite side, legal disabilities would be things a natural person would be unable to do compared to the baseline (for exemple, a slave could be unable to own real property).

The baseline shall be defined to be a citizen of the entity (other baselines might be chosen in a legal system, so as to have civilizations where only citizens would have full capacity; really oppressive ones would have the baseline to be the nobles).

Each legal caste could have differences relating to the extant of their juridical capacity and eventual privileges and disabilities; personnal law shall vary also, for exemple priests could be reqired to transmit all or part of their property to their temple after their death while nobles could be able to give all their property to one heir, as opposed to commoners, who would have to divide theirs equally between their children.

The different ways to move between these legal castes should be defined in the raws, and a legal system could chose, by procedural generation (see infra) which classes and which ways to move. Maybe Legal Stratification, Inclusivity and Social Mobility should be variables for an entity.
Rights such as "Owning real estate" should be listed under caste with the settings YES (this caste will always have this right in every law system), MAYBE (this caste may or may not have this right) and NO (this caste will never have this right).

It would be desirable to ensure each class is defined as being included in a larger class, so that the selection and the generation of the relevant laws are facilitated and the "birth" and "death" of a class during WorldGen will be made easier by ensuring it would just involve starting from an existing class by branching (nobles splittling from freemen and, further, royalty splitting from nobility as a subcategory or, conversely, craftsmen and merchants fusing in one same class). Moreover, they might inherit from the settings from the larger caste: for exemple, if CAN_OWN_REAL_PROPERTY for bondspersons is set to NO then it will be equally, by default, set at NO for slaves, serfs and other castes inheriting from bondspersons excepted if, for exemple, it is set to MAYBE for indentured servants.

For exemple, a society might just have freemen, and then they will have to deal with the captured enemies who attacked them by giving them the status of POW. Given this society admits slavery, most of these POWs who weren't sent back would be enslaved. In the meantime, a nobility might develop among the freemen.

The attribution of a given legal caste to a natural person shall be viewed below.

Rough exemple of a class, here, slave:

Code: [Select]
[SOCIAL_CLASS:SLAVE]
[DESCRIPTION:A slave is a sentient being considered as a property]
[NAME:slave:slaves:slave]
[IS_SLAVE:YES] Enable modifiers linked to the ethics for slavery to apply

Moral persons

Moral persons shall be associations with legal personnality and juridical capacity. Their juridical capacity shall start at creation and end at dissolution.

Categories

The different kinds of such persons shall include organizations such as temple management associations, workers unions, warrior lodges, hunting clubs, artist bands, monastic orders and trade guilds.

Administrative and governmental bodies might be described in a future post about public law.

Regulations

Law shall define the membership and the leadership, and could limit which property and which actions they can do, for exemple forbidding traders' associations from owning rural real property, or making the owning of temples a monopoly of temple associations.

Criminal organisations such as robbers' bands, pirates and illegal cults might have special rules (i.e. banned apart if the ethics allow it - I don't see goblins having issues with robbers and pirates, since theft, assault and murder are "personal matters" to them, and cults which would be criminal in one site might be the ruling organisation in another). Front organizations might be possible, and are indeed present in DevDiaries, with shadow orgs infiltrating governments: we could have a charity masking a local demon cult or an political opposition movement.

Governments, both national and local, along with administrations, shall have special regulations, part of public law.

Creation of a moral person

Their creation, or incorporation, shall be the decision of at least three natural persons with juridical capacity.

The act, or Charter, would have to be registered to the local authorities and would set the basic rules of the corporation. Some societies would ask for further conditions, such as approval from a leader, whether local or from the entire civilization, some, or all, of the founders having a skill or being of a specific category, or the payment of a sum. Conditions on the founders might also be imposed, such as being priests to create a temple association.

Some societies could admit the creation of corporation by oral testimony, or witnesses to the creation by the founders of a corporation. It could cause the birth of corporations "from immemorial time." In this case, the Charter might be uncodified or even unwritten, consisting from separate documents and customs (a set of practices developed during the ages). In other cases such as family clans (see below about personal law), no Charter shall be needed.

Structure and governance of a corporation

A corporation shall have a Governing Body, initially staffed by the founders, among who the first Directors will be named; one of them will be selected to become the Head Director. Of course, these names could be redefined in the rows for each corporation.

The governing body as a whole shall exerce the corporation's legal capacity in its name, and pass the bylaws needed by the organisation.

Below this governing body shall be Officers, individuals tasked with administring the corporation under the Governing Body. For exemple, the directors of a trade company, members of the Governing Body, could nominate adjunct merchants to administrate their markets and their posts; another exemple would be a treasurer or a bookkeeper. Their definition in the rows could follow how noble positions are written.

Some corporations, such as guilds, monastic orders or mercenary bands, could have members. They could have various rights and duties: for exemple, the trader or the worker member of a guild might be asked to cover for the costs and, conversely, could receive part of the profits. The number of such members could be limited or not, and if the former, such memberships could be sold (trade houses). Conditions, such as culture, skills and residence, could be set by the Charter or by bylaws. Several categories of memberships could eventually be defined, to separate, for exemple, apprentices and masters in guilds. Corporations might be able to discipline their members and officers, whether by fines, suspension or expulsion.

Nomination to the Governing Body could be by cooptation by surviving Directors, hereditary transmission, sortition among all or some Members and election by Members among others.

All these previous points shall be set up in the Charter, which could be modified either by the unanimity of the Governing Body or by a vote from the members, among other methods spelled in the Charter or by law.

Bylaws will be expanding on the Charter and being voted at the majority of the Governing Body: for exemple, while the position of Treasurer might be established by the Charter, the wages might be set by a bylaw; another exemple might be the fares for the patients of an hospital or the admission of pupils into a school. Still another exemple would be the conditions of admittance to a library: if the Charter has dispositions concerning them then the bylaws cannot go against them (a disposition banning racial discrimination ban the Governong Body from banning any elve or setting a Dwarf-only policy), else the Governing Body has complete liberty, excepted if the laws disposes (for exemple, a law banning race discrimination would prevent any bylaw from enacting discrimination, and some Charters, depending fom the origin, might be concerned by such bans).

