Lex Hortensia de legibus scribundis (Nova Roma)

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Codex Iuris Novae Romae


This lex is currently IN FORCE.

Approved by comitia centuriata
Yes: 18 No: 10 Abs.: 0
prid. Kal. Ian. Q. Arrio (II) T. Domitio (III) cos. MMDCCLXXIII a.u.c.

The purpose of this law is to make the Nova Roman legal system more Roman, more authentic and in harmony with with mos maiorum the restoration and celebration of which is the mission of Nova Roma.

I. The Roman names of leges

All leges of the Nova Roman people, the Quirites, past and future, shall be named after the magistrate who put them to vote and presided over their enactment. Even if the actual author who wrote the lex was a different person, regarding the auspices of the law and according to the Roman principles of formality, the legal author is always the convening and presiding magistrate and all leges shall be named after that magistrate. The name of the law shall derive from the nomen gentile of the magistrate.

I.A. It is possible for a lex to bear two names of the two magistrates if the convening magistrate wants to recognize the authorship of his or her colleague. The following options shall be permitted: a lex can be named after the two consules, after two praetores or after two of tribuni plebis. No other combination of magistrates is permitted. If the authoring officer was is a special officer, for example a dictator, consular tribune or other kind of officer with the power to legislate, the lex shall be named after the authoring officer, but with a maximum of two authoring officers of the same rank and title.

I.B. It shall be possible for a presiding magistrate of a legislative comitia to have a co-chairman who is a colleague in the same office for the session and to name the lex after the co-chairing colleague. Alternatively it also shall be possible to hold two comitia sessions at the same time, in complete concert regarding the schedules of the sessions, jointly with another magistrate and to name the lex after the magistrate convening the joint session. However, a lex can bear the name of the colleague of a single chairman presiding magistrate, too, if the presiding magistrate decides so, as described in section I.A.

II. Latin descriptive titles for all laws

The names of leges, including the Constitution and the Constitutional Amendments, which shall also be considered a special lex, of senatus consulta, decreta pontificum, edicta and all kind of legal documents shall be in Latin, formulated according to Roman customs. Incorrect names (whether they are incorrect in grammar or vocabulary only, or in the traditional way of phrasing certain Roman ideas and expressions) shall be corrected under the supervision of the praetores as described in section IV.

III. The Roman format of laws

All laws of Nova Roma shall be phrased and written according to ancient Roman formal requirements. These requirements shall be investigated and described by a committee consisting of at least two officially recognized Latinists and Classical Philologists, appointed to this task by the praetores. In order to be appointed to this position, an MA degree university diploma from Latin language and literature or from Classical Philology shall be presented to the appointing praetor. This committee shall revise and correct all legal documents, past and future, to ancient Roman format. The enactment of the correction shall be done under the supervision of the praetores according to the method described in section IV.

IV. Correction of laws

All existing and former laws (legal documents) and their names shall be revised and corrected the way as it is regulated in this law to meet the Roman standards described in this law, and to meet the standards of the grammar and orthography of the language in which they are written.

IV.A. The fixing of unauthentic and un-Roman elements, the addition of the missing Roman features shall be enacted in a form of edict by a praetor with the approval of the committee mentioned in section III. The members of the committee shall be mentioned in the edict.

IV.B.1. The correction of English or Latin (or any language) grammatical and idiomatic mistakes in the laws (all types of legal documents) corrected by the curator rei informaticae under praetorian supervision, described by the lex Equitia de corrigendis legum erratis, shall be likewise published in a form of edict by a praetor.

IV.B.2. The correction of simple mistakes of orthography and typology need not be enacted and published in an edict, but changes which alter words and phrases other than orthography or typography done according to the lex Equitia de corrigendis legum erratis shall only be made and shall only take force if these changes are listed and published in an edict by a praetor. It shall not be enough to publish only the corrected text of the law in the edict, the changes made to the text or to the name must be listed point by point, item by item.

IV.C. In the process of correcting the names of the leges, the name of the legislator of a lex after whom the lex was named may not be changed if the person was a consul or praetor (if the lex was made in a comitia centuriata or comitia populi tributa) or a tribunus plebis (if it was made by the plebeian assembly) at the time the lex was enacted, even if the person wasn't involved in the convening or presiding of the comitia which enacted the lex.

IV.D. It shall not be possible to change anything in any legal text in any other way than as described in this law.

V. Modification of laws

If a law is modified by another law, the modified law shall contain the original, unmodified text, and the new, modified text, too. The modifying laws and the modified sections shall be noted in the publication of the modified law. Each modified version of a law shall be displayed in full text separately but in the same page (or available from the same page, the matrix page of that law) in the tabularium. The current version of a law shall always be the first and most prominent, most easily available text of the law in question. The praetores shall decide in edict about the interpretations whether a certain law modifies, supersedes or repeals another law or not when it is not clearly stated in the law itself.

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