Supreme Court Finds in Favour of Princess Lateefah

by | Jan 18, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Athens – Bringing a conclusion to a two year-long legal dispute, the Supreme Court of the Athenian Federation in the case of Princess Lateefah of Syria v. Prince Bashim of Syria has found in favour of Princess Lateefah and declared that regional law may not conflict with protections under the Athenian constitution. While this ruling was intended to only settle the succession dispute in the Kingdom of Syria, it will almost certainly have far-reaching effects well beyond the borders of Syria and permanently alter the relation between Athens and the regions, and the Empress and her regional subjects.

The dispute arose just over two years ago with the death of King Faisal III upon which under his son and younger child Prince Bashim would have inherited the throne under Syrian law. However as gender equality is established as a fundamental right under the constitution of the Athenian Federation, his older daughter Princess Lateefah sued her brother to prevent the coronation and secure a ruling granting her the right to inherit. Further complicating the matter were reported plans by the late King to change the succession law prior to his death. After the Imperial Court in Damascus found in favour of the Princess, the Prince’s legal team appealed the ruling to the Regional Court for the Kingdom of Syria and initiated his own parallel suit in the Royal Court of Damascus. After the Regional Court once again found in favour of the Princess and the Royal Court found in favour of the Prince, the building stones for the current legal dispute were laid. Final hope to avoid a constitutional crisis was placed on the Princess’ appeal in the Royal High Court as well as attempts by the Imperial Palace and the People’s Republic of Kurdistan to bring about a compromise between the two rival siblings. When these attempts proved a failure and the Royal High Court upheld the lower court’s ruling only one step was left. An appeal to the Supreme Court.

In a so called Article 135 procedure, named after the Constitutional article where it retrieves its authority from, whenever the Imperial and Regional Courts fail to achieve consensus the Supreme Court becomes the court of last resort on that dispute, even if it regularly would not be allowed to address the issue. Over the past year accusations and arguments have been made both inside and outside the courtroom but today it has come to an end with the Supreme Court ruling that regional sovereignty may never be used to violate the fundamental rights of an Athenian subject.

Next Steps for Princess Lateefah

While the legal battle is over, Princess Lateefah still faces an uphill battle in her Kingdom. The Syrian people, highly conservative, supported Prince Bashim in a large majority and both the regional security and police forces, and the regional government were well on the side of the Prince. Princess Lateefah must now obtain the support of her people, the love of her government and withstand threats against her life. Controversially upon the verdict the Princess has announced that she will no longer require protection by the Imperial Guard and has requested the Ministry of Defence to withdraw the Hellenic Army from Syria. Both the Imperial Guard Protection and deployment of Hellenic soldiers in strategic areas of Syria had been to protect the Princess and give real power to the legal decision.

She will now need to establish a power base and a loyal security force as soon as possible while preparing for her coronation.

The Future of the Athenian Federation

It can almost certainly not be a coincidence that in a year-long Supreme Court case, the final ruling fell on one of the days that Empress Athanasia was away on her state visit to the Republic of Nihon. The legal dispute has been a thorn in the eye of the Imperial Palace which had been carefully balancing the peace of the Federation with the need to not remove the teeth of the Imperial level. These conflicting interests can also be seen in the response to the ruling by the Chief Magistrate who congratulated the Princess on achieving her right to succeed the throne while being careful not to alienate Prince Bashim or the Syrian people.

The reality is that while the immediate consequences of the ruling only affect the Kingdom of Syria, there wasn’t an Imperial or Regional politician not watching the court proceedings or the rulings. Ever since the establishment of the Athenian Federation there have been disputes about Imperial and Regional power. While the supporters of Regional sovereignty had secured a victory with the Citizenship Law, the supporters of Imperial supremacy had secured a victory with the direct rule over Athens and Byzantion, the Hellenic Space Agency, and now this ruling.

While both sides were balanced initially, with just under half the regions supporting Imperial supremacy combined with the Imperial Palace opposite to the majority of regions supporting Regional supremacy, this balance has been skewing in favour of the Imperial side. With the expansion of the People’s Republic of Kurdistan, as well as the addition of the Republic of Babylonia, Republic of Lebanon, Principality of Malta, and Imperial Territory of Kuwait the support of Imperial supremacy has been bolstered enormously. At the same time supporters of Regional sovereignty have only seen the Republic of Assyria added to their ranks. Now that the Kingdom of Syria threatens to switch to the Imperial side as well there are significant fears among all sides that the supporters of Regional sovereignty will attempt a desperate move soon.

Experts have compared the current situation to the United States prior to its Civil War when abolitionists began to outnumber supporters of slavery. While an Athenian civil war is deemed not likely yet, the Empress will want to do everything to avoid it.