Introducing the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council to the Vampi(y)re Community

(Originally posted May 11, 2011) A brief explanation of the Charter of the VJC, and an invitation to Groups and individuals within the VC to participate as members. (Drafted by Octarine Valur, with grateful recognition of Wraiths, Ryu Noctem Aeternus, Deacon Gray, and Sylivia for their input.)
What is the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council?
It is an ad hoc Judicial Council representing the views and interests of consenting member Groups in collaboration within the Greater Vampi(y)re Community.
Groups are encouraged to join and participate in the VJC with the aim of benefiting the VC, and to make the VC a safer place for all. A structure like the VJC is intended to keep the VC clear of dangerous and irresponsible people as well as habitual criminals, to help the VC to continue to be self-policing, and to do it more effectively.
Why the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council?
Because it would take a collective effort from the VC in general to enforce Sin Nomine on any individual, it should be something to be feared, avoided if possible, and used sparingly – reserved for individuals and/or groups which behave in a reckless manner and which pose a genuine danger to the VC, its integrity – possibly in the way they portray the VC to the world, embarrassing Vampi(y)res or enforcing a negative image of the VC by their behavior – including pedophiles, rapists, abusers and in particular those who abuse their Donors.
Those who move among us who may or may not be Vampi(y)res, and indulge in role playing fantasy to such a degree that they constitute similar threats to those listed above, should also be divorced from the VC. This kind of individual, if taken seriously in a serious group can wreak untold havoc.
How will the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council work?
(For a clearer picture, read the Charter below this introduction.)
The aim of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is not to force any one Group’s views on any other group. Its membership is entirely on a voluntary basis, and so all member groups will need to indicate that they are satisfied with the “terms and conditions” ie the guidelines or Charter by which the JC will operate. The membership of the VJC, in other words, the Groups themselves, will be giving the VJC credibility within the community, and will be the expression of the member Groups desire to keep the VC safe and orderly – it isn’t supposed to be a controlling body of any kind, and its authority will only extend as far as individual cases brought to it.
Obviously, decisions arrived at by this council would not affect non-member groups, but only those groups who are members and who hold a seat on the council. Also, since there is no intention to “force” any group to belong to or remain a member of this body, no group can be forced to abide by any decision it disagrees with. All member groups would be expected to vote on any decisions arrived at by the whole, thus each member group would have an equal say on any matter addressed by the council.
This body would not be there to act as a “Big Brother” scary VC police figure breathing down the necks of Joe and Jane Vamp as implied, but simply to address issues that go beyond the scope of one group, and which may affect the whole community – not simple little internal issues that each group can settle by itself. The idea is not to encroach on the independence of individuals or groups, rather to help groups co-operate in keeping the VC a safer place for all.
The conditions for SN and other corrective actions should be met, and evidence brought against transgressors should be open to review. We have to remember that this is simply a form of community exclusion and/or warning against known predators or abusers etc. We also don’t want to open the community or member Groups to Mundane legal action. An accused should be treated fairly and justly according to a neutral set of guidelines, regardless of popularity, affiliation or status in the community.
As a House, if you know of a member who indulges in illegal practices such as feeding off underage donors, or engaging in sexual abuse of minors, or other serious crimes etc, are you going to turn a blind eye to that, or are you going to take action against them, either internally or by reporting their actions to the authorities?
In any event this is an internal process designed to compliment mundane laws. Many have held the view for some time that the VC is self-policing to a degree. If the VC is to be left alone by mundane authorities it has to comply with overall mundane laws – or it has to keep its non-compliance secret. Since secrets have a funny way of coming out into the open, and since many do not like the idea of breaking the kind of laws some members of the VC tend to ignore, this second option is unlikely. Therefore compliance is the better option, particularly for those of us who like to sleep peacefully.
If there are people within the VC who are up to things that make the rest of us look bad, then it should be up to the VC to expel them at the very least, and if possible go so far as to tip-off mundane law enforcement about these issues.
Allowing them free reign within the VC and to retain their positions within the VC is going to reflect very badly on us, isn’t it? Especially when they strike again and it emerges “oh, Lord such-and-such of House so-and-so knew all about it, and did nothing”. Then when mundane critics like Don Rimer paint the entire VC as a bunch of sicko-satanists and baby-eaters, people will have good reason to agree with him.
