Agenda item 4: Judges

To plan and discuss the meetings to take place under the auspices of the Comission

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Ashcroft Burnham
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":3mc68yyb]I understand what you're saying, but democratic processes include revision based on public opinion, not just what the first action of said democracy is.[/quote:3mc68yyb]

It does not make any sense to base the "revision" of something only just created on [i:3mc68yyb]exactly the same public opinion[/i:3mc68yyb] as was considered and rejected when it was decided to create it, and to do so before the system has had a chance to test itself in practice. That is not democracy: it is lunacy.

[quote:3mc68yyb]That was my suspicion about your belief. The effect of your plans carried to fruition, I think, will be to scare off everyone from the CDS who doesn't agree to YOUR coercion. For you see, it is much easier and less costly to leave the CDS than any RL country.[/quote:3mc68yyb]

You have repeatedly claimed that a functioning judicial system with enforcable rulings will scare people off, yet have never produced any evidence whatsoever to substantiate this bald assertion. Indeed, as I have pointed out, so far, not a single person has ceased to become a citizen as a result of our judicial system. Conversely, at least [b:3mc68yyb]a tenth[/b:3mc68yyb] of our population are here as a consequence of our judicial system. You know because, as many of them later told me, you checked with them yourself. We now have an entire thriving subcommunity of lawyers that we did not have before at all. What is seriously putting off people is the constant uncertainty and instability (and, in many cases, malicious and unpleasant tactics, not from you personally, but from others) used by oponents of the judiciary in this debate. Despite all your claims, therefore, that the judicary will deter people, all the evidence points to the judiciary attracting people, and the opponents of the judiciary deterring people.

[quote:3mc68yyb]A key difference between a private judiciary in the CDS and the Superior Court of Second LIfe is being part of a comunity of people who want such things to succeed.

As I have said before, your system has no real means of enforcing its decisions other than the esteem with which the participants hold the system. So build some esteem by testing it out privately before you try to force it down our throats.[/quote:3mc68yyb]

As I have written many times before, being banished from the CDS is a non-trivial punishment for many, and so it can indeed enforce its orders. What you do not seem to understand is the fact that, if something cannot enforce its orders, it is not a judiciary at all. Having a nation entails having a legsilature, executive and judiciary. If one does not have all of those in some form or another, one is not a nation. If we are a nation, we have to have a judiciary that has enforcable outcomes. It is utterly absurd to have laws without a judiciary to interpret and enforce them.
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":m0m9u2uf]You have repeatedly claimed that a functioning judicial system with enforcable rulings will scare people off, yet have never produced any evidence whatsoever to substantiate this bald assertion. Indeed, as I have pointed out, so far, not a single person has ceased to become a citizen as a result of our judicial system. Conversely, at least [b:m0m9u2uf]a tenth[/b:m0m9u2uf] of our population are here as a consequence of our judicial system. You know because, as many of them later told me, you checked with them yourself. We now have an entire thriving subcommunity of lawyers that we did not have before at all. What is seriously putting off people is the constant uncertainty and instability (and, in many cases, malicious and unpleasant tactics, not from you personally, but from others) used by oponents of the judiciary in this debate. Despite all your claims, therefore, that the judicary will deter people, all the evidence points to the judiciary attracting people, and the opponents of the judiciary deterring people.[/quote:m0m9u2uf]

I have substantiated my concerns; there are at least 3 current citizens of CDS who would rather leave than face a trial under your system. This is public information, said on the record at Commission hearings.

As for your claim that so many are coming because of the judiciary, I did in fact speak with the people you mentioned and here's what some of them had to say:

"That was not the only attraction. I was attracted as well by the Democratic government. The judicial system, however, was the strongest."

"I actually know very little about CDS. Ashcoft told me that several lawyers had joined. I have not participated in any of its meetings and know little about its goals."

Others said they had done it on a whim and hadn't given it much attention. Clearly some have, like Michel, Oni, and Beathan, but at least one of those doesn't entirely agree with the system you want to set up.

Your claim is interesting, and not entirely wrong, but it's also not exactly right, and certainly no reason to keep going down what many new and old citizens see as the wrong path.

