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Term 1 - Judiciary

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Demo Game: Government' started by DaveShack, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Blkbird has posted two questions. It is evident that the 2nd question (are the elections valid) depends on the first question being answered, so the first question is docketed and the second one is tabled.

    The citizen comment by Black_Hole was noted. To rule that the question has no merit in that fashion would be the equivalent of ruling summarily that the Triumvirate was ratified as the CoL, in favor of the requestor's position. This is a topic which requires the court's full attention, and to rule so quickly would be unfair to those who wish to provide evidence to the contrary.

    Civ4DG1JR1


    Question: Was the poll for ratification of Triumvirate 6.2 performed legally according to the rules in force at the time the poll was conducted?

    The relevant law is the Constitution, Article C. Members of the court and citizens may point out additional relevant laws as needed.

    Article C - Decision Making
    1. Power of the People
      1. All decision making power within the Democracy Game is derived from the collective rights of all the citizens.
      2. The Power of the People can be delegated to officials of the game in one or more of the following ways, or in other ways which may subsequently be discovered.
        • By Mandate as evidenced in a citizen's selection to hold office via the elective process.
        • By Constituency as evidenced by citizen comments in favor of a decision, in a public discussion.
        • By Opinion Poll in the form of the results of a non-binding poll
        • By Referendum in the form of an official, binding poll which has force over the current decision only.
        • By Initiative in the form of a binding poll initiated by the citizenry, which has force over a current decision and future decisions of the same type
        • By Recall of an official and selection of a replacement via election or appointment
      3. In the event that two or more such delegations of the Power of the People are in conflict, the following hierarchy shall determine which decision has precedence.
        • An initiative has force of law and supercedes any other decision type (including an earlier initiative on the same subject) except another later initiative which repeals it.
        • Binding polls of any type have precedence over any other decision type.
        • Non-binding polls have precedence over non-polling decision types.
        • Citizen input has precedence over mandate.
        • If two or more polls or discussions occur on a matter, the last one to complete shall prevail.
        • Lower forms of law may modify parts of this hierarchy, except for the provision regarding initiative which may not be modified.
      4. A lower form of law may specify procedures and restrictions on implementing decision types, except
        • Initiative must always be allowed
        • No decision shall require more support than an amendment to the Constitution.
    To keep this office from being overrun by discussion, all discussion on this JR will be in a thread dedicated to that purpose.

    Link to discussion thread for JR1.
     
  2. greekguy

    greekguy Missed the Boat

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    Esteemed members of the Judiciary,

    I would like to present the following amendment to our Code of Laws. I would ask of you to review it and then post a poll for official ratification after the proper time has passed. Here is my proposed amendment:

    This proposed amendment would change Sub-Section 7B of our Code of Laws.

    Link to Discussion Thread

    EDIT: just realized i needed to post a pretend poll in the discussion thread before asking for Judiciary review of the amendment...sorry.
     
  3. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    I think it's obvious that you cannot amend the CoL until it's been confirmed as effective - which is what I've asked for in my JR request. So your request will be pending on Civ4DG1JR1 as well.
     
  4. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    It would be better if a member of the court said this, but it is clearly true.

    Nice tactics though, if the court accepted the amendment request, it would be a de facto recognition that the CoL is ratified. :lol:

    Edit: BTW, I had expected and planned for a JR on the ratification, days in advance of the official announcement of what really happened. It didn't take a rocket scientist to predict what part of that announcement would be, that Tri wasn't chosen in the preference polls. That's the only thing I could see that would prevent the whole thing from being handled by the Judiciary from the start instead of waiting several days for more investigation.
     
  5. Swissempire

    Swissempire Poet Jester

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    Question, Who is equla to the defendant's Lawyer in this system, Pubilc Defender, or Judge Advocate( the could both go either way if judged by name)?
     
  6. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    There is no defender here, therefore no need for a lawyer to represent him. That is the difference between a JR and a trial. If you will, every citizen can defend the position he believes in here by submitting supporting evidence and arguments.
     
  7. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    The Public Defender represents any citizen in a trial, unless that citizen wishes otherwise.

    The Judge Advocate presents the case against the citizen during a trial.

    During an investigation, all justices must look at the evidence presented without bias, and determine if there's a reasonable chance an illegal action occurred. If even one Justice feels that way, a trial would commence.

    As Blkbird said, in a Judicial Review, there is not need for an "official" representation for a citizen.

    -- Ravensfire, Public Defender
     
  8. trundle

    trundle Chieftain

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    Could someone please update the first few posts in this thread? It would be nice if the links were active (at least to the Constitution, as I can understand why you haven't linked to the CoL yet). I also know you've got at least one case under JR right now, and that post is currently empty.
     
