Agenda item 2: Complexity

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Oni Jiutai
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Post by Oni Jiutai »

I repeat my intention to write a Guide to the procedural rules, whatever they may turn out to be. With the possible exception of the current ones, which I'm afraid are too nebulous for me to say anything useful.

And I'd also add that I don't believe that the Procedural Rules as originally drafted are complicated. They describe a relatively simple process in which:
[list:23ovx851]A claims, in writing that B has done something wrong and asks the court to do something about it.
B replies, in writing, telling his /her side of the story.
Both sides have to show their cards, so to speak, by telling the other what evidence they have and what their witnesses will say.
A hearing occurs
The Court gives judgment
Either side as the opportunity to appeal[/list:u:23ovx851]

Now, there are undoubtedly a few twiddly bits, but I suspect that most of these are things people would actually like to have, such as:
[list:23ovx851]Legal privilege, so that your conversations with your lawyer are confidential
The ability to strike out claims as vexatious, so certain kinds of griefing can be avoided
The ability to settle claims and have an agreed order.
]e.t.c.[/list:u:23ovx851]

Having said that, the Code, as drafted isn't very accessible. It describes things at length and uses very precise language. I think this is important, because it helps avoid confusion, which is a particular problem for us. By way of example, in my own principle court, the UK Employment Tribunals, doesn't describe what happens during a hearing. It just says a hearing will take place. This works because everybody appearing there knows what a English hearing looks like and expects there to be witnesses, cross-examination, submissions, e.t.c in a certain way. It wouldn't work without that common ground - which we obviously don't have here as a result of the international nature of the community.

The solution to that, seems to me to be what Ash suggests, have a Guide to the procedure which sets them out simply and gives some advice on what to do, but to have the formal procedures precise and complete.

The current rules, seem to me, to be fraught with problems. The idea that each trial should begin with creating a wholly new set of procedures seems to me fatally flawed.

Firstly, it is a waste of time in many simple cases, which really don't warrant a preliminary hearing to spend time drafting a set of rules of procedures. Even if the case is a complex one, I'd have said its still a waste of time reinventing the wheel each time.

Secondly, almost inevitably, something is going to be missed in the original attempt to draft the procedures. In many cases (even most cases), half way in somebody is going to say "But I want to do X!" or "But you can't do Y!" where the rules they've written simply don't apply. At which point they must either agree new rules or the Judge must impose some. The former seems difficult, given that presumably whatever one party wants to do will advantage them over their opponent. The latter has its own problems, most particularly that in one sense it leads to there being an overall procedure - what the Judge wants to do - which neither party is told before the hearing begins.

Thirdly, it seem wide open to abuse. Any party wishing to obstruct the process can be obstreperous over the most minor point, then, if the Judge rules against him / her, can seek to appeal the decision.

Fourthly, it is almost wholly unpredictable before litigation begins. The only sensible answer to event the most simple question, such as "I believe that Z as a chat transcript, can I call him as a witness? And what if he's reluctant to come?" is going to depend on what is decided in the preliminary stage.

Fifthly, in practice it gives far too much power to the individual Judge who can set the procedure. And this might not be against the wishes of the parties - at least initially. Two litigants in person might well say "We don't want to design a procedure, please just give us what you think sensible". Even where both sides do want to design the procedure themselves, in the event of dispute the judge will decide.

Sixly, it is almost impossible to fine tune. For example, a number of people have criticised the rules on costs in the original rules. These could have been easily changed by the RA by amending those segments. Similarly, I assume, over time the Judiciary itself would have been able to change things, as it became apparent what worked and what didn't. I don't quite see how that is going to work under a Code of Procedure which envisages the whole thing being up for grabs at the start of each hearing.

So essentially I think there are actually 3 positions, Original Rules, Simple Rules and Current Rules. I don't think the Current Rules are at all Simple - but, even if they are, they are not at all the same thing as a brief set of simple rules which will apply in all cases. They're far, far more radical than that. Indeed the more I think about them the more I'm astonished that such a truly radical proposal was proposed and ratified in such haste.

