The Ministry of Justice is the investigative and prosecutorial arm of the Commonwealth government. Unlike other agencies, MoJ has the widest discretion in arrest powers. However it is a crime-SOLVING body, with its various investigative arms becoming active only in the aftermath of a crime. Crime prevention is the jurisdiction of other ministries, though MoJ must act to prevent an imminent crime if it has knowledge of one. MoJ consists of four main branches: the Commons Prosecutors Office, Interstellar Prison Authority (which runs prison worlds like Mithras, Exile and Torment), Interstellar Forensics Laboratories, and the Commonwealth Police Service. This is an assembly line arrangement: CPS investigates, IFL collates and analyzes, CPO issues indictments and prosecutes, and IPA cleans up the end product. This whole proceedings in handled by the Praetor Service, the official name for the Commonwealth's Judiciary.
Commonwealth Police Service: The "Bluejackets" (so called for their distinctive dress uniforms) actually preceded the others "services" by almost one hundred years. The organisation, and its name and nickname originated, in the early years of the Collapse. Newly designated Regent Norris Aledon charged the Ministry of Justice to create a new enforcement division to oversee the dismantlement of white collar crime rings among the former megacorps as part of his effort to purge the business community of longstanding bad habits left over from the Imperial past, and the CPS was cobbled together from several different predecessor agencies in answer to his directive. The CPS is a combination of various law enforcement services charged with protecting the integrity of the Covenant of the Commonwealth where it relates to its laws and public order. That generally means its chief responsibilities are overseeing the behavior of planetary and regional governments, corporations and other individuals that operate either above the reach of local laws, or transit interstellar jurisdictions. In peacetime the CPS answers forcefully to the Ministry of Justice and the Praetor General; in wartime it becomes an internal security service under the control of the National Defense Council, with greater arrest and search authority that supersedes the other services' ability to refuse.
Its purview is even larger than that of the Astrogation Patrol: Besides enforcing normal criminal law, it also oversees protection of the integreity of the Commonwealth government, pursues interstellar fugitives, and cracks down on organised crime in all shapes and forms. It is also charged with pursuing monetary counterfeiters and and those that use the national mail as a means of defrauding or committing crimes against person and property. Finally its officers and specialists are legally committed to assist the training, equipping and organisation of local police and militia forces, as well as setting standards for private enforcers like security firms and bounty hunters. To this disparate list the CPS brings over 150 years of experience. It clashed frequently in the Pre-Crucible period with the Vargr Pack and the excruciating multinational corporation holdings known as Minotaurs. As a result of these early formative operations, its main areas of expertise deal with so called "network" crime, where there exists an extensive network of persons or organisations engaged in illegal activities. These include corporate and minotaur operations in addition to cracking down on more traditional organised crimes. Finally, because the Patrol and the military lacks an investigative arm, its officers are solely responsible for handling all criminal (and some accident) inquiries within the jurisdiction of these services.
Every Commonwealth world with a population of more than 50,000 persons has a local CPS field office. These offices usually oversee a contingent of field officers, specialists like forensic and legal experts, and an intelligence overseer with a ring of informants. Psionic officers are commonly attached to provide an instant barometer of local conditions for immediate report back to higher authorities. On larger worlds they may have several offices, usually divided among both geographic and operational lines. Every AP Patrol Harbor includes a CPS satellite office, as do every military base and Constabulary barracks. In addition to normal investigative officers and specialists, every large contingent of CPS includes their own SWAT and specialised animal handling units, intelligence and counterintel units, and psionic liasons. Unlike the other services, Bluejackets usually start out working on the worlds from which they were recruited, to better foster trust with local citizens and to create an easier means of navigating local culture and its informal networks. And the CPS is like a military service in that its personnel are obligated to serve a set minimum term in service to their country and fellow citizens, no less than for normal military personnel.
Table of Ranks
|Field Office XO
|Field Office Commander
|Director of the CPS