Below is an rough exemple of corporation (a guild of miners and owned by them; a separate corporation could be defined for mining companies whose members are shareholders and which would hire miners); of course, a real raw entry would have been more complex:

Code: [Select]
[CORPORATION:MINING_GUILD]
[NAME:mining guild:mining guilds]
[DESCRIPTION:a guild of miners bearing the benefits or the risks of a mining venture in proportion of their investment]
[ACTIVITY:MINING] It means the governing body will take decisions to further this goal of mining i.e. buying picks, renting mining rights and selling the minerals. Also, the name will be generated to points to mining as its activity i.e. "Boatmurdered Mining Guild"
[GOVERNING_BODY:miners' council]
[NOMINATED_HOW:ELECTION:MEMBERS] This body shall be elected by the members
[DIRECTORS:deputy head miner:deputy head miners]
[SKILL:MINING:m] The minimum skill at mining to even apply as director. This minimum might be set by the Charter or a bylaw
[HEAD_DIRECTORS:head miner:head miners]
[MEMBER:fellow miner:fellow miners]
[SKILL:MINING:m] The minimum skill at mining to even apply as member. This minimum might be set by the Charter or a bylaw
[PERSONAL_APPORT:YES] The miner must invest money or tools in the venture. Specific details provided by the Charter or a bylaw

Dissolution of a corporation

A corporation could be dissolved when its members or, when it isn't any, governing board elect, in the former, to the 2/3 of the total votes, and in the latter, in the unanimity. Other methods to dissolve a corporation shall also exist, such as completion of the goal, mootness (there's no use to have a mining corporation for a place where there's no more ores) and bankruptcy.

If the corporation totally ceases to function for a determined time (seven years for exemple) then the local authority could notice this, issue an ultimate warning enabling any interested persons able to take this organisation and, if it isn't headed, dissolve the corporation.

When a corporation is dissolved, the local leader shall liquidate the estate and distribute the proceeds to either the members or, when it isn't, it shall go to the state. Specific regulations shall exist for some goods such as temples.

This will prevent the existence of "ghost" corporations, such as a temple authority whose temple was destroyed by goblins 50 years ago and whose priests are all dead.

Subsidiary corporation

A corporation might create a subsidiary corporation, whose governing body shall be his father's, represented by an Officer, or be otherwise submitted. For exemple, a temple might create an hospital or have a monastic order.

It might be more used in public law.

PERSONAL LAW

Personal law defines the law related to natural persons and their relations.

It mainly deals with filiation and marriage; here, filiation whall refers to how someone is related to another person and how families are delimited.

Filiation and naming

Filiation shall either be matrilineal or patrilineal, depending of the gender conventions of the civilization. Dispositions on adoption shall vary from totally prohibited to fully allowed and include restrictions on factors such as the age or the race of the adoptee.

As for the naming, legislations would have, as a minimum, given names; others might provide for patronyms and/or matronyms, family names or clan names, to be determined following the filliation.

Maybe legitimity should be provided for, to describe children born out of wetlock.

Some legal systems might provide for family emblems and blasons.

Marriage and family

Marriage shall be monogamic or polygamic, and in the latter it shall be polygynic, polyandric or group marriage. Divorce shall be regulated, if allowed, and its consequences shall be defined; some laws might allow for unilateral repudiation. Maybe temporary marriages could be defined in some laws. The set of natural persons, or spouses, united by a same marriage shall be named couple.

Some laws might allow for concubinage, or a consort of lower status. This consort would have less rights than a full spouse (no heritage, for exemple, apart from a sum fixed in the contract), and the offspring might be deemed illegitimate.

A family unit, or household, shall be constitued of a couple and its minor children. One member of the couple might be the head of household and might be determinated by gender, age or any other factor.

Depending from the laws, the property in a couple might be possessed in common or each spouse might retain his own goods. If this isn't too complex, we could see a mix of both systems, such as each spouse keeping his own property but any property gained during the marriage, or marital property, might be owned by the couple; details might be regulated by a contract of marriage, which could additionally set up other things such as the place of residence or the religion followed, depending of whether laws allow it. The minor children's property will be managed by the couple (see below for "Relation with legal capacity").

Some legal systems might provide for clans, or a set of households descending from a founding household. Such clans might have communal property and a clan leader.

Both clan leaders and heads of household might have public law powers and duties, whether on taxation or even criminal law. I could imagine some clan leaders being judges for small claims between clan members.

Entering and leaving a legal caste

As seen above, natural persons might be divided in several castes holding different laws, rights and duties.

A legal person can be only in one caste at once in any legal system; private international law might be discussed in an entry on public law but we could say that a noble dwarf caught and enslaved by goblin invaders doesn't lose his status in his home civilization and, if he escapes, he will still be a noble back home. States might make agreements about returning their bondspersons or, if culturally related, mutually recognize each other's nobility.

Entering and leaving a caste might involve filiation, and the notion of legitimacy might come at play: for exemple, being born from nobles might confer nobility to the legitimate offspring. Moreover, volunteer acts might be involved, such as pledging loyalty to the local leader to be able to gain the citizenship. Laws enacted by the authority might play too in this regard.

Relation with legal competency

In some cases, a natural person might be unable to exercise the totality legal capacity by lacking legal competency, for exemple, in minority (the age could vary around the year of the end of the childhood), insanity or absence; in some legal systems, werecreatures might be deemed incapables during their period of lunacy.

A legal guardian will have to be named to help incapables to use their legal capacity, and sometimes, this guardian will already be determinated by operation of law: for exemple, minor children might have their parents, or the head of household, as their guardian.

In some cases, it might be a partial incapacity: for exemple some legislations which would allow a slave to own property might have his master manage any legal action involving it; in others, foreigners might be required to have a patron.

Successions

When a physical person dies, his estate shall be divided among the heirs.

Laws shall stipulate the amount of freedom in how can someone dishes out his properties, whether outside the family (in some places, no piece of family property shall be passed to non-relatives) and how much inside the family (which relatives can be alowed to get property). Egality between heirs shall also be regulated (in some places, heirship shares shall vary according to gender or birth rank, going from a slight bonus to the attribution of the whole succession to an heir (primogeniture, ultimogeniture)).

Persons shall be able to create wills to say how they would like to have their estate divided, while keeping with the law, by listing their gifts to various persons, for exemple "I gift to my son {{?}} the sum of 500 and my horse {{?}}". In some places, the law might require the property of a person to be passed to his children but the will will specify how the division shall be done, awarding such good to such heir. Conditional gifts might be provided for in some legislations, for exemple a will might require an heir to take care of someone to get a good, along with alternates, in cases where the conditions aren't there for the gift, such as "I gift to my son {{?}} the sum of 500 and my horse {{?}} if {{?}}, else {{?}}".

There should be rules for intestate successions, along with escheat to the authorities for heirless and intestate successions.

If the deceased resurrects, even as a sentient being, or otherwise recover his legal personhood previously lost by death then his heirs will not be forced to return his property.

Mandate and delegation

Related to legal capacity, a person, whether natural or legal, named grantor shall be able to delegate the exercise of some of his rights to someone named agent by a contract of mandate. For exemple, a trade company could delegate to one of its officers the right to buy ivory in one place. Such mandate could be revoked at will by either the grantee or the agent.

This could be related to guardianship, seen above.