However, the less such people are associated with the VC when their wheels come off, the less likely it is the VC will make the headlines again, in a bad way – and the safer it will be to be in the VC.
Membership of the VJC is now open to the VC, If you are a Ronin or represent a Group in the VC and wish to join and participate, kindly message Octarine Valur at octarinevalur@gmail.com.
The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council Charter
Contents:
1.  Definition of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
2.  Aim of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
3.  Scope of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
4.  Authority of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
5.  Pronouncements by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
6.  Membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
7.  Membership requirements for Covens, Houses, Clans, Temples, Orders, Courts, Halos and other Groups
8.  Membership requirements for Ronin
9.  Membership application procedure for Groups
10. Membership application procedure for Ronin
11. Disqualifying grounds for membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
12. Code of conduct for member Groups, Ronin and the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
13. Representation
14. Ratification
1. Definition of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is an ad hoc Mediation Council representing the views and interests of consenting member Groups in collaboration with each other and within the Greater Vampi(y)re Community; acting as the expression of the member Groups desire to safeguard and protect the Greater Vampi(y)re Community from dangers and radical elements perceived to be presented by individuals and Groups both within and without the Greater Vampi(y)re Community, which could result in harm to the integrity and public image of the Greater Vampi(y)re Community and its members.
2. Aim of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council
The aim of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is to act as a co-operative body, representative of the membership of the VJC. The member Groups themselves, through the expression of the VJC, will give the VJC credibility within the community – and to achieve and maintain the following aims within the broader Vampi(y)re Community:
2.1 The expression of the member Group’s desire to keep the VC safe and
orderly for all who form part of the Vampi(y)re Community, including self-identified Vampi(y)res, Donors, Swans and Otherkin who form part of Vampi(y)re Groups.
            2.2 The joint expression of the member Group’s desire to protect the
image of the self-identified Vampi(y)re Community from defamation, misrepresentation by both vampiric and non-vampiric individuals both within and without the Vampi(y)re Community
    2.3 To assist, on request, any member Groups which experience difficulties
with individuals in matters which may extend beyond the recognized boundaries of the autonomy and independence of each member Group, and which do or may grow to affect the broader Vampi(y)re Community negatively.
    2.4 To co-operate on a Group level within the voluntary membership in order
to enforce matters of suspension, excommunication and Sin Nomine of individuals in the broader Vampi(y)re Community, effective within the sphere of influence of the member Groups of the VJC only.
    2.5 To jointly help create and enforce the knowledge and impression both within and without the Vampi(y)re Community, that the community is self-policing and will not tolerate the advancement of dangerous and anti- social behavior which is deemed by the VJC to pose a threat to the integrity, dignity and well-being of the Vampi(y)re Community.
3. Scope of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
    3.1 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is not a controlling body of any kind, and
its authority only extends as far as individual cases brought before it by member Groups. Therefore it will only hold session with regard to matters for which it is approached in terms of mediation, arbitration or other internal Community issues in which it has been approached by a member Group in order to play a role.
    3.2 As a non-governmental community body without any sanctioned authority
other than the sanction of its member Groups, which does not extend to life or property, the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council does not hold the authority to impose sentences of imprisonment, corporal punishment or death.
    3.3 No individual Group or person is expected to nor to be pressured into
acting in a way that would be considered illegal within the context of Mundane laws effective in their area.
    3.4 Therefore any and all decisions arrived at by the collective body of the VJC
are only to be considered binding and effective within Groups belonging to the VJC. Any group not wishing to adhere to pronouncements by the VJC is free to terminate their membership and leave the VJC.
    3.5 Where the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council finds reason within the context of a
case brought to it by a member Group, to consider an individual a serious threat to the life or well-being of any person, an embarrassment to the broader Vampi(y)re Community, or that such an individual has committed serious crimes as described within the relevant VJC Policy documents – whether such an individual forms part of a member Group or not – the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is obligated to ensure that specific pertinent information finds its way to the relevant Mundane authorities.
    3.6 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council operates from a set of independent
guidelines or laws which has been deemed acceptable to all member Groups, and which address only issues regarding the purpose for which the VJC was created; and which should be applicable and acceptable to any member Group.
    3.7 Sentences of suspension, ex-communication or Sin Nomine given, or
matters decided by the VJC are only deemed to.
