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— Preamble —
We, the member nations of the New West Indies, inspired by the determination to promote world peace; to strengthen liberty, democracy, independence and peace amongst its nations in a spirit of solidarity and brotherhood, to promote mutual consideration and respect; in the knowledge that only those who use their freedom remain free and that the strength of a community is measured by the well-being of its weakest members; hereby adopt the following Constitution:
— Chapter I: Fundamental Provisions —
§01 - Admission
Every nation is admitted to enter and reside within the New West Indies.
No nation shall be prohibited from entering the region due to their ideology, ideals or political views. A nation can only be prohibited from entering and residing within the region or be expelled without reason by the competent authorities if such nation presents a threat to regional security or stability.
Puppet nations are admitted to enter the region; however, they may neither participate in polls nor hold any executive office in the regional government.
§02 - Citizenship
(as amended on March 24, 2020)
Any nation within the New West Indies may attain citizenship if the following criteria are met:
The nation is not a puppet of another nation already residing within the New West Indies
If applying during or in the four days prior to an election, the nation is not issued citizenship until the election has concluded
Any nation shall lose its citizenship (and must reapply to reacquire such status) if it meets the following criteria:
The nation no longer resides in the New West Indies due to either emigration or ceasing of existence
The nation has committed a crime and is sentenced to a loss of citizenship by relevant authorities or is summarily banned from the region by the Secretariat or the Founder under §1 and/or §3 of this Constitution.
§03 - International Stance
The New West Indies is a neutral region. It may not partake in "raiding" operations and may not initiate offensive actions against other regions. Should foreign aggressions be carried out against the New West Indies, regional officers may take appropriate measures to defend the region and its members against them.
§04 - Government Structure
The executive power is exercised by the Secretariat and the Secretary-General.
The legislative power is exercised by the General Assembly.
— Chapter II: Electoral and Participatory Rights —
§05 - The Right to Vote
A citizen of the New West Indies is allowed to cast their votes in regional elections and General Assembly resolutions. Provisions set out in this constitution shall govern the eligibility of a nation to run for office in the regional government.
The President of the General Assembly shall verify the validity of votes cast for Secretariat elections. Other regional elections shall have their votes verified by the Secretariat. Any vote cast by non-citizens or puppets must be invalidated and shall not influence the outcome of a poll.
A nation may have their right to vote in elections, run in elections, hold Government Office, or participate in the General Assembly revoked, either temporarily or permanently, as a sentence for crimes committed by that nation.
§07 - World Assembly Affairs
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
The World Assembly Delegate represents the New West Indies in the NationStates World Assembly.
The role is purely representative and does not endow the Delegate with any administrative or executive authority within the region.
The Delegate must vote on WA General Assembly resolutions according to the opinion of the region's WA members. The Delegate may vote on Security Council resolutions at their discretion.
Any member of the World Assembly may allocate endorsements to another WA member nations at their own discretion. Any nation may request other nations to endorse them, as long as they do not force other nations into doing so.
A nation may have the rights defined in this Section revoked, either temporarily or permanently, as the sentence for crimes committed by that nation.
§08 - Freedom of Expression
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
The right to freedom of expression is guaranteed. Freedom of expression entails the right to express, distribute, and receive information and opinions without prior prevention by anyone and to every nation's own conscience. However, players are not allowed to post anything that is either:
obscene or illegal;
instigative or encourages sedition or rebellion;
malicious or defamatory towards another nation within or outside the New West Indies
malicious or defamatory towards anyone because of their religion, ethnicity, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
threatening towards regional security;
containing (sensitive) personal information about individual players;
or that violates the NationStates terms of service.
This right to freedom of expression shall be disregarded if a resident or citizen has been convicted of a crime and is sentenced to an applicable restriction of their expression.
This right to freedom of expression does not replace or undermine the general terms of service laid down by the moderators and administrators of the NationStates website.
§09 - Freedom of Opinion and Ideology
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
The right to freedom of opinion is guaranteed. Every nation may choose their own ideology, flag, motto, classification, currency, national animal, leader, faith and banners. Neither the regional government nor the High Court may deprive any nation of this freedom, except if it would violate the criteria set forth in §8 para. 1, or if they suspect the relevant nation to violate the general terms of service of NationStates.
This right to freedom of opinion granted to the members of the New West Indies by this constitution does not replace or undermine the general terms of service laid down by the moderators and administrators of the NationStates website.
