Fletcher smiles as
he peers around at everyone. "Well! Quite a few people...advanced
Caramak glances up at Fletcher..."What, did I stumble my way into a lesson...? Oh, goody..." He sits up and rubs his hands gleefully at the prospect of whupping some Apps ;)
Caramak stops rubbing gleefully long enough to wave hello to Efette.
Efette grins at Keersa, waving as she takes a seat
Jayla sits back and innocently looks at the ceiling, a slight smile on her lips.
Efette's brain, UN fortunately, stopped working a
few hours ago. She simply sits and stares with a blank look on her
Caramak considers this statement, and doesn't call it into question.
Fletcher sits forward a bit in his
chair and glances once in each of the student's eyes. "The problems
arise, therefore, when areas with different social values clash. Or,
more importantly, when areas with leaders who have different
perceptions about law come into conflict. The hardest parts of dealing
with Pernese law is the crossover between Hold, Hall, and Weyr.
The reason for this is, of course, that every area is sovereign and the
leader have absolute jurisdiction in that area. So what happens when
someone not normally in the leader's area enters it? They're subject to
that leader's jurisdiction, of course. Yes, very true, Jayla. Lord Trew, for example,
based his law larger on justice whereas I based my
law on honour."
Caramak frowns. "Can you clarify what you mean, by that
distinction between yourself and Trew?"
Keersa slips into a
daydream. Keersa has disconnected.
Fletcher nods to Caramak. "Certainly. Lord Trew was very largely concerned with an eye for an eye sort of law. He believed that if you harmed someone, you yourself should be harmed the same way. My belief was more that if you harmed someone in an honourable way, you shouldn't be punished. So if a duel was fought and you killed the other person, it wasn't murder. It was an honourable duel. See the difference? Lord Trew never really had to deal with such a situation, but I did when Seamus was brought to trial."
Fletcher grins and
opines, "True, but it would have been for different reasons. Any other
Jayla looks thoughtful for a minute and then shakes her head no.
Fletcher nods to the group and sinks back into the plushness of his chair. "Good then. So, the problem arises when areas conflict. What should you do if you're the Lady of a Hold and a Harper commits a crime in it? Legally, that Harper is under your jurisdiction. POLITICALLY, the Lady would consult with the local Harper about any sort of punishment to be meted out."
Jayla listens quietly and nods.
Caramak shakes his head. "Wish I'd been there. Don't think it would have continued...I'm a little harder to restrain in situations like that."
Caramak considers, "You
heard this, Jayla...? There's not much more than you've just heard to
Jayla shakes her head. "No, I've never heard this
before....but I see the point Fletcher is trying to make...basically
there is no /formal/ law on Pern...that most of what exists is whatever
the particular leadership puts in place."
enthusiastically. "That's it exactly. Now, what if two leaders have a
difference of opinion? Or, say, a crime is committed in Ista Hold
and the criminal runs into the Harper Hall? This is where law meshes
with politics to a high degree. Legally, the Harpers have jurisdiction
over the criminal. Practically, they'd better work with the Lady Holder
Caramak nods, "Although that could be a big if," he adds, then quiets again.
Fletcher peers at the students. "So why
make marriage a legal institution?" he poses to the group.
has a simple answer, but that would lead them back to the discussion
of whether humans are basically good or not, so he waits to see what
the others come up with...
Jayla frowns slightly. "Hmmm....that's an interesting question...never really thought about it before. When I think about marriage, I don't think about it from a /legal/ standpoint, but more from a complete and total committment between two people."
"I'd say the legal part arrises because some people have broken said
commitment. There's more in a legal bind, for some people, than
an emotional one. /I/ don't see it that way, but hey. Not everyone's
alike. With the legal implications associated with breaking out of a
marriage, people are more careful about going in, and have commitment
to children, even after a marriage ends..."