4. Authority of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
    4.1 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is not a legal or civil body recognized by
Mundane authorities, and as such is not expected to be recognized by any group or authority outside the voluntary membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council itself.
    4.2 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is not a controlling body of any kind, and
its authority only extends as far as individual cases brought before it by member Groups. Therefore it will only hold session with regard to matters for which it is approached in terms of mediation, arbitration or other internal Community issues in which it has been approached by a member Group in order to play some role.
    4.3 Therefore any and all decisions, pronouncements or sentences handed
down within the context of the the VJC, are only binding within the voluntary membership and their spheres of influence – and within the context of Mundane laws in effect in their specific areas.
5 Pronouncements by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
    5.1 Authority of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
        5.1.1 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is authorised by its membership to
mediate, arbitrate and to decide and sit in judgment of certain issues and cased brough before it by members of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, be they Groups or individuals.
        5.1.2 Because of the solemn nature of the issue of commitment to the well-
being of the Vampi(y)re  Community, as well as the cherished values of personal liberty and freedom of expression, no pronouncement will be made lightly by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        5.1.3 Pronouncements of suspension are a shameful mark upon the record
of any Vampi(y)re within the Community, and are not to be made lightly, nor are pronouncements of Ex-communication or Sin Nomine.
        5.1.4 Pronouncements of sentence will be made by the Vampi(y)re Judicial
Council via conventional methods, electronically on the internet as well as by word of mouth, and in the form of quarterly reports.
        5.1.5 Activities of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council will also be made public
on websites in order to maintain transparency to the Greater Vampi(y)re Community.
    5.2 The Rights of the Accused:
        5.2.1 The Accused, whether an individual or Group, or a member of the
Vampi(y)re Judicial Council or not, will be judged on charges brought before the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council regardless of whether or not they recognize the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        5.2.2 The Accused is to be presumed by law and procedure as innocent
until proven guilty.
        5.2.3 The Accused, may seek counsel or representation within the
Vampi(y)re Judicial Council session from either their own Group, or another, or if the Accused is a Ronin member of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, they may seek representation from the Ronin Council.
        5.2.4 If the Groups approached by the Accused for counsel or
representation are unwilling to provide counsel or to represent the Accused, a specific Group or otherwise an individual will be appointed to represent them.
        5.2.5 The Accused is entitled to represent themselves.
        5.2.6 The Accused is entitled to choose either to contest or not contest the
charges brought against them.
        5.2.7 The Accused is entitled to choose to confess their guilt if they so
choose, and to ask for leniency.
        5.2.8 A case and Pronouncement may proceed in absentia of the Accused.
        5.2.9 The Accused, if convicted, is entitled to apply for leave to appeal the
pronouncement, pending enough evidence being available to justify such an appeal.
        5.2.10 The Accused has the right to be judged by a jury of their peers –
hence the Council consists of fellow members of the Vampi(y)re Community, each with a vote to decide their guilt or innocence on  any matter.
    5.3 Mechanics of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council Court:
        5.3.1 The Judge and Jury:
The Judge and Jury of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council are one and the
same – the member Groups on the Council each have one vote to decide either guilt or innocence. Votes will be called for when both parties for prosecution and defense have rested their cases and all evidence has been considered and deliberated on. This system ensures that the Accused is not judged by any one individual judge who holds sway in the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, but that all the Groups acting together act as one Judge. Those acting as representative of a Group while in session of Court and who will cast a vote after deliberation will bear the title of Magister in the context of the Court.
        5.3.2 Prosecution:
 The Group which brings a charge against another Group or individual is to mount the prosecution of the case by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council. Those mounting Prosecution must vote their conscience at the time of the vote – this will not be impaired by their role as Prosecution.
        5.3.3 Defense:
                The Group of which the Accused is a member, or if the Accused is a
Ronin member of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, the Ronin Council may counsel or represent the Accused in Court. If the Groups approached by the Accused for counsel or representation are unwilling to provide counsel or to represent the Accused, a specific Group or otherwise an individual will be appointed to represent them. Those mounting Defense must vote their conscience at the time of the vote – this will not be impaired by their role as Defense.
5.4 Types of pronouncements by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
        5.4.1 Suspensions
This is a temporary measure. Where an individual has been suspended, for whatever reason, and for whatever period, they may be suspended from acting in whatever posts they hold in any and all VC Groups within the collective of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council. Once the period of suspension is over, they may be restored to their offices.