— Chapter III: The General Assembly —
§10 - Status
The General Assembly is the legislative body of the New West Indies.
It is in charge of electing the Secretary-General, enacting new policies by adopting resolutions, including Motions of No Confidence to remove from office members of the Secretariat, the President, or any deputy thereof, or members of any other constitutionally-created branch of government.
§11 - Composition
Every citizen in the New West Indies will automatically hold a seat in the New West Indies General Assembly and may propose and vote on resolutions.
§12 - Presidency
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
The General Assembly shall elect from among its members a President. The election for President of the General Assembly will be held on the 25th of every third month for a voting period of forty-eight (48) hours. After an election, the elected nation will assume office for a term beginning on the 1st of the following month and ending on the last day of the second month thereafter.
The following nations are not eligible to serve as President of the General Assembly:
any Cabinet member;
any member of the High Court; and
any other nation that is controlled by the player who also controls either the Secretary-General, any Cabinet member, or any member of the High Court.
The President of the General Assembly is responsible for setting up voting polls, disseminating information about said voting, and pinning relevant dispatches about resolutions under discussion in the General Assembly. The President is responsible for supervising the validity of all votes cast on a General Assembly resolution and must disregard any vote cast by puppets or non-citizens in the final outcome.
The President shall approve proposed General Assembly resolutions for voting. Such approval may occur if a resolution does not contradict the constitution, the general terms of service, or standard formatting (as determined by the President). The President may consider other factors for approval excluding a resolution's content or efficacy.
The President is granted Appearance and Polls authority but is not considered part of the executive branch of the Government. The President may not be re-elected for a third consecutive term.
§12.5- President pro Tempore
The President pro Tempore, upon declaration of the President or after five days of inactivity by the President, shall assume all Powers and Responsibilities of the Office of the President, and shall be subject to all laws and regulations regarding the President except where expressly excepted until the President declares the immediate resumption of their powers and responsibilities.
The first President Pro Tempore shall be appointed by the sitting President. All subsequent President pro Tempore shall be elected on a joint ticket with a Presidential candidate during the Presidential elections. The term of the President pro Tempore shall expire with the President’s term, however, it shall not be subject to any term limit. Nations ineligible to be President shall likewise be ineligible to be President Pro Tempore.
Should either the President or the President pro Tempore be impeached, then a Special Election shall be called to replace only the impeached official. Should the President lose office by any other means, the President pro Tempore will succeed to the Presidency for the remainder of the term. The shortened term shall not count toward any term limits. Should the President pro Tempore lose office by any means other than impeachment (including succession to the Presidency), then the President shall appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the original term.
§13 - Proceedings
The General Assembly adopts new or repeals existing resolutions for the New West Indies. All resolutions and amendments to such resolutions are adopted by a simple majority vote.
The minimum voting period for any resolution or amendment is twenty-four (24) hours. The President of the General Assembly may decide to prolong the voting period for a resolution or amendment if the President deems it necessary, or upon request of the petitioner.
Any resolution or amendment must be written down in a dispatch and pinned on the regional World Factbook Entry of the New West Indies for as long as the relevant voting is underway.
§13.5 - Motions of No Confidence
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
Any member of the General Assembly may present a Motion of No Confidence. If a no-confidence motion has enough co-sponsors that constitute at least 10% of the New West Indies voting populace, the motion shall be brought to a vote within seven (7) days after reaching the required amount of co-sponsors.
In the case that the motion does not reach the 10% co-sponsor threshold within seven days of proposal, and the motion is not against the President, the motion shall be brought before the President of the General Assembly, who shall approve or disapprove of the motion within three days. If approved by the President, the motion shall then promptly be brought before the General Assembly for a vote.
In the case that the motion does not reach the 10% co-sponsor threshold within seven days of proposal, and the motion is against the President, the motion shall be brought before the Secretariat and a special vote between the Cabinet members shall be called within three (3) days whereupon a simple majority, within a voting period of forty-eight (48) hours, the motion shall then promptly be brought before the General Assembly for a full vote.
All motions of No Confidence that are validly brought to vote before the General Assembly require a simple majority within a voting period of forty-eight (48) hours to pass, and upon passage, the targeted officeholder is considered impeached and must be dismissed by the founder immediately.
