THE FIRST RULE Edit
"Blood pays for blood, but it must serve the city: All crimes of personal assault shall be paid as debts to Gethamane, and Gethamane shall reimburse the victim in turn."
The First Rule covers all cases of assault, from petty fights to rape or murder.
- Minor assault (up to the loss of an extremity) carries a fine of goods or service; Gethamane and the victim takes half each (or Gethamane takes all if both parties are culpable - such as a public fight where no one can prove who started it).
- Major assault, maiming, accidental death, or rape carries the penalty of a major fine, permanent hard labor, exile or a combination of the three.
- Murder is penalized by permanent hard labor, exile or execution.
In all above cases, if the victim is dead or incapable of receiving reimbursement, their share is paid to their family. In cases of homicide, a proof of self-defense or extreme provocation can reduce a sentence but not eliminate it completely: Gethamane cannot tolerate the loss of any citizen’s labor.
THE SECOND RULE Edit
"Jade pays for jade: All crimes of theft or other trespass on another’s goods shall be repaid twofold, once to the victim and once to the city." The Second Rule is straightforward and carried out precisely to the last grain of jade that can be measured.
This law covers:
- forms of fraud (e.g.: giving short weight or delivering goods of lower quality than promised),
- damaging a person’s possessions (including slaves)
- charging outsiders less than a citizen of Gethamane (this is stealing from the city’s prosperity as a whole).
Under the Second Rule, Gethamanians cannot claim animals that escape their pens: They must return the beast to its owner.
THE THIRD RULE Edit
"What we have, we hold: All crimes of trespass on another’s domain shall be paid for by a gift of land in turn, or the Dole shall be remitted and the trespasser cast forth to starve."
Gethamanians value privacy as much as life and property, especially in an enclosed city such as Gethamane where trespass, personal privacy, and malicious gossip become important enough to lead to murder. It can, indeed, be grounds for lawsuit to respond to anything one hears on the other side of such a screen… though noise of a sufficient volume (or sufficiently disturbing nature) that it cannot be ignored is also an offense.
When two disputing parties share a property line, the penalty usually consists of moving that boundary by a 1-2' to give the victim a section of the trespasser’s territory. This can result in rooms being shared between two families, with screens set up to give both sides some semblance of privacy.
When disputants do not share a boundary, the city confiscates part of the trespasser’s property, and allows her family to “buy it back”, paying the fine to the plaintiff’s family.
While strict about privacy and property, Gethamanians are not insane and there are some exceptions to this rule:
- Running through someone else’s territory doesn’t qualify for full punishment under the Third Rule, and is usually settled by a simple fine.
- Families usually forgive trespass by children as it is expected a hint to their family will settle the problem. This is considered a significant disgrace for the family in question.
- Persistent trespass by older children can result in lawsuit, though, and the child’s family suffers significant disgrace.
- The Guard can go anywhere in pursuit of a monster from the underways, and people fleeing a monster likewise have a right to cross another family’s property. A civic defense crisis trumps all questions of privacy and territory.
- Trespass becomes treason where the Gardens are concerned. Any citizen who helps outsiders enter the Gardens commits a crime comparable to murder, for they endanger the city itself (Citizens of Gethamane do not find this sort of situation amusing, and outsiders are advised not to make jokes about it publicly.)