Staff Judge Advocate

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Staff Judge Advocate
Staff Judge Advocate.png
"Surely you realize that this is not up to code?"
AccessLaw Office, Courtroom, Brig
Additional AccessN/A
SupervisorsExecutive Officer
RankPetty Officer (PO)
DutiesServing as consultant in SOP/Space Law matters, and representing prisoners and ensuring their rights.
GuidesSOP, Space Law, Guide to Trials, Paper Markdown

The Staff Judge Advocate serves as the supreme source for legal services and counsel throughout the force, they provide legal advice and counsel on behalf of the federal central command on administrative investigations, inquiries, government information practices, SOP complaints, military personnel law, civil litigation, regulatory issues and compliance matters requiring the interpretation and application of Standard Operating Procedure, Space law.

Their main tasks on Whiterapids naval vessels are the following:

  1. Provide legal counsel to the captain, and the crew as a whole.
  2. Identify and Document any violations of Standard Operating Procedure or Space Law within the vessel's departments, and then report those violations to the correct authority.
  3. Serve as representation in trials held aboard the ship.
  4. Supervise the correct application of Space Law by the local Military Police Department, and report failures to do so to the HoS, XO, or captain.

This means that the SJA serves as THE governing authority over the interpretation of Space Law and SOP, and no one but central command can overrule your interpretation.

This does NOT mean that Staff Judge Advocates are above Space Law. You cannot overrule Security on a sentence imposed against yourself.

This also does not mean that you can change space law at will, you are tasked with clearing up misunderstandings, and ensuring fair treatment under space law, your interpretations are expected to serve in this endeavor. Once you have decided on an interpretation, you are expected to stick by it for good, unless you clear any changes with command via majority vote.

Note: if you see an SJA blatantly try to bend space law/SOP to their will, be sure to ahelp, or if you want to stay in character, ask the captain to contact CC to reign them in a bit. The SJA is here to help, not to be some shitter powertripping.

SOP violations should be reported to the Head of Staff for the relevant department, and Space Law violations to Security. If the Head of Staff is not present or not receptive, contact the Executive Officer, failing that, take the matter to the highest rank; the Captain. SJA is a roleplay oriented job, and it requires that you either know SOP & Space Law well, or that you are willing to look it up often while playing. You are effectively much like a safety inspector/lawyer hybrid - you do inspections of ship departments and report your findings to their supervisors, as well as investigating matters that people report to you.

Bare minimum requirements: Walk around and yell about SOP violations, Clarify and interpret space law/SOP, notice that security has given the clown 999 minutes again and yelling at them not to do that.

Duties[edit | edit source]

You're expected to be an impartial auditor, investigator, arbitrator, and unbiased source of good information for the department heads. This being said, let's go through what should be known and done:

Do[edit | edit source]

  • Peeping Tom: Walk around the ship, observing what the rest of the crew are doing, and noting any violations of their job SOP or Space Law that you see. Report any SOP violations to the head of that department, preferably via PDA. Report any Space Law violations to Security, preferably over security radio. Part of this observation is directly watching what other employees are doing, and part of it is asking people if there are any issues in their department. Often, they'll inform you about an issue if you ask, even though they'd never actually report this issue had you not asked.
  • Watch Security: Double-check that security is complying with Space Law and Standard Operating Procedure. This means double-checking every sentence (both timed and perma) that security gives to prisoners, and verifying that they got the timer right. It also means making sure they don't violate it in other ways, such as harmbatoning prisoners. Bad behaviour by Security should be reported to the HOS. If they are not available, or do not listen, contact the XO.
  • Mind The Ruckus: Respond to any calls for an SJA over PDA, general radio, etc. Usually these are from prisoners who feel they have been mistreated, or people who wish to report a SOP/law violation you should probably investigate.
  • Remind Yourself Of Your Stay: Remember that you're here to serve command's interests, NOT to dogmatically enforce SOP even during emergency situations where it makes no sense to do so.
  • Present Yourself Available: Remember that you're here to HELP the various department heads, but since you're not in their department, they will regularly forget you exist. So, it is helpful to remind them, via a quick message, early on, that if there is any matter that they'd like help investigating (e.g: member of their department ignoring SOP) that you are available and they should feel free to call on you.
  • Participate in trials. An unfortunately small part of your job; you can sometimes get trials for inmates scheduled to be executed or when you can convince the HoS that it would be entertaining. Fortunate Staff judge advocates may get the chance to defend high profile persons, like wizards.
  • Create law-binding contracts. As a Staff judge advocate the easiest and most efficient way to get something done is to create contracts, despite popular belief. There are many different types of contracts but a common one is a contract which requests that both parties do a particular action for the other party; ie: trading helmets. If you display these contracts to the Staff judge advocate Gods, then you MIGHT get something nice from them.
  • Litigation. Health, safety, and human rights violations abound on the ship, but be warned that actually getting anything done about it will test your law skills.