[quote:m0m9u2uf]As I have written many times before, being banished from the CDS is a non-trivial punishment for many, [/quote:m0m9u2uf]

But is it a non-trivial punishment for those who are likely to be banished? No. That's like saying the fear of God is non-trivial, so it should be the basis of the judicial system. The people who it's likely to matter to aren't very likely to ever face punishment for wrongdoing.

[quote:m0m9u2uf]What you do not seem to understand is the fact that, if something cannot enforce its orders, it is not a judiciary at all. Having a nation entails having a legsilature, executive and judiciary. If one does not have all of those in some form or another, one is not a nation. If we are a nation, we have to have a judiciary that has enforcable outcomes. It is utterly absurd to have laws without a judiciary to interpret and enforce them.[/quote:m0m9u2uf]

Again, I think that history will prove me right if we make the disastrous mistake of putting your judiciary in place. The only people who will stay will be those who either ignore you or fear you. And when it's impossible to ignore you, or stay in your good graces, you'll find that your ability to enforce your will is indeed limited as they slip out of the CDS one by one.

Also, I think this is one place where our opinions diverge, which we have discussed before. A judiciary interprets, but in fact does not enforce, which is the main executive function. Your judiciary would interpret AND enforce, in the name of judicial independence, and so in reality would be a bastion of lifetime (almost unlimited) power for you. THAT is absurd.
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Post by Patroklus Murakami »

[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":kzce5r0c]I have substantiated my concerns; there are at least 3 current citizens of CDS who would rather leave than face a trial under your system. This is public information, said on the record at Commission hearings.[/quote:kzce5r0c]You know, we used to have a clause in the Constitution forbidding people from delivering departure ulitmatums. It was a bit daft because... it never stopped anybody from threatening to leave, then changing their mind, then threatening to leave again... etc, etc. I think we were right to get rid of that clause but the principle behind it was sound in my opinion. Threatening to leave because you don't get your own way undermines the democratic principles of our society. What these 3 people are saying is "Do as we want, or we'll take our ball and play elsewhere". It's a shame you can't see how childish and damaging this behaviour is. What's more, our experience with departure ultimatums in this project is that people rarely follow through with them. (Or they go, come back, threaten to go again etc).

[quote:kzce5r0c]Again, I think that history will prove me right if we make the disastrous mistake of putting your judiciary in place. The only people who will stay will be those who either ignore you or fear you. And when it's impossible to ignore you, or stay in your good graces, you'll find that your ability to enforce your will is indeed limited as they slip out of the CDS one by one.[/quote:kzce5r0c]"OMG, we have a Judiciary, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Come on, the Chicken Licken position is a little over the top. 'Disastrous mistake'? Why? What disaster will befall us? Please elaborate.

What this seems to boil down to is a personal issue you have with Ash. I imagine that you don't trust him and think he'll make a poor Judge. Possibly you think he's already made a lousy job of being Chief Judge. Well, I think he could have done a better job of bringing other people on board to develop the qualification requirements and the code of procedure. I think it would be fair criticism to say that Ash tends to bring forward a fully-realised concept without much consultation with other people. He is open to compromise (there were numerous compromises in the development of the Judiciary Act) but he defends his starting position, perhaps long after it would have been better to start offering concessions. But, you know, even if he were to turn out to be an Imperious Judge.... the Representative Assembly, or the Scientific Council could impeach him in a heartbeat. The JA can be repealed at any time. If this doesn't work I'll be ready with my pitchfork and a torch. In the meantime, could we just get on with it please?
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[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":8dqdmadk]I have substantiated my concerns; there are at least 3 current citizens of CDS who would rather leave than face a trial under your system. This is public information, said on the record at Commission hearings.[/quote:8dqdmadk]

These are three people who have not left yet, and who have not seen the system in operation. I know of at least two people who have expressed similar concerns at the unpleasant tactics of many of the judiciary opponents.

[quote:8dqdmadk]As for your claim that so many are coming because of the judiciary, I did in fact speak with the people you mentioned and here's what some of them had to say:

"That was not the only attraction. I was attracted as well by the Democratic government. The judicial system, however, was the strongest."[/quote:8dqdmadk]

That is hardly a criticism of the postition: "The judicial system... was the strongest". I never claimed that they had all been [i:8dqdmadk]exclusively[/i:8dqdmadk] attracted by the judicial system.

