==============================  CFJ 1424  ==============================

    The Goddess Eris has commited the class 2 crime of Disobedience.


Caller:                                 RedKnight
Barred:                                 Taral
Barred:                                 Pakaran
Barred:                                 Blob

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by RedKnight:                    08 Jan 2003 06:48:36 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         10 Jan 2003 09:31:09 GMT
Judged TRUE by G.:                      17 Jan 2003 18:50:06 GMT
Order(s) issued:                        23 Jan 2003 17:29:09 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

Not to be mean or anything but I was enjoying my holiday until I reazied
that no one else was away.  Now I have to judge the very controversial (or
at least convoluted) CFJ dealing with weeks in three days instead of
seven.  On top of my other duties as Promotor, it is the straw that broke
the camels back.

However Eris has already admited eir crime an I do have free time to spend
Jugdeing this CFJ.  Therefore, I do not request a blot peanalty for this
crime but ask the Judge to order an appology instead -- just make sure
that you include several ten dollar words in the required word list.


Caller's Evidence:

Rule 1769/2 (Power=2)

      A Holiday is a period of time, not to exceed 17 days in length,
      designated as such by the Rules.  If one Holiday begins within
      72 hours of the end of another Holiday, the two Holidays and the
      time between them are taken as a single Holiday, unless this
      would cause the combined Holiday to exceed 17 days in length, in
      which case the first Holiday is extended to 17 days and the
      second Holiday does not occur.

      During a Holiday, no Proposal may be distributed by the
      Promotor, nor may any Call for Judgement, Judgement, notice of
      Appeal, Decision of Appeals Boards, or Opinion be published by
      the Clerk of the Courts; however, if any of the above do take
      place during the Holiday in violation of this Rule, this Rule
      does not deprive them of their usual effects.

      If some Rule requires that an action be done prior to a given
      time, and that given time falls during a Holiday, or within the
      72-hour period immediately following that Holiday, then that
      action need not be done until 72 hours after that Holiday ends.

      If some Rule bases the time of a future event upon the time of
      another event, or requires that a Player perform some action
      within some time of another event, and that other event occurs
      during a Holiday, the time at which the Holiday ends shall be
      used instead for the purpose of determining the time of the
      future event or of the time by which the Player must perform the
      specified action.

      This Rule takes precedence over all Rules pertaining to the
      timing of events, and over all Rules which require Players to
      perform events before a specified time.


Rule 1870/2 (Power=1)
Merry Christmas, Agora, And A Happy New Year!

      The period each year from midnight GMT on the morning of 24
      December to the beginning of the first Agoran week to begin
      after 2 January is a Holiday.


Rule 1439/9 (Power=1)
Default Penalty for Violating a Rule

      Violating a Rule is the Class N Crime of Disobedience, unless
      other Rules define or prohibit a penalty for the violation.  N
      is the Power of the violated Rule (rounded down to the nearest
      multiple of the MUQ of Indulgences), but shall not exceed 4.


[the below message can also be found at

Excerpt of message sent by The Goddess Eris on Tue, 31 Dec 2002 19:49:45

CFJ 1419 Assigned to RedKnight:                  (as of this message)


Gratuitous Arguments by Taral:

I refer the Honorable Judge to Rule 1575, Standard of Proof. I had
completely forgotten that I was not permitted to publish the CFJ at that
time, and therefore did not believe it was a crime at the time I
performed the publishing. It was only when Steve reminded me of the
existence of the restriction that I realized my error.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

As an introduction to this Judgement, This Judge considers the
arguments made by H. Player Steve:
> Despite the Latin quotation, you seem to be leaving the door open
> for some future Judge to rule that ignorance of the law *is* an
> excuse in some circumstances.

With all due respect to H. Player Steve, if This Judge's judgement
leaves a door open, one must look to the Rule that originally opened it.
From R1575:

    "...a Judge shall not find that a Player committed a Crime if that
    Player reasonably believed that eir action or inaction was not a
    Crime at the time it occurred."

"Shall not" indicates that a Judge *must* consider, in every case where
this defense is used, and in spite of any precedent that This Judge
might set, whether the Player in fact (not in the Judge's opinion)
reasonably believed e was committing a crime.

In This Judge's opinion, this is a poor implementation of law.  This
Judge would prefer that the Rules considered (in determining guilt) only
whether the crime deed occurred and was perpetrated (beyond a reasonable
doubt) by the defendant.  This Judge would leave the "reasonable belief"
to the sentencing and determination of clemency, rather than forcing the
Courts to pretend the deed was not a crime due to perpetrator ignorance.

To that end, and to address your point of whether clemency is justified,
the best legislative approach would be to move "reasonable belief" to
the sentencing phase of the trial.  In other words, give judges strict
guidance such as "the judges may forgo Blotting if e finds that the
Player reasonably believed..." and other specific allowances for

However, this is not a matter for the judiciary.  Look towards
legislation to shut the door, for This Judge is not so permitted.
Fatuus lex, sed lex.

