Magistrate Class 4
00.3.1 Rules and Laws of Gor (amended)
Homework: read for next week.
"Too, I considered the nature of legalities. One tends, if naive, to think of those legalities with which one is most familiar as being somehow the only ones possible. This view, of course, is quite mistaken. This is not to deny that all civilizations, and cultures, have their own customs and legalities. It is only to remark that they need not be the same. Indeed, the legalities with which I was most familiar, as they stood in contradiction to nature, constituted, I supposed, in their way, an aberration of legalities. They were, at the least, uncharacteristic of most cultures, and historically atypical. To be sure, if the intent is to contradict nature rather than fulfill her, there was doubtless much point to them. Thusly, that they produced human pain and social chaos, with all the miseries attendant thereupon, would not be seen as an objection to them but rather as the predictable result of their excellence in the light of their objectives. But not all legalities, of course, need have such objectives. As I lay there in the darkness, in my chains, and considered the factuality and simplicity of my predicament, and the apparently practical and routine aspects of my helplessness and incarceration, I suspected that my current situation was not at all likely to be in violation of legalities. Rather I suspected it was in full and conscious accord with them. I suspected that I was now, or soon would be, enmeshed in legalities. To be sure, these would be different legalities from those with which I was most familiar. These would be, I suspected, legalities founded not on politics, but biology." ---Witness of Gor, p.9
There are two primary legal systems in the cities of Gor, that of the civil government and that of the Initiate Caste. The areas of jurisdiction of these two different systems is sometimes vague though the Initiates do claim supreme authority in all matters. But, the amount of actual involvement of the Initiates in each city will vary depending on the Caste's power in that specific city. They obviously have a stronger hold in some areas than others. For the most part, they will definitely claim jurisdiction in any religious related matter. They will often ignore petty civil matters that they feel are beneath their worry. The strength of the civil government, and their concern about specific matters, will also affect jurisdictional matters.
Each of these two court systems will possess their own buildings to handle their legal matters. For the civil government, many of their legal offices will be located within the vast Central Cylinder, which is commonly the seat of government. There might also be a Cylinder of Justice where trials and punishments are conducted. Atop some such Cylinders, such as in the city of Ar, there will be a large impaling spike. It is a functional spike, used for actual impalements. A city might also have a Cylinder of Documents where legal and official documents are securely stored. The Initiates are likely to have most of their legal offices in their temples.
Within a city, the type of ruler will determine who is the ultimate law maker. The dictatorial forms, such as a Ubar, Ubara and Tatrix, possess the power to change any law by simple decree. An Administrator though does not have such absolute power. Instead, he must work closely with the High Council of the city to get laws passed. Despite their power though, the Ubar, Ubara and Tatrix are still subject to their own laws. If they violate a law, they cannot then retroactively change it to avoid the violation. Talena, Ubara of Ar in Magicians of Gor, tried to do that exact thing when she fell afoul of the couching law of Ar. But, even though she was Ubara, she could not retroactively change the law to avoid committing such a violation.
Within a city, you are most likely to encounter the legal officials of the civil government, no matter what type of ruler is in control. These legal officials are commonly referred to as magistrates and there are a variety of different types of magistrates. As legal matters apparently fall under the purview of the Scribe Caste, most magistrates likely belong to the Scribe Caste. For example, attorneys are a subcaste of the Scribe's Caste. Magistrates often wear special robes and fillets, ribbons, to denote their office. They may also carry a wand of their office and some of those wands may carry concealed blades. Magistrates are able to act as ex officio witnesses who can certify the legality of certain matters. They also can rule in certain legal matters without the need for a trial.
Some of the different types of magistrates known to exist on Gor include aediles, archons, praetors, prefects and quaestors. These terms are derived from ancient Greek or Roman terms that they used for magistrates and other officials. Executioners on Gor are also a type of magistrate. The exact duties of each type of magistrate on Gor is very unclear as the books provide little explanation or detail. Some brief details are provided, but insufficient to determine whether such details are the extent of the duties of the magistrates.
For example, an individual known as the "records officer" is also called the "archon" of records thus indicating that an archon is a type of officer. An archon, with an office in Venna, tried to identify the owners of slaves that were lost or had run away. The slaves would be displayed in the office and if the owners could not be located, the slaves would be auctioned. A prefect was seen certifying documents with a seal, like a notary. He also was able to enact a legal enslavement, pronouncing that a female debtor was a slave because she could not pay her debts. There was a commercial praetor who possessed jurisdiction over the business court, subject ultimately to the High Council. This praetor was able to attest to a ransom payment for a free woman.
Most Gorean law is municipal law, restricted to each individual city. But, there is one type of law that does extend coverage over the various cities of Gor. This is Merchant Law, a joint legal agreement between the various Merchant Castes of different cities. Merchant Law permits commerce to exist much more easily on Gor. The books do not provide a comprehensive description of everything covered under Merchant Law though some provisions are given. But, Merchant law does not cover all aspects of commerce. There are gaps in that law, though efforts are made to close those gaps. Aspects of Merchant Law are most often decided at the Sardar Fairs, when Merchants from all over Gor meet to discuss such issues.
