Index ← 2437a CFJ 2437 2438 → text
==============================  CFJ 2437  ==============================

    Goethe recently flipped the Caste of at least 2 players to Alpha.


Caller:                                 Wooble

Judge:                                  scshunt
Judgement:                              TRUE

Appeal:                                 2437a
Decision:                               REMAND

Judge:                                  scshunt
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by Wooble:                       01 Apr 2009 14:20:17 GMT
Assigned to scshunt:                    02 Apr 2009 02:53:34 GMT
Judged TRUE by scshunt:                 02 Apr 2009 04:08:13 GMT
Appealed by root:                       02 Apr 2009 05:23:30 GMT
Appealed by omd:                        02 Apr 2009 10:39:25 GMT
Appealed by Wooble:                     02 Apr 2009 12:00:49 GMT
Appeal 2437a:                           02 Apr 2009 12:00:49 GMT
REMANDED on Appeal:                     09 Apr 2009 17:00:01 GMT
Assigned to scshunt:                    09 Apr 2009 17:00:01 GMT
Judged FALSE by scshunt:                11 Apr 2009 06:42:51 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

The obligation is assigned to the *office*, not to the
player who holds it.  Now, a player who holds an office can violate
R2143 by failing to perform the duties assigned to an office e holds,
but the office's obligation to perform some action is satisfied when
either the officer or a person deputising for the office (note: *not*
for the officer, but for the office) performs the action.  R2211's
wording strongly suggests that the office SHALL perform the caste
flipping procedure only once (and if not, OscarMeyr may be subject to
an infinite number of NoVs for not continuously performing the
procedure, although the UNAWARE criterion for NOT GUILTY would
obviously apply); once this is satisfied further attempts to deputise
would fail (or, if done by the holder of the Grand Poobah office,
would be ILLEGAL.)


Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

1.  R2160 is very specific that the only thing done "as if" an office
were held was the *action* itself.  Not fulfilling duties of the office,
and certainly not actually holding the office.

2.  If the obligation is assigned to an office as the caller argues,
the only way it can be fulfilled is if the officer does the action.
R1006 is specific that there can be at most one officer.  Therefore
when a deputy deputizes for a held office, e cannot fulfill a duty
assigned to the office.  (It could work when deputizing for a vacant
office, but that would mean two inconsistent mechanisms for
deputization depending on whether an office was vacant or not).  If
the deputy gains the office momentarily and fulfills the obligation,
what removes em and re-installs the original officer?

3.  The caller's assertion that "the office's obligation to perform
some action is satisfied when ... a person deputising for the office
performs the action" is only weakly construed by possibly trivial
grammatical distinctions in R2143.

4.  R2211's implication is neither here nor there; the deputisation is
a specific and direct legal loophole around this.

Therefore, I think the most reasonable assertion is as follows from
a previous discussion thread below, note the conclusion that the
officer can perform the duty even *after* the deputy performs it, and
the proposed legislative fix (that never happened):

On Mon, 9 Mar 2009, Ed Murphy wrote:
> Goethe wrote:
>> Ok, it may be more broken than that.  Recent CFJs have held that a breach
>> of the rules related to missing a time limit occurs at the moment a time
>> limit is passed.  Once that time limit is passed, if the officer does the
>> job anyway (late), e still has broken the rule.
>> Which means that, once the time limit is passed, the officer is no
>> longer required to perform the action.  E is punishable for eir
>> past failure to do, but since e breaks no more rules by continued
>> failure, the rules are not requiring em to do it.
>> Which means that R2160(a) and (b) can *never* be true simultaneously.
>> Thoughts?
> Already judged as non-broken (CFJs 2120-21), unless the relevant
> rules have changed sufficiently since then (August 2008) that this
> interpretation no longer holds up.

Ah, this helps.  It answers ais523's CFJ as well, perhaps.  Judge Woggle
said that a "SHALL", once the time limit has passed, becomes an "open-ended
obligation".  Which means that if (a) the Officer doesn't do it on time
and (b) the Deputy does it then (c) the Officer is *still* required and
able to do it (a second time after the deputy does).  Though the Officer
has no time limit on doing so (and so can't be punished - therefore this
new open-ended obligation doesn't violate R101vi).

But this implies that said open-ended obligation is required to exist
for the deputy to do it, and so if the officer does it after the time
limit expires (but before the deputy), the open-ended obligation ends,
and then the deputy is no longer able to do it as the rules no longer
require it, as necessary for R2160(a).  Thus resulting in a FALSE for
this CFJ.

So I think CFJ 2120 implies that ais523's caller's arguments are
incorrect, and everything works fine?  Except that this way, the Officer
CAN still do something a second time after a deputy does it.  This one
is easy to fix if we (and the court) agrees this is what's going on,
by inserting a simple "if a deputy performs the action, the Officer is
relieved of the requirement to perform it" in the Rule.


