Index ← 3892 CFJ 3893 3894 → text
===============================  CFJ 3893  ===============================

      There exists exactly one rule with the number 2633.

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Caller:                        Jason

Judge:                         Gaelan
Judgement:                     FALSE

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History:

Called by Jason:                                  18 Jan 2021 17:22:34
Assigned to Gaelan:                               22 Jan 2021 20:53:36
Judged FALSE by Gaelan:                           04 Feb 2021 12:24:45

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Caller's Arguments:

Assigning a rule number appears to be a regulated action, as its
performance is "limited" by Rules 2141 and 2140 (since Rule numbers are
explicitly made substantive aspects of Rules, and Rules are
instruments). No Rule provides an explicit mechanism by which to set the
number of a Rule. Therefore, under Rule 2125, there is no mechanism to
assign rule numbers to rules (except by proposal most likely). Even if a
mechanism such as by annoucement were to be inferred, the standard for
by announcement has not been met, as the Rulekeepor has never announced
that e is assigning, e has only published rulesets with the numbers
labeled.


Caller's Evidence:

Rule 2141/14 (Power=3.1)
Role and Attributes of Rules

      A rule is an enduring statute. Every rule has a power between 0.1
      and 4.0, inclusive. Rules to the contrary notwithstanding, it is
      IMPOSSIBLE to enact a rule with power outside this range, or to
      change the power of an existing rule to a nonzero value outside
      this range. The set of all currently-existing rules is called the
      ruleset.
      
      Every rule shall have an ID number, distinct among current and
      former rules, to be assigned once by the Rulekeepor.
      
      Every rule shall have a title to aid in identification. If a rule
      ever does not have a title, then the Rulekeepor CAN and SHALL
      assign a title to it by announcement in a timely fashion.
      
      For the purposes of rules governing modification of instruments,
      the text, power, ID number, and title of a rule are all
      substantive aspects of the rule. However, rules to the contrary
      notwithstanding, the Rulekeepor CAN set rule aspects as described
      elsewhere in this rule.


Rule 2140/4 (Power=3)
Power Controls Mutability

      Rules to the contrary notwithstanding, no entity with power below
      the power of this rule can
      
      1. cause an entity to have power greater than its own.
      
      2. adjust the power of a statute with power greater than its own.
      
      3. set or modify any other substantive aspect of an instrument
         with power greater than its own except as otherwise provided
         in this rule. A "substantive" aspect of a statute is any
         aspect that affects the statute's operation.
      
      An ephemeral instrument is bound by prohibitions and limitations
      specified in rules of lower power, unless it explicitly overrides
      those prohibition(s) as provided for in other rules.


Rule 2125/12 (Power=3)
Regulated Actions

      An action is regulated by a body of law if (1) its performance is
      limited, allowed, enabled, or permitted by that body of law; (2)
      that body of law describes the circumstances under which it would
      succeed or fail; or (3) it would, as part of its effect, modify
      information for which some person bound by that body of law is
      required, by that body of law, to be a recordkeepor.
      
      If a body of law regulates an action, then to the extent that
      doing so is within its scope, that body of law prevents the action
      from being performed except as described within it, including by
      limiting the methods to perform that action to those specified
      within it. A body of law does not proscribe any action which it
      does not regulate.

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Judge Gaelan's Arguments:

The question at hand is whether the Rulekeepor assigning rule numbers
works. The caller argues that it doesn't, because the rules specify that e
CAN do so but does not provide a method.

This appears to last have been litigated in CFJ 2981.

It was judged TRUE (i.e. rule numbers work) on a loophole in the wording.
A follow-up proposal. P6992 by Murphy and omd, removed that loophole and
attempted to make rule numbers work without it. The relevant parts of rule
2141 (now /14) haven't changed since.

So legislative intent is very explicitly for this to work. Presumably, the
authors expected this to work as follows (quoting from 2141/14):

- "However, rules to the contrary notwithstanding, the Rulekeepor CAN set
rule aspects as described elsewhere in this rule."
- "Every rule shall have an ID number, distinct among current and former
rules, to be assigned once by the Rulekeepor."
- Therefore, the Rulekeepor CAN "assign" ID numbers to rules.