PROPERTY LAW

Property is divided in real property and chattel. The manners of conveying it will also be studied there, along with the seveal limitations one could put on a property. Some chattel might be res nullius, such as the fish in a river; likewise, some land might be terra nullius, such as deserted land outside any public control (some legislations could make State property any land not owned by anyone); whoever take them shall become their owner.

Property rights shall include usus (the right of use the good), fructus (the right to enjoy the fruits from it) and abusus (the right to sell it or otherwise to dispose of it); subrights might be linked to each of these categories, such as selling, destroying and leasing. We might have usufruct (the union of usus and fructus) and naked property (abusus).

Categories

Properties are divided in two kinds:
  • Real property shall be land and buildings; an owner should own the surface, the depths below and one cube of the sky above his land, or his building. We could see several subunits such as mining rights, grazing rights and logging rights, enabling owners to rent these subunits to others. In addition, property attached to real property shall be real property, such as a millstone bound to a farm, along with some rights on real property, such as mortgage.
  • Chattel shall be moveable goods such as items, pets and slaves, and the rights about such items. In addition, some goods produced by real property, such as harvests, shall be chattel. Rights such as some debts, along with torts, might be treated, in some jurisdictions, as property.

Laws and procedures about real property shall be stricter and more complex than the ones about chattel. Should artifacts be real property or a priviledgied class of chattel? This determination will be done after testing the better way to simulate it.

The valuation of a property might be the sum of the values of each ot its rights: for exemple the value of a piece of real estate will be the sum of the values of the rights to mine, log and farm, along with other rights. How will these rights be defined? For exemple, mining rights might be defined by the value of the ores gathered during ten years of mining. Other might be more difficult, such as the housing rights in a house. Appraiser might become a more valuated skill in some societies.

Conveyance

Property shall be conveyed by selling, gifting, accession and inheritance.

  • Convention and agreement will be studied below in the Contracts part.
  • Gifting shall be when a party gift a property, whether real or chattel, to another party.
  • Accession shall be when the product of a property shall become the property of the owner. For exemple, the ovner of a tree is the owner of the fruits of this tree. Special rules might apply when the property is a living being (animals, slaves).
  • Succession shall deal with the conveyance of property after the death of a physical person or the dissolution of a moral one.

Trusts and sureties

Some law systems would provide for some forms of property the owner shouldn't be able to alienate: it would be, for exemple, fee tails (real property whose owner would plan the carrying for the following generations), benefices (property whose fruits would be the wages of the holder of a position), dowry (transfer of parental property, gifts or money at the marriage of a child), dower (property from a spouse to another to protect him in cases of widowhood), tribal lands (land granted to a tribe by a government).

All will be modelised as trusts and shall be defined in the raws with tags indicating the trustor, who create the trust from his own estate, the trustee who manages it and the beneficiary who receives the benefits, along with some of their characteristics (i.e. only a spouse can receive a dower from his parents).
The mechanics could be the following: the trustor keep the naked property and transfer the usufruct to the trustee, who manages it on behalf of the beneficaries.

The trustee could also be a position, or office, meaning the beneficiary shall be the holder of the position. It shall be especially useful for temple, along with public law.

They might be used to prevent some corporations to dispose of property related to their main goal: if a mining corporation shall be enabled to sell less interesting spots, a temple authority shall be prevented to sell its temple or its worship tools, but not sell parts of its fields.

Related items, sureties, whether using real or chattel property, could be established in order to guarantee an obligation; they will depend of if the original owner is able to use it or if it is under the guard of the other signatory or an independent party. For exemple, an adventurer might ask someone to pay, in a trust, the wages of a worker he hired in order to raid a tomb, so that the worker's family is guaranteed to not be cheated of their parent's rightful money. Another exemple would be of a debt by a fortress to traders guaranteed by an artifact.

Composite property

In order to streamline the management of property, the game shall allow for composite property, or a larger good formed from other pieces of property.

For exemple, one could define in the raws a tavern, composed of a minimum number of rooms, a kitchen and a eating room with, optionally, a brewery, and a workshop from a workplace, storage space and a room.
Workshops are set to be eventually defined in zones, including, on a space, the needed tools and storage; the whole could be defined as a property, so instead of selling the tools, the storage and the space, one could sell or buy the whole thing at once.

Of course, the value of such goods shall be the total value of each of the components.

The creator of this composite property might give its name; we could have farms, landed estates and houses with unique names.

OBLIGATIONS LAW

Obligations shall be contractual and extra-contractual. Some would be things persons would have agreed upon while others whould involve a person having to do something for an action or an omission he did.

Contracts

Contracts are willing agreements made legally enforceable.

Some might have to be written and conserved in the court's library by local Statutes of fraud but, in some legal systems, using witnesses for an oral contract shall also be acceptable, while risked.

Exemples of contracts:
  • Sale: a party shall agree to sell to another party a property; while the basic contracts of buying chattel goods and paying them straight away will not present any difficulty, sales on credit or of real property might have to be written down.
  • Leasing: a party shall rent to another a property, whether chattel (for exemple, the rental of an horse) or real property (for exemple a room); it shall have the amount of the rent and a term (daily, monthly, quaterly or yearly). They might have to be written, for those of longer term. Local laws could regulate such rents. Rents could be fixed or depending of another factur such as the products of the property (i.e. crops of a field)
  • Hiring: a party shall hire for a time factor (day, month, trimester or year) and eventually a maximum time, a physical person, for wages, either in cash or in goods, depending from the skills and eventual regulations. Additionally, bounties (for exemple, a part of the treasure) might be provided for.
  • Loaning: a party shall loan to another a sum of money and interests can be aplied to the loaned capital, on a basis of daily, monthly, trimesterly or yearly terms. The rate should be depending of the trustworthy nature of the debtor, the existence of a collateral or personal caution and eventual regulations on maximum rates (in some places, no interest might be allowed). It shall also says whether the interests shall be simple or compounded.
  • Pact of trade association: A number of persons might poll their funds and invest it in ventures such as a trade expedition. Each associate receive a share of the benefits or the debts proportional to the share of his investment in the venture.
  • Commission: A party ask another to fulfull a task in exchange of something. For exemple, someone might ask a smith a sword in exchange of money. In some cases, the client might be able to furnish the needed material (for exemple, giving gold and diamonds to a jeweler) and in other cases, he might be paid on the products (for exemple a butcher might be able to keep a bit of meat for himself).
  • Mandate: A contract about a grantor asking an agent to exercise some of his rights on his behalf.
  • Marriage: A contract describing the management of property inside a couple. Other matter, such as religion or residence, might be described.

Of course, such contracts could be combined, for exemple a contract over the making and the selling of an artifact whose funding would be done by a loan, said artifact being afterwards part of a caravan.

