The LittleBigPlanet Union Legal System Protocol (ULSP) was a LittleBigPlanet Union General Assembly resolution enacted on April 9th, 2015 in response to the Union/Visarian Judicial Crisis. The trials and tribulations faced during the process of passing the resolution led to the drafting and ratification of the Novus Carta. It is also known as the first piece of legislation ever passed by the Union. The full text of the resolution can be found here.
Around late March, 2015, the Union discovered that known alleged Union traitor and Visarian Mandate sympathizer The-Pool_is-Open was actually a secret member of the Crimson Blades, which was a member state of the Union at that time. This presence greatly troubled the Union administration, and further alarmed the Protectors when Pool demanded that he be given trial for the treason he was accused of by the Union administration. The Protectors chose to attempt to heed this request, and they scrambled to draft the proposal for the ULSP. It was officially authored by TeamHeidi and co-authored by CCSocalGamer, but M88youngling drafted the document in its entirety. The proposal gained quorum on March 31st, 2015 and voting lasted seven days and concluded on April 9th, 2015 with 31 for and 1 against after massive purges due to voter apathy.
The Legal System Protocol established a hybrid system, combining aspects of both inquisitorial and trial by jury systems. The protocol was heavily based on the Ace Attorney games due to the Union having a functioning Supreme Court level that used the Ace Attorney style. Due to the Union Constitution requiring a trial by jury, a full inquisitorial system was not possible. The inquisitorial portion of the protocol allowed the judge to lay down a verdict, however his verdict is superseded by the jury. The judge must choose jurors, but these jurors must meet special requirements in order to serve. These jurors must "not affiliated in any way with the defense, the prosecution, or the case itself" (Article 1). The ULSP also had a three days rule, where if a verdict was not reached within three days, the judge would lay down an automatic guilty verdict and the jury would vote. However, this limit could be extended for another three days, and technically decision making could be extended for up to five days, as jurors could spend up to 48 hours voting.
The ULSP defined court validity as "what is used to declare that a court is able to be used for the LBP Union justice system" (Article 2). Trials in the Union would need to be held in valid Union courts, and each member state was allowed one state court that they may operate.
The ULSP only allows four people to be in the courtroom at a time due to the four player limit of LittleBigPlanet. These people are the Judge, the Defense, the Prosecution, and a witness if one is used.
The ULSP also defined restrictions for certain positions in the judicial system. It made becoming the Supreme Justice of the LittleBigPlanet Union fairly difficult by requiring that the Union Protectors nominate an individual who then would be approved by two thirds of the Union's representatives. The ULSP also made it so that only members of the Union could serve as defense attorneys or prosecutors, and the President, Vice President and the other ministers could not serve on these positions either. The ULSP also defined three different kinds of witnesses that could be called to the stand,
- Percipient Witness: Perceived with their senses the crime committed.
- Hearsay Witness: Can provide testimony on what someone said or wrote.
- Expert Witness: Someone who allegedly has specialized knowledge relevant to the field of interest which can help make sense of evidence presented to the court.
- Reputation Witness: Can testify on the reputation of a person or business/political entity when reputation is material to the dispute at issue. (Article 3)
Rules regarding subpoenaing witnesses allowed for the trial's three day rule to be paused until the witness can attend the stand for cross examination. If one week passes without the subpoenaed witness attending trial, "their reliability as a witness is rendered null and void and the trial must continue" (Article 3). Witnesses that failed to attend would be automatically guilty of failing to serve as a witness and would be "removed from the Union for six months" (Article 3). The only exception to this punishment was if the witness was proven to not have any useful information for the court.