Decisions of the SC meeting of October 8th, 2006

Announcements by the Dean of the Scientific Council

Moderator: SC Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Gwyneth Llewelyn
Forum Wizard
Forum Wizard
Posts: 1183
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 8:00 am

Decisions of the SC meeting of October 8th, 2006

Post by Gwyneth Llewelyn »

Dear citizens,

Sunday was a catastrophic day in terms of SL access. As I type this post, logins are still closed. By an extraordinary coincidence, we managed to get three out of four members of the SC logged in by chance just a bit before the appointed hour, at 4 PM SL time, so we decided to give it a go.

In the middle of our meeting, scripts have been disabled grid-wide, so the recording of the log was "manual", and lag threatened the sim's stability. Still, nobody crashed in the middle of the session, and we managed to come to a binding decision.

After reviewing the few changes that were made by the RA on the Judiciary Act, the Scientific Council found out the following:
[list:13h23a7w][*:13h23a7w]There are a few spelling errors and incorrect naming of the institutions in the revision; these should be a friendly amendment, but it's important that the [i:13h23a7w]correct[/i:13h23a7w] names are used.[/*:m:13h23a7w]
[*:13h23a7w]There is no provision for impeaching the members of the Public Judiciary Scrutiny Panel. This means that the only way to remove them from office is through a popular vote. All other members of the Judiciary can indeed be impeached.

In the Scientific Council's opinion, this does not meet the requirements for providing an "independent judiciary", which is expected by a constitution that demands compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights' Article 10: "Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an [i:13h23a7w]independent and impartial tribunal[/i:13h23a7w], in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him." (emphasis mine) and Article 8: "Everyone has the right to an [i:13h23a7w]effective remedy by the competent national tribunals[/i:13h23a7w] for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law."

The Judiciary Act, as it stands, might encourage either:
a) a tribunal that is not impartial and independent (having the PJSP members pick judges that are tied to lobbies or other influence groups, and no way to place a check on that decision; also, the Chancellor, for instance, is able to get elected as a PJSP member under the current writing of the Judiciary Act);
b) a tribunal that is not able to apply effective remedy (the PJSP, being offered a choice of judges, picks systematically the less able members — again, without checks on that choice);
c) a tribunal that is effectively prevented to work by not appointing any members at all from a list that has been presented (without any way to impeach members for acting irresponsibly) — until the next PJSP gets elected.[/*:m:13h23a7w]
[*:13h23a7w]The "founding spirit" of Neufreistadt demanded that all bodies of State — either governmental branches, or non-governmental ones — have a set of proper checks and balances at all levels. This Judiciary Act would, as a consequence, create an elected body by universal suffrage that was unbounded in its checks. This is a precedent that would have been created that the members of the Scientific Council do not agree with, since it is contrary to the whole spirit of a well-balanced and multiple-checked State that was the founders' wish and desire.

In effect, the Judiciary Act will, henceforward, remove the ability of the Scientific Council being able to pass a similar judgement in the future — all future comments of the Scientific Council will have to have a strict adherence to the Constitution and compliance with the UDHR, and nothing else. This would effectively mean that future changes of the Constitution would be perfectly possible to use this case as a precedence for creating further bodies without the proper need for checks and balances.

While it is indeed the case that the citizens' will should prevail here, by removing the SC's power to deliberate according to a philosophy, we also wish to end this phase of the SC by establishing, as possible, as little "loopholes" in the (future) process of changing the Constitution, by removing any potentially "dangerous" precedents.[/*:m:13h23a7w][/list:u:13h23a7w]

Thus, we encourage the Representative Assembly to add further changes to the amended bill for the Judiciary Act:
[list:13h23a7w][*:13h23a7w]Include the capacity of impeaching members of the PJSP that do not behave in a responsible and ethical manner;[/*:m:13h23a7w]
[*:13h23a7w]Limit the elegibility of members of the PJSP, so that they cannot be picked from existing holders of public offices, in a similar manner that happens for other public offices (ie. members of the RA not being able to serve on other branches);[/*:m:13h23a7w]
[*:13h23a7w]Correct any misspelled names of public offices and institutions named on the amendments.[/*:m:13h23a7w][/list:u:13h23a7w]

"I'm not building a game. I'm building a new country."
  -- Philip "Linden" Rosedale, interview to Wired, 2004-05-08

PGP Fingerprint: CE8A 6006 B611 850F 1275 72BA D93E AA3D C4B3 E1CB

Post Reply

Return to “Scientific Council Announcements”