                In the case of a Group, suspension may also be imposed from
participation in various Community activities, interactions or if the Group holds any office in another body which is within the sphere of influence of the membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, its membership may be suspended.
        5.4.2 Ex-communications (Persona Non Grata/PNG)
This is a permanent measure. Where an individual (or Group) has been ex-communicated, their name and achievements remain acknowledged, however they are no longer welcome at any Community events or considered a part of the Community, and especially so by Groups which are members of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        5.4.3 Sin Nomine (Without Name)
                This is a permanent measure. In ancient cultures, where an individual
(or Group) was declared Sin Nomine, their names and achievements went unacknowledged, their names were removed from public records, all mention of them was prohibited and they were considered dead an no longer considered a part of the Community. In modern times this has been considered impractical and the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council cannot dictate to its individual member Groups the degree to which they enforce pronouncements of Sin Nomine against the entities in question. However the basic provisions of Sin Nomine are expected to be enforced by member Groups.
    5.5 Enforcement of Vampi(y)re Judicial Council Pronouncements:
                5.5.1 Because it would take a collective effort from the Vampi(y)re
Community in general to enforce such pronouncements on any individual or Group, this should be something to be feared, avoided if possible, and used sparingly – reserved for individuals and/or groups which behave in a reckless manner and which pose a genuine danger to the Community, its integrity – possibly in the way they portray the VC to the world, embarrassing Vampi(y)res or enforcing a negative image of the VC by their behavior, such as those who also break Mundane laws – including pedophiles, rapists, abusers and in particular those who abuse their Donors.
        5.5.2 By accepting membership on the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, all
member Groups indicate that they each have one vote in each case presented to the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council – and agree to abide by its findings and to support and to enforce pronouncements made by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council – on the understanding that if a group wishes to terminate its membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council then it is free to do so.
        5.5.3 Pronouncements of guilt or innocence will be disseminated by the
Vampi(y)re Judicial Council via the conventional channels as far as possible.
    5.6 Appeals of prior cases:
        5.6.1 New information regarding a case over which the Vampi(y)re Judicial
Council presided may come to light, and depending upon circumstances, appeals to reverse verdicts of ex-communication or Sin Nomine may be heard. Such appeals must be lodged by the Group or individual previously Accused and convicted.
        5.6.2 A member Group which seeks to open a review of past cases of the
Vampi(y)re Judicial Council may present a motion to the Vampi(Y)re Judicial Council if it believes it has sufficient and compelling evidence to warrant such an appeal.
        5.6.3 All motions for an appeal case to be opened in any case previously
presided over by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council will be voted on by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        5.6.4 All appeal cases will be handled in the same manner as any other
ordinary case presided over by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        5.6.5 No time-limit or expiry date will prevent the lodging of an application
for leave to appeal.
6. Membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
    6.1 Membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is open to any formal
Groups, including Covens, Houses, Temples, Orders or Halos within the Greater Vampi(y)re Community – regardless of geographic location, culture, or language.
    6.2 Vampi(y)re Community Groups within the Greater Vampi(y)re Community
are encouraged to join and participate in the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, with the aim of benefiting the VC, and to make the Greater Vampi(y)re Community a safer place for all.
    6.3 The point of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is not to force any one Group’s
views on any other group. Membership is entirely on a voluntary basis, and so all member Groups must indicate that they are satisfied with the “terms and conditions” i.e. the Charter by which the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council will operate.
    6.4 No one Group which is a member of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council holds
a rank or position above any other member Group, and each Group holds only one vote within the context of any action in which a vote may be called, and no single vote holds more value than another.
    6.5 All member Groups are equal within the collective of the Vampi(y)re
Judicial Council, without exception.
    6.6 No one member Group may speak for the collective Vampi(y)re Judicial
Council without the express prior consensus of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council in writing to do so.
    6.7 Membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council in no way obligates a
member Group to open its internal processes to the introspection of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council or any other member group, nor to change its internal processes, policies or structure, nor to give up information held as sacred or irrelevant to proceedings of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, nor its independence, decision making capability or identity as a recognized community Group.