Fletcher nods to this slowly. "So, basically, when you get married, everything is communal property and if anything happens to one partner, the other inherits. But, recall, there's very little tha people OWN. We don't have many THINGS or possessions. Well, Lady Efette, all two people have to do is go to a Harper and say, "We want to nullify our marriage." and it's done."
meant it in a sense as of questions of lineage :)
Fletcher ahhhs to Caramak! "Children! Something I always forget because I
the rugwherries. Yes, who will take care of the children if there is a
split? The two could agree to it, but that may not occur, particularly
if one partner is going far away. In such a case, who'se to say who
gets the child, then? Any ideas?"
Caramak shakes his head. "Case by
case, on that one, Fletcher. I wouldn't make that decision without
/all/ the information."
Fletcher nods to Caramak. "But there's someone
who always has ultimate say and has to make the Decision.
Jayla nods at Caramak. "But in most cases, the mother usually winds up with them, if nothing more but from a nurturing standpoint."
Jayla grins. "Ahh...but I said usually....there are exceptions
to everything in life."
Efette goes home.
Fletcher directs to Jayla, "So if they make the decision, why am I bothering with telling you all of this, since YOU won't have to decide!"
Fletcher grins and nods. "Which is which number stricture in
the Basic Law Strictures?"
Caramak looks askance at Fletcher...Heck,
he's a Master, /he/ doesn't need to know that... ;) Although he does
(he hopes ;)
Fletcher nods and answers, "Number three.
Harpers serve solely as advisors except when specifically called upon
to give judgement in one case or when in their own area. Okay then...
Hmm, I lost my train of thought."
Jayla smiles slightly. "Oh that! I
just never heard you call it a 'stricture' before...sorry, my
Fletcher grins and nods. "All right. So, now, who controls the dissemination of information, especially legal, on Pern? We do- the Harpers. So why, do you think, we haven't taken over jurisdiction of judging legal cases. I think a majority of the leaders would grant us that because we're known as being fair. So... why don't we?"
Jayla frowns slightly. "But how can we be objective advisors and stand in judgment at the same time? Not only that, if the Harpers are given the power of jurisdiction in legal matters, then the power belonging to the Lord Holders would be diminished."
Caramak nods, "And that might not be a /bad/ thing, just one the LH's wouldn't like. And one that would disrupt the power balance on Pern."
considers. "But if we can truly stay objective as advisors, sitting
in judgement should be equal objective, ie, fair."
observes, "But if Harpers began teaching that the Harpers are the
ones who make judgements... I see your point, Caramak, and it's an
astute observation. Now, consider. Say we, as Harpers, could control
people actions or thoughts if we wanted to. How would people perceive
us if we used this awesome power very much?"
Caramak says, "Tyrants.
Jayla shakes her head. "But I don't agree with the point
that we could be both advisors and judges. It's one thing to know the
letter of the law and relay to someone else, but a judge, especially on
Pern, doesn't necessarily have to follow the letter of that
Fletcher nods slowly to Caramak. "A little harsher words than I
would use, but yes. Why?" Fletcher grins to Jayla. "I agree. Though
I think that's a secondary issue to the one which I'm persuing..."
Caramak shakes his head, "I'll argue /that/ later. As for the tyranny, what could be a more oppresive form of control than thought control? /Nothing/ would be safe, then. Not even the inner confines of the mind."
Fletcher nods very slowly. "And what if we used those powers in such moderation so that they weren't often used, but when they were it was for a noble and important purpose?"
Caramak considers. "That's a tougher question. I would say /direct/ thought control would be a violation of the person controlled, so I wouldn't use it, /even then/. The ends don't justify the means. Thought /influence/, through arguments or speach are another matter altogether."
nods, "I can agree with that..."
Jayla nods in agreement.
grins and observes, "People fear power, particularly immense power. Power attracts the corruptible. Absolute power attracts the
absolutely corruptible. Before we go off on that tangent, though... any
questions on law?"
Jayla shakes her head no.
Caramak shakes his head in agreement.
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