Covenant laws

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A strong legal system was used to keep the client species of the Covenant in line. Many strictures were established by the Hierarchs to underpin civil obedience, politics, economics and society.

Certain laws can technically be changed or overruled by the Hierarchs, as evident of the Great Schism stripping the Sangheili of all their rights despite many deeming it as unconstitutional as it violated the very Writ of Union.

Known laws[edit]

  • Failure to protect a Forerunner artifact is punishable by death.[1]
  • Hierarchs must rule following the Book of Hierarchs.
  • The modifying of Covenant and Forerunner technology without permission from the Hierarchs is heresy and the persons responsible shall be executed publicly;[2][3] this may lead to genocidal war when such heresy is conducted by a species on a large scale.[2]
  • Wielding an unsecured weapon near a Hierarch is punishable by death,[3] with the exception of Honor Guards protecting them.
  • Sangheili and San'Shyuum are first class citizens above all other species,[4] as per the Writ of Union.
    • Failure to obey an order, thus causing the endangerment of a Prophet, is punishable by death.[5]
    • Murder of a Sangheili near a holy site is punishable by death.[6]
  • All San'Shyuum must follow the Roll of Celibates.
  • A Kig-Yar not reporting non-violent contact with the enemy can result in castration.[7]

Known Hierarch decrees[edit]

"I must tell you that High Charity now has a new Ministry,"
Qurlom relaying a decree from the High Prophet of Excellent Redolence
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"It is known the Kig-Yar ship Pitiless has brought forth an Unclean Being's corpse. Hear now, all Kig-Yar vessels are to be searched. Let faithful Sangheili lead teams of Unggoy to all Kig-Yar ships and seek further evidence of the Unclean. It is done."
High Prophet of Restraint

"Hear now that 500 teams are to be formed to study the language of the Unclean. Each team to consist of the most clever and most educated Unggoy and Sangheili. These teams to speak only the Unclean language among themselves. The Unclean language to be taught to all military strike teams, that the foe shall be vulnerable."
High Prophet of Tolerance

"All within the Covenant, hear now and obey. Weapons and ships of war to descend upon the inhabited world of Epsilon Indi. Strike with all force. No intelligent survivors may remain, upon severest penalty."
High Prophet of Truth

"Hear now the infamy in Chi Ceti system. Due to lack of faith on the part of the crew of the vessel Unrelenting, a band of Unclean were able to board and slay. A Science Lance is ordered to be formed to study the captured weapons and armor that mitigation can be taken in future."
High Prophet of Regret

"Let the Victory of Epsilon Indi be celebrated by fasting and prayer. Unggoy and Kig-Yar food rations to be eliminated for the next three work periods. Sangheili and Jiralhanae to spend two rest periods in public prayer. All attend the public monitors at the sounding of five bells to observe the execution of those who failed their duty at the Victory."
High Prophet of Regret

"Return at fastest possible speed to the world they know as Harvest. We must learn the secrets inside the holy relic before the Great Journey can continue. The humans must not be allowed to enter the artifact; we will do whatever we must to deny them access. All must be resolute in this task, or face punishment."
High Prophet of Regret

"It is known that there is a delay installing Luminaries upon newly constructed vessels of war. On each vessel still lacking a Luminary, 1 Unggoy worker out of every 64 is to be executed. To preserve discipline between the Sangheili overseers and Unggoy, choice of victim and execution is to be by Kig-Yar death squads. This is to continue daily until that vessel's Luminary is installed."
High Prophet of Truth

"Hear now, all personnel to spend today's second rest period in attentive watchfulness before display monitors. All display monitors to show the humbling punishment of the Sangheili Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice for failure, cowardice, and lack of faith."
High Prophets of Truth, Regret, and Mercy

"In recognition of the virtue of the Jiralhanae, it is ordered that all Sangheili aboard the Fleet of Profound Solitude, The Fleet of Tranquil Composure, and the Fleet of Inner Knowledge to be completely replaced by Jiralhanae. Each removed Sangheili is to be assigned other duties. In celebration, all imprisoned or criminal Jiralhanae to be released, rehabilitated, and pardoned."
High Prophet of Truth

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: First Strike, Epilogue
  2. ^ a b Halo: Contact Harvest, Chapter 9
  3. ^ a b Halo: The Cole Protocol, Chapter 19
  4. ^ Bestiarum "The Sangheili are, simply put, technological and societal equals of the Prophets yet, for a significant period, found themselves as the dominant military muscle for the entire Covenant structure"
  5. ^ Halo: The Flood, Chapter 7
  6. ^ Conversations from the Universe
  7. ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, Chapter 24