CFJ 1139

   Judges are required to follow the reasons and arguments of
   past Judges and Justices when judging CFJs.


Called by:           Blob

Judge:               Steve
Judgement:           FALSE

Judge selection:

Eligible:            Chuck, Beefurabi, Wes, Steve, harvel

Not eligible:
Caller:              Blob
Barred:              -
Had their turn:      Oerjan, Blob, Murphy, Peekee, Vlad, Kolja A.,
                     elJefe, Michael, Morendil, Elysion, Crito
Already served:      -
Defaulted:           -
By request:          -
On Hold:             Oerjan



Called by Blob:                      Tue, 15 Jun 1999 16:06:39 +1000
Assigned to Steve:                   Tue, 15 Jun 1999 16:13:54 +1000
Judgement returned:                  as of this message


Caller's Arguments:

The naive arguement for this statement would be that Rule 217 states
that Judges should consider "past Judgements" when making their decisions.

This, however, is easier countered. Rule 591 quite clearly defines the
"Judgement" of a CFJ as the final TRUE/FALSE conclusion. So "past
Judgements" in R217 presumably only refers to the conclusions of past
Judges, and not their arguments.

Then again, under a broader interpretation, it could still be argued
that the statement of this CFJ is nevertheless true. Rule 217 requires that
the Judge consider "game custom, commonsense, past Judgements, and
the best interests of the game", in the case that the rules are not
clear. These terms are themselves ambiguous, so it is reasonable to
apply R217 to its own interpretation.

Now, considering that past Judges have also been under the direction of
R217 when making their judgements, insofar as their judgements have been
uncontested, they presumably stand as examples of these qualities. As
such, they form part of game custom. They demonstrate the customary
definitions of "game custom", "commonsense" and "best interests of
the game".

In the past, if a judgement has failed to satisfy the Nomic community's
commonly held definition of "commonsense" or "game custom", then it has
been appealed. But it is customary to always accept the Justices' final
decision. So Justices' reasoning and arguments should also be seen as
even stronger examples of game custom, overriding the decisions of Judges.


Evidence attached by the Caller:

Rule 217/3 (Power=1)
Judgements Must Accord with the Rules

      All Judgements must be in accordance with the Rules; however,
      if the Rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear on the
      Statement to be Judged, then the Judge shall consider game
      custom, commonsense, past Judgements, and the best interests of
      the game before applying other standards.

Rule 591/12 (Power=1)
Legal Judgements

      A Judge judges a CFJ by sending eir Judgment to the Clerk of the
      Courts.  The Judgement of a CFJ must be either TRUE or FALSE.
      Only the Judge assigned to a CFJ may Judge that CFJ.

      As soon as possible after the receipt of a legal Judgement, the
      Clerk shall distribute the Judgement to the Public Forum.

      A Judge who delivers Judgement on a CFJ before the end of
      the assigned deliberation period shall receive a Judicial
      Salary of 1 VT.


Judge's Arguments:

Rule 217 is the relevant Rule here; it provides that Judges must
consider past Judgements when resolving questions on which the Rules are
silent, inconsistent or unclear. But it is a long way from that
provision to the Statement, even granting that it is game custom to
consider the Judge's reasons and arguments and not just eir verdict, and
even further granting that it is game custom to deliver Judgements which
are consistent with prior Judgements.

In the first place, R217 requires that past Judgements be considered
only in those cases where the Rules are silent, inconsistent or unclear.
In cases where the Judge feels that the Rules are clear, R217 does not
require that past Judgements enter into the Judge's deliberations.

In the second place, R217 requires only that Judges *consider* past
Judgements, not that they follow them. In my view, nothing in R217 would
prevent a Judge from carefully considering all the relevant past
Judgements, and then rejecting them in order to set a new precedent.