Initially conceived of and drafted by U.S. Senator James Bowman (with assistance from several other individuals), over a period of time between 1982 and 1986, the Bowman Acts are a series of legislative articles, approved and signed into law secretly by many of the nations of the world, which provide a legal framework for the day-to-day dealings, operations, and other concerns in relation with metahuman and extra-terrestrial interests and development on Earth (or Earth-247, as cataloged in the Daria Multiverse.) The initial signing by world powers of the Acts was on July 8; as a result, Bowman Day is considered an unofficial holiday for many in the metahuman community, and many metahumans gather in the New York area for celebrations.
The majority of the Bowman Acts are unrevealed at this time; however, one thing that is known is that there are definite protocols in place for the control of metahumans involved in overt criminal activity or who have allowed their abilities to go uncontrolled (one such measure created because of this are the SHARD Rangers; this is covered in Article One of the Bowman Act of 1982. Article One also clarifies and regulates the conditions allowed for the overt use in public of metahuman abilities (similar in concept and function to the Wizarding World's International Confederation of Wizards' Statute of Secrecy, and also puts in place the legal structure for the use of metahuman powers in cases of self-defense, the defense of others in life-threatening situations, and the use of said powers in situations where the loss of life and/or property through the possibility of 'acts of God' may necessitate the use of metahuman abilities.
The Bowman Acts also contain language that defines the legal rights and status of any metahuman citizens of any signatory nation, should they somehow come into situations where the Acts come into play, and the legal mechanisms that have been put into place to service these citizens. it should be noted that the rights, status and legal mechanisms put into play by a nation's signing of the Acts does not circumvent, restrict or remove any legal standing or civil rights that a citizen currently possesses and in many cases provides those citizens rights that they previously did not possess as regular citizens of their nation; for example, the rights guaranteed by 'Article One' of the Bowman Act of 1982 is fundamentally similar to the rights afforded to American citizens in Miranda v. Arizona (the iconic 'Miranda rights ').
Further rights guaranteed by Article One include the right of a metahuman citizen to not have his or her powers permanently disabled or removed without a separate trial (if the person is sentenced to long-term incarceration) to determine if this is warranted, justifiable, and if doing so constitutes 'double jeopardy'. Article One also acts to expand upon those rights to establish that citizens of signatory nations who either possesses powers, has latent or suppressed powers, or possess genetic markers that may be passed down to future offspring may not be penalized in any manner specifically because of such circumstances in terms of legal sanctions on any level of their society; this includes discrimination in terms of rights of service at any public merchandising forum (i.e. stores, restaurants, drinking establishments, amusement facilities, libraries, etc), employment, housing, education, medical care, freedom of worship, ability to enter into marriage/civil unions, or freely procreate.
Known as the Article of Empowerment, Article One is arguably the single most powerful part of the Bowman Acts that directly affects the everyday lives of the average citizen of any signatory nation. (It is arguably one of the most controversial articles, as some citizens of some nations see it as a back-door precedent to expanding basic rights to all individuals; it has also been argued in the U.S. that it is unconstitutional, but it has been noted that this argument is invalid, as the Acts were in fact ratified by the U.S. Congress and because the United States is a representative democracy, 'the needs of the people' were in fact considered in this ratification.)
Another well-known section of the Acts is Article Two of the Bowman Act of 1982; it calls for and defines a 'mutual-defense treaty', in which all signatory nations have promised to provide information, materials and intelligence/military forces (as needed) for the purpose of defending the entire planet from imminent threats of natures specifically stated in the Acts. Article Two also places specific restrictions upon military and intelligence assets of signatory nations from dissemination of information related to operations involving metahuman activities of which they have either participated in or become aware of without prior consent for said dissemination. (This is a noticeable point, as it sets in place greater restrictions beyond those enumerated in Article One.)
Other known statutes in the Acts are the specific regulations dealing with the use of mystical and telepathic citizens and their abilities by private companies/corporations and the governments of Bowman Act-signatory countries, the conduct of mystical and telepathic citizens within their home societies and the specific laws and penalties involved with the illegal/unsanctioned usage of their abilities (the infamous Article Ten of the Bowman Act of 1982, later amended to encompass all metahumans and any use of advanced technology, regardless or the source and/or origin of said technology). An equally controversial (yet lesser-known) provision is Article Eleven of the Bowman Act of 1982, which sets up the framework for metahuman conscription provisions for involuntary federal/national service in both the civilian (including the intelligence services of the nation where the metahuman citizen hails from) and military sectors. (It must be noted that since this was ratified, no nation has attempted to use this for its stated purpose - primarily because doing so would require notification of the oversight committee (see below), and because attempting to do so would be seen as an overt act of military aggression by that nation.)