To administer and enforce Merchant law, there are specific Merchant magistrates. These magistrates belong to the Merchant Caste and not the Scribe Caste. They are separate from the other magistrates. Merchant magistrates wear white robes, trimmed with gold and purple. They too have the power to make some legal decisions without the need for a formal trial.
There are few details provided on Gorean trial procedures. Criminal defendants can be treated quite harshly. Prisoners, of either gender, are rarely pampered. They are often kept naked in their cells and denied even the availability of a bath. It is unknown whether bail exists or not. From the scant information in the books on trials, it seems a person is presumed innocent until found guilty. It does not seem that the accused must prove his innocence but rather that the state must prove his guilt. This is only speculation though. Certain crimes are described as felonies so there are likely misdemeanors as well, though the difference between the two is not given and few crimes are specifically delineated as one or the other.
There are magistrate hearings and jury trials. The books do not clarify which crimes can be handled by which judicial method. There is no indication on what type of crimes warrant a jury trial. In the few magistrate hearings that are described in the books, they are often quick matters. Though these hearings usually deal with quite clear cut matters, with little room for ambiguity. There also does not appear to be any appeal from the decision of these magistrates as sentence is often enacted immediately after a decision is made. We do know that a defendant can acquire immunity from prosecution if they provide assistance in the prosecution of someone else.
"More broadly, order and structure in human life, stability in society, even, in a sense, civilization itself, depends on sanctions. A civilization must be willing to impose sanctions, and to impose them reliably and efficiently. A lapse in such resolve and practice is a symptom of decline, even of impending disintegration. Ultimately civilization depends upon power, moral and physical, upon, so to speak, the will of masters and the reality of the whip and sword."
---Magicians of Gor, p.124
Punishments for the violation of Gorean law can be quite severe. Capital punishment is common for a wide variety of offenses and some of those offenses are not what many on Earth would consider serious crimes. Mutilation, enslavement and exile are other common punishments. For particularly heinous offenses, torture may precede death. There are some lesser penalties as well, such as fines.
Impalement is a common method of capital punishment for both free men and women. Men would be bound but women are usually just set upon the spear. It is not necessary to bind them as they cannot reach the spear or get the leverage to remove themselves. Such a fate is a slow death, giving people the time to consider and be remorseful for their crimes. Slaves though are not commonly impaled. They would be far more likely just tossed to a sleen. But, there are offenses where impalement of a slave does occur.
In the northern forests, hanging and hamstringing are common punishments. When a person is hamstrung, the two large tendons behind each knee are cut. The legs may then no longer be contracted and become basically useless. You can't even stand erect anymore. Such individuals often end up as pitiful beggars, pulling themselves along with their hands and arms.
The Frame of Humiliation is a unique punishment. The Frame is a hollow wooden frame to which a condemned person is tied. He is then set adrift on the Vosk River and the frame will float atop the water. The person might then die of exposure, dehydration, or be eaten by tharlarion or other carnivorous reptiles. Custom dictates that the person placed onto the frame is to be spit upon before being placed into the water. Other cities and areas have their own unique punishments as well.
"Before the sword," he said, "there is no right, no wrong, only fact-a world of what is and what is not, rather than a world of what should be and what should not be. There is no justice until the sword creates it, establishes it, guarantees it, gives it substance and significance." He lifted the weapon, wielding the heavy metal blade as though it were a straw. "First the sword-" he said, "then government-then law-then justice."
---Tarnsman of Gor, p.156
The following laws, legal principles, rights and rites exist in various Gorean cities, some being quite common across Gor. But, this is by far not an exhaustive list but only a sampling of relevant ones listed in the books. Please remember that not all of these will be in force in every city. Cities will certainly have other laws that are not listed here. As ignorance of the law was often not considered a viable defense, it was imperative that Goreans be aware of the laws in each city they visited.
1. "There is a saying on Gor that the laws of a city extend no further than its walls." (Outlaw of Gor, p.50) This is one of the most basic principles of Gorean law yet it is more a generality than an absolute. For the most part, once you step outside the walls of a city, their city laws will no longer apply and the city will not protect you. But, there are exceptions to this rule. First, many cities claim do sovereignty over the lands surrounding their city. They may try to enforce their will upon the surrounding terrain. Tarn, tharlarion or infantry patrols often monitor the tenuous borders of a city's claimed territory and either question, detain or kill non-citizens trying to enter their lands. That is only as effective as the strength of the city's military forces. Second, there are certain locations located outside a city over which a city exercises full legal control, such as a banner keep. A banner keep is a Merchant Keep owned by a specific city, and governed by that city's laws. Third, Merchant Law exists, that set of common laws that binds many of the cities of Gor. Merchant Law extends past city walls, protecting commerce.