Similarly, I don't think that the Original Rules are actually all that complex on examination, but we may never know without attempting to use them.
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Post by Flyingroc Chung »

I'm happy that this programming languages analogy came up. Not only is it very apt, it's something I know a few things about. Heh.

Choosing the right programming language depends almost exclusively on the context in which the program is to be developed and run. Ash provides one context: we want to build serious programs. Well, serious programs have been written in all those languages (in fact, since all these programs are turing-complete, *any* of these are sufficient to build any program to solve any computable problem--but that's just an inteesting side note)

You might be suprised to find out if you gave me the choice of those languages listed, and all you tell me is that I am to build serious programs, I would choose C++. This is because I know of one other fact: I am more familiar with C++ than C#.

However, there are many other factors though for us to consider before we decide on which programming language to adopt. One is what Fernando alludes to: the skills of the people who are to be developing the programs. If most of the developers have skills in BASIC and not C#, we must weigh the costs of training the BASIC programmers in C#. (Have we really weighed these costs, or are we making a decision on mere speculation?)

Another factor is the kinds of programs we are likely to develop (akin to the likely cases we are going to try--e.g. no such thing as murder in SL). If I know beforehand that the serious programs I am to develop are mostly numerical scientific computing applications, I would choose Fortran. If I knew I was to develop mostly 3D games, I would choose C++. If I knew I was going to develop mostly business applications on mainframe computers, I may well choose COBOL.

Speaking of mainframes, a whole lot depends on the environment in which the programs are to be run. If I have to write programs for an embedded device with 16k of RAM, I'd choose assembly. If I have to write a program exclusively for Windows machines, I may choose C#. If I have to write programs that have to work in SL, I would use LSL. This is Gxeremio's point, I think. In the context of SL, LSL is the right language to use, not C#.

When Linden Lab built SL, at one point they had to decide on which programming language to adopt for the citizens of their fledgling world to use. Doubtless, they thought about reusing real-world languages, such as C or Java, or BASIC. But, after (hopefully) some serious thought, they decided that none of these languages are appropriate for their brave new world, they decided on doing something else: invent their own programming language.

LSL is an interesting beast. It is different from traditional programming languages. It is simple in some parts, complex in others. Its language structure is easy; its event model quite simple, some might say simplistic. Despite the numerous technical limitations though, people have managed to build serious programs with LSL, and amateurs have learned to program in it. And most importantly, it is well suited for the 3D virtual environment that we live our second lives in.

This is what I think we should do for our justice system, build an LSL, something quite different from what we've seen so far, but suited for the environment we live in.
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Post by Oni Jiutai »

[quote:3avucls8]This is what I think we should do for our justice system, build an LSL, something quite different from what we've seen so far, but suited for the environment we live in.[/quote:3avucls8]

Okay, but what does this look like? I'm happy to agree, in the abstract, that people too intimately involved in any justice system in meat-space risk implementing a similar process in SL while missing the opportunity to do something truly innovative. But, within practical politics, somebody needs to suggest what flash of insight we're missing. It's hard to proceed on the basis of "We should do something radical and innovative." without a corresponding "This is radical and innovative and we should do it."

I suspect that - beyond the very idea of creating a liberal democracy in Second Life (which seems pretty radical to me) - radicalism isn't what is needed. This seems to me to be borne out by the rest of the CDS government structure. The RA in particular isn't based on a radical, quite different model, to anything in the real world - it's just good, old fashioned democracy.
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Flyingroc Chung":1o7c4qji]Choosing the right programming language depends almost exclusively on the context in which the program is to be developed and run. Ash provides one context: we want to build serious programs. Well, serious programs have been written in all those languages (in fact, since all these programs are turing-complete, *any* of these are sufficient to build any program to solve any computable problem--but that's just an inteesting side note)

You might be suprised to find out if you gave me the choice of those languages listed, and all you tell me is that I am to build serious programs, I would choose C++. This is because I know of one other fact: I am more familiar with C++ than C#.[/quote:1o7c4qji]

Just as most of our lawyers here are most familliar with Anglo-American common law adversarial legal systems.