Contracts might be deemed null and void if one of the parties didn't consent freely or if the contract itself was unlawful (a contract of sales on slaves might be void in an abolitionist civilization). Additionally, force majeure might impede the execution of contract, such as the renting of a farm being ended by a dragon rampaging, or a caravan attacked by a goblin band.

Enforcement

While, in the majority of the cases, each party will try to keep his part of the bargain, in a minority of cases, one (or all!) of the parties will not respect the contract; in these cases, the aggreviated party shall go to court to make the other party keep his word.

After the complainant has proved the existence of the contract (easy when a written trace exist in an official building, difficult when in oral form) and if the violation is proven to be true, the judge shall order the other party to act on his obligations and then, if not done, order coercitive measures adapted to the nature of the obligation.

For exemple, seizure might be used for obligations involving money while other methods such as jailing might be available. Sureties shall be used. In addition, it shall constitute the tort of contract violation (see below).

Further measures, such as jailing or deprivation of rights, might be used.

Finally, in addition to the sureties seen above, we could have personal guarantees, where someone promises to accept to undertake the contractual responsability of someone else, such as someone guaranteeing a debtor will pay his debt; he might done so for a fee.

Torts and extra-contractual obligations

Any action or inaction from a legal subject harming another legal subject shall submit the former to the obligation to indemnify the latter.

Torts, being essentially the civil equivalent to crime, shall be defined by the same manner than the one I used to define crimes. It might actually be simpler, since tort law only consider the damage caused and the existence of responsability; moreover, the only "punishment" available shall be to pay a sum of money to the aggreviated party or to make otherwise the other part whole: for exemple restituing a stolen item or, in some universes, revivifing a murdered person.

Torts shall cover damages against the life, the bodily integrity, the property and the honor of a person, and shall be related to the ethics and the values of a civilization. A civilisation accepting murder might no see any wrong to make whole in a killing.

Other forms of respnsability might be envisioned: vicarious responsability for workers and dependents, responsability of the guardian of an item (for exemple the owner of a dog is responsible for injuries caused by it).

Defenses might include legality (a soldier shouldn't be sued by an enemy fighter), consent (two brawlers shouldn't get to sue each other), self-defense, and some might be universal or specific.

The wounded interests, defined in the rows for each tort, might be corporeal (wounds, infirmity), material (destruction) or moral (loss of face and dignity), and would define the value of each tort: for exemple the tort of trespass in goods might be defined as material, meaning that damages awarded to the victim will depend of the value of the item, while slender might be defined as moral and the damages being defined on a factor depending of the value of a reputation defined by the legal system. Here again, Appraisal might be an useful skill to determine the value of a tort.

If the judge found against the defendant, he shall create a simili-contract between the victim and the culprit entitling the former to reparations from the latter, to be enforced as seen above.

Exemple of tort, here, assault:

Code: [Select]
[TORT:ASSAULT]
[DEFINITION:The act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person]
[NAME:assault]
[ACTION:ASSAULT] Describes the action done by the tortfeasor

Additionally, in some legal systems, such claims might outright be bought and sold as chattel, enabling some to earn money by suing in courts; other jurisdictions might ban it, and some might even have laws against champerty.

Bankruptcy

When the estate of someone is not sufficient to ensure the fulfilment of his duties and obligations (in laymen's terms, when someone hasn't enough money to pay his debts), he shall be in bankruptcy.

There, various events might happen:

  • The debtor's estate shall be liquidated and the proceeds handed down to the creditors in prorata of their claims on it.
  • The debtor is indentured to his creditors to work his debt.
  • The debtor is enslaved.

When a corporation is in this case, the governing body might, in some cases (illegalities commited) and/or in some legal systems, be found responsible and might have to pay the part of the debt not covered by the corporation's estate. The corporation itself ceases to exist.

[PART 1/2]
Logged
"Just tell me about the bits with the forest-defending part, the sociopath part is pretty normal dwarf behavior."

Azerty

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2019, 07:00:49 pm »

[PART 2/2]

CIVIL LAW IN PRACTICE

The sources of law shall be the same I earlier defined in my post about criminal law.

Trials

Trials in matter of responsability, as well as claims on property and rights, shall be conduced in the same manner as for crimes, with the defendent having a bonus in the part about determination of the existence of a responsability. Any dispute over property or rights would see the granting of them to the winner while any dispute on torts and alike claims would be also followed by the evaluation of such claims by the Appraisal skill (for exemple, the first part of a trial would be on verifying whether a claim of wrongful death exists and then, if true, how much the tortfeasor should pay).

In matters of personal law and status, if no interested person is available (for exemple, the purported owner of someone or the relative of a person), a public prosecutor should defend the status quo, for exemple, when someone sues to argue he is really a citizen, the prosecutor should defend the thesis he's not a citizen, and when someone sues to prove he is the son of someone, the prosecutor should defend the reverse thesis. This is so that there's competitive trials and to prevent adventurers from bluffing their way to nobility.

The evidence shall be handled as in cases of crimes.

Arguments on the legal capacity can also be entered: for exemple someone could argue his opponent is a slave and thus, in the jurisdiction, unable to enter any contract without his master's permission and, consequently, the loan he received from him is null and void, and a father could argue the contract his daughter signed obligating her to follow an adventurer to fight a camp of bandits is void because she was a minor.

HOW WOULD CIVIL LAW BE CREATED?

The creation shall mostly follow the same lines as in criminal law, so I will only paint large brushes and point out differences with the field of criminal law.

World gen

The values of stratification, whenever legal, cultural and racial, along with the ethics, shall determine which legal castes are created at start.

Likewise, in matters of personal law, on torts and on properties, we shall refers to the ethics and the values of the civilization.

As for torts, I can only refers to how I defined crimes.

History mode

Judges shall render rulings on trials and, if no relevant laws are found then the judge shall refer to the moral laws, the ethics and the values of the civilization. Leaders shall enact laws on the question.

When a new situation is encoutered, relevant laws might be unlocked: for exemple, traders expressing a need in credit might cause statutes on loan contracts to be enacted, or at least a clarification of the law on the subject by the justice system.

Personal interests shall also play, for exemple debtors might push for the abolition of debtors' prison, landowners might push for their workers to be bound on their estates, farmers might push for lower rents and traders might push for harsher penalties on debt defaulters.

As for legal castes, depending of the acceptation of legal stratification, their definition shall follow the social organisation; however, a leader might impose a legal classification different of the social organisation: a nobility might be created from those who hold important offices but who aren't that otherwise different from their compatriots, an organisation founded on the culture might be imposed on a society where the divisions are between nobles, freemen, residents and slaves. Similarly, each legal caste would try to remove its legal disabilities, starting from the most oppressive (nomads might be more favorable to measures giving them rights to graze than owning real property), along with receiving more legal privileges (craftspersons might push for being able to entail their workshops qo that they might be transmitted only to their descendents).

