The Telvan Legal code derives mostly from that of the Great Southern Empire, and the Old Kingdoms, though much more-so the former than the later. While the Old Kingdoms often had simple codes of law, especially related to property, inheritance and family law, it was the Great Southern Empire’s influence that codified law in written form and created the true ‘codes’ which form the basis for most of Telvan Law.
Telvan Law extends in principal both form the authority of the Gods, but also from that of the King and the Nobility in general. In theory the Nobility is suppose to be the physical execution of this law, though that is often not the case. Because of Telvan history and social order, the way the Law treats people is often highly flexible depending on their social class.
As a practicable matter, while general principals of law are known, most people are not especially well versed in particulars beyond those they experience regularly(most people will know punishments for various local crimes, or how they might expect a will to be executed for example). This leaves a considerable amount of power to the local Magnates and other properties nobles, who are often called upon to execute Justice among the common folk.
The base principals of Telvan law are similar to many others in the area, an extension of ‘Civil’ law. The principal being that the King or Sejm pass laws or regulations which are to be interpreted by the judges or justices. This primacy of the law itself, and more importantly of the King and Sejm, means that in theory people have recourse if they are judged outside of the boundary of the law, though in actual use this isn’t very common.
The Body of law has been built up over time. Criminal law has not changed that significantly, save in where it relates to property, inheritance and trade law, which have all changed as society has altered. Though some laws are less commonly enacted than others.
Penalties for crimes are generally severe, though in some cases the Judge has room for leniency. Much of Criminal law is built up on ‘exceptions’. For example Killing some-one is illegal, but doing so if they are breaking into your house at night is legal, etc.
The preferred form of execution is Hanging or Decapitation. Disembowelment is a rare form usually only used for high crimes such as Treason. It should be noted that one of the rights of Nobles is, in the event they are found guilty of any crime, to die by Beheading or voluntary consumption of poison. The later was historically considered the perview of women, children and clerics, and thus is often considered an insult by warriors.
The Following Crimes are punishable by Death:
Arson(The Setting of a Fire which causes loss of life or property)
Malfeasance(The Hostile use of magic against another. Includes mental domination or a lesser crime committed through magic.)
Rebellion(A High Crime)
Treason(A High Crime)
Major Assault(Includes any Assault involving a Bladed Weapon or Magic)
The Following are Typically punished by 10-60 Lashes for a first offence, 20-120 for a second, and execution for a third.
Contracts are typically simple and straight-forward. Anyone having been found to have entered into a contract and violated it’s precepts, presuming the judge finds the contract itself legal and justified, will be forced to abide by the contract and usually fined some measure.
Fraud constitutes a large section of potential abuses, but usually carries stiff financial penalties paid to the victims and the court. Repeat offenders may be subjected to lashes or similar punishment.