What is a Restatement?
A Restatement is a legal text designed to summarize precedent set in case law.
In Common Law countries, laws come from two major sources - statutes, passed by legislatures, and precedents, created by courts while deciding cases. Statutes are typically well organized, and when one is trying to determine the law, it is relatively easy to find the relevant provisions. Precedent, however, is much harder to search, as cases are decided on an ongoing basis and don't have an internal organizational structure. To help lawyers and judges find relevant law, various books and databases have been created.
One of such tools in the US legal system is a series of books known as Restatements. These books assemble and summarize various provisions of case law, into well-organized volumes designed to be easy to refer to. A good description of these works can be found on Wikipedia: Wikipedia:Restatements of the Law
About these Restatements
The SCA College of Arms operates on a similar basis - SENA (formerly RfS) acts as statutes, and one need only look at the table of contents to determine the relevant section. Precedents set by Laurel, Wreath, and Pelican sovereigns of arms are less well organized. LoAR archives are searchable, and precedents for some former Laurels have been compiled, but it is often difficult to identify the most current precedent on a particular issue.
This Wiki is an attempt to summarize current precedent in a useful way, modeled on the real-world Restatements of the Law. It is a work in progress, and will always remain so. It will be divided into two main parts - the Restatement of Armory, dealing with devices, badges, and arms, and the Restatement of Names, dealing with personal and non-personal names. For various reasons, the Restatement of Armory will be compiled first.
Who are these restatements for?
The purpose of these restatements is to aid submitting heralds and their clients. This wiki is intended to allow the consulting/submitting herald to have a resource that will allow them to get guidance on specific issues that may arise in consulting with a client.
What do these restatements cover?
While we hope to eventually have all relevant precedent incorporated into these restatements, the scope of such task is huge. In order to provide the most relevant information, we have decided to begin indexing the precedents in reverse chronological order - entering the most current LoARs first, and moving slowly backwards. This means that while any information found here should be current and applicable, far from all of the precedents is actually here. Therefore, if a specific issue is present, the information should be correct. But if a specific issue is absent, this doesn't mean that there is no precedent for it - just that such precedent may be older, and not yet indexed.
Which rules do these restatements cover?
Although older precedent is incorporated, this Restatement is created under the new (as of 2012) Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory (SENA), and does not take into account the older Rules for Submission (RfS).
Throughout the Restatement of Armory, we will refer to Substantial Changes (SC) and Distinct Changes (DC), as specified in SENA. However, much cited precedent uses older terms. Generally, Clear Differences (CD) and Clear Visual Differences (CVD) are equivalent to a DC. So-called X.2 changes are roughly equivalent to an SC. Exceptions to this will be addressed in the text.
How to use these restatements
Do not cite to or quote from these restatements! The goal of these restatements is to help one to find the relevant precedent. Once found, be sure to cite/quote the actual LoAR setting the precedent.
This Wiki is not an official publication of the SCA, Inc., any of its branches or affiliates, or of the SCA College of Arms. Nothing in here should be deemed as official policy of the SCA, Inc., any of its branches or affiliates, or of the SCA College of Arms.
While every attempt shall be made to keep this Wiki as up do date and accurate as possible, the editors make no guarantees that the contents will match actual College of Arms rules.
About the Editor
I am a very junior herald in the East Kingdom, and have decided to compile this work entirely on my own initiative. I would welcome help in compiling this Wiki. I also welcome suggestions and corrections. Please feel free to contact me at jgalak at gmail dot com.