De Legibus

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De Legibus

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:53 pm

Salvete omnes

For the first time in our societas we have recently elected praetores. The role of these magistrates is to administer justice, mediate disputes between individual members, and where necessary to adjudicate violations of our laws and procedures, to include disputes between individual members and our magistrates. In the coming months our new praetores will be primarily responsible for establishing judicial procedures to deal with situations that may arise in our societas.

In law there is a basic principle that we are to adhere to: nulla poena sive leges. No one may be punished for violating laws that do not as yet exist. At the moment we do not have any specific laws to govern our societas, other than our Regula Fundamentalis and a few decisions that have been made by our previous magistrates. This situation can lead to arbitrary decisions being made by our magistrates as they address new situations that arise. Therefore we wish to develop some laws to set as guidelines. Primarily that responsibility will fall upon our consules working with the Comitia Generalis. What laws are produced should pertain to our societas in whatever is its current form. Recognizing that we are currently an online community, there are three areas to consider.

First to consider are property rights. What property is held in an online community? The name of our community, that being the Societas Via Romana, its website, forums, and logo, may all be considered as property. Also individual members may be taken to have property rights over anything they contribute to our website. Non-members may also be taken to have property rights. For example, we do not want submitted for use on our website any image whose copyright is held by another organization or individual.

Second to be considered would be contractual relations. When an individual joins our societas it is recognized that they will abide by our regulations and at the same time that they have certain rights within our societas. That may be taken as a contract. Providing false information on an application for membership is a violation of a contract, referred to in our Regula Fundamentalis. Likewise it is possible for two individual members to come to some agreement within our societas that could be construed as a contractual relationship. It is also possible that some individual might seek to use our forums or the private email addresses of our members, taken from our website, to conduct private business. Since actions of individuals can reflect on our societas as a whole, we may wish to consider what we as a community may allow its members to perform within our societas.

The third area of consideration would have to do with issues of libel, defamation, and inappropriate statements being made, while respecting an individual's right to free speach. The Regula Fundamentalis already provides some guidance on such issues. In areas of property rights and contractual law, international commerce has developed certain standards that we must be aware of and conform to. With regard to the issue of libel, however, laws vary widely between countries. We must recognize that we are a transnational community, with members who hold different standards in this regard, and that our societas as a whole will have to come to some agreement on what it will accept as proper conduct within our societas.

These are just the broad areas to consider. I welcome comment from all members as we begin to develop laws for our societas. Initially laws will be issued as decrees by our magistrates. As senior consul I will try to issue some decrees that will establish basic legal principles for our societas. Any magisterial decree may be vetoed by his or her colleague or by a magistrate with higher authority, or can be overruled by leges passed by the Comitia Generalis. Ultimately it is the membership, assembled in the Comitia Generalis, that will set the laws of our societas. Meanwhile all members should give some thought to these issues, voice their opinions, and provide some guidance to our magistrates as they try to develop a legal system for our societas.

Di deaeque nos semper ament

M Moravius Horatianus Piscinus
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Jan 17, 2003 10:41 pm

Salve Piscine
1)Concerning the copyright rights. I think that a person (rather who is a member or not) contribute to any collegia has the copyright of his own material and that material can not be used without consent of the author/ owner. Using against the consent of the author is stealing. So there must be defintly a law that says that use of material without consent is illegal.
2) This is a little difficult to say about because of its diversity of situations. That a person who joins SVR should respect the rules and laws of SVR is taking for granted. The use of our forum for private business is to be only with consent of the moderators of the forum and the rector of the collegia(if it is to be posted in one). What can and can not be done in private (as in a situation where private business between two members take place) is something that need to be discussed by the senate and/or the members.
3) Concerning inappropiate statements, defamation, etc.. is something i think must be taking care of by the moderators of the forum. But only if they have laws to guide them. But even so. Every e-mail/ message concerning such a situation must be saved if any problems come to surface later.
Right now the three areas of consideration that Piscine brought up are the ones i see happening one way or another in the future. At this point i can't think of any other situation that need to be brought up here.
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