On a smaller level, how drama-producing would be a dispute between heirs about an artifact or a large landed estate! Poetry and stories might be written about these.

Scholarship

Here, scholars might push for some positions on overtely utilitarian basis, such as contract law - in a litterate society, a philosopher might argue for no longer recognize oral contracts and, conversely, in a society where most of the population is illiterate, written contracts might be viewed with distrust.

However, moral and ethics might also interviene, even in contract law (oath-breaking isn't popular in some corners): some might argue against legal slavery, others for a stratified society. Some might oppose gambling on both moral and utilitarian motives while others might think gambling is none of the government business.

Effects on history and the larger world

Given civil law and social organisation are greatly interviewed, we could see even more effects than for criminal law.

For exemple, a highly stratified society with legal slavery might cause revolts which would bring disaster if mismanaged, a society where the eldest son get all the parental estate might cause the other sons to end up as mercenaries or adventurers while another society where oath-breaking is treated as "personal matter" and thus contracts aren't reliable will never have much trade, excepted in terms involving upfront payment; conversely, societies cracking down hard on oath-breakers might have a competitive edge on others.

On a personal level, drama about who's going to inherit an artifact might motivate adventurers.

INTERACTION WITH THE PLAYER

Adventure mode

The player might have framework on how to own property, both real and chattel, and, more importantly, how to hire compagnons and how to be hired. Another interesting effect will be the adventurer's status relative to the government; we could see someone progress to foreigner barely tolerated to the high nobility.

Additionally, missions could be related to civil law, such as catching a fleeing debtor and fleeing one's creditors. For exemple, an adventurer might have to lead a caravan, bearing the responsability of having the good arrive, get attacked by bandits and will have to get the money to give to his employers, or else he might suffer consequences such as seizures of his entire estate or even enslavement.

Fortress mode

The possibilities are even greater: we could even going into economy.

First, we will have a framework on how to trade with the outside: incoming caravans could have meaningful owners who could be angry at seeing their goods and their workers being attacked, and residents could even order stuff or sell their production.
Conversely, we could model how caravans could be sent from our fortress, both from the manager, the civilians or both: for exemple, we could see jewelers and craftsdwarves banding togheter to send their gold rings anf ivory statutes to an human town and buying steel bars, cow cheese and dog leather.

Internal economy shall also be concerned with this suggestion: civil law would provide us with a framework on depicting it, with craftsdwarves renting their workshops from the fortress or another part, or owning them outright, hiring helps, funding their purchases with their savings and loans from bankers, buying raw materials from miners and farmers and selling their products to shops and foreign merchants.

One of the issues with the Economy was that noble children could be poorer than commoners; moreover, mandates have been stated to be one of the most annoying issues with nobles. My proposition about benefits would solve both problems, by mandating the creation of properties whose proceeds would go to the holder. For exemple, we could see several fields and workshops parts of the benefit of a count, who would rent them and get the rents and parts of the products. This also could modelize crown jewels, along with linking rooms to positions, a popular proposition among players. It would enable noble children to get huge stipends from their parents and consequently to be able to buy more stuff than commoners, as expected, and enable nobles to get what they want (although despots would still use the "traditional" means - see my eventual post on public law).

Another issue would be how to treat residents who haven't recived citizenship. My proposals might give ideas on how a given civilization would treat them. For exemple, mercenaries would really ask for money or any valuable good in exchange for them fighting the fortress's enemies, and artists would receive money from spectators and from their employers. Taverns would receive money from their clients, and shops, who would have a framework on how to get goods, would receive money from buyers.

SEE ALSO

Interesting threads about this subject:

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GoblinCookie

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 07:32:12 am »

This is a very, very long OP but much of it make sense.  The only problem is that a lot of it suffers from an excess of realism basically, it is not built on the basis of being good game mechanics but on being true to historical reality, a historical reality that isn't actually there because the optimal game mechanics impose a different historical reality onto the game to that which existed historically.

Anachronism is also a problem here, there is no real description of the type of society to which the institutions belong.  For instance the whole section of marriage is a potential anachronism since many of the concepts involved are quite alien to most historical societies, the underlying terms of the discussion are quite different.

Marriage and family

Marriage shall be monogamic or polygamic, and in the latter it shall be polygynic, polyandric or group marriage. Divorce shall be regulated, if allowed, and its consequences shall be defined; some laws might allow for unilateral repudiation. Maybe temporary marriages could be defined in some laws. The set of natural persons, or spouses, united by a same marriage shall be named couple.

Some laws might allow for concubinage, or a consort of lower status. This consort would have less rights than a full spouse (no heritage, for exemple, apart from a sum fixed in the contract), and the offspring might be deemed illegitimate.

A family unit, or household, shall be constitued of a couple and its minor children. One member of the couple might be the head of household and might be determinated by gender, age or any other factor.

Depending from the laws, the property in a couple might be possessed in common or each spouse might retain his own goods. If this isn't too complex, we could see a mix of both systems, such as each spouse keeping his own property but any property gained during the marriage, or marital property, might be owned by the couple; details might be regulated by a contract of marriage, which could additionally set up other things such as the place of residence or the religion followed, depending of whether laws allow it. The minor children's property will be managed by the couple (see below for "Relation with legal capacity").

Some legal systems might provide for clans, or a set of households descending from a founding household. Such clans might have communal property and a clan leader.

Both clan leaders and heads of household might have public law powers and duties, whether on taxation or even criminal law. I could imagine some clan leaders being judges for small claims between clan members.

The household owns the property in most historical societies, rather than the individuals of that household.  The terms of the ranking of the issues above are biased badly towards a modern society where individuals in the household own property outright; nobody keeps their property since their property belonged to their previous household, even if it was a household of 1.  The most important thing as regards stuff like inheritance is the internal hierarchy of the household, to be the supreme head of the household is what legal personhood actually means.  The etymology of person is related to the word persona because the person is the representative of their household, so basically person sort of means diplomat.  When all members of the household are present, the head of the household is the person, if the head of the household is absent the Number 2 person in the household is the person instead.

That is the original logic behind inheritance.  If the head of the household is eliminated, the Number 2 person (the heir) takes over the headship and the Number 3 person is now the heir.  This is why there is so much strife about succession historically, it is not needed for a society to function for all the internal hierarchies in that society be the same, since the society functions through the relationships of the households there does not need to be a complete agreement as to the minutiae of whether a 14 year old boy is subordinate to his mother.

