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Contracts & Private Law

T‍he following is an excerpt from the . This gives a general indication of how the legal system under Azadism may work as a society trends towards greater levels of Azaadi. This may be more appropriate in its full realisation within a model, however, some lessons could be taken here to apply to the reformation or production of legal systems in the interim. Again, this is something more applicable to after Azadism is implemented in a society where the government (taxing authority) is responsible for national defence, policing, justice system and tax administration only. The nature of the justice system to begin with can be different (like existing frameworks), however, the below is the Azadist ideal to be strived towards gradually over time.

If substantiated by the courts, two or more consenting parties are free to form a contract giving up their state-protected rights. But this must be backed up by the courts as a third party witness and to determine whether all parties are signing the contract voluntarily and not under duress.
For example, there are many laws and crimes within Islamic law (known as the Sharia), that are not normally legal or illegal in other judicial systems. Therefore, it may be difficult in non-Muslim nations to completely live according to this as it could potentially conflict with existing laws. Since an Azadist society does not punish “victimless crimes”, many laws that may be considered punishable within the Sharia may not be punishable on the state level. What Azadism provides is a system in which Muslims are free to impose their laws, but only on Muslims. By formalising a contract, each Muslim that chooses to adhere to these extra sets of laws may register their conviction to do so. If they break a law in the Sharia, then part of that contract would state that they are liable for the appropriate punishment accordingly. A crime that does not break the
but is deemed punishable under Sharia can then be dealt with by dedicated Sharia courts. The only way for a Muslim to get out of this is to leave their faith, which will void their contract and place them under the protection of the Khalsa (unless the law broken under Sharia also broke the NAP). Any law system that exists based on religion or any other affiliation, exists in addition to the wider NAP based legal framework upheld by an Azadist government. As long as there is freedom to join and leave these groups, any contract can be drawn up and agreed upon in this manner.
These sorts of contracts are already in existence. Two cage fighters both break the NAP when they fight, but do so with mutual consent. Since both have voluntarily chosen to engage in this competition with each other, there is no problem here that the state needs to step in for. Another example that was more prevalent in the past is duels. Both parties are more than free to write up a contract in which they relieve their opponent of any legal repercussions when one kills or harms the other. But again, it must be stressed that a contract must be written and overseen by a third party witness to ensure that it is indeed mutual. In the beginning, an Azadist court must take on the role to facilitate this and act as that witness.
Azadism does not recognise Sikhi as a religion per se, but the Khalsa order can fit into this category. Khalsa is one particular “way” of expressing Sikhi. Other traditional ways include the Udasis, Nirmale and Sevapanthis, and more recently perhaps the Namdhari Panth or Taksali denominations. However, Sikhi on its own can be followed by anyone, even as Muslims, Hindus or any other religion (or none at all!). Guidance can be taken from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the Guru Khalsa Panth to whatever degree, regardless of any other label. For this reason, it makes little sense for “Sikhi” courts to emerge similar to how the Sharia ones could as above. Rather, independent Panthic courts could be established based on individual Rehit Marayade where each “way” of Sikhi can establish their own. Sikhs can then decide to join a specific path, or even none at all. This system is especially the case for the Khalsa structured in a Misl system. Each Misl can set their own Maryada relevant to their own context. If someone wanted to avoid punishment or responsibility they are free to leave and denounce their status. This all takes inspiration again through the Sakhi of the 40 Mukte. The Guru themselves had allowed for apostasy amongst members of the Khalsa through a written contract of sorts, by making them sign a letter of dismissal (which was later ripped up upon request as they returned and attained martyrdom on the battlefield).
The freedom of choice should not be infringed upon unless the NAP is broken. NAP is the foundation on which an Azadist law system is built upon. Those who break the NAP, and harm others without mutual consent, must be held at trial to determine guilt and then subsequently punished in whatever way deemed appropriate by the courts. Any other victimless crime is then dealt with by independent justice systems that sit on top of this and are completely voluntary to participate in - as determined by contracts. Since these “crimes” are victimless, there is less onus on the Azadist courts to step in. So, if someone breaks private law that is not breaking a state law, they either take punishment privately, as permitted by the terms of their contract, or similarly apostatise and relinquish any benefits the contract provided. Consider the case for cannabis. This doesn’t affect anyone but the user. If a Nihang Singh wants to make Shaheedi Degh, then he should be free to grow as much marijuana as he wants. He should also be free to carry any weapon he wants, wear whatever Bana he likes and Jhatka whatever animal he owns. Who is the state to tell him no? The only reason a state would need to step in is if the Singh is a bit too Mast and starts throwing the Nughda at people or private property.
Again, it must be stressed that not all regions, groups or organisations have to set up private law systems. Sikhs in general do not have to do this for example. The only part which may make sense to have a contract is when a specific order is joined. For Sikhs joining the Khalsa, this may be applied when taking Khande di Pahul. Paper-based certificates are already given at Hazur Sahib stating your new name and date, so this could easily be modified to make it contractually binding, where the Hukams given by the Jathedar is clearly expressed in writing.
To conclude this section, the below is a simplified diagram representing how different systems of law co-exist. At the bottom you have the underlying NAP base layer that all living within Azadism must adhere to unless you have agreed to a contract saying otherwise. On top of this base layer is where these contracts exist. These may also from part of a whole additional legal system that each individual can volunteer to take part in if they so desire. For example, a private city-state in the Azadist system may require residents to abide by a set of laws before moving in. However, these laws are constrained only to the jurisdiction of the property owned by the city-states owners.
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Bunga Azaadi — Institute for Azadist Studies

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