    6.8 Membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, as accepted by the
member Group with that membership, obligates the member Group to show solidarity with and support for decisions made jointly by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council in all matters in which member Groups deem the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council to be in authority.
7. Membership requirements for Covens, Houses, Clans, Temples, Orders,
 Courts, Halos and other Groups:
    7.1 All VC groups that are well organized should have the opportunity to join
the VJC as an equal member with one vote per action taken by the VJC, providing that they meet the following set membership requirements:
        7.1.1 The Group must be established and have existed and functioned in
the real world (not only with an online presence) for no less than one year (365 nights).
        7.1.2 The Group must have no less than at least 3 listed members. If
membership drops below this number at any time, the Group will be suspended from active participation until the Group membership again equals 3.
        7.1.3 The Group must make at least one member available to represent its
vote and/or views on any particular matter on which the VJC is approached. This does not have to be the leader of the Group, but can be a duly appointed member of the Group internally recognized as its representative to the VJC.
        7.1.4 The Group must not be currently involved in any activities which can
be described as devisive, intended to embarrass or which can be shown to be detrimental to the global VC.
        7.1.5 The Group must sign its approval of and adhere to the VJC Charter
and Code of Conduct.
        7.1.6 Because all activities of the VJC will be conducted online via
designated email, chat or forum facilities, member Groups must make themselves available in the agreed upon medium. Inability to do so will render the Group unable to participate in VJC functions.
        7.1.7 Groups which have previously left the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council may
only reapply for membership after a period of one year (365 nights) from the time they left the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, unless the Group itself or the leader of that Group has been declared an excommunicant or Sin Nomine by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council and any judgment from the VJC against that individual remains in effect.
        7.1.8 Groups which indulge in role-playing or do not consist of real or self-
identified Vampi(y)res are not eligible to join the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
    7.2 By meeting the set membership requirements member Groups can
demonstrate that they are well established, active in the global VC, and seriously committed to the welfare of the VC.
8.  Membership requirements for Ronin:
    8.1 Since Ronin are known as Ronin because they do not belong to a
recognized Vampi(y)re Community Group, for various reasons – be it out of a desire to not form a part of a Group, or due to a lack of a Group in their area, regardless of the reason for Ronin being Ronin, they form a vital part of the extended and Global Vampi(y)re Community and this portion of the Charter serves as recognition of their importance to the Community.
    8.2 Because this Groupless nature of the Ronin results in difficulty whenever it
comes to Ronin participation in any form of Group activity, it is necessary to formalize the inclusion of Ronin in the VJC in the form of a Council which will participate in the VJC for all intents and purposes as a Group.
    8.3 All self-identified Vampi(y)res should have the opportunity to join the VJC
as an equal member of the Ronin Council.
    8.4 The Ronin Council must adhere to the following requirements in order to
participate in the VJC:
        8.4.1 The individual must be known in VC circles, whether on or offline for
no less than one year (365 nights).
        8.4.2 The Ronin Council Group must have no less than at least 3 listed
members. If membership drops below this number at any time, the Group will be suspended from active participation until the Group membership again equals 3.
        8.4.3 The Ronin Council must make at least one member available to
represent its vote and/or views on any particular matter on which the VJC is approached. This does not have to be the leader of the Group, but can be am elected or duly appointed member of the Group internally recognized as its representative to the VJC.
        8.4.4 Individual Ronin who form the membership of the Ronin Council must
not be currently involved in any activities which can be described as devisive of the Community, intended to embarrass or which can be shown to be detrimental to the global VC.
        8.4.5 Each individual Ronin member of the Ronin Council and the Group
itself, represented by its designated representative must sign its approval of and adhere to the VJC Charter and Code of Conduct.
        8.4.6 Because all activities of the VJC will be conducted online via
designated email, chat or forum facilities, representatives of the Ronin Council must make themselves available in the agreed upon medium. Inability to do so will render the Group unable to participate in VJC functions.
        8.4.7 Individual Ronin who have previously left the Vampi(y)re Judicial
Council/Ronin Council may only reapply for membership after a period of one year (365 nights) from the time they left the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, unless the individual has been declared an excommunicant or Sin Nomine by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council and any judgment from the VJC against that individual remains in effect.
