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CFJ 1069 

"Steve is currently holding the Office of Justiciar." 

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Judge:       Swann
Judgement:   TRUE


Eligible:    Andre, Calabresi, ChrisM, Chuck, Crito, elJefe,
	     General Chaos, Kolja A., Morendil, Murphy,
	     Oerjan, Swann, Vlad


Not eligible:
Caller:	     Michael
Barred:	     Steve
On request:  Vanyel
On hold:     Harlequin, Vir

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History:

  Called by Michael, 11 Nov 1997 12:01:39 +0000 
  Assigned to Swann, 12 Nov 1997 07:50:05 +0000 
  Judged TRUE, 13 Nov 1997 13:29:05 -0500 

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Caller's Arguments:

Steve Gardner writes: 

  Question: when an Officer resigns and appoints a Player other than the Speaker
  to succeed em, and the other Player consents (as is the case here), when does
  the change of Office occur? At the time of the resignation, or at the time
  consent is given? What if consent is withheld?
  
  If the change does not occur until consent is given, then Harlequin was still
  CinC when he went On Hold. He would thus have been removed from that Office
  when he went On Hold and the Office would have fallen to Speaker Morendil. If
  that's so, does the Office go to Vlad when Vlad consents? That's hard to
  justify.
  
  There is way to preserve the intuition that Vlad is now CinC - but we may not
  like it much. That is to say that at the time Vlad consents, he retroactively
  becomes CinC as of the time that Harlequin resigned.  Note that this does not
  violate the new R108. Maybe this is what former Wizard Zefram was referring to
  when he opined that the new R108 does not really prohibit retroactivity.
  
It doesn't, mainly because R880 seems to use language which bases events in the
present on events in the future.  It says: "for an appointment to be valid, this
Player [the putative new holder of the Office], must either explicitly and
publically consent to becoming the new holder of that Office within seven days
of such appointment, or be the Speaker."

So a resignation can happen as long as the resigner makes an appointment.  An
appointment is to either the person named or the Speaker if no-one is named.
But if you name someone, the validity of doing so is dependent on their agreeing
to the position within seven days.  The resignation rule can actually require us
to predict the future when the resignation happens.

I think this is slightly different from retroactivity in general, though it
looks much the same once someone consents and we retroactively install them in
the office.  For example, who is the Justiciar now?  elJefe has resigned, but
Steve hasn't consented to the appointment.  If he is to do so in the next seven
days, he is temporarily in office.  If he doesn't, then he's not.

Fundamentally, the problem is that our rule language can express "impossible"
concepts (basing events now on events in the future). Rather than restrict our
use of language, I think this is probably a good case for a judicial
interpretation to effectively rewrite the rule for us in the interests of common
sense and the game's best interests &c.

Therefore I make the following CFJ:

Steve is currently holding the Office of Justiciar. 

I bar Steve. 

I also urge Steve not to consent to the appointment until the Judge has returned
their Judgement, and simultaneously urge the Judge to be quick about returning
the Judgement.  This way they have to judge in an "impossible" situation.  I bar
Steve only because I believe that he would Judge being able to know whether or
not he is going to consent to the appointment, thereby defeating the CFJ's
ulterior motive.

Finally, I disagree with Zefram who claims that consent is part of the
appointment process.  The wording of 880 suggests more to me that an Officer
need only specify a successor Player in order to be able to resign, and that
this action takes place regardless of the validity of that appointment.  (Though
I wonder, what happens if you appoint someone currently On Hold?)

Michael. 

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Reasoning and arguments of Judge: 

My first impulse was to Judge this trivially True, because the caller was so set
on having the Judgement made in a completely indeterminate state where we didn't
know if Steve consents or not.  But, while having Steve consent skewers the
motive behind the CFJ, I've come to realize that it doesn't make the Statement
trivial, or any less interesting.

What we have here is a question about a transitional event.  These kind of
events seem to be were a lot of the interesting matter happens, and many
profound CFJs have ruled on what actually happens between point A and B. (The
recent destruction of currencies is a case in point.) Therefore I intend to
plumb the issue with an open mind.

The core question we have here is from Steve eimself, "when an Officer resigns
and appoints a Player other than the Speaker to succeed em, and the other Player
consents (as is the case here), when does the change of Office occur?"

The caller opines that Rule 880 requires a prediction of the future. Upon a
careful reading of the rule, I think not.  The first sentence says;

     "An Officer is always permitted to resign from any Office e 
      holds, provided e specifies another Player to succeed 
      em, who then becomes the temporary holder of that Office." 

That clearly installs the specified Player in the Office.  It is my opinion that
the Rule makes the most sense if interpreted as a chronology of what happens
when an Officer resigns (and appoints someone other than the Speaker);

     a) Sentence 1, the Office is held temporarily by the specified
        Player and the resigning Player ceases to hold that Office.
     b) The Specified Player holds the Office temporarily until e
        consents, refuses, or stays silent for seven days.
     c) If e doesn't consent, then Rule 880 invalidates the appointment.
        This is I believe the most sensible interpretation of the Rule's
        provisions.  The language of the Rule IMO, provides a
        presumption of validity that holds until the Rule says
        otherwise.  i.e. all appointments are valid until the Office is
        refused or seven days without consent have passed.
     d) If the appointment is invalidated I believe that the sentence,
        "An Officer who resigns without appointing a successor is deemed
        to have appointed the Speaker to succeed em." can be justifiably
        read as applying to the person refusing the Office, i.e.
        Refusing an appointment is akin to resigning without specifying
        a successor.  Reading events in this matter requires no
        precognition, insures that the identity of the Officer in
        question is not inderterminate at any point, and renders the
        verdict TRUE at the time the statement was made, whatever
        Steve's decision had been.

Therefore I judge the Statement TRUE based on Common Sense and the best
interests of the Game.

Evidence: 

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Rule 880/4 (Power=1) 
Resignation of Offices

      An Officer is always permitted to resign from any Office e
      holds, provided e specifies another Player to succeed
      em, who then becomes the temporary holder of that Office.  For
      this appointment to be valid, this Player must either explicitly
      and publically consent to becoming the new holder of that Office
      within seven days of such appointment, or be the Speaker.  The
      Speaker can be appointed to hold an Office temporarily without
      consenting, and may not refuse such an appointment.  An Officer
      who resigns without appointing a successor is deemed to have
      appointed the Speaker to succeed em.

      A change in the identity of the Speaker does not automatically 
      cause the transfer of any Offices being held by the former 
      Speaker to the new Speaker. 

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