Proposed Follow-On Poll

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

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Beathan
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Proposed Follow-On Poll

Post by Beathan »

I believe that the Commission, having decided that amendment is the proper thing to pursue in drafting specific recommendations to the RA, should ask its members to rank order the areas of focus. I think that we should then break into subcommittees of 3-5 commissioners, self-selected based on the areas in which the commissioner expresses their preference, to consider and draft up recommendations. I think that each commissioner should serve on three subcommittees, which should give us a subcommittee on each point. The subcommittee should draft a recommendation, along with dissenting opinions, to present back to the full Commission for use in drafting and presenting the full Commission report, with dissents. This process has worked on other Commissions I have served on.

To set the subcommittes, the Commissioners should rank order, 1 through 10, the following issues by the importance to the Commissioner. The 3 (for issues that generate little interest on the Commission) or 5 (for the other issues) commissioners with the lowest total scores on the issue would then serve on the the subcommittee assigned to the issue.

1. Test of the Judiciary Act


2. Complexity of the Judiciary

3. Relation of the Judiciary with the other branches of state

4. Judges

5. SC

6. Privacy and protection

7. Juries

8. Financial issues

9. Formalities and procedures

10. Citizens and non-citizens


I think that we can dispense with the specific questions that previously informed these categories when polling the Commissioners because we have discussed these matters in light of the questions and, in some case, new questions have arisen. Each subcommittee should define for itself how to approach the general issue and should prepare a majority recommendation, allowing dissenting members an opportunity to dissent, on the point with with it has been tasked.

Beathan
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Ashcroft Burnham
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

For somebody who dislikes complexity, and refused to complete the judicial application questionnaire based partly on the amount of time that it would take (and then spent orders of magnitude more time in-world and on the forums opposing the judiciary), I find it wholly bizarre that you are suggesting such vast and time-consuming subcommittees, when the PJSP, whose constitutional function is to monitor the performance of the judiciary, is already designed to do all of this work.

How many gladatorial games could be organised in Colonia Nova with the amount of work that you are suggesting putting into all of this?
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Post by Beathan »

Ash --

As I read the ten items the Commission is addressing, I see that the PJSP is designed to answer part of item 1 and (possibly) parts of 6, 7, 8, and 9. I don't see that the PJSP has any authority to offer opinions on the general structure and complexity of the Judiciary as a branch (and, being within the Judiciary, would be poorly positioned to do so even if it could). I also don't see that the PJSP can address balance of power issues (although the SC could) or could address issues about the SC's interaction with the Judiciary (although the SC could). I also don't see how the PJSP can address issues concerning the qualification and appointment of judges -- they are in fact specifically disabled from doing so. I also don't see that the PJSP could address the problems involving the complications and lack of balance we have as a result of our current system's pretensions to be a system for the whole of SL, and not just for the CDS.

Even where the PJSP can act, it cannot necessarily determine whether it should -- or whether it, rather than some other institution, should be the one to determine the outcome of our test of the Judiciary (if we decide to test it). Also, I don't think that it is well positioned to address the policy questions behind privacy, and juries, and financing, and procedures -- even if it can assess the practices implemented on these issues. A determination that a practice works as a practice (serves its own ends) does not tell us either that it is a good practice (has good ends) or that there is not a better practice (some alternative that serves the ends better). The PJSP simply cannot do the job of this Commission under the terms and limitations imposed on it by the Judiciary Act.

With regard to the simplicity or complexity of the process I recommend, I can only appeal to my own experience and to history. The job of this Commission is to draft recommendations to the RA on the ten points we have been told to discuss. Drafting by committee is very hard. It is made harder the more people are involved in the actual drafting process. It is therefore simplified if some person or set of persons is giving the job of drafting.

I refer to the subcommittee that drafted the Declaration of Independence as a case in point. Although the first draft was not the one that was sent to the King, there would never have been a first draft to send if a subcommittee was not used. However, the draft that was sent would not have been what the Congress intended if the subcommittee had the final or last word.

My RL experience on large committees and commissions is similar -- nothing gets done if there are not subcommittees, but nothing gets done right if there are just subcommittees.

Beathan
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Post by michelmanen »

Beathan,

I don't necessarily agree with your suggestions, but I would like to let you know that I really appreciate your recent posts and contributions, which are reasoned and constructive. What a difference a few days make! It is now a pleasure to read you- even if I still disagree with many of your positions.

Regards,

Michel
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Ashcroft Burnham
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Post by Ashcroft Burnham »

[quote="Beathan":3rxnethp]As I read the ten items the Commission is addressing, I see that the PJSP is designed to answer part of item 1 and (possibly) parts of 6, 7, 8, and 9. I don't see that the PJSP has any authority to offer opinions on the general structure and complexity of the Judiciary as a branch (and, being within the Judiciary, would be poorly positioned to do so even if it could).[/quote:3rxnethp]

In what sense is the PJSP "within" the judiciary? The whole point of it is that it is an independent body: it would be no use otherwise. There is not a single sense in which the judiciary can tell the PJSP what to do. How does that make it not independent?