On to the facts of the case.

It is beyond a reasonable doubt that H. CotC The Goddess Eris did in
fact publish a Call for Judgement during a Holiday period, thus
violating R1769.  This satisfies the first clause of R1575p3 (Standards
of Proof).

However, in her defense, H. CotC Eris invokes the second clause of
> I refer the Honorable Judge to Rule 1575, Standard of Proof. I had
> completely forgotten that I was not permitted to publish the CFJ at
> that time, and therefore did not believe it was a crime at the time I
> performed the publishing. It was only when Steve reminded me of the
> existence of the restriction that I realized my error.

The relevant sentence of R1575 reads:
      "a Judge shall not find that a Player committed a Crime if that
      Player reasonably believed that eir action or inaction was not a
      Crime at the time it occurred."

In CFJ 1408, H. Judge Sir Toby sets a distinct standard for Officers
using this defense, when committing Crimes in attempting to conduct (or
failing to conduct) official duties:

   "...it should be the responsibility of each player to familiarize
   emself with the requirements of an Office before they take such an
   Office.  Admittedly, the Thesis Rule is not within the "Rulekeepor"
   section of the Rules, however there are several Rules mentioning the
   Rulekeepor that are not in this section either. A quick text search
   for "Rulekeepor" within the Rules uncovers the Thesis Rule. This
   seems like a reasonable requirement for an Officer."
                                                  -H. Judge Sir Toby

This current Judge recognizes that Officials are steering difficult
paths through often-hidden Rules, and that Office-holding should make
Players into "Blot magnets" lest Offices become difficult and unpleasant
to fill.  EACH case of judging Officers' performance of duties should
take into balance the clarity of the Rules involved, the performance and
past history of the Officer, and give an absolute maximum benefit of the
doubt to the Officer's discretion and devotion to duty.

While in CFJ 1408 most Players were surprised that the Rulekeepor had
failed in eir duty, the same may not be said, in the current CFJ, for
R1769.  This Judge for example was quite surprised when H. CotC Eris
published a CFJ during the Holiday and immediately recognized it as a
violation of some sort, as (from discussion) did several others.  It is
fairly clear that this is a Rule that H. CotC Eris *should* have known

In light of H. CotC's past scrupulous and wholly law-abiding conduct of
Office, I find it surprising that she did not know.  Allthough in her
reasonable defense, this is not as surprising as it would be to imagine
(given her past record) that she performed this deed *with* knowledge.

I note, though, that H. CotC Eris held the Office from Dec 2001-Jan
2002, and during that time CFJs were issued before and after, though not
during, the Holiday.  So H. CotC Eris can be said to have followed R1769
last year.  Allowing defense for temporarily forgetting a Rule, even if
the forgetfulness rather than malice is quite believable given past
excellent conduct, is a slippery slope to set into precedent.
Ignorantia legis neminem excusat!

Regretfully, in balance this Judge finds that in spite of H. CotC Eris's
past, excellent commitment to Office, the evident clear knowledge of
R1769 in the general Agoran citizen's minds, the standards of CFJ 1408,
and the length of time over which H. CotC Eris has held the Office
(including over previous Holidays) prevents this Judge from accepting
her defense.

This Court returns a judgement of TRUE.  H. CotC The Goddess Eris is
Guilty of the Class-2 Crime of Disobedience.  This Judge retreats to
consider eir Sentencing Orders.


Gratuitous Arguments by Taral:

I made a Mistake. This much is clear. And the Mistake stayed in the
Game, and it grew into a great Crime. The Crime festered within the
Game, corrupting the Happiness Within. And so I now before you is My
humble Apology to reconcile with My Mistake. I have been branded Ninny,
and so be it. I shall act appropriately.

My Mistake was to publish a CFJ during the Holiday. And O what a Mistake
it was! For the poor Judge of the CFJ was forced to run around with a
chicken with its head cut off... well, was forced to hurry in eir
Judgement. I am ashamed, and My remorse fills the Ages. I shall improve
Myself such that this shall never happen to Me again. You can be certain
of this.

And now, for the appreciation of My audience, an Erisian recipe for
peanutty caramel sauce:

1 Hierophant sans-culotte
3 bottles of orang-utan hair
6 zooplanktivorous sea creatures (preferably large)
10 oz. peanuts
a drop of extract of mouse telomeres
enough soporific to knock out an elephant of great fortitude

Grind and mix all components, and then filter the liquids into a
saucepan. Reduce until oil-thick and foul-smelling. Pour over 3 lbs.
dark chocolate and enjoy!


Judicial Order(s) by G.:

Indeed, the objection clock expired early yesterday I think.  So: Having
received no Objections, I name Eris a Ninny for being found Guilty of
Disobedience in CFJ 1424, and Order her to submit a Formal Apology of
250+ words, containing the ten words:  Hierophant, orang-utan,
telomeres, sans-coulotte, zooplanktivorous, fortitude, soporific,
peanutty caramel sauce.