Articles of War

Emperor's Hammer Articles of War

1. Court Officers

1.1 – Judge Advocate General

Performs the roll of Judge. Calls a court martial to order, picks the Jury, assigns an advocate to the Accused if the Accused does not pick one for him/her self, Gives the jury their instructions, insures fairness throughout the entire trial process, reads the verdict once it is reached by the Jury, and then either dismisses the case or following guidelines in the AoWs passes sentence on the Accused or if an expulsion is warranted that recommendation is passed to the FC and XO for their consideration.

1.2 – Security Officer

The Security officer fills the roll of the Prosecutor. He performs his investigation against the Accused and then presents that information to the JAG along with charges he is filing against the Accused. When and if it comes to trial he also presents the Prosecutions case to the Jury.

1.3 – Advocate

The Advocate is the Defense Attorney. This individual is chosen by the Accused during the initial stages of the trial if the Accused chooses not to select an Advocate then one will be appointed to them. This individual can be anyone from a close friend to a trusted commanding officer as long as that person is a member of the Emperor’s Hammer in good standing, is not currently part of a trial or under probation of any kind. Advocates selected by the court will most often be the Accused direct superior as they have the best chance of understanding. The Advocates primary duties are to help the Accused understand exactly what is happening during the trial process, put together any defense the Accused may have, and present that information to the Jury. The Advocate will have unrestricted access to the JAG during the course of the trial and will be kept in the loop on all communications between the JAG – SO – Jury.

1.4 – Jury

Appointed by the JAG for a single trial. No Jury member may serve more than once every 6 months. One Jury member will be appointed from each of the Subgroups (TC, DB, Fringe, Dir, and HF) for each trial. Jury members will hear all evidence and testimony in the case from both the Security Officer and the Advocate and any witnesses and then deliberate on that evidence among themselves, Jury members are not allowed to discuss the contents of the evidence or testimony with anyone other than other jury members, If the Jury feels the need to ask more questions of either the JAG, SO, Advocate or the Accused then these should be submitted in writing to both the JAG, SO and the Advocate. No information should ever be hidden from any of the three court officers. Depending on the case the Jury must either reach a simple majority (3 of 5) or a unanimous decision, this information will be given to the jury during instructions and based on the severity of the charges against the Accused. Once the Jury has reached a Verdict that will be transmitted to the JAG who will then make the verdict public and either dismiss the case or pass sentence on the convicted giving them the appropriate punishment for their crime.

2. Types of Court Martial

2.1 – General

A General Court Martial is presided over by the Judge Advocate General and heard by a panel of Five (5) Jury members. The jurisdiction of a General Court Martial includes any charge. Penalties are those as laid out for individual charges.

3. Court Procedures

3.1 - Preliminary Actions

Prior to a case coming to trial, a complaint is generally made to the Security Officer. The Security Officer then investigates both sides of the situation and determines if charges are warranted. In some situations, the Security Officer may decide on some punishment such as an IRC ban, rather than a full-blown trial. In other situations, there may be no grounds for a trial. In the case of there being valid charges, the Security Officer compiles all the evidence relating to the incident, draft appropriate charges and submit the documentation to the Court.

3.2 - Opening the Trial

Upon the processing of the evidence from the Security Officer, the trial case is opened. The Judge Advocate General will send out an e-mail to the defendant alerting them of the charge(s). The defendant has five (5) days to reply with a plea of "guilty" or "not guilty" and provide the name of his Advocate. If no plea is received in that five day period, a plea of "not guilty" will automatically be entered and the Judge Advocate General with assign an Advocate to represent the Accused. Also at this time the Judge Advocate General will begin the selection process for the Jury that will hear this case.

3.2.1 - Presentation of New/Extra Evidence

During the case, the Accused and the Advocate may wish to present new or extra evidence to support their case. In order to verify the truth of the submission, the Accused and Advocate must present the evidence to the Judge Advocate General and Security Officer. The JAG and Security Officer will then verify the accuracy of the information. The JAG has the power to deny submission if he feels the submission is not relevant in the case. If the submission is approved it is passed onto the Jury. New evidence can only be submitted at this time. After you have entered your plea, no new evidence can be submitted until after a verdict is rendered.