Don't[edit | edit source]

  • Just Wait In Your Office: There is always something you can do if you get out there and explore the ship. You can always just start going through departments and verifying that they are complying with SOP (or have good reasons to not be doing so). You can always offer your help to heads with troubleshooting problems in their department. There are times (interviewing people, checking records, etc) where you need to be in your office, but you don't need to be in your office most of the time, and you shouldn't be spending most of the shift just sitting there.
  • Threaten: Never threaten other crew members. This includes threats to report them, or get them fired. Threats are never helpful.
  • Validhunt: You are not a sec officer, and should not be patrolling maintenance or otherwise trying to find antags. Instead, you should be concerned mostly with minor SOP breaches and unintentional space law violations by the normal crew within their departments. Your concern is being helpful to the department heads by reporting these issues to them, so that the departments can be better managed.
  • Take Sides: Your job is to represent the best interests of Command. DO NOT always take the side of a prisoner - you are NOT their defence lawyer(except if you are). DO NOT always take the side of security either, as security is perfectly capable of being wrong. Always consider what is in the ship's best interests.
  • Display Bias: Avoid investigating matters concerning any personal friends of yours, if at all possible. Refer these matters to someone else, who can conduct an independent and unbiased investigation. A biased investigation can be

worse than no investigation at all.

Work as a consultant and inspector.[edit | edit source]

Law Office
The Law Office, where you can be safely ignored

You'll need to ingratiate yourself with Security personnel; otherwise your shift as Staff judge advocate will likely be fruitless and painful. You have virtually no physical power, but you can accumulate social power. Greet them when you first see them, use titles like "officer" when referring to them, say please and thank you, and generally try to roleplay a friendly fellow crew member. Don't let your speech imply authority, though: your Head is the XO, not the HoS. Make it clear that your function is to uphold justice, the welfare of your clients, and the good of the ship. Do not abuse your security headset or sec will at the least take it away or at the worst brig you for it AND take it away.

Make sure all crewmembers know you are present by giving them a quick heads up via PDA at the start of the shift, the sheer presence of an SJA is likely to bring order into chaos, for fear of the great equalizer: Paperwork.

Speaking of paperwork, you will likely want to document some of your more egregious findings on paper, below are some pointers as to how to make a good report.

This information should be gathered regardless of your intent to file a proper report in paper since it's greatly beneficial to have all the facts before pointing fingers at someone.

Before reporting a violation, it is a good idea to make sure you have all the relevant facts. For example:

  • Who did it
  • What they did
  • Which exact point of Space Law or SOP they violated (including the exact number, you should be able to cite it by number)
  • Where they did it (if you can find out)
  • Why they did it (SOP can be justifiably broken in emergencies, hence the 'why' bit is very helpful in figuring out if they had good cause)

FAQs[edit | edit source]

  • How do I check a department is following SOP correctly? Pull up the wiki SOP page for that department's jobs, then check, for each item, whether or not it is being done. E.g. if the SOP for Medical Doctor requires they put synthflesh in the cloner, set up the cryo tubes, and label corpses, check that these things are being done. Then report any that are NOT done to their boss (the CMO).
  • What are the limits on what an SJA can do? SJAs cannot act against the ship's interests. So, they can't demand SOP be followed even if doing so would be against the ship's interests, e.g. during a major emergency. They are not allowed to do anyone else's job for them. They are not allowed to violate Space Law in any way. They cannot, in short, be detrimental to either the ship or to Whiterapids/Command overall.
  • What happens if an SJA abuses their authority? SJAs who are acting against the interests of the ship/Command can be demoted by the XO, or Captain. SJAs who break Space Law can additionally be arrested and brigged by Security. Admins hold SJA to a higher standard than most jobs, which means that an SJA who acts against the ship/Command's interests (e.g: seriously breaking Space Law) is likely to be banned from playing SJA.
  • Can command/sec ignore the SJA? In theory yes, but this should only be done if the SJA is (through their own lack of knowledge) demanding attention for a relatively small issue at a time when command/sec is busy dealing with a far more important matter. In that situation, the SJA should be told that sec/command is busy dealing with an emergency (and what the emergency is). Once they've been informed, they can be ignored until the emergency is over, at which point command/sec should come back and address the matter they raised. If an SJA refuses to stop demanding attention, even after they've already been told that command/sec is busy with a far more important matter, then you should carefully consider whether they're right, or they're being unreasonable, and potentially acting against the interests of the ship/command by distracting command/sec during a major emergency.