2. To make a claim as to unowned land outside of a city, you must place a yellow stake of claimancy into the ground during the morning. You must then wait by that stake and protect that land until sunset. At that time then, the land becomes yours and you may lay your Home Stone there.
3. The theft of a Home Stone may be one of the most heinous crimes that exists on Gor. This should not be surprising considering the Gorean beliefs concerning the importance of the Home Stone. Theft of such is commonly punished by extreme torture followed by death in boiling oil. Despite this, the theft of a enemy's Home Stone is also considered the greatest of glories, showing that the thief is favored by the Priest-Kings.
4. A person might be slain for not standing when speaking of his own Home Stone. It is unknown whether this is by law, Caste Code or simply custom. There is no description of the circumstances when this may be applicable either.
5. Only members of the High Castes may be elected to the High Council of a city. Each of the five High Castes votes for their own representatives on the High Council.
6. Only members of the High Castes may vote to elect a city's Administrator or to appoint a Ubar. Low Castes do not possess any voting rights.
7. There is a question as to whether free women may be members of the High Council and whether free women of the High Castes are permitted to vote. This is likely an issue decided on a city by city basis. There is some confusion because of a statement that seems to imply women are not permitted to vote. "Whereas it is only the men of high caste who elect members to the Council of the City,?" (Assassin of Gor, p.16) It is unclear whether "men" in this context refers solely to the male gender or whether it is used in a more generic sense to indicate all within the High Castes. But, as women are permitted to occupy the highest political position in a city, that of ruler, then it makes little sense why they couldn't occupy a lesser political position, such as being on a High Council or why they could not vote.
8. It is illegal to take a map of a city out of that city. It is also illegal for a non-citizen to make their own map of a city. As many city streets do not possess set names, it can be difficult for visitors to find their way around in a city. This can be an added defense mechanism, preventing invading armies from easily moving through a city toward intended targets.
9. In the high cities of Gor, the length of each Ahn during a day are all of the same duration. In other cities, they divide a day into ten Ahn during the daytime and ten at nighttime. Thus, the length of each Ahn will vary by season though the day is the same length. Thus in summer, daytime Ahn are longer than nighttime Ahn.
10. Citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and thus you must actively apply for it as well as continue to earn it throughout your life. "Citizenship, or its retention, on other than a nominal basis, in some cities, is contingent on such things as attending public ceremonies, such as an official semi-annual taking of auspices, and participating in numerous public assemblies, some of which are called on short notice." (Dancer of Gor, p.302-303)
11. "Citizenship in most Gorean communities is not something accrued in virtue of the accident of birth but earned in virtue of intent and application." (Slave Girl of Gor, p.394) Upon reaching your intellectual majority, you must perform the citizenship ceremony. The specifics of the ceremony will vary from city to city. In some cities, there may be a requirement that other citizens, non-blood relations, must vouch for you. In other places, you might be questioned by a committee of citizens to determine your worthiness for citizenship. The oath of allegiance may involve the touching or kissing of the Home Stone, the swearing of oaths, and maybe even the sharing of bread, fire and salt. A laurel wreath and mantle of citizenship may then be conferred upon the new citizen.
12. The nonperformance of the citizenship ceremony, within one year of reaching your intellectual majority, is punishable by expulsion from the city. This applies only to those individuals born within the city or born to citizens of the city. "The rationale seems to be that the community has a right to expect allegiance from its members." (Vagabonds of Gor, p.303)
13. Though reference is made to the age of intellectual majority, no specific age is ever provided. From circumstantial evidence in the books, the highest probability seems to be that it is fifteen years old.
14. You can renounce your existing citizenship and acquire citizenship in another city. Obviously, you must be accepted by this other city as a citizen, meeting all prerequisites that are in place.
15. One of the benefits of citizenship is that it provides some protection against foreign creditors. It is unknown whether this area is covered by Merchant Law or not.
16. The oath of disownment is a part of the Warrior Caste Codes as well as the rites of a city. In this irreversible ceremony, a family member is disowned. That family member loses all connection to their family, as well as losing their Caste. It appears that this oath is taken according to the Warrior Caste Codes by swearing upon the hilt of your sword. It is unknown how it is done according to city rites. The Ubar of a city took the oath on the medallion of his city. A common citizen would obviously need to use something else for such an oath.
17. Every citizen must journey, at least once, to the Sardar Mountains before they are twenty-five years old. The Initiate Caste monitors who goes and who does not. The Initiates also teach that misfortunes will strike a city if their youth try to avoid this sacred obligation. Sometimes the Initiate Caste will ask a person to make the journey at a specific time. In some cities and islands, such as Teletus, your family will receive a gold tarn disk if you make the journey when the Initiates request it.
18. "A man who refused to practice his livelihood or strove to alter status without the consent of the Council of High Castes was, by definition, an outlaw and subject to impalement." (Tarnsman of Gor, p.46) Outlaws lose all connection to their Home Stone and Caste, a terrible fate for a Gorean. They must live in the wilderness, struggling to survive. Few Goreans envy the fate of an outlaw.
