Fire Nation | Court System

The Fire Nation Court System

Current High Magistrate: Vacant

Details of the Court System
The court system is based upon the presumption of innocence, which is that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty by the prosecution/plaintiff. In a criminal case, the burden of proof lies upon the prosecution where the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution cannot present to the court that the actions were indeed done beyond a reasonable doubt, the Court cannot rule in the prosecution’s favour. Essentially, the Court should not have any doubts if they are to rule the defendant guilty.

Instead of a Jury, the Fire Nation Courts will have High/Fire Sage(s) that will preside over the case alongside the Magistrate. The Magistrate will give the final verdict considering the opinions and thoughts of the High/Fire Sage(s) as they are significant religious figures in the Nation.

The Fire Nation Court System also consists of rebuttal time. After initial submissions (and witness examination if relevant to the case) are made by the parties, a 5 minute adjournment (break) will take place to give the respective Counsel time to refute the opposition’s arguments and make their concluding remarks.

The High Magistrate
The High Magistrate is the leading legal figure of the Fire Nation. They preside over the most significant cases and are responsible for the establishment of new legislation and promoting good behaviour in accordance with the law. They will also admit new Magistrates into the Court system.

The Magistrate
The Magistrate (aka a Judge) is the individual that will preside over the case presented. They are in charge of the court proceeding and will come to a verdict after hearing all the evidence presented.

High/Fire Sages
Instead of a jury, the Fire Nation has Fire Sages who will preside over the case alongside the Magistrate. The Fire Sages opinions and thoughts should influence the Magistrates final verdict.

Prosecution Lawyer/Plaintiff
The Prosecution Lawyer/Plaintiff is the counsel bringing the case to the court and are representing the victim or in some cases the government of the Fire Nation. Their aim is to charge the accused with the appropriate charges.

Defence Lawyer/Defendant
The Defence Lawyer is the counsel representing the accused. They will attempt to prove to the Court as to why their client should not be held liable for the charges.

Depending on the case, the Police may have the role of presenting the Statement of Agreed Facts. It is a recollection of the events regarding the issue at hand. What is presented by the Police is entirely fact and should not be emotive whatsoever.

Clients and Witnesses
Sometimes they may not entirely essential to the roleplay and depends on the sverity of the case. Clients may be present in the court case and may need to testify. Witnesses can be called in by the prosecution and the defence if deemed necessary to be examined by both parties.

Court Operation
1. The Magistrate will enter the court alongside the High/Fire Sage(s) and make a short introductory statement.

2. The Police (or Magistrate if no Police are present) will read a Statement of Agreed Facts retelling the events leading to the court case.

3. The Prosecution will present their argument to the Court. Their argument should consider the following:

a) What law did the accused breach?
b) What were their actions?
c) Do they pose a threat to the Fire Nation and society?
d) What punishment should the Magistrate inflict?

4. The Defendant will then present their argument to the Court. Their argument should consider the following:

a) Is the client pleading guilty or not guilty?
b) Why/how the Defendant did not breach the law.
c) What should the Court take into consideration? (for example, were they forced to commit those actions? Do other people rely upon this individual?)
d) Are there alternative sentencing options that the court should consider?
e) Do they have the potential to reform?

5. Witness examination can occur depending on the case. It is best if both parties have at least one witness to present to the Court. If there are no witnesses in the court case, move to Step 6.

a) The Prosecution will call upon their witness to conduct direct examination.
b) The Defence will then cross examine that witness.
c) The Defence will call upon their witness to conduct direct examination.
d) The Prosecution will then cross examine that witness.

6. There will then be a 5 minute adjournment (break) which will allow for the Prosecution and Defence to come up with rebuttal arguments and revise their closing argument.

7. The Prosecution will first refute/rebut the argument proposed by the Defendant. After refuting/rebutting, they will then shortly conclude their argument and reiterate why the Defendant should be punished.

8. The Defendant will refute/rebut the arguments proposed by the Prosecution. After refuting/rebutting, they will then shortly conclude their argument and reiterate as to why their client should not be punished.

9. The High/Fire Sage(s) will then make a short statement regarding the case (they are not giving a verdict but rather their own thoughts as a religious figure).

10. The Magistrate will then make their statement and give the final verdict after considering all the evidence that has been presented and the High/Fire Sage(s) thoughts.

11. The Magistrate will then conclude the trial where the Defendant may or may not be apprehended.

NOTE: The Magistrate may wish to ask a question to the Counsel after presenting their case.

Agni Kai
An Agni Kai may be proposed by the Defendant ONLY IF they were sentenced to DEATH. The High Magistrate will then have the responsibility of finding a suitable candidate to face the convicted criminal. This can be another criminal or a Fire Nation citizen (who can be kept anonymous). However, someone of a similar skill level should be sought. Ultimately, it is at the Magistrate’s discretion as to who they would like to put in the Agni Kai (such as a Red Lotus member against another Red Lotus member).

If the convicted criminal wins the Agni Kai, their death sentence will be revoked and their sentence will be lessened. If they lose the Agni Kai, the death sentence will proceed.

Court Etiquette
Court etiquette contains a range of formalities that will just make court roleplays run a bit smoother. These include:
1. Referring to those presiding over the court case as Your Honour or Your Honours.

2. You should rise (stand) when you are addressing the court and be seated when you are not.

a) The Magistrate may wish to ask you questions about your submissions. You should remain standing until the Magistrate has asked those questions or does not have any questions to ask.

3. Rise (stand) when those presiding over the case enter the courtroom.

4. The Magistrate will tell you when you can present your case/submissions. Do not just abruptly start presenting your case/submissions.

5. Prosecution should be seated on the right (from the Magistrate’s perspective) and the Defendant on the left.

Credit to Searc and Xelin