  9. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Done, thanks for bringing it up. :)
     
  10. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    I'm not allowed to *NOT* want to defend him. That's my job - to defend all citizens in a trial unless they ask me not to. My personal beliefs and feelings are of no importance - I'm there to safeguard their rights and present a vigorous defense.

    If the citizen wants, they can have anyone defend them in a trial.

    There is no Presidential pardon. Like everyone other citizen, an investigation can be requested on an action they have taken. This investigation can lead to a trial.

     
  11. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Generally, I wait until the discussion dies down, or old points get rehashed, again. I'll then create my opinion and post it in the Judicial thread. On something like this, I'll try to coordinate with the other Justices so that we all post around the same time.

    I try to clearly and directly answer the question as posed by the Chief Justice to start the JR. The CJ will then take my response and the other two, and determine the final ruling. If that can't be done, they will request clarification on specific points until we get a clear ruling.

    -- Ravensfire, Public Defender
     
  12. ravensfire

    ravensfire Member of the Opposition

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    Question
    Was the poll for ratification of Triumvirate 6.2 performed legally according to the rules in force at the time the poll was conducted?

    Relevant Law
    Article C - Decision Making

    1. Power of the People
    1. All decision making power within the Democracy Game is derived from the collective rights of all the citizens.
    2. The Power of the People can be delegated to officials of the game in one or more of the following ways, or in other ways which may subsequently be discovered.
    * By Mandate as evidenced in a citizen's selection to hold office via the elective process.
    * By Constituency as evidenced by citizen comments in favor of a decision, in a public discussion.
    * By Opinion Poll in the form of the results of a non-binding poll
    * By Referendum in the form of an official, binding poll which has force over the current decision only.
    * By Initiative in the form of a binding poll initiated by the citizenry, which has force over a current decision and future decisions of the same type
    * By Recall of an official and selection of a replacement via election or appointment

    Citizen Comments
    Too many to list! Thanks to all for your comments, discussion and patience on this matter.

    Analysis
    If I look at this strictly from a "what's fun" perspective, we run with the Triumverate as ratified. We get the game going and don't look back.

    If I look at this strictly from a "what's right" perspective, we restart the tweak/ratification process with the Flex. Twice that ruleset was chosen, and each time, fraudulent methods were used to overturn that choice.

    My criteria must be, however, "what's within the law". And that's not so easy. The main problem here is that we had significant fraud in several polls that altered the path we took towards ratification. There is no question that the preference of the majority of the people was for a Flexible style ruleset. Indeed, that preference was expressed twice!

    There is a long tradition that, when trying to decide between two options, the option not chosen is discarded. Citizens on both sides then work together to make the chosen approach the best possible. The final approval vote is then read "Do you find this option acceptable." It most certainly should not be read "Vote yes if you like this, vote no if you like another approach."

    The three polls (the two decision polls and the Ratification poll) were properly created by an official empowered to do so, and prior to the discovery of errors, were univerally accepted. They are all binding polls, under the law. The poll by Rik is an Opinion poll only. While the time and effort put in by the mods is greatly appreciated, once it was accepted that the Judiciary should handle this matter, the poll was posted by a citizen.

    The question becomes can we correct the wrong that was done. I don't think we can. We, as citizens did act in good faith that the polls were not ridden with fraud. Up until the odd voting in the election, we had no reason to suspect otherwise. Correcting the fraud would delay the game, and possibly cause citizens to leave in disgust or disappointment. There is no need for that delay. The ratification occurred in good faith, with actions taken subsequent to that took time and effort, and already lead to some disappointed citizens.

    There is a mechanism within the Code of Laws that allows for amendment, including a whole-scale replacement of the Code of Laws. This allows for those harmed (the supporters of the Flexible system) to reintroduce their ideas and submit them for approval of the Assembly. This gives the opportunity to correct the situation.

    Ruling
    The Code of Laws presented for Ratification benefited from significant fraud that otherwise would have let to that option being discarded. The Founding Father posting the Ratification poll for the Code of Laws acted in good faith in posting the poll, and did so correctly. Further, the citizens acted in good faith in voting to ratify the Code of Laws, believing that the option presented them was the one the people genuinely wanted.

    The poll to Ratify the Code of Laws as presented to the Assembly is legal and correct.

    -- Ravensfire, Public Defender
     
  13. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    Congratulations ravensfire. An impressive piece of work both content- and format-weise. :goodjob:

    My question is, does this ruling serve as answer to my second question regarding the legality of the goverment offical elections as well, or will that be a seperate ruling?
     
  14. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    The process for ruling will be that each justice posts an opinion, then the Chief Justice posts the official ruling in the form of a voting result.

    After that point we can take up additional questions.
     
