In addition to specific people, several organisations of various kinds also play their role.
The Hygiea Mining Corporation was founded on Hygiea in 2225. Its initial corporate charter gave it the right to mine the resources of Hygiea itself. It soon acquired mining claims on several metal-rich asteroids and branched out into the mining of those other asteroids.
This corporation funded and managed 34% of the privately funded interstellar wormhole probes. When none of its probes found a legally habitable planet after a considerable time, the corporation started the illegal terraforming of Serena. This corporation was given the corporate death penalty in 2784 for biospheric genocide and crimes against lifeforms.
The following is an excerpt from the final decision against the Vesta Mining Corporation that the High Court of the Terrestrial Confederation handed down.
It is a long-established principle of law that the institution known as the corporation has enjoyed the same legal rights as a person. Among these rights are the right to own property, the right to make decisions and the right to pursue legal action. It is also a long-standing principle of law that corporations also have the same obligations as a person in that they must comply with the law, they can be sued, and they can be tried in a court of law for civil and criminal offences.
Any person that commits a crime and is rightly convicted of that crime should be punished according to the laws governing that crime. The greatest punishment that the State can inflict on any person is capital punishment, or the death penalty, where the person’s right to exist is forfeited. Such penalties have historically been used against people in cases where their state-sanctioned death is deemed necessary to protect society as a whole.
The crimes that the Hygiea Mining Corporation has committed have involved death on a massive scale: the corporation has brought the entire biosphere of the world known as Gliese 832 Prime or by the common name of Serena to the brink of extinction through a deliberate and premeditated act of biospheric genocide. The gravity of such a crime is so profound — so much more severe than crimes against Humanity where only human beings are harmed — that on several occasions the prosecutors of the Supreme Court found it difficult to provide adequate terminology for this crime, and it is they who coined the term “biospheric genocide”. Such a grave crime can only be punished with an equally grave penalty. Thus, the Bench of the Supreme Court imposed the corporate death penalty on the Hygiea Mining Corporation for crimes against lifeforms.
In their Highest Court appeal, the Hygiea Mining Corporation sought to overturn this penalty on the following grounds:
- The law only allows people to be executed for crimes against lifeforms and makes no specific mention of corporations in its provisions; and
- The decision would harm the various stakeholders of the Hygiea Mining Corporation.
However, the prosecutors demonstrated that these points have no merit. Corporation law within the jurisdiction of the Confederation specifically allows a corporation that is convicted of a crime to be subject to an equivalent penalty as if the corporation was a person, even if the specific law prescribes no specific penalty for corporations. The argument of harm against stakeholders also lacked merit. Friends and family of convicted murderers who are executed for their crimes are harmed by the murderers’ execution, but they receive no special consideration. The stakeholders contributed to the crimes by being stakeholders, so there is no legal necessity to recompense the stakeholders.
Therefore, it is the decision of the Full Bench of the High Court of the Terrestrial Confederation, by a vote of seven to two, to uphold the decision by the Supreme Court of the Terrestrial Confederation to impose the corporate death penalty on the corporation known as the Hygiea Mining Corporation.Cheef-Justis Bethany Staset Wu Prentis, Final Jujment Agenst the Hygiea Mining Corporation, 2784 July 29 SCE (excerpt, translated into Traditional English)
The Confederation of Earth, (other names: Terrestrial Confederation, or simply The Confederation) is the top-level government of the planet Earth and the interstellar colonies. Because it is a confederation, the member nations and worlds of the Terrestrial Confederation retain great freedom to promulgate and to administer local laws. The major role of the Confederation is to administer matters that are outside the jurisdiction of any one nation or colony, such as the regulation of international and interstellar commerce and the terraforming of new worlds.
The Terrestrial Confederation was established in 2084, and all governments of Earth were unified under its jurisdiction for the first time in 2141. Its capital is Geneva, Switzerland.
The jurisdiction of the Confederation is not universally recognised among all nations and colonies. The Constitution of the Confederation allows states to secede from the Confederation should they so desire, and this happens from time to time. Sometimes a colony is founded under circumstances where that colony is not recognised by the Confederation or vice versa.
This court handles civil and criminal cases where the matters being tried do not fall under the jurisdiction of any single member state. It is before this court that the criminal charges against the Hygiea Mining Corporation were brought.
This court is an appeals court with a similar jurisdiction to the Supreme Court. In addition, cases in any member state can also be appealed to this court. This is the highest court, and without just grounds for further appeals, judgements of this court are final.
The Sabrinan Hegemony is an empire that controlled several outlying systems of Local Space in the 34th to 37th centuries.
Spacecor is a military organization that is charged with keeping the peace in many systems in Local Space. Their chief purpose is to guard and control the stargates in the Stargate Network, which are crucial and vulnerable infrastructure. They also provide escorts to freighters and passenger ships that are travelling between stargates in a system.
The name is derived from the words “Space Corps” as spelled in English after a 24th-century spelling reform.