19. Each city determines which Castes and subcastes will be legally recognized. They will also determine which Caste will be recognized as High Castes. For example, there may be cities where the Merchants Caste, normally a Low Caste, is legally recognized as a High Caste.
20. There is a crime of "attempting to deceive with respect to caste." This encompasses such actions as engaging in business under false pretenses and claiming explicitly to be of a caste other than your own. Such deceptions most often occur when people pretend to be Physicians. This crime does not apply to all actions that are part of a Caste's primary focus. For example, anyone, and not just a member of the Slaver's Caste, can legally sell a slave. But, that same person cannot claim to be a member of the Slaver's Caste if he is not.
21. It is legally permissible to change one's Caste though most Goreans would not willingly change their Caste, being proud of their Caste no matter how low it might be. In a Free Companionship, the woman can take the Caste of the man though the man cannot do the same. Otherwise to change caste, the High Council of the city must approve the change, based on your qualifications for the new caste and the willingness of the new caste to accept you.
22. Women in the Physician's Caste cannot engage in the full practice of medicine until they have first bore two children. In many cities, at age fifteen, women of the Physician's Caste will place two bracelets on their left wrist. One is then removed for each child that she bears. When both bracelets are removed, she can then engage in the full practice of medicine.
23. It is a capital offense for a locksmith, usually a member of the Metal Workers, to make an unauthorized copy of a key.
24. A Free Companionship, the Gorean form of marriage, lasts for a single year. If it is not renewed by the twentieth Ahn of the anniversary date, it will automatically dissolve.
25. A Free Companionship will dissolve earlier than one year if one of the parties is either enslaved or dies. The books do not state if the contract can be legally dissolved prior to the year end if the parties so agree. It seems likely most Goreans would simply wait out the year.
26. A woman does not change her name in a Free Companionship.
27. The "gens" name is the clan name (derived from an ancient Roman term). The gens can only pass through the male line. Females can keep their gens in a Free Companionship, if it is part of their contract, but they can never pass on the gens.
28. A person may have only one Free Companion at a time. In the equatorial jungles, men may possess multiple companions. For example, Bila Huruma possessed over two hundred companions.
29. Port Kar does not recognize the institution of Free Companionship. Free women in that city are simply known as the women of their men.
30. Many cities have at least one Sun Gate, a primary gate that is only open from dawn to dusk. Once dusk arrives, the gate is closed and it is very unlikely that it will be opened during the night. Most cities will have a special night gate that allows citizens to enter and leave the city at night.
31. Anyone who enters a city without permission is punishable by impalement. "Pikes on the walls of Gorean cities are often surmounted with the remains of unwelcome guests." (Outlaw of Gor, p.49)
32. All outlaws are forbidden entrance into the city and subject to impalement. Panther girls and talunas are considered outlaws.
33. Assassins, when bearing the mark of the black dagger on their forehead, are permitted entrance into a city without interference.
34. Members of the Castes of Players, Poets, Musicians and Singers may freely enter any city.
35. Heralds, bearing a gold slash on the left temple of their helmet or headgear, are immune from interference by any within a city. This is a form of diplomatic immunity.
36. Ambassadors possess the same diplomatic immunity as heralds.
37. Patents, which cover inventions, and copyrights, which cover written materials, are available in a city but their power extends only as far as the city wall. Merchant Law has been unsuccessful in introducing such on a more global scale. Thus, many craftsmen and manufacturers keep their formulas and plans in cipher to protect them from theft and unauthorized copying.
38. Forgery of an official city seal on mercantile products is illegal. This is to help protect the integrity of official city products.
39. Each city commonly holds a Merchant's Foot and Stone and these are available for the city's Merchants to verify their own personal measuring devices. Any Merchant found to be using a deceptive Foot or Stone will be punished.
40. For legal and commercial purposes, certain letters have been standardized. These would include those representing weights and measures, as well as the "kef."
41. Instruments of debt can be transferred, usually for some discounted amount, and the transferee can then attempt to collect on the face value of the instruments. Bounty creditors often avail themselves of this opportunity.
42. Shaving, clipping, cutting or slicing off metal from any coin is considered to be theft and fraud. This debases the value of the coin.
43. Crests, signs and family emblems can be registered and their use will be legally restricted.
44. Robes of concealment and veils may or may not be required by law for free women. In some cities, such as Ar and Ar's Station, it is only custom while in others it is actual law. In some cities, an unveiled free woman is susceptible to being taken into custody by guardsmen, then to be veiled, by force if necessary. Repeated offenses can even lead to enslavement. Even where it is only custom, it is strongly recommended that all free women wear robes and veils in public.
