Grand Ducal Mandate
The Grand Ducal Mandate was an early legal code written by Grand Duke Travis in 2004. The Mandate is significant because it served as Westarctica's first constitution and transitioned the nation from the early founding era as "the Achaean Territory" to the more stable and recognized "Grand Duchy of Westarctica." In effect, it was signifies the moment Westarctica went from being a new country project to becoming a sovereign state.
In his capacity as Consul-General of the Achaean Territory, Travis McHenry had unlimited authority to run the nation and create or repeal laws as he pleased. Starting in early 2004, he recognized the need to create a government body with a more traditional structure than had existed in the Achaean Territory.
To that end, he began researching the constitutions of governments around the world, but especially monarchies, because he knew his new nation would embrace the monarchical form of rule. The countries whose constitutions most heavily influenced the wording of the mandate were Sweden, Japan, and the United States. Some elements from the pre-existing Achaean Civil Code and the Achaean Royal Charter were also retained in a modified form, despite the fact that the Grand Ducal Mandate abolished both of those codes.
Addition of religious articles
In early June 2004, while the Grand Ducal Mandate was still being written, Travis had a religious experience and was inspired to turn Westarctica into a Christian nation that embraced not only the Christian principles of government, but made Christianity the official religion of the state.
Two of the last five articles of the Mandate specifically deal with religion, even though previous articles guaranteed freedom of religion for all citizens.
- Chapter I
- Chapter II - State Objectives
- Chapter III - Government Organization
- Part I General Organization
- Part II Representation of the State
- Part III Executive Power
- Part IV Legislative Power
- Part V Adjudicative Power
- Chapter IV - Fundamental Rights
- Part I General Provisions
- Part II Liberties and Property
- Section I Integrity
- Section II Religious Freedom
- Section III Freedom of Communication
- Section IV Freedom of Profession and Activities
- Section V Political Rights
- Section VI Other Liberties
- Part III Equality
- Part IV Right to Protection
- Part V Welfare Rights
- Part VI Procedural Rights
- Chapter V - Individual Restrictions
- Part I General Provisions
- Part II Duties
- Part III Burdens
- Part IV Monopolies
- Part V Forfeiture of Fundamental Rights
- Chapter VI - Special Religious Clauses
- Chapter VII - Process of Amendments
The preamble of the Mandate effectively served to announce the new titles of both the leader of the Achaean Territory and the Territory itself:
"His Serene Majesty, Grand Duke Travis Daniel McHenry, desiring peace, solidarity and prosperity for the continent of Antarctica; hereby establishes the Grand Duchy of Westarctica in the former Achaean Territory of Antarctica."
Chapter I laid out all the essential details of the new country in three articles:
- The form of government
- The symbols of the state
- Who qualifies as a citizen of Westarctica.
In articles 4 and 5 under Chapter II, the Mandate expressly declared Westarctica to be a nation of peace and promises to defend its citizens in the event of a civil war or terrorist threat.
Article 4 also established what Westarctica will stand for and what guiding principles will be most important. Section (f) specifically highlights environmental protection as an objective of the state.
Part 1 of Chapter III made elections illegal and set the tone for a Federalist style government that required cooperation between various segments of the nation.
One of the more controversial articles was article 9, which required all citizens to pay special obedience to the Grand Duke:
Article 9: Special Treatment of the Monarch
(1) Citizens are to pay allegiance to the Grand Duke in submission and obedience, in times of ease and difficulty, fortune and adversity.
Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 gave the Grand Duke full powers as Head of State and Head of Government, while also creating a judiciary branch, giving some rights to the nobles of the Baronage, and providing special clauses for the payment of allowances to members of the Royal Family.
Article 22 gave the Grand Duke the authority to declare a state of emergency in which the Grand Ducal Mandate could be suspended. A technicality was added that made it possible to suspend the mandate indefinitely under certain conditions. Grand Duke Travis wrote this article as the "nuclear option" to completely shut down the government if necessary.
Chapter IV is the longest chapter of the entire Mandate and it gives a multitude of rights to the citizens of Westarctica. Nearly all of the rights provided in this chapter were re-stated (far more succinctly) in Article 1 of the 2012 Charter of Westarctica.
However, Chapter IV also created some restrictions on citizens, which later created issues after the Grand Duke Travis abdicated the throne in 2006.
- Article 26: Prevented slavery, but permitted indentured servitude for a period not longer than seven years.
- Article 32: Provided freedom of expression, but gave the Grand Duke the right of censorship during a state of emergency.
- Article 40: Gave citizens the right to engage in civil disobedience to prevent the overturning of the Grand Ducal Mandate.
- Article 41: Prevented citizens from forming political parties.
- Article 43: Made all humans equal before the law.
- Article 51: Prevented extradition of citizens.
Chapter V created restrictions, duties, and burdens on the citizens. It explicitly forbade possession of hard drugs, heavy weapons, and hazardous materials. It also permitted the government to levy taxes on the citizens, although this was never actually done. Article 57 made it illegal for anyone besides the government to print stamps or coin money.
Provided provisions and procedures for making amendments to the Grand Ducal Mandate. Article 62 made it illegal to have any form of government other than a monarchy. Article 63, the final article, made it illegal to suspend the Mandate in part or in whole.
End of the Grand Ducal Mandate
In June 2010, members of the Grand Ducal Cabinet and the Baronage, led by the Duke of Waesche and Travis McHenry, overthrew Grand Duke Jon-Lawrence in a coup d'etat that resulted in Travis returning to the throne. During his time as ruler, he enacted the provisions for a state of emergency in Article 22 and suspended the Grand Ducal Mandate indefinitely. While the Mandate was suspended, he renounced the monarchical form of government and made Westarctica a protectorate ruled by the Transitional Government.
Two years later, the Transitional Government was ended and the Charter of Westarctica replaced the Grand Ducal Mandate as the supreme law of the land.