If the targeted officeholder was an elected official, and there are more than fourteen days remaining in their term, the Founder shall promptly call a Special Election to fill the duration of the term. The shortened term will not count against any term limit. The impeached official may not run in the Special Election. At least five days shall be allotted for campaigning, and the election itself shall last seventy-two hours. Regular elections shall not take precedence.
— Chapter IV: The Secretary-General and the Secretariat —
§14 - Status
The Secretariat forms the Executive Branch of the government of the New West Indies.
It is chaired by the Secretary-General, who is considered the head of government of the New West Indies.
It is in charge of enforcing New West Indies law and carrying out administrative matters.
§15 - Eligibility to Serve as Secretary-General
Any nation fulfilling the following criteria may serve as Secretary-General of the New West Indies:
It holds full membership status of the General Assembly.
It is not controlled by the same player who controls the Founder, the President of the General Assembly, member of the Cabinet, or a member of the High Court.
The Founder is considered Secretary-General until the first Secretary-General has been elected according to the procedures laid down in §16.
§16 - Election and Term of the Secretary-General
All nations with full membership of the General Assembly elect the Secretary-General for a term of six months.
Elections for Secretary-General shall be held no later than fourteen (14) days before the running term ends. During a nomination period of at least ten (10) days and a following voting period of seventy-two (72) hours, the next Secretary-General shall be elected by the members of the General Assembly. The candidate with the most valid votes cast at the end of the voting period is considered the next Secretary-General of the New West Indies and will take office as soon as the term of the incumbent Secretary-General ends.
Each candidate shall present a cabinet list to the Founder and/or President of the General Assembly containing their chosen appointees for the offices of the Secretaries at least thirty-six (36) hours prior to the voting period. Such a list must not be congruent to the party lists presented by other candidates. For the benefit of the doubt, there may be partial overlaps between cabinet lists.
In the event of a tie, the tied candidates will run for Secretary-General in an additional tie-breaker poll. Should three or more candidates participate in the tie-breaker poll, the aforementioned procedure will be repeated until there is one candidate with more votes than the other candidates. That candidate will then assume office as Secretary-General.
§17 - Powers of the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General will be granted all onsite authorities except Executive and WA Delegate authority; however, the Secretary-General may simultaneously hold World Assembly Delegate status.
The Secretary-General must appoint a Cabinet consisting of four nations, called Secretaries. The Secretary-General is obliged to keep each position occupied and must, in case a vacancy arises, nominate a new nation within one week after the relevant position was vacated.
The Secretary-General is responsible for faithfully executing the law of the New West Indies. The Secretary-General may represent the region abroad, command its security, oversee its recruitment, assist its administration, and oversee the day-to-day operations of the Executive Branch.
§18 - The Cabinet
Each of the Secretaries heads one of the administrative departments of the New West Indies. They are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary-General; however, they may be either dismissed by the Secretary-General or impeached via GA resolution at any given time.
They are granted the powers and authorities stated thereafter:
The Department of Internal Affairs is in charge of enforcing roleplay law, issuing or revoking citizenship status, and overseeing cultural initiatives. The Secretary of Internal Affairs (SIA) is granted Appearance, Communications, and Polls authority.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is in charge of non-militaristic diplomatic affairs with foreign regions. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SFA) is granted Communications and Embassies authority.
The Department of Security and Justice is in charge of regional defense, security affairs, supra-regional information gathering, and representing the NWI in judicial proceedings. The Secretary of Security and Justice (SSJ) is granted Border Control and Communications authority.
The Department of Administration is in charge of maintaining executive dispatches not maintained by other departments, including the Constitution. The Secretary of Administration (SA) is granted Appearance and Communications authority.
While acting within their respective jurisdiction, each Secretary and the Secretary-General may issue unilateral decrees enacting administrative orders. Any decree may be overturned with a simple majority vote in the General Assembly and is subject to judicial review by the High Court.
The following nations are not eligible to serve as a member of the Cabinet:
the President of the General Assembly;
a member of the High Court; or
any other nation that is controlled by the player who also controls one of the nations listed in (a) through (d).
§19 - Removal
If the Founder determines the entire Secretariat to be irresponsible of their tasks and duties or finds its decisions to be detrimental to regional stability or security, the Founder may order the dissolution of the Cabinet. Within fourteen (14) days after the dissolution, new elections must be held in accordance with §16. The newly elected Secretary-General will then serve for the remainder of the term.