The question, then, is whether this sufficiently specifies a method for
setting the ID number. There's an argument to be made that the Rulekeepor
"assigns" the ID when e publishes a ruleset containing that number. It's
certainly tempting to go with the interpretation that makes the rules
work, but I don't think I can justify this interpretation, for a few reasons:

First, it's far from the only interpretation. Other reasonable readings of
the ruleset would be that the rule gained the ID number as soon as the
rulekeepor decides on the number, or that e must explicitly give rules
numbers by announcement. It's hard to justify picking this interpretation
over the others.

Second, and more importantly, Agora has moved in recent times towards
assuming CANs without methods do not work. This is in many ways a matter
of game custom, but there have been some attempts to codify this custom,
so I'll be considering legislative intent heavily here.

This shift was codified in P7928, which caused Rule 2125/10 to read, in
part: {
A Restricted Action CAN only be performed as described by the Rules, and
only using the methods explicitly specified in the Rules for performing
the given action.
}

In a comment, the proposal explains that, after it's passing, "in general,
"by announcement" is NOT implied". Sounds like we've got pretty clear
evidence that this is the policy, right? Wrong. Enter everybody's favorite
proposal, Statutory Instrumentation (8354). It rephrased the relevant
provision to "including by limiting the methods to perform that action to
those specified within it", notably dropping the word "explicit". The
question then, is whether this was an intended weakening, or simply an
insignificant rephrasing.

Alexis, the author of 8354, was certainly aware of the significance of
that word "explicit"; right in the middle of drafting of that proposal, e
issued a judgement in CFJ 3793 that discusses at length the meaning of
that word in 2125 (finding that, in a similar situation to the one we're
dealing with today, an implied method was not enough).[^1] There was also
a lot of discussion of this issue by other players at the time. However,
there seems to have said anything about changes to this provision in
Statutory Instrumentation, so it seems unlikely that Alexis intended to
make a change here.

Therefore, I find that game custom and the rules are clear that CANs
without fairly explicit methods don't work. I find FALSE.

So, what are the implications of this?

Rule IDs are significant for two things: referring to rules, and
last-resort precedence. For the former, I don't think there's an issue -
each rule only has one purported number, so the references remain
unambiguous and clear. For the latter, it's more of an issue, but I'm not
aware if we've had any situations where this is relevant lately.

[^1]: also, that CFJ has this magnificent sentence, which I can't not quote:
  In conclusion, this is a typical example of the rules say I do without
  saying how, therefore I do, which has plagued Agora for a long time
  but possibly not for as long as I say I do, therefore I do has.


Judge Gaelan's Evidence:

Proposal 6992 (Democratic, AI=3.0) by Murphy
(coauth: omd)
Fix rule numbers

Ratify all rule ID numbers in the document purported to be the
Short Logical Ruleset and published on or about Thu, 3 Mar 2011
14:40:44 -0500.

Amend Rule 2140 (Power Controls Mutability) by replacing "modify"
with "set or modify".

Amend Rule 2141 (Role and Attributes of Rules) by replacing this
text:

     Rules have ID numbers, to be assigned by the Rulekeepor, and are
     strictly ordered.

     Every rule shall have a title to aid in identification.  If a
     rule ever does not have a title, the Rulekeepor shall assign
     a title to it by announcement as soon as possible.

     For the purposes of rules governing modification of instruments,
     the text, power, ID number, and title of a rule are all
     substantive aspects of the rule.

with this text:

     Rules have ID numbers, to be assigned by the Rulekeepor.

     Every rule shall have a title to aid in identification.  If a
     rule ever does not have a title, the Rulekeepor SHALL assign
     a title to it by announcement as soon as possible.

     For the purposes of rules governing modification of instruments,
     the text, power, ID number, and title of a rule are all
     substantive aspects of the rule.  However, rules to the contrary
     notwithstanding, the Rulekeepor CAN set rule aspects as described
     elsewhere in this rule.

---

Proposal ID: 7928
Title: no we can't
Adoption index: 3.0
Author: G.
Co-author(s):


Amend Rule 2125 (Regulated Actions) by replacing:

  Restricted Actions CAN only be performed as described by the Rules.

with:
  A Restricted Action CAN only be performed as described by the Rules, and only
  using the methods explicitly specified in the Rules for performing the given
  action.

[this over-arching protection means in general, "by announcement"
is NOT implied.  I just want to put this in place and absolutely
clarify the ruleset if it passes, and we can add the MMI change later
if desired].

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