        8.4.8 Individuals who indulge in role-playing or do not identify as real or self-
identified Vampi(y)res are not eligible to join Ronin Council or the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        8.4.9 Membership of the Ronin Council does not indicate that the individual
is part of any actual Community Group, with the exception that members by their membership solely indicate a desire to keep the global Vampi(y)re Community safe for all those who move in our circles, and a desire to have a voice in Community affairs and that the Ronin Council exists solely as a means to exercise that voice within the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
        8.4.10 Membership of the Ronin Council is in no way to be considered
mandatory and if any idividual objects to any pronouncement of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, they are free to terminate their membership of the Ronin Council.
9.  Membership application procedure for Groups:
    9.1 Membership of any Group in the VJC is entirely voluntary, and Groups
may apply to the VJC for membership and be admitted, provided they meet the set requirements.
    9.2 Groups within the Greater Vampi(y)re Community may formally apply for
membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council via any conventional means via email to any one or more member Group(s) of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
    9.3 Member Groups who receive correspondence in the form of applications
from outside Groups wishing to join and participate in the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council may present these Groups for consideration by corresponding with other member Groups on the matter, and/or nominating them at a session of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
    9.4 Groups which apply for membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council will
be admitted as members on the basis of a majority vote cast by existing member Groups.
    9.5 No applicant may consider themselves a member Group of the Vampi(y)re
Judicial Council without first receiving a writ from the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council to confirm their admission.
10. Membership application procedure for Ronin:
    10.1 Membership of any Group in the VJC is entirely voluntary, and therefore
such will be the membership of the Ronin Council. Ronin may apply to the Representative of the Ronin Council for membership and be admitted, provided they meet the set requirements.
    10.2 Ronin may formally apply for membership of the Ronin Council via any
conventional means via email to the designated Representative of the Ronin Council.
    10.3 No applicant may consider themselves a member of the Ronin Council
without first receiving a writ from the Ronin Council Representative to confirm their admission.
11. Disqualifying grounds for membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
Member Groups may be disqualified from the VJC or have their membership terminated in the following instances:
    11.1 Membership of the VJC is entirely voluntary, and should any listed
member Group wish to leave the VJC, it is wholly free to do so.
    11.2 Should a member Group formally object to the validity of VJC Charter or
Code of Conduct, or refuse to sign its approval of, or fail to adhere to or to recognize either document, these actions will automatically terminate the Group’s membership of the VJC.
    11.3 Should a member Group be shown to be involved in any activities which
can be described as devisive, intended to embarrass or which can be shown to be detrimental to the global VC.
    11.4 Should a member Group violate articles of the VJC Charter or Code of
Conduct or refuse to concur with sentences arrived at by due procedure of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council when in session.
    11.5 Should a member Group violate or ignore a pronouncement by the
Vampi(y)re Judicial Council against any entity in cases of suspension, excommunication, and Sin Nomine.
12. Code of conduct for member Groups and the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council:
12.1 Diverse Community Laws and Guidelines:
             12.1.1 Various law sets and community guidelines have already been
drafted and applied by various Groups in the past, and although none of these law sets are rigidly enforced within the Vampi(y)re Community, and some may feel that such laws and guidelines may be “unnecessary”, many of these will also agree that on some basic level there is a necessity to keep a basic set of “common sense” values intended to guide Community members and to keep them safe from harm.
             12.1.2 It is not the place of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council to create and
impose laws on the Global Vampi(y)re Community, but it exists for the purpose of protecting the Community from internal issues by maintaining the integrity of the Community through the application of pre-existing principles condensed from already established community guidelines which are agreed upon to be sound and accepted by the broader Vampi(y)re Community in general.
    12.2 Articles of Community:
             12.2.1 The base recognition of all Vampi(y)res in the Global Vampi(y)re
Community as equal and of equal worth to the Community, as well as;
12.2.2 The recognition that regardless of our differences in terms of how
individual Vampi(y)res self-identify as Vampi(y)res,
    12.2.3 The principle that no single member of the Community is to be
considered less than another, nor to be considered of less significance to the Community whether or not we belong to a Group is considered binding to the membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
               12.2.4 The principles represented in the Vampi(y)re Declaration of
Community (2010) and in the Donor Bill of Rights are held to be as central to the ethos of the Vampi(y)re Community, interaction between its members, as well as function and scope of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council.
