Types of trialEdit
Most criminal courts can be classified either as adversarial or inquisitorial. Adversarial trials attempt to determine the truth by having the two sides debate each other - the judge and/or jury select the most convincing argument. Inquisitorial trials, on the other hand, attempt to determine the truth by having an official (usually a judge or police official) conduct their own impartial investigation rather than merely listening to the claims of the participants.
- Aethelnia - Trials are adversarial, with some inquisitorial elements.
- Porto Capital - Trials are adversarial, with some inquisitorial elements.
- Shaelia — Trials are adversarial, with some inquisitorial elements.
- St. Samuel — Trials are adversarial, with inquisitorial elements.
- Trinia - trials are adversarial, although there are inquisitorial elements.
- Xochimechatl - all but two jurisdictions have adopted adversarial trials.
- Lendosa - the police are responsible for providing evidence and the judge is responsible for directing them and reaching a conclusion. Lawyers can suggest interpretations, but not in the form of a debate.
- Mari'im - the judge is responsible for determining what the facts are.
Trial by juriesEdit
In some countries, verdicts in criminal trials are determined by a randomly (or near-randomly) selected panel of ordinary citizens. This is sometimes considered a right.
Always uses trial by juryEdit
- Shaelia — all criminal trials are required to be tried by a jury of seven "Listeners". Prosecution, defense, and the Court each choose two individuals from a pool of prospective listeners. One listener is appointed by the Shaelic Cruisian Church. Simple majorities (four voting guilty) determine verdicts.
- Trinia - all criminal trials are required to be trial by jury.
Sometimes uses trial by juryEdit
- Lendosa - when the police charge a a person with a crime, they will state whether they advise a jury trial or not. The accused can oppose their recommendation, with the decision ultimately belonging to the judge. In practice, police generally recommend jury trials (and judges generally agree).
- Mari'im - the use of juries depends on the particular crime. Jury trials are seen as part of "community justice" for relatively simple things, but more complicated things (like tax fraud) and anything political are decided by a judge alone.
- Porto Capital - Jury trials used for minor crimes, and more complicated issues decided by a judge alone.
Never uses trial by juryEdit
- Aethelnia - Never used in Aethelnia.
- St. Samuel — Never used in St Samuel. Trials are overseen by a panel of three judges.
- Xochimechatl - none of the jurisdictions in Xochimechatl employ trial by jury in practice, although some of them retain it as a theoretical option if the judge wishes it.
In many legal systems, the decision of a court can be challenged by taking the matter to a higher court. There may, however, be restrictions on this.
- Aethelnia — Appeals against the decisions of a criminal court are possible, although the highest courts are allowed to refuse to hear an appeal if they are not provided with a good reason.
- Lendosa — it is possible to appeal against the decisions of a criminal court, although if the higher court considers it obvious that the appeal was not made in good faith (for example, a criminal who was simply trying to delay the process), the court can impose higher penalties than the original court did.
- Porto Capital — Allows appeal, although the courts are allowed to refuse.
- Shaelia — appeals are allowed. Higher courts are given discretion if they will hear appeals after examining the evidence and circumstances of the previous trial. If they determine the appeal was made frivolously, they may impose additional penalties.
- St. Samuel — Appeals against criminal convictions can be made.
- Trinia — it is possible to appeal against the decisions of a criminal court, although the highest courts are allowed to refuse to hear an appeal if they are not provided with a good reason.
- Xochimechatl - it is possible to appeal against the decisions of a criminal court in all jurisdictions, although some place restrictions on it.
Does not allow appealsEdit
- Mari'im - there is no way to appeal against the decision of a court (although in rare cases, the People's Court can intervene on its own initiative).
Detention without trialEdit
Virtually every country allows criminals to be held in custody while awaiting trial, but laws vary as to how long a person can be detained in this manner.
- Aethelnia — People in detention must be charged within a max 48 hour period, and then brought to trial within max three months.
- Porto Capital — Must be charged within 24 hours.
- Shaelia — an individual formally arrested must be charged within 72 hours of arrest. An individual merely detained must either be charged or released within 24 hours.
- St. Samuel — A detainee must be charged within 72 hours, police can apply to a judge for extensions.
- Trinia — if someone is detained, they must be charged with a specific crime within four days, and then brought to trial within three months (or, if the courts do not have sufficient time to deal with the person in that time, simply "as soon as possible").
- Lendosa - the law does require that those who are detained be given a trial "promptly", but there are no set definitions as to what this means. In practice, it varies considerably depending on the crime in question.
- Mari'im - the law does not impose any limits, although internal police regulations require them to "regularly consult records to ensure that no accused criminal has been held for more than a year without trial". (There's no way to know if they actually do this.)
- Xochimechatl - most jurisdictions have rules against indefinite detention, but none have specific limits.
If a person would normally be detained until their trial, they may be given the option in some countries of temporarily surrendering money or other property in exchange for avoiding this. The understanding is that if they do not appear in court at the appropriate time, they lose what they surrendered, and it is assumed that this threat will ensure that the accused person does not try to flee.
- Aethelnia — Bail is a possibility only under special circumstances.
- Shaelia — cash bail only, only for non-violent offenses.
- St. Samuel — Bail in St Samuel is common practice for minor crimes and is usually authorised with conditions once a bail price has been surrendered to a court.
- Trinia — in theory, bail is a possibility for all accused criminals, but in practice, it is not granted for more serious crimes.
- Xochimechatl — all jurisdictions allow some form of bail, although usually not for people accused of more serious crimes.