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  #11  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
Well, here on Planet Dirt, ships are under the jurisdiction of the flag that they sail under. They're never in an extra-legal state. Dunno if traders fly a particular planets flag, or an Imperial flag, or what. But I think that's a good start.

I do not believe that passengers are at the legal whim of the commander and crew of the ship with no civil or criminal recourse. Sure there are outback, frontier areas, but there's a lot more area that aren't. Pretty sure a ship can't simply show up at a destination with a passenger missing from the manifest without someone taking notice.
Here in the US of A trucks, planes and vessels don't fly the flag of their states, but are all regulated by both the states in which they travel and the Federal government. A truck hauling a load from from Maine to California would be under Federal Jurisdiction as well as every state through which it traveled.

Ditto with barges travelling over rivers, or cargo jets travelling corridors.

But, the Imperium isn't a Federation, though like the old Commonwealth, probably has some overarching authority; i.e. some basic laws governing commerce, but probably nothing on the misdemeanor level.

Illicit recordings of passengers and crew strikes me as a system to system basis.
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  #12  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 07:44 PM
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At some point, the only crime is getting caught; though yes, screw over a merc and find a bunch of military types looking for passage next stop. Maybe an Outland type assassin situation, if it's a corporate affair, or a mafioso looking for plausible deniability but if doublecross can hook up a shipment, like machine parts that are really weapons for the Ine Givar that will get tipped off to the police. Outright piracy and murder are covered by the Imperial navy, with the ship seized and the crew stacked in cold sleep for a colonization/rehabilitation project. Adventures all, but maybe not what the players were looking for.
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  #13  
Old August 23rd, 2011, 10:03 PM
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I would say ability to do that depends largely on location of departure and arrival. For example:

Any A or B starport with a tech of 9+ is going to require a flight plan out and require an inbound ship to adhere to a pretty rigid flight plan on arrival. Such systems could normally be expected to have many ships in them along with considerable local traffic. That means there are rules about where your ship can fly and the routes you can take. They are not going to let a ship just wander out and wander in any more that a major airport or sea port would today. A lower tech one might avoid some of this officiousness but, not once the ship lands.

Passengers would have recourse at such a port virtually immediately. If they reported unsafe conditions or poor service the port authorities probably could take action. For one they might demand the equivalent of a flight recorder. Failure to produce one might result in fines, or even impounding of the ship.
I would think such a port would board every ship for a customs inspection and likely have immigration checks and at higher law levels go through the cargo, possibly through the ship itself, and certainly check the passengers and crew carefully.

Such ports would also require that the ship's master produce his / her papers for the ship and other legal documents on arrival along with a manifest and submit to inspection.

The crew might turn in an unscrupulous master for a reward if these were regularly offered.

A ship operating illegally (smuggling, piracy etc.) would almost certainly be far more democratic with regards to the crew conditions and passengers simply on the basis that mutuny is far more likely if they get upset with the way things are going. This is historically true of smugglers and pirates.

Now, a C port would be more dicey. Some may be very strict (ie, planet has a high law level and a government type that is likely officious like a civil service bureaucracy) while others may be thoroughly corrupt and bribeable.

E and X wouldn't be a problem as there is no port as such. But, I would suspect that a ship headed to such destinations other than as an intermediate stop would be engaged in likely somewhat questionable business anyway.
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  #14  
Old August 24th, 2011, 02:16 AM
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I think Enoki is right here. I would imagine there is a regulatory body for imperial trade and it probably issues a licence to trade. If your ship isn't up to standard, you licence can get revoked, or your ship impounded until you bring it up to scratch. However, on frontier worlds you may be able to outrun the bad news. Never visiting a class C+ world for fear of getting impounded could ruin your business as easily as having your licence revoked, though.
It may be something you could get away with occasionally, if you had a bad month, but I doubt if you could outrun the law in the long term.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 02:24 AM
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Not to get too far off track here, but every time I read the title of this thread I have the urge to hit a Vargr merchant on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.
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  #16  
Old August 24th, 2011, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Here in the US of A trucks, planes and vessels don't fly the flag of their states, but are all regulated by both the states in which they travel and the Federal government. A truck hauling a load from from Maine to California would be under Federal Jurisdiction as well as every state through which it traveled.

Ditto with barges travelling over rivers, or cargo jets travelling corridors.

But, the Imperium isn't a Federation, though like the old Commonwealth, probably has some overarching authority; i.e. some basic laws governing commerce, but probably nothing on the misdemeanor level.

Illicit recordings of passengers and crew strikes me as a system to system basis.
Tucks do bear the state of registry: on the tags. Only US Government vehicles don't have state registry plates. ANd federal regs have standardized a lot more recently than they used to.
Aircraft are federally registered. (Treaty requirement)
Blue water craft are solely federal reqs and international treaties, only inland watercraft are routinely subject to stat regs aside from taxes and allowed operational zones. inland (Green water) craft are subject to state registry as well as federal...
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  #17  
Old August 24th, 2011, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
Tucks do bear the state of registry: on the tags. Only US Government vehicles don't have state registry plates. ANd federal regs have standardized a lot more recently than they used to.
Aircraft are federally registered. (Treaty requirement)
Blue water craft are solely federal reqs and international treaties, only inland watercraft are routinely subject to stat regs aside from taxes and allowed operational zones. inland (Green water) craft are subject to state registry as well as federal...
Come on, a CA license plate isn't the same as flying the CA Bear flag, and claiming "allegiance" or "citizenship" from that state for the purpose of law enforcement.
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  #18  
Old August 24th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
Come on, a CA license plate isn't the same as flying the CA Bear flag, and claiming "allegiance" or "citizenship" from that state for the purpose of law enforcement.
No, but it is VERY close; it says "this vehicle is taxed by and approved for driving on roads by the state." It lacks the extraterrtoriality of a flagged vessel, but that's about it.

If my vehicles passes registration, and I drive it to CA, CA can't stop me from driving it for 90 days (due to federal law, unless I go to reregister it as a CA vehicle, or am active duty military permanent party, in which case it's 30 days), even tho it won't pass CA emissions tests.

But my Alaska right to privacy won't apply, as that would be extraterritorial.
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  #19  
Old August 24th, 2011, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis View Post
If my vehicles passes registration, and I drive it to CA, CA can't stop me from driving it for 90 days (due to federal law, unless I go to reregister it as a CA vehicle, or am active duty military permanent party, in which case it's 30 days), even tho it won't pass CA emissions tests.
When I was stationed 3 years in San Diego for the Navy, my official place of residence was Texas and I never had any issues with my Texas plates and inspection. I did not even have to register my handgun, though I did as a courtesy. IIRC, it was considered no different whether I was there for 3 days or 3 years.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ghost View Post
But, the Imperium isn't a Federation, though like the old Commonwealth, probably has some overarching authority; i.e. some basic laws governing commerce, but probably nothing on the misdemeanor level.
I was talking about deep water vessels on the high seas out side of a states territorial waters.

I don't know the details, but basically the laws of the flag country basically in effect on any ship on the high seas. How they're enforced is a different matter, but it certainly possible for a party on the ship to be detained and turned over to the authorities even for a misdemeanor, it's more a matter of whether the ships commander will bother vs just telling people to stop being idiots.

But, even then, basically the Commander may have the power of enforcement, but can't make laws wholesale and is himself subject to the laws. But obviously there are details about what can and can't be done on a ship at sea vs delaying it until they reach a land based authority.
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