KEM Authorization Policy Reversed

As part of the fallout from the Wistric Saga, in July 2022 the Society Seneschal ruled (or “interpreted”) that Kingdom Earl Marshals could singlehandedly issue martial authorizations, including in disciplines for which they were not warranted.

If the Earl Marshal has the authority to warrant all other marshals in the kingdom (as they clearly do from [Corpora IX.A.1]) and to define the areas of authority within the marshallate of their kingdom, then it stands to reason the Earl Marshal is the ultimate arbiter of authorizations for all martial systems within their kingdom. For the duration of the Earl Marshal’s term, they are able to issue or confirm authorizations in any such system, in accordance with any relevant kingdom laws, regardless of whether they had previously been an authorized marshal in that particular system.

Society Seneschal’s Corpora interpretation regarding the authority of a Kingdom Earl Marshal to issue or confirm martial authorizations, upheld by the Board July 24, 2022

This was widely seen as an ex-post-facto justification for supporting the Trimaris KEM who had issued an authorization for a rapier fighter at Gulf Wars, and was criticized on the grounds that allowing an Earl Marshal to issue an authorization for a discipline they didn’t know would make a mockery of our safety rules. (For example, what would the Society’s insurance carrier think if it learned that someone who only knew the rules for archery was now authorizing people to participate in equestrian events?)

Thankfully, this policy has now been walked back (or “clarified”) in conjunction with the new Society Marshal: Kingdom Earl Marshals can issue credentials for previously-completed authorizations, but do not have the power to authorize in all disciplines simply as a result of holding their office.

This does not mean a KEM can singularly authorize an individual unless they are a warranted and designated authorizing marshal of that form and follow established processes. […]

A marshal, including KEMs, cannot authorize a participant unless that marshal is an authorized marshal of that martial form, and designated as able to authorize individuals. Warranting and authorizations must follow Society and Kingdom processes. […]

All authorized and warranted marshals, including KEMs, PEMs, Society, and their Deputies, must meet Society requirements before they can be authorized and warranted in that martial form. They are not, and cannot be, automatically authorized and warranted in any martial form solely because they hold an office or an award. 

Policy Clarification: Kingdom Earl Marshals and Authorizations (Jan 22, 2024)

This is a welcome correction.

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