Index ← 1952 CFJ 1953 1954 → text
==============================  CFJ 1953  ==============================

    A individual player may be found GUILTY in a criminal case for an
    action performed by a judicial panel of which e is a member, if the
    judicial panel performs the action as described in R2157.


Caller:                                 G.
Barred:                                 root

Judge:                                  ais523
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by G.:                           13 May 2008 16:52:52 GMT
Assigned to ais523:                     16 May 2008 05:36:09 GMT
Judged FALSE by ais523:                 16 May 2008 17:29:04 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

I say "may" as I will ignore the case (for now) in which a panel member
doesn't support an Action.  I'm arguing for a judgment of FALSE regardless
of whether the player in question published the message containing the action
on behalf of panel, was a supporter of the publication, or didn't support
the publication.  R2157 reads:

      A judicial panel is a structure whereby a group of two or more
      persons (its members) act together


      A judicial panel CAN send messages by means of any of its
      members sending a message identified as being from the panel,
      with the unanimous Support of the panel's other members, or (if
      the CotC is not a member) with the Support of at least half the
      other members and the Support of the CotC.

This construct makes it clear that any message that a player sends on behalf
of the panel, through this mechanism, is deemed as wholly and completely being
sent by the panel, down to the level of actually sending the message ("panel
CAN send messages").  It is the panel that CAN send the messages that actually
perform actions, not any individual player.

There is no mechanism for devolving this collective responsibility to
individual players, for the purpose of criminal proceedings.  By R1504(a)
and (c) a defendant and an action must be specified.  It would be possible
to specify (a)The judicial panel and (c) the action or message in question,
but this would punish "the panel", not individual players.  If one instead
specified (a)one of the members of the judicial panel, then it would not
match up with (c) the action and the member could not be found GUILTY
because it was the panel that performed the action according to R2157.

Quite specifically, there is no mechanism for whatsoever for criminalizing or
devolving criminal responsibility for "the message which a player sent, and
the act of supporting that message, which caused the judicial panel to send
a message which caused the judicial panel to break the Rule via an action."
This is a non-transitive property.  R2157 specifically halts this devolution
of responsibility by stating that any actions taken through this message
are *by the panel*, again down to the level of message sent.

It has been stated, before, that all that (first-class) people actually do
in this game is send messages.  If R2157 deems that, even at this base
level, the "message" comes from the panel, there is no individual
responsibility for panel actions left for an individual person to take.

Therefore, I argue for FALSE.

I don't claim, by the way, on whether this is a bug or a feature.


Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

Rule 2157/4 (Power=1.7)
Judicial Panels
      A judicial panel can incur obligations.  The members of a panel
      SHALL act collectively to ensure that the panel satisfies all of
      its obligations.

root's CFJ alleges that the members of the panel did not satisfy its
obligations, explicitly invoking this mechanism.  TRUE.

My CFJ is a bit more troublesome-- it alleges that you did something
wrong "interpreting and applying the rules", which I argue is
necessary in order to publish a set of arguments on the matter
intended to become part of a judgement.


Judge ais523's Arguments:

First, the statement of the CFJ is slightly ambiguous, but I interpret
the "may" here as meaning "may, under some circumstances,"; therefore,
a judgement of TRUE here would imply only that there are some
circumstances under which a member of a panel would be found guilty
under a rule 2157 act.

Rule 2157 states:
      A judicial panel can incur obligations.  The members of a panel
      SHALL act collectively to ensure that the panel satisfies all of
      its obligations.

To address the caller's arguments: they make a good case that it is in
fact the panel which is sending the message, not any of the individual
players in that panel. Likewise, the argument that no first-class
person can be punished just because the panel itself broke a rule,
with a criminal CFJ stating that rule, seems reasonable. (I state
'first-class' here, because there is a reading of rule 2150 that would
imply that a judicial panel was a person; it depends on whether the
first sentence of rule 2150 causes a judicial panel to become a person.
However, this is irrelevant to this CFJ itself.)

However, there is one remaining argument, relevant to CFJs 1948, 1949,
and 1950, which the caller's arguments do not address; comex makes this
argument below, and I independently came to the same conclusion. There
is one rule that can be breached by a player who causes a judicial panel
to break its obligations, and that is rule 2157 itself. The SHALL there
can clearly only be interpreted as binding the members of the panel to
cause the panel to meet all its obligations. Therefore, it is clear that
if an individual player causes a judicial panel to perform an action that
causes it to fail to meet its obligations, that player is in breach of
rule 2157; otherwise the second sentence of rule 2157 would have no
meaning. The interpretation in which it does have a meaning seems far
more sensible.

So the judgement in this case comes down to a matter of semantics; is
this particular eventuality covered by the literal statement of the CFJ?
For the record, I state that it is possible to be found GUILTY in a
criminal CFJ with the following statement, given certain hypothetical
acts by the defendant:
Goethe breached Rule 2157 by failing to ensure that the panel met all
of its obligations in appeal case 1932a. Specifically, the panel failed
to meet its obligation to assign an appropriate judgement in that case.
(This is the statement of CFJ 1948. Therefore, this ruling implies that
UNIMPUGNED would be inappropriate in that case, although it has no
bearing on whether INNOCENT is appropriate.)

Whether such a statement is the example needed to find this CFJ TRUE is
an interesting semantic question, depending on what 'for' means in the
CFJ statement. It is certainly true that the action performed by the
panel can be strong evidence that a player caused the panel to perform
that action. However, specifying no other rule breach but a breach by
the panel does not in itself cause the panel's members to have broken a
rule; strong evidence that Rule 2157 has been broken is not itself an
allegation of a breach of Rule 2157. Therefore, I find that root's and
comex's arguments are both substantially correct. Therefore, on a
technicality in the original statement, I rule FALSE; however, neither
this judgement nor the statement of this CFJ (nor root's arguments, for
that matter) should be interpreted such that a CFJ similar to CFJ 1948
should necessarily be judged UNIMPUGNED.