  15. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    On the matter of Ratification of Triumvirate 6.2 as the Code of Laws

    Analysis of Evidence
    The ratification poll for Triumvirate 6.2 as the Code of Laws was presented to the people with the full faith and belief that it was the choice of the people, at the time that the poll was posted. It followed all required procedures and conventions for a ratification poll. At that point in time, no CoL existed, so the ratification did not need to follow the self-defined amendment procedures contained within Triumvirate 6.2.

    There is no doubt that the "where to focus" polls were manipulated in a manner which denied the people their basic right to self-determination of government type. While it is deplorable that the true wishes of the people were subverted by poll manipulations of the "where to focus" polls, it is clear from the evidence that citizens were offered the opportunity to modify the government proposal (which we now know was supported by fradulent means) and did make use of that opportunity. This modification process was undertaken by the officials who were instructed to "focus on Triumvirate", and at that time the citizens accepted that focus and participated in it. Both the officials (with the exception of the alledged perpetrator of the fraud) and the citizens acted in good faith that the results of the "focus" polls represented the people's choice. These mitigating factors do not mean that perpetrating a fraud against the people is acceptable, but they do act in a small way to reduce the impact of the fraud itself.

    The CoL presented for ratification was not the same as that originally proposed in the poll asking which government type to focus on. This is not significant to the validity of the ratification itself (the poll does not become invalid due to the change in content) because the poll was self-defining, but it is significant relative to the effects of the "focus" polls. While it would be useless to speculate what the actual result of an additional "focus / preference" poll might have been at that time, it is relevant to note that another such poll could have been held between the updates to Triumvirate 6.2 and the ratification, and that the result might[/b] have been a preference for Triumvirate. While admittedly a very weak argument, this does cast some doubt on how tainted the ratification poll was.

    It is also important to note that both focus polls and the ratification poll were all binding polls posted by an official responsible for the area, and they were all touching on the same topic (creation of a Code of Laws). The Constitution, Article C, section 3 states in part "If two or more polls or discussions occur on a matter, the last one to complete shall prevail."
    Under this rule, the actual result of the last poll (ratification) prevails over the actual result of the previous polls (focus).

    Subsequent to the ratification poll, all the citizens acted as though the true Code of Laws had been ratified. An election cycle was held, and following its conclusion, many of the elected officials proceeded to set up their offices and start discussions on starting the game. Once again, in the absense of information telling them that a problem existed, the people were clearly willing to continue.

    At present we have an opinion poll which shows clear support for Triumvirate with approximately a 3:2 majority of citizens. This does not enter into the decision process for my ruling, but it is noted here as an acknowledgement that I am aware of this poll and its outcome which happens to match the ruling for this case.

    Citizens provided a huge amount of evidence during the discussion phase. I would like to thank every contributor. The citizen opinions and legal analysis were very helpful in establishing a sound foundation for my analysis of the evidence.

    Principle
    A ruling on this matter must stem from an objective look at the events as they fit into the framework of the law. It must focus on "what was" and "what is", not on "what might have been" and "what should be". We must not allow hindsight to obsure the past -- its place is in guiding the future. Some citizens wanted the Code of Laws to be set aside in favor of what might have been. In a society governed by law we can't turn back the clock when irreversible events have advanced the current state of affairs beyond that point.

    Ruling

    The ratification poll for Triumvirate 6.2 as the Code of Laws was performed in accordance with the laws in effect at that time, using the information known at that time. Therefore the poll is valid, even in the face of the acknowledged (in hindsight) fraudulent actions which led to it, and so the Code of Laws was ratified and is in effect.
     
  16. donsig

    donsig Low level intermediary

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    Question: Was the poll for ratification of Triumvirate 6.2 performed legally according to the rules in force at the time the poll was conducted?

    Short answer:

    I find that the Triumvirate 6.2 ratification poll was performed legally according to the Constitutional Articles A and C and the CivFanatics forum rules in force at the time the poll was conducted.

    Long winded Official Opinion:

    The rules in force at the time of the Triumvirate 6.2 ratification poll consisted of the constitution and, as always, the CivFanatics forum rules. Relevant articles of the constitution are A and C. Forum rules applicable include the paragraph headed Multiple accounts are not permitted. The poll in question must be found to be within the rules listed in all three of these sections in order to be considered to be performed legally.

    Article A of the constitution gives the authority for the creation of lower forms of law. This article does not specify the exact steps to be taken in passing laws, merely stating that they may be implemented. The poll under review was named Code of Laws Ratification and follows the common practices used in the past for passing such laws. The poll was a valid and proper way of implementing lower forms of law and therefore I find the ratification poll to be legal under Article A.

