The Hermetic Market for Gifted Children

Well ownership is the right to exclusive possession. So you've pretty much summed up the exact principle I'm referencing. That all actions are legal unless it's specifically illegal. So unless taking something of yours is illegal -theft- then you don't own that thing you merely posses it.

My knee jerk reaction would be to agree. Certainly Covonants and Houses have some legal standing in Tribunal such as in regard to claiming vis sources and vagrancy issues. However both those issues fall back upon the concepts of Magical Property and Voting Right's in HoH:S. So I would say that ultimately the book is correct when it say's that

Further even if an example in the books doesn't cite a particular provision the assumption, vis a vis the quoted text, is that there was always some justification under the oath when the decision was made.

One of the big problems with this strategy is depending on how the mundane authority (or Fae) reacts the Magus who made the initial deal might be just as culpable if not more culpable.

And certainly no matter what in I would doubt any Tribunal would allow mundane law to overide the tribunals own authority. Imagine a situation where a Magus negotiates forage right's over a particular resource with a local lord. A resource that just happens to be a vis source claimed by other magi. Now the Magi who have rightful claim under Hermetic Law will run afoul of mundane authority should they gather the vis. But I believe a Tribunal could easily be convinced that it was the Magus who negotiated with the Lord who was the one who brought ruin upon his sodales.

Saying that "something is legal unless specifically illegal" is not the same as saying that "something is not legal unless it's specifically illegal to act against that thing".

It's not illegal to prove your stated position flawed. Therefore (by your argument) it was never legal for your position to be flawed in the first place. = Fail.

What (I think/hope) you're trying to say is that the Code doesn't support my position, that it specifically has no legally recognized standing, so etc. - meh, I disagree, but admit it's a judgement call.

But what you're saying is that because the Code doesn't specifically make it illegal to prevent the act (of such ownership), then that act (ownership) therefore is illegal in the first place - and, sorry, that's just silly.

First off. I'm not trying to say the code doesn't support your position. If anything my position is that you absolutely have to prove that a potential apprentice is part of your magical power to gain direct protection of the code.

Second I'm not saying that it is illegal to own something unless there is a law against stealing it. I'm saying that from a legal position unless there is a law against stealing something no one actually owns that thing. It is a free resource that anyone can access at anytime. So if a gifted child is not ruled in some way part of your magical power, the only sort of property the code protects, then any other magi has the same rights to it that you do.

Edit- Something along this line.

Ah, sorry...

So, not "illegal", just "not legally recognized".

That is better, but I'm not sure by how much.

(And, for me, perhaps too fine a point to worry about, at least in the context of this thread.)

Well, the ArM5 quote "frowned upon" makes it clear snatching a soon-to-be apprentice is not a High Crime. Hence the need to somehow sway the majority to make it one.

Which is why I think fuzzy logic should be used here instead of arguing for right or wrong. How likely is it that a Tribunal would severely punish the so-called thief? How hated should he be for it to have a 50/50 chance of happening?

Not exactly. If you don't get caught but STILL bring ruin upon your Sodales, you've broken the code. Essentially you have to commit the crime in such a way that no one will suspect any nearby members of the Order of Hermes.

So you can commit banditry and leave no witnesses, but if the corpses were obviously killed by magic (all dead via crushed hearts or strangled by trees), you're pointing the authorities directly at wizards. If they're all dead by sword wounds (or what looks like sword wounds), then it looks like ordinary banditry.

A lot of the code breaks down into "Don't make trouble for innocent bystander magi." You can be very helpful to a mundane authority and still bring ruin upon other magi, and you can be very harmful to a mundane authority and not bring ruin upon other magi.