Thatis why we call the wife of the king a queen (female king) and his children princes/princesses (subordinate rulers), the throne is not something held by the king, it is held by the whole family but the king is simply the family head of the family that owns the royal title.  This applies to other noble titles as well, for the simple reason that the system works on the relationships between families represented typically by their family head not between their individual leaders.  So a duke is subordinate to the king not as an individual, his duchal family is subordinate to their royal family and when he pledges his allegiance he is doing so as a person (legal representative of family).

The reason kings care so much about having an heir is not that some suitable member of the extended family cannot be found if he dies childless, it is that it is a legal minefield in most societies for the entire household to be wiped out and far better that it continue forever passing on power to it's second-in-command forever, because actual inheritance of families property by other families is poorly worked out. 

This is how clans fit into the system.  What distinguishes clans from feudal societies which are organised along the above mentioned lines is that their parents household does not split up, with the subdivision of their property among the households of their children upon the extinction of the parental household.  The larger family continues to exist and subordinates to itself all it's children's households forever, the smaller households being components of the larger family. 

This must not happen in a feudal society, because the feudal society is based upon the subordination of unrelated servant households to unrelated master (noble) households.  The arrangement by which the servant households from a larger household is very much a rival societal arrangement; if the households are collectively organised to rule themselves then why do we need noble houses?

Fortress mode

The possibilities are even greater: we could even going into economy.

First, we will have a framework on how to trade with the outside: incoming caravans could have meaningful owners who could be angry at seeing their goods and their workers being attacked, and residents could even order stuff or sell their production.
Conversely, we could model how caravans could be sent from our fortress, both from the manager, the civilians or both: for exemple, we could see jewelers and craftsdwarves banding togheter to send their gold rings anf ivory statutes to an human town and buying steel bars, cow cheese and dog leather.

Internal economy shall also be concerned with this suggestion: civil law would provide us with a framework on depicting it, with craftsdwarves renting their workshops from the fortress or another part, or owning them outright, hiring helps, funding their purchases with their savings and loans from bankers, buying raw materials from miners and farmers and selling their products to shops and foreign merchants.

One of the issues with the Economy was that noble children could be poorer than commoners; moreover, mandates have been stated to be one of the most annoying issues with nobles. My proposition about benefits would solve both problems, by mandating the creation of properties whose proceeds would go to the holder. For exemple, we could see several fields and workshops parts of the benefit of a count, who would rent them and get the rents and parts of the products. This also could modelize crown jewels, along with linking rooms to positions, a popular proposition among players. It would enable noble children to get huge stipends from their parents and consequently to be able to buy more stuff than commoners, as expected, and enable nobles to get what they want (although despots would still use the "traditional" means - see my eventual post on public law).

Another issue would be how to treat residents who haven't recived citizenship. My proposals might give ideas on how a given civilization would treat them. For exemple, mercenaries would really ask for money or any valuable good in exchange for them fighting the fortress's enemies, and artists would receive money from spectators and from their employers. Taverns would receive money from their clients, and shops, who would have a framework on how to get goods, would receive money from buyers.

A whole missing element here is that if we are going for feudalism nobles are not simply members of your fortress that happen to hold the noble position.  It is *their* fortress and everyone else consists of their servants, servants which themselves typically have their own households.  If our fortress is not *their* fortress they are either visiting members of an independent fortress or we are a subordinate fortress and they are members of the ordinate fortress. 

If we are not going for feudalism, then what *are* we going for?  Why have nobles at all?
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Azerty

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 07:33:24 pm »

This is a very, very long OP but much of it make sense.  The only problem is that a lot of it suffers from an excess of realism basically, it is not built on the basis of being good game mechanics but on being true to historical reality, a historical reality that isn't actually there because the optimal game mechanics impose a different historical reality onto the game to that which existed historically.

Anachronism is also a problem here, there is no real description of the type of society to which the institutions belong.

I agree.

While I pointed, in some sections, alternates (for exemple abour legal castes and contracts), I didn't wrote enough about legal systems of wholly different societies such as nomadic or very primitive ones: In its current state, the only societies which might be covered by the OP are the sedentary societies with a high level of social development. I didn't point enough some of these features might be writted differently for societies less developped and I wrote nearly nothing about different templates (i.e. nomadic). The sections about property law or corporations might be deemed too much complex in some societies.

For exemple, I don't think a band of kobolds might care about corporations nor a nomadic tribe of cattle raisers about property rights on real estate.

For instance the whole section of marriage is a potential anachronism since many of the concepts involved are quite alien to most historical societies, the underlying terms of the discussion are quite different.

Marriage and family

Marriage shall be monogamic or polygamic, and in the latter it shall be polygynic, polyandric or group marriage. Divorce shall be regulated, if allowed, and its consequences shall be defined; some laws might allow for unilateral repudiation. Maybe temporary marriages could be defined in some laws. The set of natural persons, or spouses, united by a same marriage shall be named couple.

Some laws might allow for concubinage, or a consort of lower status. This consort would have less rights than a full spouse (no heritage, for exemple, apart from a sum fixed in the contract), and the offspring might be deemed illegitimate.

A family unit, or household, shall be constitued of a couple and its minor children. One member of the couple might be the head of household and might be determinated by gender, age or any other factor.

Depending from the laws, the property in a couple might be possessed in common or each spouse might retain his own goods. If this isn't too complex, we could see a mix of both systems, such as each spouse keeping his own property but any property gained during the marriage, or marital property, might be owned by the couple; details might be regulated by a contract of marriage, which could additionally set up other things such as the place of residence or the religion followed, depending of whether laws allow it. The minor children's property will be managed by the couple (see below for "Relation with legal capacity").

Some legal systems might provide for clans, or a set of households descending from a founding household. Such clans might have communal property and a clan leader.

Both clan leaders and heads of household might have public law powers and duties, whether on taxation or even criminal law. I could imagine some clan leaders being judges for small claims between clan members.

The household owns the property in most historical societies, rather than the individuals of that household.  The terms of the ranking of the issues above are biased badly towards a modern society where individuals in the household own property outright; nobody keeps their property since their property belonged to their previous household, even if it was a household of 1.  The most important thing as regards stuff like inheritance is the internal hierarchy of the household, to be the supreme head of the household is what legal personhood actually means.  The etymology of person is related to the word persona because the person is the representative of their household, so basically person sort of means diplomat.  When all members of the household are present, the head of the household is the person, if the head of the household is absent the Number 2 person in the household is the person instead.

That is the original logic behind inheritance.  If the head of the household is eliminated, the Number 2 person (the heir) takes over the headship and the Number 3 person is now the heir.  This is why there is so much strife about succession historically, it is not needed for a society to function for all the internal hierarchies in that society be the same, since the society functions through the relationships of the households there does not need to be a complete agreement as to the minutiae of whether a 14 year old boy is subordinate to his mother.

