Articles of Colonization
Signed fifty-two years before The Fall, the Articles of Colonization formed the united government of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. The Articles were apparently created in response to the Cylon War to unite the separate worlds against a common enemy. Before the Articles, the colonies were separate nations, and there was open fighting between the colonies at times.
- Under the U.S. Constitution, a number of Tyrol's constitutionally protected civil liberties were being violated, among them
- Article 21 could conceivably provide protection to any number of these.
Chief Tyrol invokes the twenty-third Article to avoid testifying against himself during the investigation into how Aaron Doral got aboard Galactica and accessed the munitions stores. While Sergeant Hadrian attempts to use this as evidence of his guilt, Commander William Adama later points out to President Laura Roslin that there is no legal precedent for doing so (TRS: "Litmus").
- This is similar to the rights protected by the self-incrimination clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Other rights under the Articles may also exist. The right to a trial with representation before a jury seems to be guaranteed. When disapproving of the decision of then-President Tom Zarek to form the Circle, a form of war crimes tribunal, Laura Roslin states that everyone has the right to a trial before a jury of one's peers. In a separate statement Roslin refers to the right to representation at a trial (TRS: "Collaborators"). The right to a jury trial is also claimed by Gaius Baltar (TRS: "Taking a Break From All Your Worries").
Baltar's trial shows other levels of jurisprudence. Instead of a jury, a five-member tribunal acts as both judge and jury. Numerous maneuvers parallel practices in the legal systems of modern-day liberal democracies (TRS: "Crossroads, Part I", "Crossroads, Part II").
- Law of the Twelve Colonies (RDM), for a more general article about the Twelve Colonies' legal system.