Draft Revision of Article III, The Scientific Council, of the CDS Constitution

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Delia Lake
Dean of the SC
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Draft Revision of Article III, The Scientific Council, of the CDS Constitution

Post by Delia Lake »

The SC has drafted a revision to the CDS Constitution, Article III, The Scientific Council. We are posting this draft to the Forum for the citizenry to read and make comments previous to finalizing this draft and turning it into a formal Constitutional revision.
A little history here. Early on, when the original Constitution was written and in the few years immediately following that, there was a push to model the SC after the RL British jurisprudence system with the SC professors acting like magistrates with barristers and solicitors among the citizenry. That concept was pushed by people who were RL lawyers, barristers, and solicitors. It never had any traction and in fact was strongly resisted by the citizenry. Nevertheless, some of the wording in Article III as it currently stands as well as in a few of the current laws reflect that failed initiative.
The SC submits this draft of Article III to remove those references and reflect how the SC has actually operated during the past twelve plus years, and to simplify the languaging to make the work of this body more easily understandable to the CDS citizenry.

The text is below, and on a Google Doc via this link. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1siW ... p=sharing


Article III – The Scientific Council

Section 1 – Summary
The Scientific Council (SC) is a self-selected meritocracy.

Its governmental role is to interpret and enforce the Constitution and laws of the CDS

Its service role is to resolve disputes between citizens and their government, administer elections and referenda, record and maintain the record of laws on the Portal and moderate user Forums.

Section 2 – Composition
The SC is comprised of a maximum of seven and a minimum of three members, including the Chair.

Section 3 – Selection
New members are recommended from within the citizenship of CDS to the Chair. Recommendations may come from current SC members, other government officers. Recommendation of a candidate for membership on the SC must based on demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the Constitution and Laws, and declared willingness to uphold said Constitution and Laws without bias, personal preference or emotion.

New members are nominated by the Chair and approved by a simple majority vote, and confirmed by a majority vote of the RA.

The SC can remove one of its members by a two-thirds majority vote of all SC members.

Section 4 – Leadership

The Chair is elected by a simple majority vote of all SC members, according to a schedule identified in the SC Procedures.

Section 5 – Proceedings

The SC will convene at least once per month.

The SC will determine the rules of its proceedings., The SC and may reprimand its members for disorderly behavior and with a simple majority vote of the members present, expel a member from a session for disruptive or disorderly behaviour.

Any citizen of the CDS may file petitions with the SC. Petitions shall be to request an interpretation of a relevant Constitutional issue or matter of Law, and a decision resulting from that interpretation, where a Law or Constitutional issue have allegedly been broken or ignored.

The SC shall consider the petition at its next regular meeting, and will vote to accept or to deny the petition. If a member of the SC is named in a petition, that member shall be recused for the duration of the hearing.

Discussions regarding interpretation of Constitutional issues or matters of Law brought forward in petitions will follow the SC Procedures as posted on the Forums.

Where a Hearing is required, the hearing shall be conducted following the Hearing Procedures adopted by the SC and published in the Forums.

Hearing Procedures may be amended by a super-majority vote of the SC.

Section 6 – Records of Proceedings
The SC shall keep and publish a record of its proceedings, in the form of a transcript, on the Forums and Portal. All decisions shall also be recorded separately on the Portal. Any decision reached outside of a regular meeting, through any permitted procedural practice, will also be published on the Portal.

SC members must always provide a rationale for their decisions, identifying the areas of the Constitution or Law on which their opinion is based.

Section 7 – Legislative Authority
The RA Archivist submits all new Laws or Amendments to the SC. Ratification of such Laws or Amendments is automatic, unless within 48 hours of receipt it is flagged for review by a member of the SC, by a public posting in the Forums.

The Scientific Council, can veto any bill and/or return a bill submit to the RA with commentary a modified bill for vote if it conflicts with the Constitution.

Where the SC believes a Law or Amendment is not in the best interests of the CDS, or contravenes the documented will of the citizens of CDS, the SC may resubmit a recommendation for the bill, with or without suggested amendments, to the RA for a second vote, along with a written rationale for the changes decision not to ratify.

Any bill that is returned to the RA requires a super-majority (⅔) of that body to pass.

The SC will review any request from the RA to override a Chancellor’s Veto within 10 days of receiving the request and may uphold or override the Veto, as per the Laws of the CDS

Section 8 – Accountability & Oversight
A member of the SC may be impeached for serious, intentional or repeated failure to uphold his or her affirmation of office.

Impeachment proceedings against a member of the SC may be brought by a super-majority vote of the RA, or by the Chancellor, with a simple majority vote of the RA in support.

Section 9 – Conflict of Interest

No member of the SC shall accept gifts of money or favors from individuals or special-interest groups.

No currently sitting of the SC member may be elected or serve as Chancellor or member of the RA.

SC members shall recuse themselves from any vote on a matter that may present a conflict of interest including, but not limited to conflicts arising from: relationships; business dealings; guild or commission activities; or management or governmental roles in other estates.

Section 10 – Estate Bans
The SC shall review all estate bans imposed upon citizens of the CDS within 14 days of notification that the ban has been imposed, and by a simple majority vote to remove or uphold the ban.
Non-citizen avatars who are banned may request a review by the SC. The SC can remove or uphold the ban by a simple majority vote

The SC shall uphold, remove, or impose bans from the CDS only in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws of the CDS.

Section 11 - Impeachment
Impeachment is an order that an elected official cease to hold such public office, or is suspended from such office for a predetermined period of time. Impeachment may also result in disqualification, either permanently or for a certain period of time, from holding any or all public office or offices in the future. Impeachment may also result in the temporary or permanent ban of the avatar from the CDS.

Impeachment procedures may be started against any elected official in accordance with the
Constitution and any applicable laws.

Impeachment is for serious, intentional, or repeated failure to uphold the Constitution or Laws of the CDS, for fiscal mismanagement or malfeasance.

Impeachment proceedings may be requested by any arm of government, as described within this Constitution, or may be started by a petition from the citizenry, containing the names equal to or greater than 25% plus 1 of the citizenry based on the latest published Citizen List.

The impeachment process will be conducted in accordance with the Impeachment Hearing Procedures adopted by the SC, and may be amended by the SC by a super-majority vote.

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