I wrote about heads of household and the possibility of them managing marital estate along with him being the guardian of any minor children. Maybe I should have considered some societies might consider someone as minor, or at least a member of his household, until he either creates his own household or marry in another.

Similarly, I wanted to provide for cases where a more individualistic way of development might have been chosen by a society.

Thatis why we call the wife of the king a queen (female king) and his children princes/princesses (subordinate rulers), the throne is not something held by the king, it is held by the whole family but the king is simply the family head of the family that owns the royal title.  This applies to other noble titles as well, for the simple reason that the system works on the relationships between families represented typically by their family head not between their individual leaders.  So a duke is subordinate to the king not as an individual, his duchal family is subordinate to their royal family and when he pledges his allegiance he is doing so as a person (legal representative of family).

The reason kings care so much about having an heir is not that some suitable member of the extended family cannot be found if he dies childless, it is that it is a legal minefield in most societies for the entire household to be wiped out and far better that it continue forever passing on power to it's second-in-command forever, because actual inheritance of families property by other families is poorly worked out.
 

I planned to speak about positions and honourary titles in a future post about public law, with the different statutes of such posts, with the rules of acquisition, transmissions and losing; some of these titles might obey to feudal rules.

This is how clans fit into the system.  What distinguishes clans from feudal societies which are organised along the above mentioned lines is that their parents household does not split up, with the subdivision of their property among the households of their children upon the extinction of the parental household.  The larger family continues to exist and subordinates to itself all it's children's households forever, the smaller households being components of the larger family. 

This must not happen in a feudal society, because the feudal society is based upon the subordination of unrelated servant households to unrelated master (noble) households.  The arrangement by which the servant households from a larger household is very much a rival societal arrangement; if the households are collectively organised to rule themselves then why do we need noble houses?
 

I briefly wrote about heads of clans and their probable public law powers; I should have wrote more about clan organization, about how they are created, how they are administrated and how they could be dissolved in legal systems where they are recognised.

I hope to be able to write about them in a post about public law, in the part on sites and local administration.

Fortress mode

The possibilities are even greater: we could even going into economy.

First, we will have a framework on how to trade with the outside: incoming caravans could have meaningful owners who could be angry at seeing their goods and their workers being attacked, and residents could even order stuff or sell their production.
Conversely, we could model how caravans could be sent from our fortress, both from the manager, the civilians or both: for exemple, we could see jewelers and craftsdwarves banding togheter to send their gold rings anf ivory statutes to an human town and buying steel bars, cow cheese and dog leather.

Internal economy shall also be concerned with this suggestion: civil law would provide us with a framework on depicting it, with craftsdwarves renting their workshops from the fortress or another part, or owning them outright, hiring helps, funding their purchases with their savings and loans from bankers, buying raw materials from miners and farmers and selling their products to shops and foreign merchants.

One of the issues with the Economy was that noble children could be poorer than commoners; moreover, mandates have been stated to be one of the most annoying issues with nobles. My proposition about benefits would solve both problems, by mandating the creation of properties whose proceeds would go to the holder. For exemple, we could see several fields and workshops parts of the benefit of a count, who would rent them and get the rents and parts of the products. This also could modelize crown jewels, along with linking rooms to positions, a popular proposition among players. It would enable noble children to get huge stipends from their parents and consequently to be able to buy more stuff than commoners, as expected, and enable nobles to get what they want (although despots would still use the "traditional" means - see my eventual post on public law).

Another issue would be how to treat residents who haven't recived citizenship. My proposals might give ideas on how a given civilization would treat them. For exemple, mercenaries would really ask for money or any valuable good in exchange for them fighting the fortress's enemies, and artists would receive money from spectators and from their employers. Taverns would receive money from their clients, and shops, who would have a framework on how to get goods, would receive money from buyers.

A whole missing element here is that if we are going for feudalism nobles are not simply members of your fortress that happen to hold the noble position.  It is *their* fortress and everyone else consists of their servants, servants which themselves typically have their own households.  If our fortress is not *their* fortress they are either visiting members of an independent fortress or we are a subordinate fortress and they are members of the ordinate fortress. 

If we are not going for feudalism, then what *are* we going for?  Why have nobles at all?

Feudalism is only one of the methods of local government which was available then; while we could have nobles being given public law powers on their estates in some corners, in others it might be elected burghers managing a city or patriarchs ruling their clans.

The structure of local authorities might be yet another subject to be written about in public law.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 07:23:04 am »

I agree.

While I pointed, in some sections, alternates (for exemple abour legal castes and contracts), I didn't wrote enough about legal systems of wholly different societies such as nomadic or very primitive ones: In its current state, the only societies which might be covered by the OP are the sedentary societies with a high level of social development. I didn't point enough some of these features might be writted differently for societies less developped and I wrote nearly nothing about different templates (i.e. nomadic). The sections about property law or corporations might be deemed too much complex in some societies.

For exemple, I don't think a band of kobolds might care about corporations nor a nomadic tribe of cattle raisers about property rights on real estate.

I didn't really go into enough detail about what I meant by game mechanics.  The problem is that what we have is not the real thing but a mechanical replication of the real thing.  There are two opposite problems that follow from it, either we will model it differently to how it actually worked so that we will find ourselves having laws to address issues that don't actually exist because the game mechanics do not produce those issues.

Or we might end up creating problems to which we do not have laws to solve, either because we did not program those laws in OR these are novel a-historical problems derived from our mechanics.

I wrote about heads of household and the possibility of them managing marital estate along with him being the guardian of any minor children. Maybe I should have considered some societies might consider someone as minor, or at least a member of his household, until he either creates his own household or marry in another.

Similarly, I wanted to provide for cases where a more individualistic way of development might have been chosen by a society.

Your more individualistic way of development is a Post-1400 concept, since the modern situation is pretty much a 1600s invention that first arose in the Netherlands; everyone at that point and before was organised either along clan/tribal lines or the household/feudal setup I described.  That is the interesting question, to what extent does the Post-1400 cutoff apply to abstract ideas as opposed to simply technology.  It is conceivable to imagine a society with those modern ideas without the technology only in a post-apocalyptic scenario where society once developed beyond 1600s and then regressed, so basically the Shannara Chronicles world.

Thing is though that a certain advanced level of technology *is* required because the transition *to* the individualistic definition (not necessarily it's continuation) requires the economy be advanced enough to make the Simpsons household normal.  That is a situation where there is a male breadwinner, who is also the head of household and nobody else in his nuclear family except children+wife.  It is important here that children and wife do not produce enough direct economic values that they can sustain the household indefinitely should the head-of-house be eliminated. 

That way we can fold things together in that it is "If Homer Simpson is eliminated then his household ends" rather than "If Homer Simpson is eliminated then Marge Simpson takes over the family, until Bart Simpson is old enough".  The problem here is that the former setup is rather inefficient and expensive, so the society has to be productive enough that it can actually have households that work along those lines (or rather don't work).