[quote:1o7c4qji]However, there are many other factors though for us to consider before we decide on which programming language to adopt. One is what Fernando alludes to: the skills of the people who are to be developing the programs. If most of the developers have skills in BASIC and not C#, we must weigh the costs of training the BASIC programmers in C#. (Have we really weighed these costs, or are we making a decision on mere speculation?)[/quote:1o7c4qji]

It is not true to say that we have lots of people who know how to use BASIC, since nobody has actually written any BASIC-equivalent procedures yet. We have a few people who know C++, and one or two people who know Java, and then our new, C#-like, programming language that is the original code of procedure.

[quote:1o7c4qji]Another factor is the kinds of programs we are likely to develop (akin to the likely cases we are going to try--e.g. no such thing as murder in SL). If I know beforehand that the serious programs I am to develop are mostly numerical scientific computing applications, I would choose Fortran. If I knew I was to develop mostly 3D games, I would choose C++. If I knew I was going to develop mostly business applications on mainframe computers, I may well choose COBOL.[/quote:1o7c4qji]

What kinds of disputes do you envisage a SecondLife legal system resolving, and how serious do you think that they will be as far as the litigants are concerned? In any event, do you really think that it is ever satisfactory to say, when designing any legal system, "this thing won't be used for anything serious, so it's not so important to get it right". How would you feel if you were a litigant encountering the problems of a legal system designed on that basis, and realised that that is why the legal system was so designed? If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing properly.

[quote:1o7c4qji]Speaking of mainframes, a whole lot depends on the environment in which the programs are to be run. If I have to write programs for an embedded device with 16k of RAM, I'd choose assembly. If I have to write a program exclusively for Windows machines, I may choose C#. If I have to write programs that have to work in SL, I would use LSL. This is Gxeremio's point, I think. In the context of SL, LSL is the right language to use, not C#.

When Linden Lab built SL, at one point they had to decide on which programming language to adopt for the citizens of their fledgling world to use. Doubtless, they thought about reusing real-world languages, such as C or Java, or BASIC. But, after (hopefully) some serious thought, they decided that none of these languages are appropriate for their brave new world, they decided on doing something else: invent their own programming language.

LSL is an interesting beast. It is different from traditional programming languages. It is simple in some parts, complex in others. Its language structure is easy; its event model quite simple, some might say simplistic. Despite the numerous technical limitations though, people have managed to build serious programs with LSL, and amateurs have learned to program in it. And most importantly, it is well suited for the 3D virtual environment that we live our second lives in.

This is what I think we should do for our justice system, build an LSL, something quite different from what we've seen so far, but suited for the environment we live in.[/quote:1o7c4qji]

By referring to LSL, you are rather mixing the metaphors, since I was using the programming language metaphors to deal with levels of complexity in the abstract. If you accept that our code of procedures is a C#-like code, and if you accept that the other suggestions are BASIC-like or assembler language-like, then it follows that you must accept the conceptual point about complexity that I was making all along.

The question of what sort of thing to have as a legal system is another question. A better comparison than taking different programming languages as different legal systems would be taking different programming languages as different institutions. A legal system programming language needs certain sorts of features, a legislative programming language others, an executive programming language others still, and so forth. For the reasons that I have given in relation to complication-management, C# is the right choice for law.
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Post by Flyingroc Chung »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":5wy0wytp]What kinds of disputes do you envisage a SecondLife legal system resolving, and how serious do you think that they will be as far as the litigants are concerned? In any event, do you really think that it is ever satisfactory to say, when designing any legal system, "this thing won't be used for anything serious, so it's not so important to get it right". How would you feel if you were a litigant encountering the problems of a legal system designed on that basis, and realised that that is why the legal system was so designed? If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing properly.
[/quote:5wy0wytp]

You mischaracterize my position. I don't know where you got the idea that I believe "this thing won't be used for anything serious, so it's not so important to get it right." That this thing might be used for something serious is why I seriously hope we can do better.

As to what kinds of things this a SL legal system might be used for, we might start with [url=http://secondlife.com/community/blotter.php:5wy0wytp]this[/url:5wy0wytp]. But bear in mind the lindens generally dont get into disputes involving money.
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Post by Beathan »

The fundamental insight -- the flash of brilliance -- that created LSL involved the recognition of the range of people who would be using it. It was set up to be used by all players of SL. Those players included (some) professional programmers and (many) others who were not professional programmers -- all of whom should be able to pick up and use LSL, programming in it, regardless of professional background. Similarly, those players include people from many difference countries and cultures, speaking many different languages, and coming from schools with different theories of education. LSL had to be accessible and useful to all.

