Law

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Any society is governed by laws that are set down so as to make life as organised and regimental as possible, in order that people can face each day knowing how the rest of the world is going to act... within reason.

In medieval England there were statute law -- the laws laid down by the King and Parliament -- and common law, which was based on custom. From the time of the Conquest on, the King's justices sought out the different local practices regarding law and crime, and, having distilled out those found to be unreasonable or impratical, created a uniform code which could be applied everywhere. To this, then, were added the statutes as made from time to time, which overrode the common law.

Lawyers practise law, the art of prosecuting and defending claims relating to an area's laws and offering advice on the said laws. Lawyers have been around for many millenia but in period they were trained in universities. Given the plot of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" and the character Portia, I suspect that it was mainly a male profession.

Acting contrary to law is a crime.

Law in the SCA

The SCA has its own laws. Most are serious regulations for the safe and legal enjoyment of the game, and carry punishments for transgressing them, typically banishment.

Other SCA laws are more lighthearted, particularly Kingdom laws; in the Kingdom of Ealdormere for example, coffee and chocolate are legally medieval by fiat of the Crown.

These range from laws on combat, to definitions of awards, to banishment. There is a hierarchy of SCA laws such that laws on a higher level always supersede any laws established at a lower level. For instance, a mundane law set outside the Society takes precedence over any SCA-internal law.

SCA laws can be changed by different individuals and groups, depending on the law. Laws are mainly modified by the BoD, the Crown and the Kingdom Seneschal.

Some traditions in the SCA have been maintained for so long that they seem like laws.

Some SCA laws have been controversial, such as the Midrealm's Ban on Regions. Period laws ranged from taxes to the colours and fabrics you could wear.

The precedance of laws for Lochac

(based on the Seneschal's webpage www.sca.org.au/seneschal/index.php)

A similar structure would exist for Drachenwald and the SKA.

Guilds also have internal laws defined by their charter. These are below any other laws, as are household laws.