[quote:8dqdmadk]"I actually know very little about CDS. Ashcoft told me that several lawyers had joined. I have not participated in any of its meetings and know little about its goals."[/quote:8dqdmadk]

What else did this person say? That strikes me as being most out of context. And that does not detract one iota from the fact that it was the judicial system that attracted that person.

[quote:8dqdmadk]Others said they had done it on a whim and hadn't given it much attention. Clearly some have, like Michel, Oni, and Beathan, but at least one of those doesn't entirely agree with the system you want to set up. [/quote:8dqdmadk]

The system that [i:8dqdmadk]we already have, and already had when he joined[/i:8dqdmadk].

[quote:8dqdmadk]Your claim is interesting, and not entirely wrong, but it's also not exactly right, and certainly no reason to keep going down what many new and old citizens see as the wrong path.[/quote:8dqdmadk]

There is nothing untrue about the claim: a tenth of our population simply would not have joined were it not for our judicial system. And many people would see any path other than preserving our judicial system and only making the minimum changes needed if problems occur in operation as a disasterously wrong path, so your position does not answer the point: there is conflict, people are not going to agree, the correct solution is for everybody to defer to what the democratically-elected legislature have [i:8dqdmadk]already decided[/i:8dqdmadk] and not to cause unending instability of the sort that is already threatening to drive people away or discourage them from joining in the first place.

[quote:8dqdmadk]But is it a non-trivial punishment for those who are likely to be banished? No. That's like saying the fear of God is non-trivial, so it should be the basis of the judicial system. The people who it's likely to matter to aren't very likely to ever face punishment for wrongdoing.[/quote:8dqdmadk]

This is arbitrary speculation. What possible basis do you have for this claim?

[quote:8dqdmadk]Again, I think that history will prove me right if we make the disastrous mistake of putting your judiciary in place. The only people who will stay will be those who either ignore you or fear you. And when it's impossible to ignore you, or stay in your good graces, you'll find that your ability to enforce your will is indeed limited as they slip out of the CDS one by one.[/quote:8dqdmadk]

More capricious speculation. Either make a well-argued point, or make no point at all.

[quote:8dqdmadk]Also, I think this is one place where our opinions diverge, which we have discussed before. A judiciary interprets, but in fact does not enforce, which is the main executive function. Your judiciary would interpret AND enforce, in the name of judicial independence, and so in reality would be a bastion of lifetime (almost unlimited) power for you. THAT is absurd.[/quote:8dqdmadk]

Our judiciary, like any other judiciary, would issue court orders that, as in any other judiciary, would be executed by the executive (the marshals of the peace). Just like real-life courts can send people to prison or issue warrants for arrest, but the judges do not themselves handcuff the prisoners, so with our courts and banishment.
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

[quote="Patroklus Murakami":3uguk4qe]You know, we used to have a clause in the Constitution forbidding people from delivering departure ulitmatums. It was a bit daft because... it never stopped anybody from threatening to leave, then changing their mind, then threatening to leave again... etc, etc. I think we were right to get rid of that clause but the principle behind it was sound in my opinion. Threatening to leave because you don't get your own way undermines the democratic principles of our society. What these 3 people are saying is "Do as we want, or we'll take our ball and play elsewhere". It's a shame you can't see how childish and damaging this behaviour is. What's more, our experience with departure ultimatums in this project is that people rarely follow through with them. (Or they go, come back, threaten to go again etc).[/quote:3uguk4qe]

This probably seemed like a brilliant and scathing reply in your head, but it is absolutely not. It is not childish to say that this sytem, which threatens to put the power to take all my things within the CDS and banish me into the hands of a judiciary I don't trust, would cause me to seek another community if I were forced to submit to it. It is not a departure ultimatum; even if this goes ahead, so long as I don't have to be part of it I won't leave. But IF I am FORCED to submit to it, THEN I will take the better of two very unsavory options and leave the CDS as citizen.

