High Castle means many things within the country of Cyberia. It can be interpreted as the country as a whole, the government as a whole, the government's supreme court; but officially it refers to the assembly of Presidents of all nine castle departments of the Unitary Government of Cyberia.
As per the constitution, there must be a single highest executive officer of each branch, or rather department of the Cyberian government. These executives must consult one another on foreign and domestic affairs, including the creation or dissolution of castle departments, and operate the country as a balanced unit.
For example, all Presidents must vote on any decision that may drastically affect the country as a whole or another President's department. Failure of a President to consult the others of like status about an important decision or decisions may result in reprimanding from the High Castle itself.
These Presidents are elected by direct democracy to a term of four years, and barring impeachment or other such discharge, may be reelected to a second term of four years, after which they are no longer eligible for reelection.
The term "High Castle" does not appear in the Constitution of the Antarctic State of Cyberia, as there was only one President appointed at the time of Cyberia's post-war development. There did exist however, the term "Department of the Castle" which was used to describe the large, major branches of government that were envisioned during the constitution's writing. The name of High Castle was later used as common vernacular when more than one of these castle departments began to form, and thus more than one president was elected.
The Antarctic State of Cyberia was envisioned to be less complex, less complicated and more streamlined in revision and adaption than the surrounding countries' governments, while still adhering to the concept of separation of powers, namely checks and balances. Thus formed the structural concept of multiple Presidents of equal standing, each handling their own respective branches of government, and consulting one another on how to manage the country as a whole.
The first President to be officially elected (by military personnel, as opposed to civilians) was put in charge of the then new Department of Defense, which encompassed the majority population, which were military servicemen. Shortly after, the Department of Justice branched off from the Defense Department as the courts-martial as well as the legislative body of the newly developing nation. Further branches were created as more governmental necessities became evident, ending so far with the Department of Foreign Affairs, making the number of departments, and subsequently the number of Presidents, nine in total.
Duties and Functions
The High Castle is simply the meeting of all Presidents to discuss matters of national decisionmaking. These Presidents are the highest authorities in the country, leading each of their respective branches of government called Castle Departments.
None of these Presidents hold more or less power than the other Presidents. They are equal, in rank, in salary, in power, and have equal say in national matters. Each one leads their respective castle department as its single highest authority executive officer, meaning one President may not exercise command over another President's department.
All nine Presidents MUST be present in meeting in order for official discussion to commence, not only by tradition but also by constitutional obligation. It is considered bad practice for Presidents to deliberate with one another without the knowledge of the others, as this would be considered very rude at best, or treasonous at worst.
Much emphasis is given on the detection and prevention of corruption, leading to the established tradition of Presidents keeping each other in line with the needs and wants of the country, including acting in the best interests of the country and its people.
Function as the Supreme Court
Each President is the head of their respective castle department, and no physical person is above them in authority, making the concept of their gathering the highest authority in the country altogether, hence forming the "High Castle". Due to the power given to the assembly, by the constitution, to take vote amongst all heads present on the decisions that directly affect the constitution, the country, and the future it beholds, the High Castle essentially doubles as the supreme court of the government.
Minimum requirements to be eligible for a Presidency are as follows:
- Minimum rank of Brigadier General (O-7)
- Minimum age of thirty-five years old
- Minimum of sixteen years served in the Cyberian Military Forces
- No prior history of deranking
Each President is elected into their respective offices through direct democracy of the whole of the citizen population of Cyberia. This includes military personnel, non-military persons, and naturalized citizens. This does NOT include immigrants who have not been naturalized.
Elected Presidents are immediately promoted to the rank of General of the Forces (O-11), regardless of previous ranking, and technically hold this rank for the rest of their lives, however their right to govern is eliminated once they are out of office. Elected Presidents also enjoy a number of other lifetime benefits during and after their time in office, such as a large pension; highly trained security detail for personal and familial protection; personal and official secure transportation; and much more.
Each President holds their office for one term (codified as four years). Elections are held once every Presidential term, in which they may be replaced by a more popular candidate, or reelected for a second term. A President may head a castle department for a maximum of two terms (eight years) before they are legally ineligible to be reelected.
Once elected, a President's term may be cut short by impeachment or other such dishonorable discharge. Impeachment is the official condemnation of a President or Presidents' actions whilst in office. This may occur as a response made by fellow Presidents or an uproar made by the Cyberian public. Impeachment does not strictly lead to discharge, however it is a severe tarnish on a President's reputation, after which they may be heavily advised to resign. A dishonorable discharge is the legal forceful stripping of one's position and rank altogether, which would only occur during severe uprising or otherwise the ejection of a member of the High Castle by fellow Presidents.
Resignation and dishonorable discharge result in the total forfeiting of all benefits that presidency gave and would have given to the individual.
Following the resignation, discharge and/or death of a President, their vacancy is immediately filled by the next officer in the presidential order of succession. Filling a vacancy does not result in the earning of the title of President; rather the successive officer is given the special title of "Acting President".
The official presidential order of succession for each department is as follows:
- Vice President
- Inspector General