45. In cities where robes and veils for free women are not legally mandatory, there are other pertinent laws restricting how much bare skin a free woman may show. If too much skin is shown, then the woman is subject to possible enslavement. "If you would be stripped as a slave, then be a slave, it is said." (Dancer of Gor, p.157)
46. Face stripping a free woman, forcefully removing her veils against her will, is a serious crime.
47. In some cities, it is a crime to bring pleasure silk in contact with the flesh of a free woman. It is considered to be too exciting and sensuous.
48. Free women are rarely, if ever, permitted to play Kaissa. It also does not appear that women may belong to the Caste of Players.
49. Weapons are prohibited from being carried into an Initiate's temple.
50. Non-Initiates may not enter the sanctuary area of an Initiate's temple unless they have received the chrism of temporary permission. This is considered to be an inferior annointing and of temporary efficacy.
51. Insulae, tenements, may be constructed no higher in a city than a certain height. That height restriction will vary from city to city.
52. By law, the central waste vat in all insulae must remain covered at all times.
53. Any person apprehended wearing or possessing a tunic that is lined with a different color, which could be turned inside out to alter one's identity, is subject to possible impalement.
54. Dar-Kosis is a dreaded and highly contagious disease without a cure. Dar?kosis is considered to be a holy and it is considered heresy to shed their blood though they can be stoned. It is also considered heresy to try to seek a cure for this disease. It is unknown if this has been enacted as a law in any Gorean city.
55. "Those who contract the disease are regarded by law as dead." (Assassin of Gor, p.266) Thus, a person who contracts Dar-Kosis will lose all of their possessions, which shall then pass either by will or by the intestate laws.
56. Thievery is illegal and harshly punished. In most cities, a first offense is punished by an ear notching. Penalties for subsequent offenses will vary by city and gender. In most cities, a free women found guilty of a second offense is enslaved. If a free man is found guilty of a second offense, he often will lose one of his hands. For a third offense, a man might lose his other hand, or in some jurisdictions, his other hand and both feet.
57. There is a Caste of Thieves in Port Kar, the only one of its type on Gor. Thievery is still illegal in Port Kar, though the penalties are different. It is legal to slay a male thief, or enslave a female thief, if the thief is caught within one Ahn of the theft. Once an Ahn has passed though, then the thief must be handed over to the Arsenal police for a hearing or trial. If then found guilty, a male thief will be sentenced to hard labor in the Arsenal or on the wharves for a period ranging from one week to one year. A female thief would be sentenced to serve in a penal brothel for a period ranging from one week to one year.
58. There is a method of dispute resolution called the "rite of knives." Unfortunately, there is little information on its application. It is essentially a fight to the death and is used in place of a trial. The fight may be just with daggers. As it is called a rite, it may not have any true legal effect but may instead be an ancient custom. This might even be a part of the Warrior Code. We do know though that a freed Panther Girl asked to participate in this rite against another woman. Tarl Cabot granted her request. Thus, this rite apparently may include female participation.
59. Adoption is legally practiced on Gor.
60. Forest fires are considered to be terrible disasters and the penalty for anyone who starts such a fire is to be burnt alive.
61. It is illegal to smuggle the beans used to make black wine out of the territory of Thentis. These beans are only grown within the territory of Thentis.
62. It is the right of all people, free and slave, to receive the Stabilization Serums, the Gorean life extension treatment. This may be one of the only rights that a slave possesses. It is unknown whether a slave owner could deny the Serums to his own slave, though there would seem to be little reason for such a denial.
63. By law, the Slaver's Caste is a subcaste of the Merchant's Caste. The Slaver Caste though often prefers to consider themselves a separate Caste. It is unknown whether this determination is part of Merchant Law or not.
64. Any person, male or female, is subject to potential enslavement. Though women are more likely to be enslaved, men can still be enslaved through capture or legal process. Women are about ten times more likely to be enslaved than men.
65. There are two basic legal statuses on Gor: free and slave. Unless you are legally owned, then you are considered technically free, even if you are a prisoner, captive or outlaw. As a free person, you possess legal rights that slaves do not possess.
66. According to Merchant Law, a person is considered to be a prisoner and not a slave, as long as they have not been branded, collared or performed a gesture of submission.
67. Legally, slaves are considered property, on the same level as domestic animals. Their owner may do anything they wish to them without repercussion. An owner can even mutilate or kill his own slave with impunity. Their power over their own slave is absolute.
68. Slaves may not own anything. Even though they may use goods, they do not own them. Such items remain the property of the slave's owner. No matter what gifts a slave may receive, they cannot own such gifts. Those gifts too would belong to the slave's owner.
69. A slave does not even own their own name. Their owner can change their name at will, and as often as they desire. "Indeed, from the Gorean's point of view, one of the most fearful things about slavery is that one loses one's name. That name which he has had from birth, by which he has called himself and knows himself, that name which is so much a part of his own conception of himself, of his own true and most intimate identity, is suddenly gone." (Outlaw of Gor, p.197)
70. No Player, Musician, Poet or Singer Caste member may be enslaved within a city's limits. This does not mean they are immune from prosecution from violating city law. They can still be arrested, imprisoned, tortured and executed. They are simply immune from enslavement. "There is a saying to the effect that he who makes music must, like the tarn and the Vosk gull, be free." (Kajira of Gor, p.298)
71. The institution of the capture of women is honored by most cities, provided the women captured belong to an enemy. The subject of "capture rights" pertains to all forms of property, including slaves. Active possession is regarded as crucial by the law. Thus, theft and capture will confer certain rights over the property.