Judge scshunt's Arguments:

The obligation to perform an action must be tied to an office and not
the holder, as the caller says. Otherwise, R2160(d) would block
performance of a {CAN and SHALL} action in an empty office - tradition
dictates that this is not the case.

This case, however, allows the Poobah to adjust caste whenever,
regardless of obligations. As such, R2160(d) is satisfied.

R2160(b) and (c) are trivially satisfied.

R2160(a) specifies {if the rules require the holder of the holder of
that office, by virtue of holding that office, to perform the action}.
The rules do require the Poobah to perform promotions and demotions,
regardless of whether the obligation has been fulfilled. Therefore
R2160(a) is satisfied.

As such, I find that this case is TRUE.


Appellant root's Arguments:

I intend to appeal the judgement in CFJ 2437 with 2 support.  I find
this precedent rather disturbing, as I doubt that the rules make that
same distinction.

Case in point:  MMI happens to give us an actual working definition
for (all-caps) "REQUIRED" as meaning "Failing to perform the described
action violates the rule in question."  This definition isn't mandated
for non-all-caps require, but it is strongly recommended.  So R2160a
SHOULD be read in this case as "a player provisionally can deputise to
perform the actions described by R2211 if the holder of the office of
Grand Poobah would violate R2211 by failing to perform the same
actions"; which is essentially Goethe's argument.

It seems clear from this that what the rules view as requirement and
what you view as obligation are the same thing.


Appellant omd's Arguments:

I support.  This thread is confusing but for something to be made
REQUIRED and ILLEGAL by the same clause...?


Judge scshunt's Arguments:

The fundamental question here is whether or not R2160 was satisfied for
the purposes of the actions Goethe performed.

R2160 requires 4 conditions to be met to allow a player to perform the
action, and I will evaluate each of these in reverse order.

Condition (d) is trivially true; the Grand Poobah CAN make arbitrary
changes to caste.

Condition (c) is not relevant, the office was not at the time held by an
active player.

Condition (b) is satisfied by the office being vacant.

Condition (a) is the only one to which debate can be raised. The
question is whether or not the rules require the Grand Poobah to, after
having possibly flipped BobTHJ's caste, flip a player's caste to Alpha?

Now, a point of interpretation is important here. Condition (a) is
worded in a way such that it is not clear as to whether or not the
requirement is evaluated empirically or not - that is, without regards
to changing circumstances. The Grand Poobah is required to, as soon as
possible after the beginning of the month, make caste changes. Does this
mean that a deputy, in performing the changes, discharges the obligation
in such a way that Condition (a) is no longer satisfied?

Agoran tradition is generally insufficient at providing a good ruling
for this. In most cases, obligations for offices (and indeed,
obligations generally) that authorize specific action authorize so as a
part of the obligation - the ability to perform the action disappears as
the obligation does. As such, condition (d) usually stops an attempt to
deputize before condition (a) is tested. The Grand Poobah is a special
case, as the action is always possible, but only to the holder of the

There does, however, exist one useful bit of judicial precedent. In CFJ
2120, Judge woggle ruled that an obligation with a fixed time period is,
if violated, converted to an open-ended one to allow the officer or a
deputy to complete the action. Since deputization functions in a
situation where the obligation exists, but not through the rules, it
suggests that the correct interpretation of condition (a) is that it is
satisfied whenever an obligation exists for the officeholder to perform
the action, not just when the rules would require such an action to be

This leads to another question: did such an obligation exist that
Goethe, through deputization, could fulfill? Initially, there most
certainly did, but it is possible that the promotion of BobTHJ to Alpha
discharged the obligation. It is also possible that since the obligation
is tied to the officeholder, and not the office, the obligation was not
discharged and remained, allowing Goethe to repeatedly promote players
to Alpha.

I refer to my arguments used in the prior judgment of this case.
Condition (d) of R2160 states that a deputization can be performed only
if the player could perform the action for which e is deputizing if e
held the office. Now, if the obligation is a CAN and SHALL obligation -
that is, one that provides the sole mechanism by which the action can be
performed, then with obligations tied to a specific officeholder, we
would find that the deputy, if holding the office, would not have the
obligation and thus ability to perform the desired action. Since Agoran
tradition shows that deputies can indeed perform such actions, the
obligations must therefore be placed upon the office itself and not upon
any specific player holding the office.

I also note that Goethe may possibly not have succeeded in promoting
BobTHJ to Alpha if the Grand Poobah is required to fulfill the
obligations as a whole and not as units. This is a minor point, and
utterly irrelevant to the case at large, since if that was impossible,
then every subsequent flip to Alpha was also most certainly impossible.

Based on this logic, I find that Goethe did indeed discharge the Grand
Poobah's obligation to promote a player to Alpha and that as such e
could no longer deputize for the office. I judge FALSE