). An indictment brought against any
person who proposed or carried an unconstitutional ψήφισμα
or law, whether its unconstitutionality consisted in form, contents, or both together.
Such was the proposal of Androtion to award a crown to the outgoing senators, though they had
failed to build the required number of triremes. This was improper as not having first been
submitted to the Senate (Demosth. C. Androt.
p. 594.5). A law was also
unconstitutional if it contravened an existing law (De Myst.
indictment could also be brought against one who proposed laws that were generally inexpedient
or contrary to public policy (Poll.viii. 87
). Any citizen might
prefer the indictment, and if he declared on oath his intention of doing so this acted as a
means of suspending the vote upon a proposed law; or if it had already been adopted, as a
temporary suspension of its operation. If the indictment was sustained, the person proceeded
against might suffer death or a fine, and his law was repealed; but if the person bringing the
indictment failed to secure a fifth of the votes at the trial (as Aeschines did in his famous
prosecution of Ctesiphon), he incurred a fine of 1000 drachmae and lost the right of
instituting a similar prosecution in the future.