Article Three of the Bowman Act of 1983 provides protocols in order to handle the international problem of transient metahuman children with active abilities (identified as 'Ferals'). Because of the very real and ongoing possibility that such children may pose an active threat to the communities they exist within (due to simply acting out in order to survive) or expose the existence of metahuman beings to the general population, Article Three possesses a provision that instructs any signatory country to allocate resources to assist 'Ferals' when located, and provide them with appropriate physical, emotional, medical and remedial educational care and resources so at to lessen the possibilities that they will become potential threats. This provision also allows specific provisions for the relocation of such children, if deemed necessary for the best interests of the 'Feral', to a First World signatory nation that has appropriate means for such care and education; the wishes of the 'Ferals' involved (regardless of age) must be taken into consideration in such cases.
Article Four also establishes a Commission for Oversight on Metahuman Rights and Legal Affairs; the Commission is the judicial body that handles any questions on the legalities in enforcement of the Acts. Furthermore, Article Four establishes a set of international standards of various terminology used in dealing with metahumans; this also includes the Claremont/Byrne metahuman power rankings scale. Article Four further defines points made in Articles One through Three in establishing protocols for classification and sequestration of some metahuman-oriented activities and individuals, even after the general and public recognition of metahumans in society (in accordance with later Articles).
Article Seven of the 1982 Bowman Act is essentially the metahuman-oriented equivalent to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It recognizes the right for citizens of signatory nations with metahuman abilities to possess those abilities without fear of their government acting against them in any fashion (primarily the forced suppression or negation of their powers, or the involuntary/indefinite detention) specifically due to their possession of powers, regardless of the nature of their powers, without a specific and legally-actionable cause to do so AND without making every possible effort to provide the necessary effort and means for the person to live a meaningful existence within society. Article Seven also specifically recognizes the rights of such citizens, should they attempt to flee their home nation due to their rights or lives in jeopardy because of their government's actions or lack of same to defend their rights as defined by the Acts, to request temporary sanctuary at any consulate facility or embassy of a signatory nation (for themselves and their families) and to request immediate asylum once reaching any territory of a signatory nation.
Article Eight of the 1982 Bowman Act is a unique section in the Acts, as it allows for the creation of federally-operated and funded basic-level educational facilities (for metahumans between the ages of twelve to eighteen) within each of the five nations that are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. These facilities, or Metahuman Academic Complexes, will be established to provide any metahuman youth the means in order to learn about their abilities, how to safely control them and gain a measure of competence in the use for purposes of self-defense and mundane utility, and to re-integrate into society with minimal risk of doing harm to themselves or others. Students enrolled at a M.A.C. are expressly forbidden to be trained for the purpose of using their powers for military or law-enforcement purposes (however, they are free to enter the military forces or law-enforcement agencies of their countries after they leave a M.A.C. and receive additional training once there). The reason why Article Eight is unique is that it is one of the 'sunrise provisions' of the Acts, written with the understanding that the existence of metahumans would one day become public knowledge and thus, legal statutes legislating their status in their respective and global society would need to be already set in place to deal with the challenges of their status in society.
One of the more potentially sinister parts of the Acts is Article Twenty-Five of the 1982 Bowman Act, which allows (in a case of extreme emergency or eminent threat) for a metahuman citizen or citizens to be declared a ward of the government of said citizen's nation, allowing for that citizen to be remanded to the state, who will be responsible for the physical custody and care of said citizen 'until such time as said citizen(s) are no longer demonstrated to be a danger to themselves or the society in which it is hoped that they may be able to someday re-enter.' Because of the clear violation of legal rights that application of Article Twenty-Five entails, any citizen who is detained under such status is immediately subject to both overview by the Bowman Oversight Committee, and given 'special detainee status' by the International Red Cross (both of whom must receive written notification of Article Twenty-Five activation status and return written confirmation of such action within twelve hours for every specific citizen detained under such circumstances. Failure to comply will be considered a clear violation of international law and dealt with by extremely harsh measures (as agreed upon by all signatory nation-stated upon acceptance of the Acts).
Equally as controversial is the following article - Article Twenty-Six, which provides the exact same protocols as Article Twenty-Five, but towards non-powered citizens of signatory nations and citizens of non-signatory nations who are seen as being a direct threat to international security through the overt threat of revealing information covered by the Acts. As with Article Twenty-Five, Article Twenty-Six provides incarceration and containment protocols, as well as means of nullifying that citizen's means of legal recourse, until such time as that citizen is not seen as a danger to the state or to him/herself. Article Twenty-Seven provides blanket coverage and language as voiced in the previous two articles, but in relation to any and all beings that are not covered by the previous articles.
