A typical trial in the Magimundi is adversarial meaning two parties are each trying to convince the presiding Justice that their view and interpretation of the facts and edicts are correct in accordance to Provincial and Magimundi law. The Magimundi doesn’t differentiate between civil and criminal law the way mundane society does. The only difference is who the parties are.
If the party initiating the trial is a Marshal or a Justice, then it’s essentially a criminal case. Sometimes (but not always) a party may be represented by an Advocate or Counselor. An Advocate appears in place of the person at trial and makes arguments on their behalf. A Counselor can’t argue on someone’s behalf but can give them advice in how to argue their case. Counselors are generally less expensive and may even be provided by the Magimundi in many cases.
Across the Magimundi, the particular procedure may vary from Province to Province (or even from Justice to Justice), but in general a trial typically proceeds as follows:
There are two parties to a case:
These correspond to the mundane ideas of a plaintiff/prosecutor and defendant. There might also be a counter claim as well (meaning the Accused is arguing that the Claimant also violated an edict). The case is generally held before a single Justice. In some special cases a panel of three or even five justices (typically high-profile cases that touch on multiple edicts) in some special cases an Arch Justice will preside. In the most important cases, all five Arch Justices will rule on a case.
The Claimant sets forth their argument for why the Justice should agree with them that the actions of the Accused violated an edict and which edict(s) they supposedly violated. This argument might take many different forms, typically depending on which Justice the matter is before. Some Justices are known to be swayed by overwhelming factual evidence, appeals to rationality, appeals to the greater good, appeals to empathy, or even appeals to consistency with past decisions. As such, referring to past cases are just one of many ways to argue your case in Magimundi courts (unlike mundane courts where it is the primary way to argue a case).
Depending on the trial, a Claimant could have five minutes or many weeks to make their case. A typical criminal trial is a week-long affair, where the Claimant has two days to present evidence and argument.
Once the Claimant has used their allotted time, the Accused gets to make their case for why they didn’t violate an edict. Usually this takes the form of questioning the reliability of the evidence presented, making counter-arguments about the nature of the edict (again using rationality, empathy, case law), or in some cases by arguing that the Claimant has also violated an edict in which case the case should be thrown out.
Once both parties have pleaded their cases, the Justice (or panel of Justices) will issue a decision. Often, this will be a ruling from the bench. Occasionally, in more complex cases, the decision will come days or weeks later in the form of an edict.
Typically once a decision is handed down it is final. Very rarely (typically in response to public outcry or another Justice, or Arch Justice taking a particular interest in a case) an appeal will be granted. This usually takes the form of another trial before a different Justice or group of Justices. In general one Justice can be overturned by either three Justices, or an Arch Justice. An Arch Justice can be overturned only by a panel of all five Arch Justices. In the Magimundi an appeal is a complete rehearing of all issues in a case (not a limited set as is typical in mundane courts).