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Charlotte Lang

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The Hon Charlotte Anne Lang (b. March 16, 1950, Doubledance, as Charlotte Yates) is a Georgeland politician and lawyer. Lang served as the 14th President of Georgeland from 2004 to 2008. President Lang took office on 22nd of May 2004, after the resignation of Admiral Hank Reynolds. She had already served several weeks as Acting President. Previously, Lang was the Governor of East Mainland, and prior to that had been the last Governor of Mainland. She was the second woman to hold the office of President.

President Lang

President Charlotte Lang

Charlotte Lang
Position 14th President of Georgeland
Term in office Feburary 3rd, 2004 - July 1, 2008
Preceded by Adm. Hank Reynolds
Succeeded by Lois Daniels
Total time in office 4 years, 4 months, 3 days
Born March 16, 1950
Spouse Joseph Lang (married 1975)

Early life

Born in the Doubledance borough of Riverside on March 16, 1950, Lang was the eldest of three sisters. Her parents, Roger Lang and Barbara Mayall Lang, were a solicitor and secretary respectively. Roger Lang was active in the Georgeland Law Association (as it then was), the national organisation for accredited law practicioners. In 1963, Roger Lang was admitted to the bar and became a practicing barrister and the family moved to Lylecity and later to Topstad where Mr. Lang practiced in a number of firms before setting up his own in Doubledance in 1969.
Lang and her two sisters attended state schools until the mid-1960s, when her parents' increased income saw her moved into the private system. From 1966 until 1968 she attended St. Margaret's, an exclusive Anglican school in Topstad.

Education

Following her graduation from St. Margarets in 1969, Lang enrolled in the University of Mainland in a legal degree. She desired strongly to follow in her father's footsteps as his career in the law had always fascinated her. As her education progressed, Lang became more and more enamoured of the legal profession. In 1971, while still at university, Lang authored a paper on legal aspects of immigration which is still a standard text for legal students. Lang was a member of the Debating Society at UM and also performed in several UM Players' productions, notably Macbeth in 1972.
In 1974, Lang graduated with first-class honours in Law, specialising in immigration law.

Legal career

Lang was admitted to the bar in 1975 - at twenty-five, she was, at that time, the youngest woman ever admitted to the bar. Her career in the legal field began with her work for Topstad legal firm Carter & Street in 1975, but in 1977 she left the firm and began working for the federal Department of Immigration as a legal adviser. In 1980 she returned to the private sector when she was offered a partnership at Cobb & Cobb, a small but prominent Doubledance legal firm. Specialising in cases relating to immigrants, Lang represented hundreds of cases from Georgeland's growing Islamic community and became known as an advocate for changes to immigration laws and procedures.
In 1985, Lang was made a senior partner in Cobb & Cobb, which became Cobb, Cobb and Lang. The company became Doubledance's most pre-eminent immigration law firm and Lang gained a reputation as an effective and prominent immigration lawyer.

UIG vs Jafar

In 1987, Lang became a state-wide, and to some degree national, figure with the case of Muammar al-Jafar. Jafar was a Saudi national who had come to Georgeland as a refugee but his case had been deferred and his application had lapsed, meaning he was due to be deported. Lang and her firm took on Jafar's case, arguing that the federal government, specifically the Immigration Department, had a legal responsibility to provide immigrants and refugees with basic protective standards, and that their deference of Jafar's case was unlawful. The case, which began in local courts, moved through the system and eventually reached the federal Supreme Court of Georgeland. The case by now had been ongoing for nearly a year and the coverage of the event, along with Lang's regular interaction with the media, made her a well-known personality. The court ruled, on January 6, 1988, in favour of Jafar.

Judicial career

Following the case, Lang was approached by a number of other refugees and represented them in court. Lang is still popular with the immigrant community today, especially Muslims, due to her work in this field. In late 1988, Lang accepted an appointment as a justice of the Mainland Supreme Court. At 38, she was at the time the youngest person appointed to that body.
Lang served on the Supreme Court for less than a year. In October 1989, following a marked split on the court along what Lang saw as political lines, Lang attacked the state government, then led by Chief Minister Leyton Douglas for 'political interference' in the court. Lang was vilified by the government and on November 2 she stepped down.
On December 18, just weeks after her resignation, Lang announced she would be a candidate for the office of Governor of Mainland at the upcoming gubernatorial election.