There are several articles in the Bowman Acts that relate specifically to military applications of metahuman assets by signatory countries. One of the most far-reaching of these is Article Twenty-Eight of the 1983 Bowman act, which lays down specific guidelines for what are termed as 'bright operations' (overt military operations that involve the usage of metahuman-oriented assets as opposed to covert military operations, or 'black ops' ) and stipulations that such usage of bright ops must be limited to Class Two metahumans or lower in active combat during military operations (except in case of a declared war).
Article Twenty-Seven of the 1985 Bowman Act is the specific and intended equivalent to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, but expanded to all signatory nations. Like Article One of the 1982 Bowman Act, it has caused much debate in legislative circles and in the media of many countries.
The most controversial section of the Bowman Acts in general is Article Nineteen of the 1985 Bowman Act - which is an equivalent to the fictional Article 14, Section 31 of the original Earth Starfleet charter). Article Nineteen specifically establishes that the United Nations if bound by a fundamental duty to ' actively consider, plan and if necessary, implement and maintain unusual and extreme measures that may seem to exist beyond the boundaries of the current legal structure of any signatory nation, but can be construed to be within the boundaries of the law during times of extraordinary foreign or domestic threats to the interests and people of the planet Earth and all future political and physical holdings forthwith '. Article Nineteen also allows for the establishment of temporary special action organs to deal with 'any recognized threat to global security by metahuman threats of any type from any quarter', and allows them diplomatic immunity in the dispensation of their duties while enforcing Article Nineteen and related support duties or operations. Any operations considered under Article Nineteen status must be presented to a meeting of the Permanent Members of the U.N. Security Council before such actions are taken in order to be ratified by the members; in such cases where immediate action is necessary and such meetings cannot be held before said action must be taken, the lead members on such operations must appear before the Permanent Members within seven days of the operation's conclusion in order to present comprehensive verbal reports on any said operation, the rationale behind the operation and all results relating to such. This is the legal foundation behind the formation of the multi-national group known as Vectors Control.
A curious statistic noted is that all countries that have hosted the Olympic Games since its resurgence in the modern era are also signatories to the Bowman Acts. It is also considered tradition that any country that hosts the Games becomes a signatory beforehand. On two occasions, nations that were believed certain to host the Games lost to other nations; it is believed (by those aware of the connection) that this occurred because they refused to sign. Also, several nations who were seen as having slim chances of winning their bids were 'rewarded' with advancement into final rounds of consideration by recognizing the Acts (it is widely believed that this is the reason That Brazil won host city status for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games).
In the United States, individuals with metahuman powers who receive any form of training through the U.S. Government (or have their training funded through government sources) in the use of their powers are required to study the Bowman Acts as part of said training.
Bowman Acts signatory nations (partial list)
- Åland Islands
- Bahrain (as a formality; has special laws in place in order to create 'open-city' stance towards metahumans)
- Belarus (formally renewed its signatory status as an independent nation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union)
- Brazil (signed on in 2008 as a requirement for potential future Olympic bids)
- Canada (the province of Quebec has a Special Dispensation that allows any metahuman to seek asylum there on that basis)
- Cayman Islands
- Cuba (as part of a secret deal with the U.S. for foreign aid and specialized medical care)
- European Union (all nations recognize the Acts upon joining)
- El Salvador
- Faroe Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Germany (third nation to sign on)
- Georgia (formally renewed its signatory status as an independent nation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union)
- Greece (first nation to sign on)
- Iran (recognized the Acts in 2015 as part of ongoing diplomatic negotiations)
- Kuwait (after 1991 Gulf War)
- Liberia (enacted to allow for more foreign aid)
- Libya (as a goodwill gesture to help stabilize US/Libyan relations)
- North Korea (signed on in 2011 as part of a secret deal to receive badly-needed humanitarian aid; have been cited on numerous occasions for violations of Article Ten)
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
- People's Republic of China
- Russian Federation (formally renewed its signatory status after the dissolution of the Soviet Union; have been cited on numerous occasions for violations of Article Ten)
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Switzerland (as a formality; has special laws in place in order to preserve traditional neutrality stance/has a Special Dispensation that allows any metahuman to seek asylum there on that basis)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Ukraine (formally renewed its signatory status as an independent nation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union)
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States of America (second nation to sign on; special waivers are in place for the Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Seattle, Chicago and New York City Exclusion Zones; the Native American Tribes - following the precedents set in United States v. Nice and Worcester v. Georgia - possess a Special Dispensation that allows any metahuman to seek asylum upon their lands on that basis.)
- Vatican City (the Holy See possesses a Special Dispensation that allows any metahuman to seek asylum there on that basis)