To accomplish this, it had to be simple, even simplistic. If LL had decided, instead, to rely on their being a cadre of professional programmers to do ingame programming -- and had incorporated a RL programming code, or created an equally complex code -- SL would have lost something precious. It would have lost its inherent egalitarian inclusiveness -- which is what I think is the most important and attractive feature of virtual realities.

Our Justice System, and our Code of Procedure, whatever it turns out to be, must be relevantly like LSL. It must be accessible to all -- as direct consumers and users of it -- not merely to the cadre of professionals used to such thing iRL. It must be readily approachable by all, regardless of cultural or national background, regardless of familiarity or unfamiliarity with RL legal systems. Thus, it must be simple and it must not be culturally biased.

I think our task is harder than the task of creating an ingame programming language. Computer programming is more like medicine than law is like medicine. Programming is, essentially, based on algorithmic mathematics -- which, like the human body, is true across cultures. What the law is and should be -- what is good law -- changes with cultural context. Similarly, what is full and fair procedure changes with cultural context. Thus, in building our law system (unlike building a theory of medicine or a programming language) we cannot ignore, but must accommodate, relevant cultural differences.

The only way I see to do this job is to start with what we have and build our system from it, in small, simple, baby steps. We can't expect our legal system to run when there has never been a legal system anywhere on any virtual world that has even been able to crawl. If we can get a system to sit up and crawl -- we are farther along than anyone else. On that basis, by learning how it crawls, we can teach it to walk; and by learning how to walk, we can teach it to run.

The problem with Ash's model is that he is impatient. In his impatience, he excludes people who should not be excluded. He excludes people based on education, RL experience, and RL culture. This is inappropriate for a multinational virtual community.

I think we should start with the basic issue Oni has called "Judicial Model" -- by discussing which model of justice system to have: adversarial, inquisitorial, councilorial, mediatory ... etc. However, we should be imaginative at each stage. There should be a multiperson brainstorm with regard to each question -- an no one should become so invested, intellectually or egotistically in the process, that he rejects other ideas out of hand.

Unfortunately we are now six months down the wrong track -- and people are six months invested in a mistaken project. It is hard to stop a train under these circumstances. It is harder still to turn it around, get it back to the right track, and get it going in the right direction. However, that is just what we need to do if we don't want to get further and further from our goal -- which is a fail, full, workable, approachable, accessible, nonbiased justice system that can be used and respected by every person in the CDS (or possibly in SL).

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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Flyingroc Chung":2p4k2hvd]You mischaracterize my position. I don't know where you got the idea that I believe "this thing won't be used for anything serious, so it's not so important to get it right." That this thing might be used for something serious is why I seriously hope we can do better.[/quote:2p4k2hvd]

BASIC isn't better than C# for serious applications. But, unless and until somebody can invent a new kind of point-and-click programming language that goes from on-screen symbols to binaries without any intermediate textual code, or the legal system equivalent thereof, we might as well stay with the best of all known available systems.

[quote:2p4k2hvd]As to what kinds of things this a SL legal system might be used for, we might start with [url=http://secondlife.com/community/blotter.php:2p4k2hvd]this[/url:2p4k2hvd]. But bear in mind the lindens generally dont get into disputes involving money.[/quote:2p4k2hvd]

Ahh, those are the criminal-like cases. Our system will have to deal with those, indeed, but also the equivalent of civil cases: breach of contract, nuisance, defamation, intellectual property and the like. Civil law always tends to be far more [i:2p4k2hvd]conceptually[/i:2p4k2hvd] complicated than criminal law (in criminal law, it is usually abundantly clear that, if one accepts the prosecution version of events, the defendant is guilty, and if one accepts the defendant's version of events, the defendant is not guilty). For example, I have recently been speaking to a person whose mainland business is in ruins because somebody has opened up a casino with camping chairs on the same mainland sim, which is causing the sim to be full so much of the time that she suddenly has hardly any customers. Her landlord is not doing anything about it, and Linden Lab is very unlikely to intervene: she suspects that it is just a tactic used to depress the value of the land so that it can be bought cheaply. Dealing with that sort of case involves answering far more complicated questions than simply, "did he yell abuse at her?" or "did she fill the infohub with huge plywood prims?".
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Post by Oni Jiutai »

[quote:35f0hcgq]I think we should start where Oni suggests...[/quote:35f0hcgq]

While it's always flattering to be agreed with, if I did suggest that I misspoke.