3.2.2 - Right of Challenge

At this stage, the Accused and their Advocate has the right to challenge any and all Jury members on their case. The most common grounds for this would be the Accused believing they would not get a fair trial with the current selection of Jury members. If one of the Jury is challenged, the Judge Advocate General judges if there is grounds for the challenge. If the Judge Advocate General is challenged, the review of this goes to the Executive Officer (XO). If the Accused is unsatisfied with the Executive Officers (XO) decision then he may appeal it to the Fleet Commander (FC). In any of these situations, if it is decided there is the possibility of bias, the challenged court officer is replaced. Reasons for challenging include:

Bias towards or against the Accused party
Involvement in the case, either in reporting the original offense or being in the evidence
A Valid and reasonable belief of the Accused that the court official is not appropriate for the case

3.2.3 - Pleas of the Accused

After the challenging phase, the Accused is then required to enter a plea to each charge within five (5) days. If the Accused believes they are innocent of a charge they need to work with their Advocate to provide supporting evidence or mitigating circumstances for the dismissal of the charge. The Accused can, at this time, ask the Judge Advocate General any questions they may have about the judicial process.

3.2.4 - Voting and Verdict

After the submission of evidence and the pleas of the Accused, the Jury submits their verdict to the Judge Advocate General. The submission should include the verdict for each charge, as well as a reason for their decision. A majority is needed for the Accused to be convicted of a charge that does not result in mandatory expulsion. In the case of charges that do attract a mandatory expulsion penalty, a majority of 80% (4 of the 5 panel members) is needed.

3.3 - Closing the Trial

When a final verdict is decided, all relevant parties are informed. The sentence is issued by the JAG (in accordance to the Articles of War) and if the defendant is found guilty, the Security Officer carries out the punishment.

3.3.1 - Guidelines for Sentences

Sentences are based upon what class of offense the Accused actions fall into. Below is a summary of the classes and example punishments:

Example Punishment

Class A
A warning
Public reprimand
IRC ban

Class B
Removal from position
Removal of awards

Class C
Demotion and removal from position

Generally there are only two reasons for deviating from a punishment for a particular offense - mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Examples of mitigating circumstances include:

The Accused had an outstanding record before the offense
It was the first offense by the Accused
The Accused was not fully aware that their actions was wrong
The standard punishment would be unfair and/or unjust
Examples of aggravating circumstances include:

The Accused is a repeat offender
The Accused was aware their actions were against Emperor's Hammer rules
The Accused showed contempt towards the court
The offense affected a large number of members and/or hindered Emperor's Hammer operations in a significant fashion
The offense puts the Emperor's Hammer in a bad light or tarnishes the reputation of the Emperor's Hammer
The Accused holds a position of responsibility in the Emperor’s Hammer and the offense involves abusing that responsibility
Offenses that involve the violation of law in the real world

3.4 - Appeals

The Accused can appeal their sentence after the trial if they have the grounds to. Grounds for an appeal include:

Undue bias or favoritism on the part of the investigating party (i.e. the Security Officer) or the trial panel
Improper procedure in the investigation and execution of the case
The charges and/or punishments were excessive or inappropriate for the crime
The evidence was falsified, inadmissible or out of context
New evidence has come to light
If there are grounds for appeal, the Executive Officer (XO) can review and adjust the case result, including verdict and/or sentencing. If, after the Executive Officer has rendered a decision and the Accused feels there is further grounds for appeal he may ask the Fleet Commander (FC) to review his case.

3.5 - Pardons

Pardons may be granted by the Fleet Commander only. Reasons for a pardon include:

The Accused was found to be innocent or given the benefit of the doubt
The membership has shown that it does not want the sentence carried out
The Accused has been rehabilitated
Upon being granted a pardon, a member will usually be assigned back with a minimum rank and a probationary period. The period may include a restriction on promotions, appointments and awards. Since a great amount of trust is placed in the individual upon granting of a pardon, the highest levels of conduct are also expected.