As I have said to you in private IMs before, the opposite is true: if we don't go along with it, Ash is saying others (who by the way have yet to contribute to the community other than on the fora) will leave.

[quote:3uguk4qe]"OMG, we have a Judiciary, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Come on, the Chicken Licken position is a little over the top. 'Disastrous mistake'? Why? What disaster will befall us? Please elaborate.[/quote:3uguk4qe]

If you hadn't been so busy thinking up your "witty" reply, perhaps you would have seen I was making a direct connection to citizens leaving the CDS.

[quote:3uguk4qe]What this seems to boil down to is a personal issue you have with Ash. I imagine that you don't trust him and think he'll make a poor Judge. Possibly you think he's already made a lousy job of being Chief Judge. Well, I think he could have done a better job of bringing other people on board to develop the qualification requirements and the code of procedure. I think it would be fair criticism to say that Ash tends to bring forward a fully-realised concept without much consultation with other people. He is open to compromise (there were numerous compromises in the development of the Judiciary Act) but he defends his starting position, perhaps long after it would have been better to start offering concessions. But, you know, even if he were to turn out to be an Imperious Judge.... the Representative Assembly, or the Scientific Council could impeach him in a heartbeat. The JA can be repealed at any time. If this doesn't work I'll be ready with my pitchfork and a torch. In the meantime, could we just get on with it please?[/quote:3uguk4qe]

But what we're seeing is that the JA is already entrenched, in spite of serious opposition, by politicans like yourself who say it's already been decided. The SC is being emasculated. So who has the real power here?

By the way, I made the mistake of voting CSDF last time, but I've learned my lesson!
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2ylvhgks]These are three people who have not left yet, and who have not seen the system in operation. I know of at least two people who have expressed similar concerns at the unpleasant tactics of many of the judiciary opponents. [/quote:2ylvhgks]

I responded to your question with an answer. You responded to my answer with a counter-claim, unsubtantiated by public records.

[quote:2ylvhgks]That is hardly a criticism of the postition: "The judicial system... was the strongest". I never claimed that they had all been [i:2ylvhgks]exclusively[/i:2ylvhgks] attracted by the judicial system.[/quote:2ylvhgks]

[quote:2ylvhgks]There is nothing untrue about the claim: a tenth of our population simply would not have joined were it not for our judicial system.[/quote:2ylvhgks]

I'll let you argue against yourself here. Why do you think that they would not have joined without a judicial system, in light of the fact that several said they had other reasons to join?

[quote:2ylvhgks]And many people would see any path other than preserving our judicial system and only making the minimum changes needed if problems occur in operation as a disasterously wrong path, so your position does not answer the point: there is conflict, people are not going to agree, the correct solution is for everybody to defer to what the democratically-elected legislature have [i:2ylvhgks]already decided[/i:2ylvhgks] and not to cause unending instability of the sort that is already threatening to drive people away or discourage them from joining in the first place. [/quote:2ylvhgks]

Again, you are appealing to democratic governance when it agrees with you, and arguing against it when it disagrees with you (a Commission established by the RA). And though you call my prediction that this system will drive people away "capricious" and "arbitrary" "speculation," you make a similar claim about NOT instituting the system with much less proof to back it up.

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":2ylvhgks][quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":2ylvhgks]But is it a non-trivial punishment for those who are likely to be banished? No. That's like saying the fear of God is non-trivial, so it should be the basis of the judicial system. The people who it's likely to matter to aren't very likely to ever face punishment for wrongdoing.[/quote:2ylvhgks]

This is arbitrary speculation. What possible basis do you have for this claim?[/quote:2ylvhgks]

Extensive experience as an inworld journalist and a mainland landowner with the behavior of people who everyone THOUGHT the JA was supposed to punish: contract breakers and griefers.
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":3hx0q1bn]I responded to your question with an answer. You responded to my answer with a counter-claim, unsubtantiated by public records.[/quote:3hx0q1bn]

Are you questioning my truthfulness?