§20 - Term Limits
A nation may not serve as Secretary-General for more than two consecutive terms (twelve months). The number of total, non-consecutive terms is unlimited.
A nation serving as Secretary may serve for an unlimited number of consecutive or non-consecutive terms for as long as it is not impeached and re-appointed.
Any nation serving as Secretary-General or Secretary will lose its respective seat if:
it leaves the New West Indies;
it ceases to exist;
it is impeached via a motion of no-confidence; or
it is impeached in a dissolution issued by the Founder.
— Chapter V: The Founder —
§21 - Status
The nation of Achipel is the Founder and supreme executive authority of the New West Indies.
The Founder's right to use its executive authority is defined and limited by Chapter V of the Constitution.
§22 - Term
The Founder's term is unlimited. It cannot be impeached, removed, or expelled from the region.
§23 - Powers and Restrictions
The nation of Achipel is bound to the Constitution, any General Assembly resolution, and the rule of law of the New West Indies like any other member of the region.
The nation of Achipel is a full member of the General Assembly and may participate in its debates, voting, and elections. It may cast one vote in each voting or election, the weight of which is equal to those cast by other General Assembly members.
The Founder shall wield veto power over the decisions made by the Secretariat.
The Founder may use its executive authority to block any attempt by the Secretary-General, any of the Secretaries, or any member of the High Court to amend or suspend this Constitution by unilateral decree.
The Founder must use its executive authority to ward off any foreign aggression meant to invade, raid, or destabilize the region. The Founder may also issue executive decrees containing the purpose and duration of validity of such to take precautionary measures to avoid previously mentioned circumstances. The Founder also oversees moderation of the region and its platforms
The Founder may use its powers without prior authorization from the competent authorities of the New West Indies in circumstances where the Founder reasonably believes that the security or stability of the New West Indies is under threat. However, in these circumstances, the Founder must provide a written statement to the Secretariat justifying its actions. The Secretariat may order the Founder to reverse any action taken without prior authorization from the Secretary-General or Secretariat and, if so ordered, the Founder must comply with such order.
The Founder may not use its executive powers for any purpose or in any manner that is not contemplated by this Constitution or provided for by any applicable General Assembly resolution.
§24 - Ceasing to Exist
In the event that the founder ceases to exist, all World Assembly nations are required to endorse the current World Assembly delegate. Any nations not already in the World Assembly are encouraged to join and endorse the WAD.
The WAD, while the founder is nonexistent, will assume the role abdicated by the founder. All aforementioned sections of this constitution previously applicable to the founder will then apply to the delegate. As such, the WAD should be treated as the premier executive of the region by all nations within it. Furthermore, the WAD should act in the best interests of the region, as the founder would have, by maintaining the integrity of this constitution, the regional government, and other activities of the region.
The Secretary of Defense and Information should further coordinate with other regional officers, especially the Secretary of State for Internal Affairs, to closely monitor all nations entering the region and their activities. The regional officers and WAD may eject/ban nations from the region under the same constraints previously given to the founder in §23 of this constitution.
The WAD or another regional officer should remind all nations of this process when applicable and encourage them to report any suspicious activity to a regional officer.
If the founder becomes active again and returns to the region, then §24 of this constitution is no longer in effect, and the region resumes normal activities.
— Chapter VI: The High Court—
§25 - Status
The High Court forms the Judicial Branch of the New West Indies.
It shall hear all cases of Criminal, Civil, and State offenses as specified by law.
§26 - Establishment
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
The High Court shall be primarily housed in a dependency region, to be founded by a puppet of the Founder, Achipel, entitled "High Court of the New West Indies", subject to the same laws of the New West Indies. The Court may also create additional dependency regions at its discretion. Court information and records will be in pinned dispatches or on the World Factbook Entry to the primary dependency region, and the members of the Court shall have appropriate administrative authorities as determined by the Court.
§27 - Compositition
The High Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice, who shall solely preside over and rule in all Civil, Criminal, and State cases. It shall also include any administrative staff.
The High Court is organized into the following divisions:
Criminal Court, in which nations charged by the Region are tried for violations of criminal statutes, for the purposes of enforcing law and upholding justice.
Civil Court, in which nations charged by other nations are tried for violations of civil statutes, for the purposes of remedying an accuser’s damages.