Governor of Mainland and East Mainland

In the election of 1990 Lang was elected by a landslide, defeating a wild field of nine candidates. Her campaign had been based around a theme of "justice" and freedom of the judiciary and independent authorities from government interference. Lang won 49% of the vote in the election and was sworn in as Governor on 20th June 1990. Lang's first term as Governor saw several high-profile judicial appointments and a review of the state's legal code, which Lang enthusiastically supported. She was a popular figure but exercised little power, as is the norm for Georgeland's state governors. Lang was re-elected in 1994 and 1998; in 1998 she was unopposed and enjoyed a 86% approval rating.
In 1999, Lang supported the moves to divide Mainland into two states. Lang's support is generally considered to have been crucial in securing the public support in the resulting referendum, which voted by 61% to 39% in favour of the subdivision. Lang was a key player in the negotiations for seperation and headed a special government commission to ensure a smooth transition from one state to two. The seperation was to take place on July 1, 2000. Lang declared in December 1999 that she intended to remain as Governor of East Mainland, a move which met with enthusiastic support from the community and from both sides of politics. A resolution was passed in the state legislature declaring Lang to be 'Acting Governor' until an election could be held. No candidate nominated to oppose Governor Lang and she was sworn in as East Mainland's first Governor.
Lang's final Gubernatorial term was mostly uneventful. In 2003 she became involved in the state government (led by Robin Sales) attempt to privatise the state's power industry. Lang publicly stated she opposed the plan but said that she would not veto it and permit the government to govern according to its mandate. Lang's opposition, however, led to considerable public opposition to the proposal as well.

President 2004-2008

After President Reynolds resigned from office in 2004, Lang became Acting President under new constitutional arrangements. The recent constitutional amendment gave the position to the longest-serving state Governor - the Chief Justice of Georgeland, George McKell, and the Georgeland Solicitor-General both agreed that this was Lang, as she had become Governor of Mainland slightly before Sandra Wood of Long Island, even though that state no longer existed. Lang was therefore given the position of Acting President.
The government led by Campbell Rhodes nominated Lang to succeed Reynolds permanently. However, in a defiance of tradition, Conservative opposition leader Sam Richardson refused to allow a vote on the matter in the House of Commons unless his proposals for an elected President were put to referendum. The stalemate dragged on for weeks, with opinion heavily divided. Eventually, Richardson relented in exchange for a promise to consider the moves at the upcoming 2004 Georgeland Constitutional Convention, and Lang was chosen President by Parliament.
Lang, in a recent interview, stated that her reaction upon being nominated for the Presidency was one of "total surprise" and that she never wanted the job. She said she agreed to accept the office as a gesture of national unity.
Lang's presidency saw a number of important political reforms, and three different Prime Ministers. In June 2005, Rhodes announced his resignation and was succeeded by Zoe Parker. While Rhodes and Lang were said to have got on well, there were reports that Lang and Parker were not on good terms but that they 'tolerated' each other. One of the more contraversial acts of the Lang presidency was the deployment of Georgeland forces to Linari to protect Georgeland's mining interests. Lang was reported to have been 'displeased' by the decision but, as Commander-in-Chief, implemented the plan on the advice of the Cabinet.
In 2007, Lang appointed Luke Macaulay as Prime Minister following his historic election victory. Macaulay and Lang are said to have developed a strong working relationship. In March 2008 they were photographed laughing together at a reception with the caption "President and PM: Just Good Friends".
With speculation rife about the future of the Presidency with the first Presidential election in more than fifty years due in 2008, Lang was seen as almost unbeatable should she choose to contest the election. Despite this, in May 2007, one year from the election, President Lang declared she would not be a candidate and would instead retire from public life.
Lang gave a wide-ranging, intimate interview with TV journalist Nathan Kellerman on April 4, 2008, in which she spoke candidly about her life, her career and her Presidency. Lang remained neutral during the election for her successor but praised the eventual winner, Lois Daniels, in her final speech as President at Daniels' inauguration.
Lang was one of the more popular Presidents in recent years. Her approval rating averaged 65% during her four years in power.

Politics

Lang is known to have left-of-centre views on a number of issues, particularly immigration issues and gay rights, of which she has been a champion for many years - President Lang's eldest son is homosexual. As is the norm for the President, Lang avoids discussion of her political views in public except under very limited circumstances.
Lang is also a firm supporter of 'open government' and of multilateralism. In a speech to the United Nations in 2005, she described the body as "the most important organisation ever to exist on this Earth."

Personal

Lang is married to Joseph Lang (b. 1947), since 1975. Lang met her husband at university and they dated for a number of years before their marriage. Joe Lang is also a lawyer, though he keeps a very low profile and rarely appears with his wife at public events.
The couple have three children - Patrick (b. 1976), Emma (b. 1980) and Sebastian (b. 1986).

Trivia

  • Lang shares a birthday with Georgeland's first President, Victor Martin. She was born exactly 80 years after Martin.
  • Lang is the only President to be left-handed.

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