=============================== CFJ 3859 ===============================
It would be possible to resolve an Agoran decision by announcement
even if conditions 1-4 in R208 are not satisfied.
Called by nch: 29 Jun 2020 02:28:38
Assigned to G.: 29 Jun 2020 02:31:04
Judged FALSE by G.: 29 Jun 2020 20:27:03
The relevant text from R208, "Resolving Agoran Decisions".
The vote collector for an unresolved Agoran decision CAN resolve
it by announcement, indicating the outcome. If it was required to
be initiated, then e SHALL resolve it in a timely fashion after
the end of the voting period. To be valid, this announcement must
satisfy the following conditions:
The debate is essentially over the last sentence. Here are some of the
questions central to the disagreement:
- What does valid refer to? The phrasing could lead to interpretation of
either "[For this decision] to be valid" or "[For the announcement] to be
- If it refers to the announcement, what does it mean for an announcement
to be valid or invalid? Does an invalid announcement fail to have effect?
One argument for TRUE is as follows: Valid refers to the announcement,
and Agora makes no distinction for invalid announcements. If an
announcement was made as defined in R478, then the action was taken
regardless of the validity or invalidity of the announcement.
Here are some other pieces of rule text worth considering in the process
R478, Fora, has the following last paragraph:
Where the rules define an action that a person CAN perform "by
announcement", that person performs that action by unambiguously
and clearly specifying the action and announcing that e performs
it. Any action performed by sending a message is performed at the
time date-stamped on that message. Actions in messages (including
sub-messages) are performed in the order they appear in the
message, unless otherwise specified.
"To be valid" is used 3 other times in the rules, they are iterated here:
From R2614, "Eclipse Light":
- Extend any deadline provided for by any instrument other than
this rule, including a deadline for an obligation to be met,
or deadline prior to which an action must be performed in
order to be valid, such as the end of voting period. Such an
extension CANNOT cause the total time period, such as the
time from when an obligation was created to the deadline or
the whole of a voting period, to be more than double its
From R107, "Initiating Agora Decisions":
An Agoran decision is initiated when a person authorized to
initiate it publishes a valid notice which sets forth the intent
to initiate the decision. To be valid, the notice must clearly
specify the following information:
From R2510, "Such is Karma":
A player CAN publish a Notice of Honour. For a Notice of Honour
to be valid, it must:
Judge G.'s Arguments:
In common language, "invalid" is the opposite of "valid" (this should be
self-evident, but sometimes Agorans like to say the law of the excluded
middle doesn't apply). Given that neither valid or invalid are explicitly
defined, their common definition as opposites applies here. So if an
announcement isn't valid, it's invalid. Therefore, if an announcement to
attempt to resolve an Agoran Decision does not satisfy conditions 1-4 in
R208, it is "invalid".
And in this context, "invalid" means "(of an official document or
procedure) not legally recognized and therefore void because contravening
a regulation or law." We can't just discard this meaning and say "R478
doesn't care about validity". Because the very definition of validity is
whether a legal process cares about it.
So given that validity *does* apply to a legal process, there's two
reasonable ways to read this in the context is R208 (two possible things
that can be "voided"):
1. the announcement is invalid at even being an announcement, in
contradiction with what makes something an "announcement" in R478.
2. the announcement invalidates the attempt at a "by announcement" action
in the first sentence of R208.
In reading 1, R208 has precedence over R478, due to R1030. So this is
equivalent to saying in R208 "R478 notwithstanding, an announcement made
in this context but missing these things is not an announcement". And
since R208 has the power to say that, it would work. And would lead to
In reading 2, R2240 leads us to assume the exception that makes an
announcement invalid, invalidates the purpose of the first sentence of
R208 (that enables the by-announcement action). I don't really think it's
necessary to invoke R2240 because the rule reads fairly naturally this
way, but in any case it leads to FALSE.
This Court believes that Case 2 is a better and more sensible reading (and
it is better because it doesn't depend on rule ID, which is an erratic way
to judge), but because both readings lead to FALSE, this Court finds FALSE.