State Court, in which the Region, charged by other nations, is tried for acting illegally or unconstitutionally, for the purposes of rectifying such violations.
§28 - Chief Justice
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
The Chief Justice shall be elected by the General Assembly from among its members for a term of six months, to begin on either the first day of May or the first day of November. The Election shall last three days, and shall begin fourteen days before the conclusion of the current term. A nomination period of ten days shall precede the Election. A Chief Justice may not serve a third consecutive term.
Should a sitting Chief Justice cease to exist, resign, or be impeached via a Motion of No Confidence, the General Assembly will promptly conduct a special election to fill the remainder of the term. The shortened term will not count against any term limit. An initial special election shall be called within ten days of the adoption of this Section to fill the position until the start of the next term.
In the event there is an ongoing case at the end of a Chief Justice’s term, they shall continue to preside over the case until it concludes. This shall not count against any term limit regarding the former or current Chief Justice in this context.
In the event where a Chief Justice must recuse themselves from a case, they may otherwise continue serving as Chief Justice.
The Chief Justice shall place a puppet in every High Court dependency region, which shall be granted Border Control and Communications authority.
The Chief Justice may not concurrently hold any office or position, leadership or subordinate, in any other branch of government.
The Chief Justice shall not vote on any Resolution of the General Assembly that would overturn a Judicial Decree.
§29 - Fundamental Rights of the Accused
(as amended on March 1, 2020)
Any nation accused of a Criminal or Civil offense shall retain the following rights:
The right to refuse to testify against oneself.
The right to be presumed not guilty until proven otherwise at trial.
The right to present a defense.
The right to not be tried twice for the same offense.
The right to a public trial.
The right to be notified of the charges against them at least three days before trial commences.
Furthermore, any nation accused of a Criminal Offense shall retain the right to counsel, provided by the Region if necessary.
§30 - Fundamental Rights of the Accuser
Any accuser shall retail the following rights:
The right to counsel in State cases, provided by the Region if necessary, if the accuser is not the region.
The right to file charges.
The right to not be charged if their accusation is not proven successfully in Court, unless the accuser knowingly filed a false claim.
§31 - Authority
The Court may impose bans or otherwise suspend or revoke the rights of nations as the sentence for commission of an Offense or for noncompliance with judicial proceedings where permitted by this Constitution and authorized by Resolutions of the General Assembly.
The Court may adopt additional institutional procedures, rules, definitions, and policies through an administrative Judicial Decree, which may be overturned by a Resolution of the General Assembly.
— Chapter VII: Revision of the Constitution—
§32 - Origin of Constitutional Amendments
Any proposal meant to amend the present Constitution must originate in and be voted on by the General Assembly. The Constitution may not be amended via unilateral decree by the Founder, the Secretary-General, any of the Secretaries, or the High Court.
A proposal to amend the Constitution may be submitted to the President of the General Assembly either as an independent bill or as part of another resolution. In the latter case, the resolution must be designated as "Constitutional Amendment" in addition to the original category of that resolution.
§33 - Requirements
Any nation with full membership of the General Assembly of the New West Indies may submit a proposal to amend the Constitution to the President of the General Assembly on the condition that said proposal has at least two sponsors (not including co-authors).
§34 - Voting Procedure
The minimum voting period for any constitutional amendment is seventy-two (72) hours. The President of the General Assembly may decide to prolong the voting period if the President deems it necessary or upon request of the petitioner.
Constitutional amendments require a supermajority, defined as at least two thirds, or 67% of votes cast, in the General Assembly in order to be ratified. If a proposal to amend the constitution only accrues a simple majority, defined as at least 50% of votes cast plus one vote, the proposal is considered defeated and will not be adopted.
§35 - Abolition
The present Constitution may be abolished via General Assembly resolution. However, such a proposal requires at least four sponsors (not including co-authors) and a supermajority of at least two thirds or 67% of all citizens registered at the time voting in favor of such proposal, and the relevant resolution must provide an adequate legal text to substitute this Constitution. The administrative structure of the New West Indies and other fundamental provisions must be governed by a supreme law, such as the present Constitution, at any given time.
Proposals to deprive the nations of the New West Indies of their basic rights are inadmissible. In case the present Constitution is abolished, any following supreme law of the New West Indies must include these basic rights, whether in their current or a similar form, as well as this entrenchment clause.