Index ← 3428 CFJ 3429 3430 → text
==============================  CFJ 3429  ==============================

      Rule 2437 contains the text "omd CAN cause this rule to amend 
      itself by announcement."

========================================================================

Caller:                       omd 

Judge:                        G. 
Judgement:                    FALSE

========================================================================

History:

Called by omd:                30 Sep 2014    
Assigned to G.:               02 Oct 2014       
Judged FALSE by G.:           09 Oct 2014

========================================================================

(historical note:  The judgement of FALSE by G. was entered into Moot,
but due to bugs in the Moot process, the Moot failed and the judgement
remained - see CFJ 3438 for details).

========================================================================

Caller's Arguments:

           It was sent 6 hours before the traditional 4 day waiting
period considered sufficient for public notice.  However, this
deadline is not set in stone by any rule; the relevant clause merely
reads that:

      A rule change which would otherwise take effect without its
      substance being subject to general player review through a
      reasonably public process is wholly prevented from taking
      effect.

While it may be best practice to wait 4 days, it seems implausible to
me that in any practical sense anyone has been deprived of the
opportunity to review this change by only having 90 hours rather than
96 hours.

From a more theoretical perspective, while the 4 day number is based
on dependent actions, deputisation currently has a 2 day minimum wait,
implying that a mere 2 days is sufficient for some partial notice
(e.g. to the former officeholder, who is about to be deposed, or
perhaps to anyone else who might notice errors in the intended report,
to avoid confusing the issue - I can't speculate what the original
intent of that waiting period was.)  Compared to that, 90 hours is an
eternity.

========================================================================

Judge G.'s Arguments:

The clause in question reads:
      A rule change which would otherwise take effect without its
      substance being subject to general player review through a
      reasonably public process is wholly prevented from taking
      effect.
     
In order to interpret this clause in the current Ruleset, it's important
to look at its history.

When this clause was written as part of Rights, it was part of a
deliberate attempt to make Agora the "top agreement" in a world of
possible agreements.  In that sense, "agreements subject to review"
might include everything from Agoran Rules, to painfully-explicit
regulatory text, to handshake deals - basically anything that one or
more parties wanted to bring to Agora to adjudicate. 

In this sense, it was expected that "reasonable review" would be
extremely contextual.  For an agreement of two parties, "hey, would you
trade me 1 wheat instead of 2 corn like we agreed to?"  "sure." is all
you need.  However, an extremely formal contract, or especially a sub-
Nomic, might require looking at detailed procedural loopholes and
multistep processes.

While "reasonable" differed between contract types, it did not tend to
differ within a contract type.  For example, you wouldn't suddenly
start treating a very formal contract like a handshake deal (or vice
versa) as was convenient. 

However, given that the Clause governed both formal and informal
processes, it was inevitable that they mix.  To that end, a "general
understanding" (or custom) was formed that, if a formal process was
lacking in "reasonable review", one could essentially spawn an informal
sub-agreement, e.g. posting the rule change text with clear intent. 
This "mixing" of formal and informal within a single context of the
"Agoran Rules Agreement" was not formally recognized, but was generally
accepted.

However, that text has been moved, and the context of Agora being the
adjudicator of other agreements is gone.  The text is now in R105 under
the context of Rule Changes only, and informal agreements in general are
no longer an "official" (that is, enforceable in court) part of Agora.

Under the new rules, it's important to ask:  does that "reasonably
public process" apply to this sort of mixed process, or does it apply
to rules-defined processes only?   

If the former, we can go down the line of deciding whether 4 days is the
minimum reasonable time.  (I have no problem deciding on a minimum
explicit time limit for the rule in question, and in this specific case,
I'd choose 4 days).

If the latter, we'd apply the standard to Rule authorizing the Rule
Change ("by announcement"), and say that, since "by announcement" is
inadequate, no amount of informal process can fix it, and the attempt
fails[*].

I think, honestly, that there's arguments for both sides, and this is
a good opportunity for a Moot. 

But my personal interpretation is that the new context is formal, for
reasons I'll give during the (expected) Moot.  Under that, I judge this
statement FALSE. 

[*] One special edge case:  If the complete text of a Rule Change is
specified in a Rule and needs no substitutions; (e.g. "the Officer CAN
cause this rule to repeal itself by announcement"), then this "future
change" is reviewed during the process that inserts that text  (e.g. via
the proposal that did so).

========================================================================