More Example Scenarios[edit | edit source]

  • Is there no food? Inform the XO.
  • Is cargo still waiting for those research disks? Contact the RD and ask what their status is.
  • Are there strange floorpills everywhere? Ask the detective to scan them (drug distribution is illegal). Also ask the CMO to check what their chemists are doing.
  • Is the Roboticist unable to complete their goal because nobody has the resources yet? Check what is going on with mining, then inform the QM and XO.

How To React If A Department Head Ignores You[edit | edit source]

For example: you're in medical, and you notice that corpses are laying around, not properly bagged. You should PDA the CMO to inform them that SOP is being ignored, that corpses are laying around, not properly bagged. You suggest a corrective action: CMO to talk to the MDs about this. Give it a few minutes for the CMO to act on your feedback, after which you re-check whether the problem has been corrected, or not. If not, you PDA the CMO again. If the CMO is ignoring you, or brushes you off, you can decide whether you think the CMO is failing to manage medbay properly. If they aren't (CMO is busy, or medical is overwhelmed) then it may be a good idea to let the matter rest for now, and check back later. If, on the other hand, you feel the CMO is neglecting to manage their department properly, at that point, you should contact the XO.

Justice for None[edit | edit source]

I would like to announce that I believe my client to be a DISGUSTING TRAITOR, and I resent the fact that I've been given the task of defending him. You should probably just toss him out of the airlock or something, I rest my case sir.

As a traitor, you have closer ties to security than anyone else. Officers may go into the break room alone, and make themselves vulnerable to attack; reducing the number of officers may help even when they aren't your target. Your briefcase can fit the contents of a toolbox in it, but is considerably less suspicious than carrying a toolbox around. It is not difficult to stuff it with handcuffs and flashbangs if you can acquire them from Security storage. You can also hear security radio, which gives you a lot of intel.

Overthrowing Rulers for Fun and Profit[edit | edit source]

As a Revolutionary, you have access to sec, with the possibility of dragging away revolutionaries. Very quickly though you'll end up being implanted if you're not fast. You can also use a screwdriver, and give your headset encryption to Rev Heads, helping them listen to security radio, which gives a lot of intel during a revolution.

Roleplaying Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Remember, your goal is to be helpful, specifically, helpful to the command staff.
  • This means you should have a generally pleasant attitude. Rude, annoying, etc people aren't listened to, or informed about problems.
  • It also means that you should be visible. Since you are not command staff, people might forget you exist. So, remind them by saying you'll be checking up on departments at the start of the round. PDA heads of department specifically about issues in their department. Reach out to people. If you're helpful, they will appreciate it.
Jobs on


Command Captain, Executive Officer, Bridge Staff
Security Head of Security, Security Officer, Warden, Detective, Brig Physician
Engineering Chief Engineer, Ship Engineer, Atmospheric Technician
Science Research Director, Scientist, Roboticist
Medical Chief Medical Officer, Medical Doctor, Chemist, Geneticist, Virologist, Paramedic
Service Janitor, Staff Judge Advocate, Bartender, Cook, Botanist, Clown, Mime, Chaplain, Curator
Munitions Master At Arms, Munitions Technician, Flight Leader, Fighter Pilot, Air Traffic Controller
Cargo Quartermaster, Cargo Technician, Shaft Miner
Civilian Assistant, Gimmick
Non-human AI, Cyborg, Positronic Brain, Drone, Personal AI, Construct, Ghost
Antagonists Traitor, Malfunctioning AI, Changeling, Heretic, Nuclear Operative, Blood Cultist, Bloodling, Revolutionary, Wizard, Blob, Abductor, Holoparasite, Xenomorph, Spider, Swarmers, Revenant, Morph, Nightmare, Space Ninja, Slaughter Demon, Pirate, Sentient Disease, Creep, Fugitives, Hunters, Syndicate Drop Trooper
Special CentCom Official, Death Squad Officer, Emergency Response Officer, Chrono Legionnaire, Highlander, Ian