3.6 – Executive Expulsions

Executive Expulsions are the sole prerogative of the Fleet Commander.

The Fleet Commander can impose any ban on any member for reasons that impact the safety, well being and integrity of the club.

Upon being Expelled a member will be banned from all primary Emperor’s Hammer IRC channels, have their access to Emperor’s Hammer Message boards removed, and have any and all Profile information contained within Emperor’s Hammer resource (rosters, databases, etc.) suspended.

4. Offenses

4.1 - Attempts

An act, done with specific intent to commit an offense under these articles, amounting to more than mere preparation and tending, even though failing, to effect its commission, is an attempt to commit that offense. This is generally a Class A or B offense.

4.2 - Conspiracy

An agreement between two or more persons to commit, or attempt to commit, an offense. This is generally a Class A or B offense.

4.3 - Disrespect towards a superior

An act towards a superior, either in the direct chain of command, or superior in rank or position, that mocks, degrades, insults or otherwise disrespects that superior. This is generally a Class A or B offense.

4.4 - Failure to obey an order

Failure to obey a written order or regulation (such as the Code of Conduct or Articles of War), a spoken or written order from a superior, follow duties of position or failure to enforce such orders or regulations (such as not enforcing the Code of Conduct when a channel operator). This is generally a Class B or C offense.

4.5 - Mutiny and Sedition

Willful intent to override, overthrow or disrupt the effective operation of parts of the Emperor's Hammer, either alone or with other parties, or failing to report or stop such a mutiny. This is generally a Class C offense.

4.6 - Aiding the enemy

Providing of information, intelligence, protection or other services and/or materials without proper authorization to enemies of the Emperor's Hammer. This is generally a Class C offense.

4.7 - False statements

Submission of pilot files, fiction, graphics, records or any other file and/or document that is forged, doctored or authored/created by another party without due credit given. This can also include false recommendations, references and falsified evidence for cases. This is generally a Class B or C offense.

4.8 - Provoking speech

Speech designed to provoke a response, including to insult, injure or bait the target. The speech can be on a public forum such as message boards and IRC or in a direct communiqué between the parties, such as one-on-one messages, emails, etc. This is generally a Class A offense.

4.9 - Conduct unbecoming an officer

Conduct that reflects badly upon the reputation and standing of the Emperor's Hammer. This can include behavior that is immoral, rude, insulting, etc. This is generally a Class A or B offense.

4.10 - Abuse of Power

An act that involves the use of power to further a vendetta against a member, such as the blocking of promotions, awards, appointments, vilifying that member, damaging his/her reputation and/or prospects of a position, promotion or award. The abuse can also involve the unnatural favoritism towards an associate. Abuse of Power can also constitute excessive and unjust bans from IRC. This is generally a Class C offense.

4.11 - Electronic warfare

The unapproved attack, entry or infiltration of computer systems, via methods such as hacking, viruses, denial of service attacks. Providing information on performing such acts also attracts this charge. It should be noted that such activity is also a criminal offense in many nations. This is generally a Class C offense.

4.12 - Vilifying Speech

Demeaning or harassing speech based upon a member's race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, any mental and/or physical disabilities or illnesses. It should be noted that in some countries, such speech is a criminal offense. This is generally a Class C offense.

4.13 - Intimidation

The use of threats, such as threats of physical violence, hacking, damaging of a member's career/advancement or a general threat. This is generally a Class B or C offense.

4.14 - Extortion/Blackmail

Extortion of another member for personal gain or for gain of a third party. This is generally a Class C offense.

Articles of War last updated: 11 November 2008

Last reviewed: N/A

Revision History:

  • 12 January 2022: Conversion of formatting to Markdown (IO/FA Turtle Jerrar)
  • 11 November 2008: 2.0 - Final Public