Prætor of the Landsraad
- "Prætor" redirects here. For other uses, see Praetor.
The Prætor is the presiding officer of the Landsraad and is elected by the members of the Landsraad. He or she presides over the Landsraad in all matters. The Prætorship of the Landsraad is one of the Great Offices of State of the Imperial Republic.
The office of Prætor is almost as old as the Landsraad itself. Prior to the Prætor, the members of the Landsraad moderated themselves, but as the Landsraad grew in size and importance, it became apparent that some form of mediation was necessary.
Duties, Functions and Powers
The Prætor has a wide variety of duties, functions and powers which are derived from tradition and custom, the Charter, the Procedures of the Landsraad, the Lawbook, and several other legal documents.
The Prætor of the Landsraad leads and presides over the sessions of the Landsraad. (S)he organizes, tallies and closes votes. The Prætor is authorized to appoint a deputy prætor to assist zie in matters that shall be delegated to the deputy. The Prætor may choose to appoint more than one deputy praetor, provided that in such instance there must be a hierarchy between the deputy praetors.
No vote may be cast by the Prætor unless to break a tie. Similarly, any of the deputy prætors is not allowed to vote when presiding over the Landsraad unless it is to break a tie.
The Prætor is also charged with maintaining appropriate decorum on the Floor of the Hall of Oratory of the Palace of Zirandorthel as well as elsewhere in the aforesaid palatial complex, or whereever the Landsraad decides to assemble in accordance with law, and has the power to suspend or expel Electors who breach decorum. Zie is also responsible for maintaining order and security on the premises of the Palace of Zirandorthel or the lawful temporary ad hoc meeting place of the Landsraad.
In the event that the Landsraad has no Prætor in office, the Kaiser, or the Ruling Steward, or an appointed deputy prætor presides, provided, however, that the Kaiser (or Ruling Steward) or an appointed deputy has no vote in those proceedings, except in case of a tie.
The Prætor is the custodian of the Seal of the Landsraad. The aforesaid seal is used not only for legislative, administrative and representative purposes, but also ceremonially, when it is put, together with the Golden Gavel, into the custody of a new Prætor as part of the customary installation procedure.
The Prætor also ensures that the text of each Treaty, Bill or Resolution which has been passed by the Landsraad is written down on fine vellum adorned with the coat of arms of the Landsraad as well as such decorations as initials, borders and miniature illustrations drawn with gold, silver and vibrant colours.
It is incumbent upon the Prætor to represent the Landsraad before the Kaiser, the Imperial Judex or other court of law, and before any other body or authority if so necessary. The Prætor also receives dignitaries, both foreign and domestic, who are visiting the Landsraad as well as other guests of Landsraad.
The Prætor is also tasked with chairing the Prætorial Committee. The Prætorial Committee consists of the Prætor and the Presiding Officers of the Adelsraad and Folksraad, and is used for communication between the different chambers of the Shirerithian legislature. However, as the Adelsraad and Folksraad have been suspended since 1671, the Prætorial Committee has also not met in that time.
In addition to his legislative role as presiding officer of the Landsraad, the Prætor performs several administrative functions to facilitate and ensure the smooth operation of the Landsraad. The Prætorum, the Office and Household of the Prætor, assists the Prætor in the discharge of these functions. It is comprised of the officers and employees of the Landsraad.
The Officers of the Landsraad include, but are not limited to, the Greffier, the Cudgeller-at-Arms, the Architect, the Seneschal, the Counsel, the Historian, the Parliamentarian, the Castellan, and the Chaplain. The Prætor may, by ancient convention, appoint and dismiss at pleasure any of these officers.
The Prætor may, by ancient convention, appoint such employees to the Prætorum as he considers necessary for assisting him in the discharge of the functions of the Prætorship. The aforesaid staff is appointed at such remuneration and on such other terms and conditions as the Prætor may determine.
Conducting the Imperial Government
In the event of the unannounced absence of the Kaiser for a period exceeding 7 days and the Stewardship being vacant, the Prætor conducts the government of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth with the Prætor having the same powers as a Regent until the Landsraad has elected a Regent.
The Prætor has, by ancient convention, the legal right and obligation to - when he is in Shirekeep - reside in Prætor's House, the plush private apartments of the holder of the Prætorship. Prætor's House has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest state apartments in the Imperial Capital.
There are several symbols which appertain to the Prætorship of the Landsraad. Some have been associated with the Prætor since time immemorial, others have become more recently symbols of the Prætorship.
The best-known Prætorial symbols are (the):
- Golden Gavel
- Isabelle's Chair: The official chair of the Prætor. It is located in the Hall of Oratory of the Palace of Zirandorthel and is named after Isabelle Allot, a former Prætor as well as a former Duchess of Elwynn.
- Mors' Mace: An ancient ceremonial mace which symbolises the authority of the Landsraad.
- Prætorial Hat: A red hat that the Prætor dons.