Legally Up To You



We have all grown up with laws that we must follow, a legal system that keeps us in check. It’s one part of your world that must be thought out. For example, you may have a rebel that wants to fight against every law, but what are those laws? What are the penalties for breaking them?

Your laws can be changed by aspects that exist in your world. Like the world of Altered Carbon, a TV show based on the novel written by Richard K. Morgan. In this world, people are able to transfer their consciousness to another body, allowing them to live endlessly if their brains are not harmed in death. This kind of aspect will affect your world since bodies are just objects to the characters, and their penalties for certain crimes could be much different from ours.

So, everything that you choose for your world will affect the laws, their penalties and those that enforce or fight against them.

What if you have magic in your world? Would those that work for the government have magic? Would those solving a crime be able to use spells or incantations to find the perpetrator? Would that magic be acceptable as evidence in a court of law? Is there more than one court so each species can have a fair trial?



Are criminals with magic placed in the same prison as humans? Are they stripped of their powers for minor and/or major crimes? Are they placed in power-dampening cuffs and put in specific cells, like meta-humans in The Flash?

What about the classes? Are some species more noble than others? Are they considered above the law? Are they given easier sentences? Are weapons given to the classes? Are there types of weapons only specified for certain classes? Are certain classes trained in particular skills?

Are those certain species born on different worlds? Are they treated differently than those born on your world? Are those species chipped and tracked to protect those living on the world, like the aliens in Supergirl? Or are they all given the same fair trial as everyone, without incorporating their differences?

Does more than one government create the law for the world? Is there one for humans and another secret one for a hidden world? Does the human government know about the secret one? Do they communicate, but keep the secret government hidden from the human world? Does the human government have a say in the secret government? Is the secret government divided into smaller separate parties?

Your legal system is as important as creating the places that your characters live in. Whether they are criminal or social laws, you can’t have a villain or a hero without your laws. In one world they could be a villain and a hero but in another their roles could be switched. Laws are the backbone of society, whether that society is organized or chaotic.

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Marli Jago

Marli is an aspiring writer in the Professional Writing Program. On the off chance that she isn’t writing, she is playing card games, reading, or hanging out at the nearest Tim Horton’s with her friends.