From: <magika@aracnet.com>
To: agora-off <agora-official@gecko.serc.rmit.edu.au>
Subject: OFF: CFJ 1183 Appeal SUSTAINS
Date: Thursday, December 09, 1999 4:06 PM


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                              CFJ 1183

    The Infraction of Debt Voting cannot be committed by any Player.

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Called by:           Steve

Judge:               Wes
Judgement:           FALSE
Appeal Justices:     Kolja, Elysion, Murphy
Appeal Decision:     SUSTAINED

Judge selection:

Eligible:            Wes

Not eligible:
Caller:              Steve
Barred:              Peekee
Had their turn:      Blob, Chuck, Crito, Elysion, harvel, Kolja,
                     Lee, Michael, Murphy, Oerjan, Palnatoke, Peekee,
		     Steve, t
Already served:      -
Defaulted:           -
By request:          Kolja
On Hold:             elJefe, Steve

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History:

Called by Steve:                      26 Nov 1999 13:49:08 +1100
Assigned to Wes:                      28 Nov 1999 12:12:58 -0800
Judged FALSE by Wes:                  28 Nov 1999 15:35:33 -0800
Judgement Distributed:                <missing date>
Appealed by Steve:                    29 Nov 1999 11:02:32 +1100
Appealed by harvel:                   28 Nov 1999 19:12:05 EST
Appealed by Blob:                     29 Nov 1999 17:15:00 +1100
Appeal Distributed:                   02 Dec 1999 14:45:34 -0800
Elysion OVERTURNS:                    04 Dec 1999 14:38:06 -0500
Murphy SUSTAINS:                      05 Dec 1999 01:15:51 -0800
Kolja SUSTAINS:                       09 Dec 1999 22:24:52 +0100
Appeal Decision Distributed:          As of this message

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Caller's Arguments:

My argument is that Rule 1824 (Debt Voting) is completely broken due to
inaccurate language employed in it. Here is the full text of the Rule:

Rule 1824/0 (Power=1)
Debt Voting

      An entity for which, at the beginning of a given Nomic week,
      there is at least one Overdue Payment Order naming it as Payor
      which was executed originally for the purpose of paying for
      Voting upon Proposals commits the Infraction of Debt Voting.
      This Infraction shall be reported by the Recordkeepor for Voting
      Tokens, and shall bear the penalty of the denial of Voting
      Privileges for a period of two weeks.

The Rule refers to Overdue Payment Orders "executed originally for the
purpose of *paying* for Voting upon Proposals" (emphasis added). But there
aren't - and cannot be - any such Payment Orders. The PO issued by the
Assessor after a Player has voted and which names that Player as payor is
executed for the purpose of *billing* that Player for a quantity of Voting
Tokens (cf. the definition of "bill" in R1479), not for the purpoe of paying
for that Player's votes. The Player emself must pay for eir votes by
satisfying the PO with an appropriate Transfer Order.

Since the kind of Payment Order described by R1824 cannot exist, the
Infraction of Debt Voting cannot be committed.

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Evidence attached by the Caller:

<none>

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Judge's Arguments:

Since this CFJ revolves essentially around the definition of the word
"purpose," we decided to check and see what Webster's had to say:

Purpose: n. 1: something set up as an object or end to be attained,
2: a subject under discussion or an action in course of execution

Now this does seem to be a rather broad definition of the word. We
then decided to check the Ruleset for any further clarification on
the Game Customs regarding this word, and we found only one
reference that seemed relevant:

Rule 1823/0 (Power=1)
Combining Payment Orders

      [snip]
      Payment Orders to be executed for the purpose of paying for
      Voting upon Proposals may not be combined by this Rule with
      Payment Orders executed for any other purpose.

This gives us another reference for PO's executed for the exact same
purpose, but does not really go very far in providing any specifics,
and so does not really help us arrive at a coherant Judgement. We
are therefore forced to rely on the standard English definition of
the word, as provided by Webster's.

Purpose: n. 1: something set up as an object or end to be attained,
2: a subject under discussion or an action in course of execution

This definition, again, seems extremely broad. The end result of the
PO to which the caller of this CFJ refers does claim to be to cause
Voting Debts to be paid for. The action of paying for the Voting Debt
is definitely in the course of execution due to the issuing of the
Assessor's PO. Thus the PO's in question are indeed for the purpose
of paying for Voting.

It is therefore our Judgement that the above Statement is FALSE.

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Justice Elysion's Arguments:

I find Steve's reasoning in eir Amicus Brief to be quite persuasive.
Additionally, suppose such a PO is executed, but nothing additional
occurs.  What has been accomplished? Certainly, the votes haven't been
paid for. The player has been billed for eir votes, and the PO may
have been executed in order to get someone to pay for votes, but has
not been executed for the purpose of paying for votes.

I do agree with Wes in that the rules are vague about this important
issue, and I would like to see it (and any other similar ambiguities)
resolved with a clean-up proposal. I may even eventually proto one
myself.

I therefore rule to OVERTURN Wes's judgement to TRUE.

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Justice Murphy's Arguments:

Wes correctly points out that a Voting PO can have both a direct
purpose (billing for votes) and an indirect purpose (causing votes to
be paid for), and that Rule 1824 (Debt Voting) simply says "purpose"
which can reasonably be interpreted either way.

Since Wes's Judgement is not clearly incorrect, I hereby move to
sustain it.

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Justice Kolja's Arguments:

I believe it is not an appeal judge's job to pretend to be the
original judge, make a judgement and then determine that with the
original judge's decision (sustaining if they happen to be the same,
and overturning otherwise). Instead, I think appeals courts should
only check judgements for obvious errors in matters of fact or law,
and for consistency. Anything else would restrict the creativity (and
responsibility) of judges in an inappropriate way, IMHO.

I can find no such errors in Wes' judgement and arguments, so I don't
see a reason to overturn. This has nothing to do with the (interesting)
debates that followed the appeal, and my personal opinion on them.

Obviously, voters may or may not endorse my view on appeals by
re-electing me as Justiciar or not - I am looking forward to the result.

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