72. A slave must fully serve anyone who possesses her, even a thief or captor. If the slave attempts to run away from her thief or captor, she will be deemed to be a runaway. Free women are permitted to escape from a captor as long as they have not yet been enslaved. The point of this law is to maintain slaves in a state of bondage while also encouraging men to be bold. "The average man of this world would no more think of stealing a slave within his own city, or a host city, one which has extended the courtesy of its walls, than he would of any other act of illicit and dishonorable brigandage." (Witness of Gor, p.497)
73. If a lost, stolen or runaway slave is taken by another person, the original owner has only one week to regain his property before legal title passes to the new owner. The slave remains the property of the original owner only for that one week if he does not regain possession. This likely refers to a Gorean week, which is only five days long. (a Merchant Law - not changeable)
74. A person who is found to possess a stolen slave might not be convicted or any crime if they are truly ignorant of fact that the slave was stolen.
75. If a captured free woman submits to her captor, she will become his slave. "It had been within the context of his capture rights that she had, as a free woman, of her own free will, pronounced upon herself a formula of enslavement. Automatically then, in virtue of the context, she became his. The law is clear on this. The matter is more subtle when the woman is not within a context of capture rights." (Players of Gor, p.21)
76. A free woman who submits to a particular man, when there is no capture involved, may or may not become a slave. This will be dependent upon city law. "The matter is more subtle when the woman is not within a context of capture rights. Here the matter differs from city to city. In some cities, a woman may not, with legal recognition, submit herself to a specific man as a slave, for in those cities that is interpreted as placing at least a temporary qualification on the condition of slavery which condition, once entered into, all cities agree, is absolute. In such cities, then, the woman makes herself a slave, unconditionally. It is then up to the man in question whether or not he will accept her as his slave. In this matter he will do as he pleases. In any event, she is by then a slave, and only that." (Players of Gor, p.21)
77. "In other cities, and in most cities, on the other hand, a free woman, may, with legal tolerance, submit herself as a slave to a specific man. If he refuses her, she is then still free. If he accepts her, she is then, categorically, a slave, and he may do with her as he pleases, even selling her or giving her away, or slaying her, if he wishes." (Players of Gor, p.21)
78. In some cities, a free woman who kneels before a man or addresses him as Master effects legal imbondment on herself. Such actions are considered to be gestures of submission.
79. A free woman can sell herself into slavery. But, once the sale is complete, the woman cannot then revoke it.
80. "Any free woman who couches with another's slave, or readies herself to couch with another's slave, becomes herself a slave, and the slave of the slave's master." (Magicians of Gor, p.7) This is known as the "couching law" and exists in Ar, though it may have been adopted by other cities as well. There are clearly though some cities, like Vonda, that do not have such a law because reference is made to free women freely lending their male slaves to a female guest. The couching law does not prevent a woman from having sex with a slave she owns. It is important to note that a violation can occur even though actual sex never occurs. Simply preparing to have sex is sufficient. "By such an act, the couching with, or readying herself to couch with, a slave, as though she might be a girl of the slave's master, thrown to the slave, she shows herself as no more than a slave, and in this act, in law, becomes a slave." (Magicians of Gor, p.303); . Special seduction slaves are used by some slave owners to trap free women. Milo, from Magicians of Gor, is a prime example of a seduction slave. His owner, Appanius, used Milo to entrap numerous free women. Tarl Cabot would also use Milo to entrap Talena and enslave her.
81. If a father cannot pay his debts, his daughter will become a slave of the state. She will then be put up for sale at a public auction. The proceeds of her sale will be used to equitably satisfy her father's creditors.
82. A free woman who cannot pay her own debts will be enslaved. Under the redemption laws, a person can pay the woman's debts and thus claim ownership of her. That owner could free the woman if he so desired, or keep her as a slave. If no one redeems a female debtor within a certain time period, not specified in the books, she will then be sold to Slavers.
83. There is no law that states a man may enslave a free woman of his Home Stone because she has insulted or disrespected him.