It seems to me that there has been a choice of judicial systems, which resolved on the JA. That doesn't mean that the decision can't be or shouldn't be [i:35f0hcgq]reversed[/i:35f0hcgq], but, to indulge in legal terminology, the burden of proof should be on those who want a different system to be convincing that change is needed.
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":26w0ijzp]Ahh, those are the criminal-like cases. Our system will have to deal with those, indeed, but also the equivalent of civil cases: breach of contract, nuisance, defamation, intellectual property and the like. Civil law always tends to be far more [i:26w0ijzp]conceptually[/i:26w0ijzp] complicated than criminal law (in criminal law, it is usually abundantly clear that, if one accepts the prosecution version of events, the defendant is guilty, and if one accepts the defendant's version of events, the defendant is not guilty). For example, I have recently been speaking to a person whose mainland business is in ruins because somebody has opened up a casino with camping chairs on the same mainland sim, which is causing the sim to be full so much of the time that she suddenly has hardly any customers. Her landlord is not doing anything about it, and Linden Lab is very unlikely to intervene: she suspects that it is just a tactic used to depress the value of the land so that it can be bought cheaply. Dealing with that sort of case involves answering far more complicated questions than simply, "did he yell abuse at her?" or "did she fill the infohub with huge plywood prims?".[/quote:26w0ijzp]

Without laws dealing with such issues, what would your judiciary do in the above situation?

I tend to think that our judiciary ought to try to be good at the most common kinds of disputes, like griefing and breach of contract, and not try to be too all-purpose just yet.
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

[quote="Oni Jiutai":3dng3k72]It seems to me that there has been a choice of judicial systems, which resolved on the JA. That doesn't mean that the decision can't be or shouldn't be [i:3dng3k72]reversed[/i:3dng3k72], but, to indulge in legal terminology, the burden of proof should be on those who want a different system to be convincing that change is needed.[/quote:3dng3k72]

Ah, but there hasn't been a choice. One option was presented "JA or no JA", and was adopted with some haste and only minor revisions by an RA which had been led to believe it was primarily a test, not a permanent institution. There was no serious look at other possibilities for a judicial system with many interested and experienced parties. When the complaint was raised that no alternatives had been proposed, Beathan, and then Justice proposed some alternatives, which have since been criticized for going against the "democratic choice" of the RA.
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Post by Beathan »

Oni --

Sorry to indicate that you suggested a revision. What I meant to say is that you suggested a terminology for the kind of question I think we should start with. It is true that the JA has "resolved" this issue -- along with many others. I (and other opponents of the JA) consider all this "resolution" to be premature and poorly done. Therefore, as you do suggest we can do (but not that we should do), it is now time to revisit the JA -- right down to its first and fundamental assumptions -- and start answering the questions that were left unanswered in the haste of drafting the JA.

However, I do disagree with you when you say "It seems to me that there has been a choice of judicial systems, which resolved on the JA. That doesn't mean that the decision can't be or shouldn't be reversed, but, to indulge in legal terminology, the burden of proof should be on those who want a different system to be convincing that change is needed."

That might be true if a radically new system was being proposed (and I have proposed such a system -- and am willing to subject it to your test), but not when the old system is being proposed to be restored because it was abandoned prematurely and without a fair hearing. The burden of proof goes both ways. The JA should have been subjected to this burden when it sought to supplant the judicial role of the SC. It wasn't (despite claims of "debate" to the contrary -- this point was never fully debated; rather it was assumed, without due consideration, that a judiciary was needed and called for and that the SC could not continue to be that judiciary). As I see it, we are now on appeal -- and the opponents of the JA are arguing that the SC was given a burden of proof that should have instead been imposed on the JA. The SC would have won the case under a proper burden of proof. Therefore, it is proper to reverse and remand for a new trial -- at which time we can really consider third and fourth alternatives to the JA and the SC.

