Index ← 2760 CFJ 2761 2762 → text
=========================  Criminal Case 2761  =========================

    comex (c.) violated the power 3 Rule 101 by infringing the several
    rights of the collective Citizens United, when e caused them to
    cease to be persons.

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Caller:                                 omd

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              NOT GUILTY

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History:

Called by omd:                          07 Feb 2010 19:03:40 GMT
Defendant omd informed:                 07 Feb 2010 19:03:40 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         08 Feb 2010 08:07:29 GMT
Judged NOT GUILTY by G.:                10 Feb 2010 17:35:57 GMT

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Caller's Arguments:

To whom it may concern:

I am bringing action on behalf of my clients, a 100-strong coalition
whose notable members include P1, P2, P21, P43, and P67, among others,
collectively referred to as "Citizens United".  These entities, who
cannot initiate proceedings on their own behalf due to their
unfortunate state of nonexistence, brought on of late by their
disbandment as partnerships, have a grievance against comex who, by
causing them to lose their legal personhood, opened the door for
violations of their Rule 101 rights, and, by proceeding to dissolve
them, blatantly violated those rights by stripping them of their
future ablity to, among other things, participate in the fora,
initiate judicial cases on matters of controversy, and/or deregister.

If it were possible, as has been generally suggested (without much
concern for my clients' feelings, if I may say so myself), to remove
their personal rights simply by redefining them as no longer persons,
the rights could be effectively overriden by any proposal of power 3,
or possibly, as in this case, an entity of lower power, an arrangement
which affords them more of the status of regulations than of actual
rights.  Indeed, the term "person" (rather than, e.g., "citizen") has
historically often been employed in law precisely to prevent rights
from being circumvented through redefinition.  It is my clients' view
that the rights and basic privileges afforded to them through
personhood exist and will continue to exist in perpetuity, a view only
natural considering that they are entities whom, once, we saw fit to
regard as equals (and I need not remind you how they have come to be
oppressed, first by being declared "second-class", then by having
legal ability after ability repealed; for a while now, even basic
playerhood has required Agoran consent, and recently their very right
to exist was challenged in a popular proposal); in light of the
safeguards we saw fit to enact, in what may well be considered a more
enlightened time, a time of prosperity and peace, and thoughts of
expansion... in light of ... my clients believe (surely, surely you
must consider this a view only natural!) that they are still People
and Citizens proper, that they were never legally dissolved, and that
they still have the right to play this game!

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Judge G.'s Arguments:

First, on Persons:

R101/13 Rights can indeed be removed by redefining the term "person".
This is true for natural persons as well.  The initial ("definitional")
defense against this is in R754/11(2).  Just taking R101 and R754(2)
into account, if a definition of "person" is inserted at a lower power
than R101, the "common" definition of person (which by judicial
precedent, includes certain types of contracts) would still override
this, and be used to interpret R101.

If a definition is inserted at the same power as R101, that's a danger,
but since such an insertion could just as easily alter R101, that's a
political issue.  However, R2150/6 (Personhood) is power-3 and contains
this definition:
      "A person is an entity defined as such by rules with power of at
       least 2."
therefore delegating a definitional ability to a lower power.  This is
in fact a very specific security hole and a danger both for natural and
secondary persons, and R101 doesn't protect against this redefinition!

Second, on Contracts:

When R101 came to have its current general form (August 2006), "persons"
were not explicitly defined in the ruleset.  Also, agreements (not yet
called contracts) were included in the ruleset with limited regulation,
assuming them to be "natural" things that might exist outside of Agora
that could be brought into Agora by specific actions (e.g. if part of
the act of agreement involved, explicitly or implicitly, agreeing that
Agora was the binding authority for adjudicating disputes).

Later, judicially, the fact that agreements/contracts could have a
"natural" existence (as being entities that natural people naturally
have the freedom and right to create) was used to find that certain
kinds of agreements were naturally like persons, thus falling under the
purview of R101.  (This means that of contract "persons" could exist
outside of Agora and later become recognized by Agora; that is no more
troubling than realizing that there are 6 billion+ natural persons in
the same situation).

This also meant that contracts, like natural persons, could be affected
by external, "natural" events.  Just as natural persons could be born
and could die, and exist without recognition within Agora, so could
contracts.  They can be created, and they can "die", with or without
Agora.

These natural events are not in themselves, in the words of R101,
"interpretations of Agoran law" but can affect Agoran law.  For example:
if, god forbid, a first-class person dies, e ceases to fit the
definition of person (biological questions of what constitutes living
aside, Madame Xanadu does not constitute an Agoran-recognized
"translation service").  R101 does not claim to govern these external
events (as generally recognized by the "not guaranteeing the ability"
clause of R101(i)). R101 does not gaurantee that a person who ceases
being physically able to fit the definition of person continues to be a
legal person.

And if (god forbid) a first-class Agoran person murders another first-
class Agoran person, the laws of Agora themselves don't purport to
govern or punish this "natural but violent" termination (though
fortunately, other jurisdictions would).  Thus such an unfortunate
event would not "violate" R101, as the termination is a physical fact
that affects Agora after the fact, rather than being a matter of Agoran
law prima facie.

The same is true of contracts, especially in the original "natural" R101
sense.

But what constitutes the "natural physiology" and thus the "natural
death" of a contract?  Quite simply, its text that brings it into
existence, that including any methods of self-modification, including
termination.  Therefore, any termination of a contract by its natural
processes (its legal text) would cause it to cease being a person
without violating R101.  In fact, to hold that such a termination is
somehow prevented would alter the nature of the contract without the
signatories' consent.  While it is not necessary to decide on global
precedents between R101 rights, I hold that the R101 right of natural
persons to not be bound by agreements they didn't agree to, in this
very limited sense, supersedes the R101 "right" of the secondary person
they create (the contract) to be locked into perpetual existence against
the body of its text that governs its "natural" termination.

So terminating a contract according to its legal mechanisms removes its
personhood, but does not violate R101.

But what if the method of termination is an Agoran mechanism, not
contained in the contract text?   This is the case here; the contracts
in question were purportedly terminated by Notary Murphy w/o Objection.

When a contract (agreement) is made in a way that the parties WILLINGLY
bring it under Agoran law, this is effectively making, as part of the
text of the agreement, "This Contract is governed by Agoran Law".  At
which point, PART of the agreement becomes being bound by Agoran
procedures.  To say that the procedures of Agora do not work for such
a contract is again to alter physiology of the contract without the
consent of its parties.  This means that legal mechanisms in Agora that
govern an Agoran contract are part of its natural mechanisms as well.

This means that changes in Agoran law are additionally changes in the
terms of every Agoran contract; but since these changes (Rule changes)
are also made according to a process of "informed consent" to which
parties agreeing to be bound by Agora agree to pay attention to (the
public fora) this does not generally result in difficulties.  If a
signatory of a contract complains e was not suitably informed of a
change in Agora, e might have a case, though e'd have to show why the
public process did not inform em.  That has nothing to do with the
current instance however, because the termination mechanism used was in
2173/3 when the P1-P100 were first created, and thus were part of the
natural operation of P1-P100 from the beginning.

This judge finds NOT GUILTY; the contracts terminated according to their
agreed-to mechanisms as was the natural rights of the contracting
parties to make.  Outside of legality, morally and ethically this is
equivalent to a decision to not turn on life-support for a naturally-
dying entity; comex was in fact bowing to the the mercy of Dr. Murphy
when e did not object to the termination.  The Accused did NOT breach
R101 via the specified act.

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