[quote:3hx0q1bn]That is hardly a criticism of the postition: "The judicial system... was the strongest". I never claimed that they had all been [i:3hx0q1bn]exclusively[/i:3hx0q1bn] attracted by the judicial system.[/quote:3hx0q1bn]

[quote:3hx0q1bn]I'll let you argue against yourself here. Why do you think that they would not have joined without a judicial system, in light of the fact that several said they had other reasons to join?[/quote:3hx0q1bn]

Because there is no reason to suppose that they would even have heard of us were it not for the judicial system.

[quote:3hx0q1bn]Again, you are appealing to democratic governance when it agrees with you, and arguing against it when it disagrees with you (a Commission established by the RA).[/quote:3hx0q1bn]

A self-appointing body is most certainly [i:3hx0q1bn]not[/i:3hx0q1bn] democratic. The commission would only be democratic if the commissioners had been elected by a popular ballot. I am advocating that the work that some want to see a commission do be done by the PJSP, a body which most certainly [i:3hx0q1bn]is[/i:3hx0q1bn] democratic.

[quote:3hx0q1bn]And though you call my prediction that this system will drive people away "capricious" and "arbitrary" "speculation," you make a similar claim about NOT instituting the system with much less proof to back it up.[/quote:3hx0q1bn]

My point is that there is as much reason to believe that people will leave if the system is destroyed as if it is not destroyed, since both sides are equally strong in their position.

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":3hx0q1bn]Extensive experience as an inworld journalist and a mainland landowner with the behavior of people who everyone THOUGHT the JA was supposed to punish: contract breakers and griefers.[/quote:3hx0q1bn]

This is not a reason: this is merely an unsubstantiated claim that you have an unspecified reason. What particular experiences of the sort described above lead you to the particular conclusion of which you claim those experiences are evidence, and what is the method of reasoning that you use in reaching that conclusion from those experiences?
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Post by Gxeremio Dimsum »

[quote="Ashcroft Burnham":zuby8z04]Are you questioning my truthfulness?[/quote:zuby8z04]

Nope, just making you live up to at least the minimum standards you hold the rest of us to. :)

[quote:zuby8z04]Because there is no reason to suppose that they would even have heard of us were it not for the judicial system.[/quote:zuby8z04]

Really? Maybe they don't read magazines like Wired, or inworld newspapers, or talk to people inworld.

[quote:zuby8z04]A self-appointing body is most certainly [i:zuby8z04]not[/i:zuby8z04] democratic. [/quote:zuby8z04]

/me staggers a little, thinking about this statement in relation to the judiciary debate.

[quote:zuby8z04]My point is that there is as much reason to believe that people will leave if the system is destroyed as if it is not destroyed, since both sides are equally strong in their position.[/quote:zuby8z04]

The system now in place is the status quo, since it only exists on paper up to this point. A change from the status quo is more likely to cause change than keeping the status quo, right?
Last edited by Gxeremio Dimsum on Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Gxeremio Dimsum":1pifr1tl][quote="Ashcroft Burnham":1pifr1tl]
A self-appointing body is most certainly [i:1pifr1tl]not[/i:1pifr1tl] democratic. [/quote:1pifr1tl]

/me staggers a little, thinking about this statement in relation to the judiciary debate.[/quote:1pifr1tl]

I have repeatedly explained that a judicial system, that is, a system that takes only specific decisions in individual cases, must be meritocratic, not democatic, whereas a legislature, that passes the general rules, must be democratic. Different kinds of powers are more appropraitely checked in different ways: the legislature, by the regular popular vote, the judiciary by a requirement to follow the abstract rules promulgated by the legislature.

[quote:1pifr1tl]The system not existing is the status quo, since it only exists on paper up to this point. A change from the status quo is more likely to cause change than keeping the status quo, right?[/quote:1pifr1tl]

The system very much does exist in reality: the constitutional provisions are there, governing all citizens' activities. People are already preparing cases to file and organising themselves under our present system. What is currently in the constitution is very much more the status quo than what some people would prefer to be in the constitution.
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Stringent Qualifications

Post by Pelanor Eldrich »

Judges *must* be well versed in the constitution, code of laws, covenant and rules of procedure. They must also display the cognitive abilties, discernment and a proper judicial character and demeanour.

They must also not be overtly coerced by political factions and should have oversight by a non-partisan entity like the PJSP. They should have terms of at least 2 years, if not for life.
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