But in order to be that productive, they require technology of a certain level.  In addition they have to be patriarchal enough to want to make women totally dependant, it won't work if Marge Simpson can always take over. 

I planned to speak about positions and honourary titles in a future post about public law, with the different statutes of such posts, with the rules of acquisition, transmissions and losing; some of these titles might obey to feudal rules.

Feudalism is about a lot more than just legal rules. 

I briefly wrote about heads of clans and their probable public law powers; I should have wrote more about clan organization, about how they are created, how they are administrated and how they could be dissolved in legal systems where they are recognised.

I hope to be able to write about them in a post about public law, in the part on sites and local administration.

Clans are one of the things that dwarves are normally associated with in fantasy.  Is that Tolkien's fault, or D&D's fault or Warhammer's fault?

Clans are basically a societal setup in which the ancestral household with it's property continues to exist, even when it's members have died and the descendant households share the property of the household they descend from.  This stands in opposition to how a household-based society would do things, they would either merge the highest ranked descendant household with it's ancestor (primogeniture) or they would divide up the property of the dead household among it's descendants.

The clan system is where you do neither.  All the descendant households share the inheritance of their ancestor and set up a government system to run the common property.  Typically they will leash to their households property and this is what causes the system to ultimately break down, the households start to form relationships with unrelated households ultimately against the claims of their clan.

Feudalism is only one of the methods of local government which was available then; while we could have nobles being given public law powers on their estates in some corners, in others it might be elected burghers managing a city or patriarchs ruling their clans.

The structure of local authorities might be yet another subject to be written about in public law.

Yes the concept of Feudalism is contested, basically the household system I described is what I would call Feudalism *itself*.  That is why I called it the household system, to avoid confusion.  The problem with dwarves is that presently they aren't Feudal *at all* and their lifestyle does not make such a system logical.  If you live in a dwarf fortress, space is at a premium and is the result of the collective labour of the whole fortress, so you cannot really have your own independent household.

Feudalism as a form of government is *not* the only way to *be* Feudal (confused?).  Things like the middle-ages republics are still Feudalism, they are just Feudalism that has chosen not to organise their government in a Feudal manner but are themselves made of the same Feudal bricks. 

The reason is that any household in the system I described earlier is kind of a mini-feudal kingdom in itself.  There are the people who live in the house who are of the family whose house it *is*, they are organised hierarchically according to a chain-of-command which determines inheritance, authority and legal personhood.  Then there are the servants of the household, but these servants have their own households that exist separately of that household; those who are servants who don't have their own household are what we call slaves. 

These servants can then in turn employ a third group of servants, then the third group can employ a fourth group and so on.  That is what nobles historically were, they were the direct servants of the king's household and you were typically their servant in turn, sometimes employed to serve their own master the king.  Nobility was also very much relative, you often very much aimed to be the lowly floor-sweeper of the king rather than a less menial job for a lowly baron. 

It is not what job you do, it is who your immediate boss is.  If the king decides to employ all his nobles to sweep floors, this does not in fact demote the nobles in the slightest; since it is not a matter of what you do but who is ordering you to do it.  Powerful nobles competed for titles that were very much the equivalent of royal floor-sweeper, even though they would never sweep their own floors in a million years.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 07:40:22 am by GoblinCookie »
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Dorsidwarf

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 04:53:22 am »

The posts in this thread are exactly as long as I imagined from the title
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2019, 06:12:37 am »

The posts in this thread are exactly as long as I imagined from the title

They are still shorter than the OP.  :)
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Azerty

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 07:56:50 pm »

The posts in this thread are exactly as long as I imagined from the title

They are still shorter than the OP.  :)

Well, civil law is more complex and diverse than criminal law, and the article's lenght reflected it.

I just hope the post I plan to do about public law will not be even longer.

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"Just tell me about the bits with the forest-defending part, the sociopath part is pretty normal dwarf behavior."

GoblinCookie

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2019, 05:39:45 am »

Well, civil law is more complex and diverse than criminal law, and the article's lenght reflected it.

I just hope the post I plan to do about public law will not be even longer.

The question is more whether we need civil law at all?
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 05:48:00 am »

I found an article describing the difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law.  Should clarify "do we need civil law?" better.

https://www.britannica.com/story/what-is-the-difference-between-criminal-law-and-civil-law
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Azerty

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2019, 01:08:37 pm »

Well, civil law is more complex and diverse than criminal law, and the article's lenght reflected it.

I just hope the post I plan to do about public law will not be even longer.

The question is more whether we need civil law at all?

Civil law is necessary to deal with how persons deal with each other, to modelize, for exemple, the rapports between parents and their children, landowners and their farmers and buyers and sellers.

Althrough some of the parts of the initial post I wrote might be too much complex and/or only suited for a few select civilizations, I hope I gave a few good starting ideas for it.
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"Just tell me about the bits with the forest-defending part, the sociopath part is pretty normal dwarf behavior."

GoblinCookie

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Re: Torts, Contracts and Marriages, or Civil Law in Dwarf Fortress
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2019, 10:59:02 am »

Civil law is necessary to deal with how persons deal with each other, to modelize, for exemple, the rapports between parents and their children, landowners and their farmers and buyers and sellers.

Althrough some of the parts of the initial post I wrote might be too much complex and/or only suited for a few select civilizations, I hope I gave a few good starting ideas for it.

No it is not.  The underlying assumption of civil law is that those entities are *not* sovereign entities with political power in their own right and therefore their relationships cannot simply be described using the word diplomacy.  The idea of civil law has a strange and warped philosophy built into it, by which we assume that the private bricks are all part of the public house but the relationships between the private bricks are somehow *not* part of the public house.  To put it another way, the only purpose of the distinction between criminal and civil law is to deceive people about society, but who are we trying to deceive here?  The dwarves do not need deceiving and neither do we. 

If we have two equal individuals and they negotiate with each-other we call this diplomacy.  If I renege upon my agreement with another entity as a truly independent and sovereign entity the only thing that is at stake is our relationship with the other entity and my general reputation; I cannot be punished or forced to keep my word.  The moment some higher power exists to 'enforce' our agreement over our heads, neither of us is independent anymore, nothing wrong with that inherently but the nature of the thing that we are not independent of is a collective entity made up of lesser entities and formed by their relationships.  If you and your relationships are not part of the public body, but are still subject to it then that is called being a slave; but your masters relationships still form the public body in that situation.
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Naturegirl1999

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I like your pist
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GENERATION 28:
The first time you see this, copy it into your signature on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.

Welcome to Practicebanners, Everyone owns everything here, apparently this makes the inhabitants stressed out, but over 10 years of communism and the fort is still here