    12.2 Diverse beliefs:
        12.2.1 The Vampi(y)re Community is replete with diverse beliefs about
spirituality, religion, scientific and medical thought and about what causes our vampiric nature and about what being a Vampi(y)re means and how Vampi(y)res should behave.
        12.2.2 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is a body created in order to settle
Community disputes and as such resolves to remain impartial in all matters regarding such personal and commonly held beliefs, and to not sit in judgment of such beliefs or those who hold them, for their beliefs.
        12.2.3 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council resolves to sit not in judgment of
beliefs, but of actions which are perceived to endanger the broader Vampi(y)re Community in some way.
    12.3 Declaration:
I, as an individual – being either a Ronin member of the Ronin Council, or a Representative or Member of a Group (Coven, House, Order, Temple, Halo) which has accepted membership of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council – hereby indicate most seriously my personal commitment to adhere to and uphold the Code of Conduct and do hereby undertake to adhere to these guidelines as set out below:
            12.3.1 I understand that all communities the world over have a need for
some basic laws, rules and guidelines in order for the community to function, and that ours is no exception, being global and diverse and existing in  diverse environments and social climates. I understand that there are various different views on community laws and that several different versions have been developed in the past and that there are diverse views  regarding the value of these to the Community.
           12.3.2 I undertake to respect these various guidelines, and the views of
other members of the Community, but understand that these law systems are intrinsic to individual groups and while they do not have any authority over the entire community, or specifically over myself or my Group, nor may some of them be considered practical in our current circumstances – some principles and guidelines commonly held between them still remain sound and will be held by the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council as true and valid in conjunction with its consenting Members and member Groups. I personally undertake to not indulge in any behavior which might threaten the Community as a whole, such as:
            12.3.2.1 by any actions considered unwise, deliberate or reckless,
attracting negative media exposure, the interest of Mundane authorities and law enforcement or hostile religious groups to either the Community, or to myself on the grounds of my vampirism and vampiric nature.
                        12.3.2.2 in any way infringing on the civil or human rights of
individual members of the Community, the   violation of Mundane laws to the detriment of a fellow member of the Community, or to the Community itself.
            12.3.3 I undertake to uphold the principles in the Vampi(y)re Declaration of
Community and should I perceive a violation of these principles, I resolve to take the appropriate actions as suggested by custom or established guidelines as will best serve the interests of the Vampi(y)re Community.
            12.3.4 I undertake to uphold the principles in the Donor Bill of Rights and
should I perceive a violation of these principles, I resolve to take the appropriate actions as suggested by either Mundane law, or Vampi(y)re Community custom or guidelines as will best serve the interests of the Vampi(y)re Community.
            12.3.5 I undertake to respect the privacy of other members of the
Community, and to respect the choices others make to separate their Dayside and Nightside identities, and recognize that to willingly expose a member of the Community against their will to public scrutiny goes against the principles of this Community as well as common decency and endangers the individual and the fabric of the Community itself.
            12.3.6 I undertake to respect all Vampi(y)res and their diversity of belief,
opinion, gender, culture, language, sexual orientation, race and any other measures of diversity equally on the understanding that though we may differ in some respects, we are all Vampi(y)res.
            12.3.7 As a Member of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council, I recognize that
the best way to ensure that the Vampi(y)re Community is a safer, better place for all, is to make it my personal responsibility to ensure that my own actions are above reproach and to be the best example I can be, and to lead by that example.
13. Representation:
    13.1 As the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is intended to be a council of equals
across the board, the Vampi(y)re  Judicial Council has no hierarchy. All member groups are equal in terms of vote and membership, each to be represented by either the leader of the Group, or by a representative, duly appointed by internal means.
    13.2 The Vampi(y)re Judicial Council may, if its member Groups deem it
necessary, to appoint/elect a representative to act as spokesperson and co-ordinator for the activities of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council. The duration of such appointments may not exceed a period of one year (365 nights) per term, with no consecutive terms permitted.
    13.3 No one member Group may speak on behalf of the Vampi(y)re Judicial
Council, except for the duly appointed spokesperson of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council for the duration of their one year appointment.
14. Ratification:
Acceptance of this Charter of the Vampi(y)re Judicial Council is indicated by the addition of the Group name as well as the name of the Group leader to the VJC Member list.
Likewise, membership of the Ronin Council by individual Ronin indicates acceptance of the terms and conditions of the Code of Conduct as well as this Charter.
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