84. Free women may be legally enslaved if they engage in "conduct indicating suitability for the collar." "The principle he had alluded to pertains to conduct in a free woman which is taken as sufficient to warrant her reduction to slavery. The most common application of this principle occurs in areas such as fraud and theft. Other applications may occur, for example, in cases of indigency and vagrancy. Prostitution, rare on Gor because of female slaves, is another case. The women are taken, enslaved, cleaned up and controlled. Indulgence in sensuous dance is another case. Sensuous dance is almost always performed by slaves on Gor. A free woman who performs such dancing publicly is almost begging for the collar. In some cities the sentence of bondage is mandatory for such a woman." (Renegades of Gor, p.372). Other actions can qualify as well. "In many cities, such actions, attempting to spy on masters and slaves, disguising oneself as a slave, garbing oneself as a slave, even in the supposed secrey of one's own compartments, lingering about slave shelves and markets, even exhibiting an interest in, or fascination with, bondage, can result in a reduction to bondage. The theory is apparently that such actions and interests are those of a slave, and that the female who exhibits them should, accordingly, be imbonded." (Magicians of Gor, p.50) Even wearing slave beads could be a reason for enslavement. This principle only deals with actions and not thoughts. "Conduct indicating suitability for the collar, of course, can be interpreted in various ways, and more broadly and narrowly. It is almost always understood, of course, fortunately for women, and as I suppose the phrase itself makes clear, in the special legal sense of the phrase, as having to do with overt behavior rather than psychological predispositions and such." (Renegades of Gor, p.372)
85. It is illegal for a person on their own to collar a free woman for "conduct indicating suitability for the collar." Free women who may have violated this legal principle must be brought before a magistrate or judge for a legal determination as to whether there has been a violation sufficient to warrant a reduction to slavery.
86. Earth girls do not have a Home Stone so there are no legalities that prevent their capture and enslavement.
87. A free woman may do a form of limited self-contracting where she legally becomes a slave for a specific time period, commonly ranging from one night to one year. She cannot end this contract earlier than the specified time period. Once the contract takes effect, she becomes a slave with no legal powers at all. This curious contractual arrangement is not described in great detail. It raises numerous legal dilemmas that can only be speculated about. The books do not state that the contract covers any contigencies or limits the slavery in any way. The woman becomes an actual slave. That would seem to mean she could be freely killed. What would happen is she was sold? Does the contract prevent that? Would the time period still apply if she was sold? What would happen if she was stolen? This passage seems to raise far more questions than it answers.
88. "And yet it was not a strange thing, particularly not on Gor, where bravery is highly esteemed and to save a female's life is in effect to win title to it, for it is the option of a Gorean male to enslave any woman whose life he has saved, a right which is seldom denied even by the citizens of the girl's city or her family. Indeed, there have been cases in which a girl's brothers have had her clad as a slave, bound in slave bracelets, and handed over to her rescuer, in order that the honor of the family and her city not be besmirched." (Priest-Kings of Gor, p.161) It is unknown whether this is codified in city law or whether it simply exists as custom.
89. "The collar, by Gorean law, cancelled the past." When a person is enslaved, they begin a new life as a slave and may not be held accountable for any crimes that occurred while they were free.
90. The property of a person who is enslaved will be transferred to the nearest male relative or the nearest relative if no male exists, or to the city, or a guardian. Even if the slave is later freed, their property cannot ever be recovered.
91. A child, born of a slave, becomes a slave and belongs to the mother's owner. The key to this law is the status of the mother at the time of birth, not conception.
92. By the law of Tharna, a person conceived by a free person on another free person is a free person, even if later carried and borne by a slave. Thus, slaves would often be temporarily freed for the purpose of conception and then reenslaved afterwards.
93. By recommendation of Merchant Law, there are three standard marking places for brands, on the left thigh, right thigh, and lower left abdomen. Slaves though may be branded on any part of their body.
94. It is illegal to sell a slave, without the owner's permission, that is not your own. The penalty varies according to the gender of the seller. If the seller is a man, the penalty is exile, and if the seller is a woman, the penalty is enslavement.
95. It is illegal to offer an unbranded slave in a public sale.
96. It is illegal to sell a slave as auburn haired if she is truly not so.
97. It is a felony to forge or falsify pedigree papers on any slave. Such papers might include information on brand type, a number of different measurements, types of training received; a place for sales endorsements for when a girl changes hands and a remark section for miscellaneous information.
98. A certification of a slave girl's heat may be given in certain cities. Her degree of heat will be listed on the sale documents. It is done in few cities though because of the potential for fraud on the part of the buyer. A buyer might use a girl for a month and then seek a refund based on the guarantee of her level of heat.
99. A slave, on threat of torture and impalement, must endure whatever abuse a free person cares to inflict on her. This is stated to apply within Ar and on Gor in general.
100. Any free person may discipline an insolent or errant slave, even one who is in the least bit displeasing. If the slave is killed or injured, the free person need only pay compensation to the master and only if the master requests such compensation. This does not give you the right to injure or kill someone else's slave. It simply states the penalty for such a violation. "One did not have the right, for example, to kill or maim the slave of another, any more than any other domestic animal which might belong to someone else. In this sense the slave is accorded some protection from free persons who do not own her in virtue of certain general considerations of property law." (Magicians of Gor, p.330)
101. If a slave strikes a free person, the penalty is commonly death by impalement, preceded by lengthy torture.
102. It is a capital offense for a slave to wield any weapon. The definition of what constitutes a weapon is unclear. It does appear that slaves may use razors and knifes for certain domestic duties. Though that may be permissible, if the slave attempted to use those items as weapons, then they would be guilty of this offense.
