The Public Accountancy of G'ahnlo is the official name of the judicial branch (and in fact the only branch spelled out in writing) of the G'ahnli government.
The G'ahnli Legal Code Edit
Written in the years before G'ahnlo's first interstellar contact and updated and revised annually since then, the G'ahnli Legal Code defines the procedures and rules regarding legal proceedings on G'ahnlo. Though the Code provides no means for enforcement, the G'ahnli race recognizes that the Code and the Public Accountancy is the barrier between its near-perfect free market and absolute chaos. To reject the verdict of a Public Accountant amounts to an economic death sentence: no G'ahnli will do business with one known to evade what amounts to the law.
The Legal Process Edit
One wishing to file suit on G'ahnlo begins by obtaining the proper paperwork from the Public Accountancy. The plaintiff must name a defendant and describe the offense. The paperwork is then submitted to the Public Accountancy, where it is assigned to a Public Accountant. The Public Accountant then contacts both the defendant and the plaintiff, arranging for another Public Accountant to counsel the former if no outside lawyer is engaged. The Public Accountant acts as counsel for the plaintiff, and during the first phase of a suit is responsible for contacting the plaintiff and deciding on a strategy for the trial.
Once the defendant has engaged a lawyer and appeared before the Public Accountant, or once thirty days have elapsed since the filing of the suit, the discovery phase of the trial begins. The Public Accountant and the defendant's lawyer are given a set period of time to gather evidence, find witnesses, take depositions, and otherwise prepare for the trial. Once that time passes, the trial begins.
The trial occurs in two phases. The Public Accountant, who presides over the court as well as argues for the plaintiff, first presents the evidence against the defendant. The defense is given a chance for immediate response. Once the Public Accountant has presented all gathered evidence, the defense may present additional information and call additional witnesses. The Public Accountant does not receive the same response time as the defense and may only cross-examine witnesses.
Once the defense rests, the Public Accountant considers the arguments and decides on both verdict and sentencing.
Public Accountants Edit
The duties of a Public Accountant require a neutrality completely absent in most G'ahnli. The training for the Public Accountancy is therefore as complete and comprehensive as the schooling for other G'ahnli, taking place from birth to approximately twelve standard years of age, and imbuing the young G'ahnli with a sense of fairness and an absolute disregard for personal gain. As such, Public Accountants are the most civic-minded and selfless of the planet's natives.
The duties of the Public Accountancy, though technically limited to the legal system, far exceed it. Public Accountants are used as corporate diplomats and agents, as well as representatives for the whole of G'ahnlo to other planets.