Index ← 3461 CFJ 3462 3463 → text
=============================  CFJ 3462  =============================

      aranea published an ADoP's Report on 20-Oct-16, satisfying eir 
      weekly reporting duties for that office.

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Caller:                      G.

Judge:                       Aris
Judgement:                   TRUE

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History:

Called by G.:                21 Oct 2016
Assigned to Aris:            24 Oct 2016
Judged TRUE by Aris:         25 Oct 2016

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Caller's Arguments:

Alexis purports the otherwise-complete Report was not a Report due to
a single error (in the date that the Arbitor took the office).   However,
the report was otherwise substantially complete, so I think the duty
was done.  There's a standard of reasonableness here, but it also
depends on whether "all information" in R2143 means that inaccurate
information purporting to be part of the "all information" satisfies
the duty.

(By the standard of reasonableness there is a limit that varies case-
by-case; e.g. a completely made-up report would not count for fulfilling
duties, but a report with only minor errors would).

The following phrase in the rule:
      A person SHALL NOT publish information that is inaccurate or
      misleading while performing an official duty, or within a
      document purporting to be part of any person or office's weekly
      or monthly report.

implies that it is possible to publish inaccurate information and
still have it count as fulfilling a duty to report, otherwise the clause
would be meaningless, e.g. it would lead to the argument "when I
published inaccurate information, I didn't perform my duty, so I can't
be held responsible for publishing inaccurate information in the
course of performing my duties."

I'll also just point out the general difficulty it would place the
game in if we're not sure whether minor errors in a deputized report
change the officeholder, or whether duties were done that were
attempted in good faith, and so forth.

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Caller's Evidence:

Rule 2143/24 (Power=1)
Official Reports and Duties

      For each person:

      a) If any task is defined by the rules as part of that person's
         weekly duties, then e SHALL perform it at least once each
         week.  If any information is defined by the rules as part of
         that person's weekly report, then e SHALL maintain all such
         information, and the publication of all such information is
         part of eir weekly duties.

      b) If any task is defined by the rules as part of that person's
         monthly duties, then e SHALL perform it at least once each
         month.  If any information is defined by the rules as part of
         that person's monthly report, then e SHALL maintain all such
         information, and the publication of all such information is
         part of eir monthly duties.

      Any information defined by the rules as part of a person's
      report, without specifying which one, is part of eir weekly
      report.  Failure of a person to perform any duty required of em
      within the allotted time is the Class-2 crime of Tardiness.

      An official duty for an office is any duty that the Rules
      specifically assign to that office's holder in particular
      (regardless of eir identity).

      A person SHALL NOT publish information that is inaccurate or
      misleading while performing an official duty, or within a
      document purporting to be part of any person or office's weekly
      or monthly report.

      Reports SHALL be published in plain text.  Tabular data must
      line up properly when viewed in a monospaced font.  Publishing a
      report that deviates from these regulations is the Class 2 Crime
      of Making My Eyes Bleed.

      Officers SHOULD maintain a publicly visible copy of their
      reports on the World Wide Web, and they SHOULD publish the
      address of this copy along with their published reports.

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Judge's Rebuke:

A judge must remain neutral. (See American Bar Association model code
of judicial conduct, rule 2.2, cited here to aid in the definition of
the general duties and responsibilities of the office of judge.) In
order to maintain this neutrality, I almost feel that I must not
comment on the proceedings until I render my verdict. However, a judge
must maintain order and decorum. (Model code of judicial conduct rule
2.8 A, cited as per above.) Therefore:

It is noted that a certain player involved with the current case has
committed several violations of the reasonable standards of order and
decorum, as here enumerated:

1. E has criticized another nomic. Further, e has done so in a most
low and divisive fashion, not bothering to explain or justify eir
claims. This action shows insufficient respect for the complex
relations between agora and the several nomics. While at the moment
the nomics are few and divided, in the past there has been diplomacy
and inter-nomic solidarity. I believe we once went to war over a
negative comment one of their players made about us, showing that
there exists standards of civility that must be maintained, especially
in a CFJ like this, which is part of the official record.

