============================ Appeal 1408a ============================
Appeal initiated: 29 Aug 2002 09:51:51 GMT
Assigned to Steve (panelist): 29 Aug 2002 15:16:31 GMT
Assigned to Taral (panelist): 29 Aug 2002 15:16:31 GMT
Assigned to OscarMeyr (panelist): 29 Aug 2002 15:16:31 GMT
Steve moves to SUSTAIN: 02 Sep 2002 07:27:05 GMT
OscarMeyr moves to REVERSE: 02 Sep 2002 14:36:01 GMT
Taral moves to SUSTAIN: 05 Sep 2002 01:20:21 GMT
Final decision (SUSTAIN): 05 Sep 2002 01:20:21 GMT
Panelist Steve's Arguments:
As we all know, Rulekeepor Michael is required to maintain copies of
Theses approved by Thesis Committee. I think the key point neglected by
the Appellant is that a request to provide copies of all Theses approved
for degrees must apply to all Theses approved by Thesis Committee, since
the latter is strictly a subset of the former. It follows that RedKnight's
request was a valid request to Rulekeepor Michael to provide documents
that the Rulekeepor is required to maintain. I conclude that while
Michael was certainly not remiss in failing to provide copies of Theses
approved for degrees prior to the creation of Thesis Committees, e
certainly should have responded to RedKnight's request viz a viz those
Theses e is required by R1370 to maintain.
Finally, I reiterate the principle set down by Sir Toby in eir
Judgement, that where one Player makes an FOIA request of a second
Player to provide documents in an area for which the second Player is
responsible, and where no documents exist matching the request made by
the second Player, an acknowledgement of this fact is required by way of
a response, not merely silence.
None of this is intended to be too critical of Rulekeepor Michael. I
think we were all caught off-guard by this episode. It's a big Ruleset,
and strange things lurk in dark corners of it, where the light of our
attention rarely shines. Michael just happened to be standing in the
wrong place at the wrong time when the startled creature leapt and bit.
But I do think Sir Toby's Judgement sets down a useful precedent for the
future, and so I move to SUSTAIN eir Judgement.
Panelist OscarMeyr's Arguments:
The *intent* of the relevant portion of R1370 is that a Thesis approved for a
Degree is identical, under the current Rule, to a Thesis approved by its
But one thing I have learned by playing this Game, is that the intent of the
Rule does not matter -- the phrasing of the Rule matters. So the intended
equivalence does not count.
RedKnight requested X. R1370 intended to require Rulekeepor Michael to
maintain the records for X, but R1370 *as written* requires the Rulekeepor to
maintain the records for Y. I therefore concur with Appellant Murphy's
Accordingly, I move to OVERTURN and REVERSE.
Panelist Taral's Arguments:
A few findings of fact first:
1. The Rules do not mandate that Rulekeepor Michael maintain a copy
of theses which were not approved by a Thesis Committee.
2. There are no theses which have been approved by a Thesis
3. RedKnight requested "a copy of all theses approved for degrees".
It is a point of contention whether or not RedKnight's request is
sufficient to invoke the provisions of Rule 1064 (FOIA). Justice Steve
argues that since the records that Michael is required to keep are a
subset of the requested documents. I agree with this. Does this request
therefore implicitly contain a request for the documents Michael is
required to keep? Yes.
Murphy and OscarMeyr argue that these implicit requests should not be
recognized under FOIA. It would certainly be more convenient to rule
this way, and the Rules are silent on the matter.
In the past, implicit actions have only been permitted if their effect
is completely clear and unambiguous to the person required to act on or
record them (c.f. CFJs on blanket transfers). I see no reason to believe
that RedKnight's request would be in any way unclear or ambiguous to
Michael, or anyone else for that matter.
Accordingly, the implicit request does invoke the provisions of Rule
1064. I move to SUSTAIN the Judgement.