103. It is a capital offense for a slave to claim caste.
104. It is a capital offense for a female slave to wear the garment of a free woman.
105. It is illegal for a slave to wear veils.
106. A male slave may be slain for touching either a free woman or a female slave without permission.
107. If a slave fails to kneel in the presence of a free person, it can be a capital offense, especially if the slave intentionally fails to do so. In that case, the slave may be tortured to death.
108. Slaves may not touch or handle money. This is not applicable in all cities. For example, in Ar, at least one prominent slave, Milo, was given spending money.
109. In any legal proceedings, the testimony of slaves may be taken by torture. This is solely in the discretion of the courts.
110. For a slave to runaway from her owner is a serious offense. For the first offense, the penalty is commonly a severe beating. But she is only allowed that single mistake. The penalty for a second offense is usually hamstringing. That will makes her useless, but it is considered a good object lesson for other slaves.
111. Slaves are not permitted outside a city's gates unless accompanied by a free person.
112. Slaves are not permitted on the city streets after nightfall.
113. Slaves are not allowed in temples. It is felt that they would defile it.
114. It is illegal for slaves to play Kaissa. It is considered an insult to free men, not only for a slave to play but even to touch the pieces. A slave might have their hands cut off or be killed for touching Kaissa pieces without permission.
115. The crime of false yielding is a capital offense. It is considered to be easy to detect, through infallible physiological signs.
116. Female slaves must wear a visible token of their slavery within the city limits. Male slaves are usually exempt from this law because it is thought that it would not be beneficial for male slaves to understand their true numbers. There are worries of slave revolt.
117. Slaves are not allowed to build anything. That right is reserved for free people only. Port Kar though is an exception as it was the only city built by slaves.
118. It is illegal for slaves to touch or handle legal documents.
119. Slaves may not teach free people. By teaching someone, they are placed in your debt and nothing can be owed to a slave.
120. A slave may not laugh at a free woman and may be whipped for such an action.
121. The unauthorized rape of slave girls, without the permission of her master, is officially frowned on, and even illegal in some cities, but it is often ignored. Such actions are not uncommon in peasant villages. Sometimes such actions are even encouraged. Such encouragement may be done to pacify the natural aggressions of male youths, aggressions that might otherwise result in destructive behavior. It may also be a means to encourage manhood as well as to protect free women from their attentions. Slave owners who are truly worried about such unauthorized slave rape should keep their slaves inside or put them in iron belts.
122. Slaves are not permitted to sit in chairs and might be whipped or slain for doing so.
123. Freed slaves require explicit papers of manumission or they may be enslaved again without repercussion. Slaves who have been branded or had theirs ears pierced and later freed should definitely keep their papers handy at all times.
124. In Tharna, prior to its revolution, any non-citizen who remained in the city for more than ten Ahn would be enslaved. No warning of this law was given to those who entered the city and ignorance of the law was not a defense.
125. In Tharna, after its revolution, any free women entering the city, who are non-citizens, must temporarily don slave collars, slave tunics and leashes while she remains within the city.
126. In the city of Port Kar, if you defeat a man in fair combat, and then permit him the death of blood and the sea, then all of his properties became yours. Essentially, you permit the victim to see Thassa before he dies. This is how Tarl acquired his initial fortune when he arrived in Port Kar.
127. Port Kar owns several preserves in the northern forests so that they can claim its timber. They punish anyone who engages in illegal cutting or pasturage.
128. In the port city of Schendi, they sometimes use a "scimitar of discipline" to sever a slave's feet that have been locked in an ankle rack. It is unknown whether the scimitar is used only on slaves or not.
129. Within the city of Tor, they are very strict against thievery. For a first offense, a male thief will have his right hand severed while a female thief will be enslaved.
130. In the Tahari region, the destruction of a water source is a terrible offense, probably the most heinous crime in that area.
131. In Torvaldsland, if you kill someone, you may be assessed a wergild, a price that must be paid in compensation for the death. The amount of a wergild is generally set by the victim's family.
132. In Torvaldsland, there is an ordeal to determine whether someone is telling the truth. A man must hold two red hot, metal bars and carry them a distance of twenty feet. The book does not explain though what will determine whether he is honest or not. Is it merely being able to accomplish this task? Or are the hands examined to see if the person is burnt or not, with a burn indicating dishonesty? That was how honesty was determined in some places in the Earth's history.
133. In the equatorial regions, under the hegemony of Bila Huruma, areas of Lake Ushindi are used for punishing some criminals. In those areas where many tharlarion are known to exist, there have been placed high poles in the water. These poles do not have any platforms. Criminals are placed on these poles, to cling to them for a period of time. Obviously, if they cannot hold on, they will fall to the tharlarion.