    Article C defines our country’s decision-making process by defining different ways citizens delegate their power to officials. The article further defines a hierarchy for the various delegation methods, which instructs us how to resolve conflicts between them. Of the methods listed only initiatives, referendums and opinion polls are relevant to this judicial review. These are listed in the hierarchy given by Article C: initiatives over rule referendums, which over rule opinion polls. Being a poll, the ratification poll was a valid method defined under Article C. The question is, which method was it? Since to ratify is to approve and sanction formally it was clearly not a (non-binding) opinion poll. Was it a referendum or an initiative? According to Article C the difference between referendums and initiatives is twofold, based both on the duration of the poll’s effects and who posted the poll. Once it is determined which category the ratification poll falls under it must be determined if it was high enough in the hierarchy to supercede any previous (or subsequent) decision methods that were used.

    First, there is the force referendums and initiatives carry. The former has force over the current decision only while the latter has force over a current decision and future decisions of the same type. Apparently the intent here was to differentiate between decisions that have temporary duration and those of a more permanent nature though this intent is not clear from the language used. Nor is it clear to me why such a distinction is needed. For these reasons I do not take force into account in this decision.

    Second, referendums and initiatives are distinguished by who posted them. The former is an official, binding poll and the latter is in the form of a binding poll initiated by the citizenry. The poll was posted by DaveShack, one of the so called Founding Fathers and a duly elected official responsible or organizing the creation of our country. While it is true that officials (elected or appointed) are also citizens, it seems self-evident they are something different from citizens. My interpretation of Article C is that referendums are polls posted by officials in the course of discharging the duties of their office while initiatives are polls posted by non-office holding citizens or by office holders posting polls having nothing to do with the office held. Note that under this interpretation officials cannot post initiatives for this highest of decision making methods is reserved to the citizens as a last resort against recalcitrant officials. It is my opinion that the ratification poll was a referendum.

    There were two prior and one subsequent poll regarding the code of laws and it must be determined if the ratification poll was superceded by any of these. The prior polls we also posted by officials (Founding Fathers). They can be considered either opinion polls or referendums. If considered the former they cannot supercede the ratification poll since opinion polls are lower in the hierarchy. If considered to be referendums the prior polls still cannot supercede the later referendum of the ratification poll. That leaves the subsequent poll that was posted by Rik Meleet. Since Rik Meleet is not an official this poll cannot be considered a referendum. Rik Meleet is a citizen though and therefore the poll could be an initiative. The question asked in that poll is Do we go on with the Triumvirate government or go for Flexible ?? Given the form of the question it is my decision that this poll is a non-binding opinion poll which cannot supercede the earlier referendum that ratified the code of laws.

    Had the question been phrased as an explicit repeal of the previously passed referendum I would have been more inclined to see it as an initiative (especially if the poll itself stated it was intended to be an initiative). In that event the next question that would have had to have been addressed was could an initiative over rule the internal amendment procedures of a code of laws.

    Finally, the ratification poll must be looked at under the forum rule, which states that multiple accounts are not permitted. As we all know, the two polls prior to the ratification poll were fraudulent in that multiple votes were cast by the same person. We learned that when these illegal votes were subtracted out, the results of the poll changed significantly. This fraud either did not extend to the ratification poll or if it did was not large enough to change the outcome of the ratification poll. Therefore the ratification poll is also valid under forum rules.

    While it is true that our Code of Laws would have been much different had the fraud been determined earlier, the plain fact is that it was not determined earlier. The fraud set wheels in motion and the vehicle moved on. While nothing can be done to undo the damage that has been done we, the citizens of [insert name of country here] still have to power to shape our government as we see fit. All we have to do is exercise that power.

    I find that the Triumvirate 6.2 ratification poll was performed legally according to the Constitutional Articles A and C and the CivFanatics forum rules in force at the time the poll was conducted.
     
  17. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    By a 3-0 decision, the court rules that the Code of Laws ratification poll was performed according to the law, and thus the Code of Laws was ratified and is in force.
     
  18. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    The court has previously received an absence investigation result, to determine if Alphawolf is absent from the office of President.

    There is prima facie evidence that Alphawolf was absent from the forum for more than 7 days, that attempts were made to contact Alphawolf via PM and email, and that more than 48 hours passed without a suitable response.

    The court will now vote on declaraing Alphawolf absent and the office of President vacant.

    To save on number of posts, the CJ votes yes, Alphawolf is absent and the office of President is vacant.
     
  19. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    As the official ruling on JR1 has been published, I repeat my question to the honorable Board: Does this ruling implicitly answers the second question I've asked regarding the legality of the elections of Government Officials of the first Term, or will that question be handled as a seperate JR case?
     
  20. Blkbird

    Blkbird Chieftain

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    I'd like to provide supporting evidence in form of the listing of all Alphawolf's forum posts:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/search.php?searchid=47480

    According to this listing, at current time (2006-01-11 07:45 UTC), Alphawolf's last post is dated 2006-01-01 09:43 UTC. Therefore Alphawolf has clearly been absent for more than 7 days.
     

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