Even if the PJSP could not deal with some of the issues, you seem to accept that it could deal with a lot of them: why do you want subcommittees on those issues, too?

[quote:3rxnethp]I also don't see that the PJSP can address balance of power issues (although the SC could) or could address issues about the SC's interaction with the Judiciary (although the SC could). I also don't see how the PJSP can address issues concerning the qualification and appointment of judges -- they are in fact specifically disabled from doing so.[/quote:3rxnethp]

There is no reason that the PJSP cannot address these issues: it can deal with anything that impacts on performance. It can say, "Our judges are useless - we can see that in practice: we need to rethink the appointments mechanism". As to the Scientific Council, there is a special commission on that in any event, so the committees that you propose would again be a duplication.

[quote:3rxnethp]I also don't see that the PJSP could address the problems involving the complications and lack of balance we have as a result of our current system's pretensions to be a system for the whole of SL, and not just for the CDS.[/quote:3rxnethp]

And what "complexities and lack of balance" specifically do you think that those are? The PJSP can certainly say, "Our judiciary is not performing well because of X", and X may well include the things that you list if that genuinely is a problem. But no committee structure should be set in place on the premise that there are any [i:3rxnethp]specific[/i:3rxnethp] problems with the judiciary, or else the outcomes will be prejudiced. The PJSP, unilike the committees that you propose, will start neutrally, and can ask itself, detached from the political upheval, "How well does our judiciary work?" and, if, and only if it finds a problem, "What needs to be done to improve it?". Any committee whose sole function is to find and fix specific sorts of problems will inevitably find and attempt to "fix" such problems, even if no problems exist, in order to justifty its existence. Indeed, this was the very thing that you argued about institutions that overstay their welcome back months ago in the "in defence of complexity" thread.

[quote:3rxnethp]Even where the PJSP can act, it cannot necessarily determine whether it should -- or whether it, rather than some other institution, should be the one to determine the outcome of our test of the Judiciary (if we decide to test it). [/quote:3rxnethp]

The position will only be unclear if there [i:3rxnethp]are[/i:3rxnethp] multiple competing such institutions. If there are no further committees, there will not be.

[quote:3rxnethp]Also, I don't think that it is well positioned to address the policy questions behind privacy, and juries, and financing, and procedures -- even if it can assess the practices implemented on these issues.[/quote:3rxnethp]

The PJSP is entirely entitled to say, "The judiciary is performing poorly because the system of having juries causes problems", and I cannot conceive how you would imagine that it would not be able to say, "the judiciary is performing poorly because the procedures are not well-drafted".

[quote:3rxnethp]A determination that a practice works as a practice (serves its own ends) does not tell us either that it is a good practice (has good ends) or that there is not a better practice (some alternative that serves the ends better). The PJSP simply cannot do the job of this Commission under the terms and limitations imposed on it by the Judiciary Act.[/quote:3rxnethp]

The PJSP reports on the "quality of service and performance". "Performance" means how well that the judiciary functions. Anything that affects how well the judiciary functions, whether direct or indirect, the PJSP can look at. Anything that does not affect how the judiciary functions is irrelevant.

[quote:3rxnethp]With regard to the simplicity or complexity of the process I recommend, I can only appeal to my own experience and to history. The job of this Commission is to draft recommendations to the RA on the ten points we have been told to discuss. Drafting by committee is very hard. It is made harder the more people are involved in the actual drafting process. It is therefore simplified if some person or set of persons is giving the job of drafting.

I refer to the subcommittee that drafted the Declaration of Independence as a case in point. Although the first draft was not the one that was sent to the King, there would never have been a first draft to send if a subcommittee was not used. However, the draft that was sent would not have been what the Congress intended if the subcommittee had the final or last word.

My RL experience on large committees and commissions is similar -- nothing gets done if there are not subcommittees, but nothing gets done right if there are just subcommittees.[/quote:3rxnethp]

That does not address the human resources issue: to have [i:3rxnethp]ten[/i:3rxnethp] subcommittees will undoubtedly require an immense amount of resources. Ten subcommittes with 3-5 members each is 30-50 people: nearly half our population! Your proposal would inevitably mean that a sizable chunk of the population would be heavily engaged in dealing with the judiciary controversy for an indeterminate time into the future, which would be disasterous for the CDS. We need to be outward looking, not inward looking, expending our energies on attracting new citizens, not on things that discouarge them. I have already had citizens telling me that they are seriously put off by the "bickering and infighting" caused by the opponents of our judiciary. In those circumstances, it is infinitely better to leave such questions, and the question of whether such questions need to be answered at all, to the neutral voice of reason and moderation that will inevitably be the PJSP (which, also being an elective body, does not have the additional problem that your self-appointing committees have of being distinctly unrepresentative).
Ashcroft Burnham

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