2. E has attempted to create a proposal, not only during an open case,
but IN EIR ARGUMENTS. By doing so, e has shown insufficient respect
for these proceedings. E is expected to limit eir arguments to matters
related to the case, and to refrain from taking further game actions
in eir arguments, unless e can show substantial precedent that this is
normal practice.

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Judge's Arguments:

Ok, I’m going to start with a brief summary. Aranea has been ADoP for
a long time. Recently eir report has been incorrect. Specifically, e
has reported the wrong date for a player's assumption of an office, a
fairly minor mistake. The correctness (or lack thereof) of the
documents, authored by aranea, which purport to be reports does not
appear to be in question.

The primary issue here seems to be the question of whether a report 
has to be entirely correct to be valid. Reading the mere text of the
rules is unhelpful, as it doesn't really speak one way or the other.
The only clue appears to be self ratification. Self-ratification
(R2201/6) states that a document purporting to be a report 
self-ratifies, if the rules say it does. Other rules (R2162/6) state
that reports of switches self-ratify. The only way to block this
ratification is a doubt, (explicit public challenge) made within one
week of publication, which this CFJ constitutes. For the record,
officeholder is a switch tracked by the ADoP (R1006/38). Whether
changes in that switch (also tracked by the ADoP) are self-ratifying
is another question, and I’m not going to answer it. Alexis seems not
to think so and no one seems to have challenged em on the issue, which
means I’ll rule on the actual arguments.

Alexis argues that in order to be valid a report must be wholly and
completely accurate. E cites as evidence for this the various
instances in which the rules use the phrasing “a document purporting
to be a report”. However, this merely implies that a document can 
claim to be a report without being one, not that there is any
mechanism for this to happen. I find one record of a case on this, CFJ
2392, which ruled that deliberately inaccurate reports were invalid. I
respect that judgement on the grounds of stare decisis, and it is
affirmed. The rules may have changed since then, but the principle
stands. However, it doesn't really help that much in this case, as it
left the issue of accidentally inaccurate for a future CFJ (guess that
means me).

I’m going to get a bit sidetracked here. If alexis’s principle
succeeded, there is general agreement that eir scam still would have
failed, as e listed emself as ADoP. While it is theoretically possible
that the  “When” in rule 2160 means before, there is evidence against
this. As shown by aranea in eir arguments, the rules don’t seem to use
“when” in this fashion, and some parts of R2160 imply that it isn't
intended to be interpreted that way. Game practice and custom seem to
use it as meaning “after”. Certainly it doesn't mean “during”, as that
would go against the principle of isolation, and generally risk
messing everything up. Since game custom and practice, as well as the
best interests of the game, show that it should be interpreted as
meaning “after”, that is how it is to be interpreted. So ordered and
all that. (I should mention that I’m a bit biased, or perhaps
illogical here. I tend to think of it as “whoever takes the job gets
the job” which suggest “after” over “before”.) (This may be a bit
beyond the scope of this CFJ, but I’m sick and tired of people using
that as an excuse to not decide something.)

However, eir principle was invalid. Game custom is pretty clear on
this matter. For an example look at CFJ 2877, where it was found that
a report was incorrect, suggesting that a report does not have to be
completely accurate. Anyone is free to publish a CoE, or to try to
punish an officer for violating R2143’s SHALL NOT. In the meantime,
while there will never be a bright line for this, the standard is that
the purported report has to exhibit gross sloppiness and negligence,
equivalent in severity to lying in the report or not publishing it.
Aranea did not violate this standard, as shown by the minor nature of
this error, and the fact that nobody noticed till now.

Having duly considered the arguments of all sides and etc. etc. etc.,
I hereby judge this CFJ TRUE. For greater certainty, I hereby decree
that any document(s) alleging to be produced by the ADoP since the
start of this scam, and not published by the actual ADoP, aranea, is
(are) null and void, and CANNOT self-ratify. This expressly includes
reports, as well as any other game action restricted to the ADoP.

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