Beathan[/quote]
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

Beathan, for all the "flash of brilliance" in having created LSL, why do you still insist on an assembler-language like system?

[quote="Beathan":xrj73bbq]I think our task is harder than the task of creating an ingame programming language. Computer programming is more like medicine than law is like medicine. Programming is, essentially, based on algorithmic mathematics -- which, like the human body, is true across cultures. What the law is and should be -- what is good law -- changes with cultural context. Similarly, what is full and fair procedure changes with cultural context. Thus, in building our law system (unlike building a theory of medicine or a programming language) we cannot ignore, but must accommodate, relevant cultural differences.

The only way I see to do this job is to start with what we have and build our system from it, in small, simple, baby steps. We can't expect our legal system to run when there has never been a legal system anywhere on any virtual world that has even been able to crawl.[/quote:xrj73bbq]

Why not? What, precisely, is stopping it?

[quote:xrj73bbq]The problem with Ash's model is that he is impatient. In his impatience, he excludes people who should not be excluded. He excludes people based on education, RL experience, and RL culture. This is inappropriate for a multinational virtual community.[/quote:xrj73bbq]

Beathan, what do you see as the function of our legal system? To let people play with the law, or to resolve real disputes? Why do you see "inclusion" of people (in unspecified ways) as important? Do you think that it is equally important to "include" people in drawing up our accounts, or maintaining our websites? If not, what is the difference? What is wrong with the model "We will build the sort of legal system that will most effectively and fairly resolve those disputes that need resolving and might need resolving in the future" when deciding how to plan a legal system? If that model means that only people who are good at law get to be judges, why is that a problem unless you think that the purpose of a legal system in SecondLife is just for people to play, rather than to to solve real issues? Why do you think that a system should bend around people's first-life cultures, rather than forging its own, singular, virtual cultures? Why do you think that culture is important in the precise way that you claim that it is in any event?

[quote:xrj73bbq]I think we should start where Oni suggests -- by discussing which model of justice system to have: adversarial, inquisitorial, councilorial, mediatory ... etc. However, we should be imaginative at each stage. There should be a multiperson brainstorm with regard to each question -- an no one should become so invested, intellectually or egotistically in the process, that he rejects other ideas out of hand.[/quote:xrj73bbq]

We have already decided what sort of legal system to have after looking conceptually at the various options. Merely because we decided to have a sort of system that you dislike (perhaps because you came to beleive that you may not pass the test and be qualified to be a judge) is not a reason to re-open a decided issue.

There is also the question of resources: the debate about the details of our existing legal system took a large proportion of our political resources for months. That was very unhelpful to the CDS. The current anti-judiciary extremist lobby, and the very unwisely reactionary response by the legislature, has caused the termoil to propogate yet further. People are spending huge amounts of time defending their positions in this debate, instead of engaging in constructive activities, such as providing legal education.

Do you seriously think that the CDS has the resources to start all over again, and look at each (no doubt hugely controversial) issue one by one and design the whole system by committee, which will be undoubtedly totally deadlocked at every last step, as our recent commission has showed?

Your kind of model for deciding things is utterly insane for a community of this size: a system whereby one or two people propose a complete system in detail, and it is reviewed by a 5-person legislature and the details adjusted as necessary (assuming that that 5-person legislature agrees that it is the sort of thing worth having), and then the thing is kept unless and until serious problems arise in practice is the only sane way of (1) using our resources efficiently so that we can do all that we want to do; and (2) getting anybody interested in being invested in the process in the first place, since your model of committee decision would entail that people would have to go through endless battles of ideals for the things that that person has developed ever to be used. Many people may sensibly think that that is far more trouble than it is worth, and good people may substantially be deterred from the process.

In any event, it is often the case that a singular vision creates a more robust and coherent model than the medly created by committee design: "designed by a committee" is a commonly used derogatory phrase for just that reason. If we are to have a sensible, coherent legal system, we most certainly do not want one designed by committee. Revising the existing system through experience of it in practice, of course, is another matter entirely.

