Index ← 3667 CFJ 3668 3669 → text
===============================  CFJ 3668  ===============================

      Committing a Crime is per se prohibited by law.


Caller:                        Aris
Barred:                        Cuddlebeam

Judge:                         D. Margaux
Judgement:                     TRUE



Called by Aris:                                   05 Oct 2018 03:15:00
Assigned to D. Margaux:                           20 Oct 2018 14:05:00
Judged TRUE by D. Margaux:                        24 Oct 2018 19:27:00


Caller's Arguments:

On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 6:37 PM Kerim Aydin wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Oct 2018, wrote:
> > After checking the rules: violating pledges is defined as a crime, but
> > I can't see any actual requirement to avoid committing crime. The
> > relationship between crimes and illegal actions does not seem to be
> > well-defined. The most plausible readings of the rules I can see (based
> > on Trigon's recent attempt at producing a ruleset) are:
> I just looked through, with the exception of pledges, it looks like all
> Crimes are directly associated with an explicit SHALL, SHALL NOT, or
> ILLEGAL (e.g. "players SHALL NOT X, doing so is the class N crime of...")
> Pledges used to have an ILLEGAL but that was removed on June 15.
> Maybe pledges have no force at all, so don't set up any requirements.

To be clear, the precise requirement for a penalty is that the action in
question must be "prohibited by law" (R2531). Rule 2152 makes it clear
that marking something ILLEGAL means that "Performing the described action
violates the rule in question", but no rule states that such a marking is
a necessary condition for an action to be a violation. Furthermore, Rule
2450 implies quite strongly that Oathbreaking is per se ILLEGAL.


Judge D. Margaux's Arguments:

The Rules define several “crimes.”  Many violations of the Rules are
described as crimes—for example, an officer commits the crime of 
“tardiness” if e fails to perform a mandatory duty on time (Rule 2143),
and a player commits the crime of “excess legislation” if e violates the
legal prohibition against submitting or pending unreasonable numbers of
proposals (Rule 2445).  In those examples, the Rules expressly prohibit
the criminal conduct, independent of the fact that the conduct is also
denominated as “crimes.”

In contrast, Rule 2450 provides that a player who breaks a pledge is guilty
of “oathbreaking,” but the Rules never expressly prohibit breaking a pledge
apart from defining it as a crime. Similarly, a master who causes eir
zombie to break a Rule commits the crime of “masterminding,” but the Rules
never say that a master “SHALL NOT” do that.

The question, then, is whether conduct defined as a “crime” is per se
prohibited by the Rules.

In my view, the answer is yes. The Rules do not define “crime,” so we may
resort to its ordinary definition.  The definition from Merriam-Webster
that seems most apt is “an illegal act for which someone can be punished by
the government.” That definition seems especially to fit here, because Rule
2557 provides that the maximum punishment for an ILLEGAL act is related to
what class of “crime” it is.  In particular, the Referee CAN impose a fine
up to two times the “base value” of a violation, and “if the violation is
described by the rules as a Class N crime, then N is the base value;
otherwise the base value is 2.”  There is no other evident purpose for
defining certain conduct as a “crime,” apart from making it ILLEGAL and
thereby subjecting the criminal to punishment for breaching the Rules in
proportion to the class of the crime.

For those reasons, I find that CFJ 3668 is TRUE.