The Shudusham Concords were a direct response to a tragic attack against the Sylean Federation in -112. In that year, a terrorist group rigged a Dover-Gabe courier robot to self-destruct, and managed to smuggle it aboard a 90,000 ton Sylean battleship. The vessel, Empire's Banner, was on a goodwill mission in orbit around the world Fornol ( Core / Core 1715) when the robot 's hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell exploded. Fornol 's premier, two ambassadors, and the Sylean vice-minister were killed, along with a host of ship's officers and crewmen. The repercussions from this event were so far reaching that the Sylean Federation was nearly thrown into civil war.
The disaster prompted twelve worlds of the Sylean Federation to meet on the neutral world of Shudusham ( Core / Core 2214) to draft an agreement dealing with the weaponry carried by robots . After much deliberation, all twelve worlds finally signed the completed Shudusham Concords in -110. A hardcopy is on display in the Museum of Sylean History on Capital ( Core / Core 2118).
The Concords have no legal force in the Third Imperium, but many worlds have adopted similar or identical standards using the Concords as a template, and most robots produced commercially in the Imperium are designed with these restrictions in mind.
The Concords contain seven articles:
Forty-three amendments were added over the active life of the Concords, dealing with technological changes, minor logic enhancements, and additional enforcement procedures. The 37th amendment is well-known; it states that no pseudo-biological robot may attempt to pass itself off as a living being.
The Shudusham Concords proved to be effective. An entire interstellar industry grew out of the need for sensory devices to aid in enforcement of the Concords on the original twelve member worlds and later signatories. The Concords lost their legal force when Cleon I declared himself Emperor of the Third Imperium in Year 0.
Most worlds still use parts of the pre-Imperial Shudusham Concords as a model for their own laws to keep abuses with robots in check. Most worlds declare an owner to be responsible for the actions of his robot , even if the owner did not directly order the action. For example, if an owner orders his robot to protect his home, and in doing so the robot accidentally kills someone approaching the home, the owner can be charged with accidental murder.
(BOOK-8: p6, 1109; DIGEST-8, 1113; MT-ENCYC: p37, 1120)
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