And, incidentally, I very, very much doubt that Oni was suggesting in his posts that we re-start the debate that we have already had from scratch just because you dislike the decision that we reached.

[quote:xrj73bbq]Unfortunately we are now six months down the wrong track -- and people are six months invested in a mistaken project. It is hard to stop a train under these circumstances. It is harder still to turn it around, get it back to the right track, and get it going in the right direction. However, that is just what we need to do if we don't want to get further and further from our goal -- which is a fail, full, workable, approachable, accessible, nonbiased justice system that can be used and respected by every person in the CDS (or possibly in SL).[/quote:xrj73bbq]

Since a very large number of people indeed believe that the train is indeed heading towards that goal, and is not very far from its destination, why should those who have the power to decide such things, based on what is ultimately unfounded speculation (since they have not seen the system in practice) from a vocal minority that the goal is somewhere else?

Indeed, do you not concede that you and the other anti-judiciary extremists have done far more harm to the CDS in consuming endless human resources, and giving the distinct (and highly deterrant) impression to outsiders that we are a bunch of people more interested in building a government for the sake of it than solving real problems (and that we engage in endless bickering and infighting) than would have been the case if the judiciary as it is currently designed (with the original code of procedure) were left to run, after which time one could tell clearly whether it is working or not so that such endless speculative debates would not be needed?

Incidentally, do you or do you not accept that the programming language metaphor is apt, and that the original code of procedures, combined with the present constitution, is the C# of judicial systems, wheras what you propose is the assembler language of judicial systems? Do you accept that the metaphor holds especially as far as complexity is concerned? If not, what, precisely, is wrong with it?
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":16w0cv6e]Without laws dealing with such issues, what would your judiciary do in the above situation?[/quote:16w0cv6e]

That is precisely why we have a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law:16w0cv6e]common law[/url:16w0cv6e] system.

[quote:16w0cv6e]I tend to think that our judiciary ought to try to be good at the most common kinds of disputes, like griefing and breach of contract, and not try to be too all-purpose just yet.[/quote:16w0cv6e]

Our judiciary must deal with all disputes that come before it, or else it is not a real judiciary at all. It cannot say "Sorry, we haven't worked out how to deal with this yet, come back next year". It must provide a final, binding, determinative outcome to all cases presented before it, come what may. That is part of the irreducible minimum of what it takes for something to be a judicial system in the first place.
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[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":c3ztxxey]Ah, but there hasn't been a choice. One option was presented "JA or no JA", and was adopted with some haste and only minor revisions by an RA which had been led to believe it was primarily a test, not a permanent institution.[/quote:c3ztxxey]

There was a choice. That people chose (if they did: this is just speculation on your part, of course) not to think about other ideas, that is a matter for them. That is no reason why all the work that has gone into the present, carefully-designed system should be discarded merely because those who always opposed it still do. And it is entirely untrue that anybody lead the Assembly to believe that the system was "primarily a test": what possible evidence do you have for that contention? Even if it was true, what do you say about all the people who claim that it should be abolished without being tested?

[quote:c3ztxxey]There was no serious look at other possibilities for a judicial system with many interested and experienced parties. When the complaint was raised that no alternatives had been proposed, Beathan, and then Justice proposed some alternatives, which have since been criticized for going against the "democratic choice" of the RA.[/quote:c3ztxxey]

There was certainly at least one specific alternative actively considered: that was, maintain the then status quo. That, incidentally, is exactly the thing to which Beathan is now advocating a return.

In any event, see the above: it is often far more efficient (and effective) to pick a good system that somebody has proposed without spending months exhaustively looking at all concievable alternatives, and then laboriously deciding exactly which one to have (by which time the person proposing the first one has gone away and found somewhere more receptive for his idea, which might turn out to be the best after all), and then designing a system by committee.
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[quote="Beathan":3tu6njx9] It is true that the JA has "resolved" this issue -- along with many others. I (and other opponents of the JA) consider all this "resolution" to be premature and poorly done. [/quote:3tu6njx9]

I and many others think that your opposition to the present state of affairs is premature and poorly done, too.
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