==============================  CFJ 1842  ==============================

    It is possible for a contract change to take effect retroactively.


Caller:                                 WALRUS

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              UNDETERMINED



Called by WALRUS:                       20 Dec 2007 01:51:48 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         20 Dec 2007 03:45:25 GMT
Judged UNDETERMINED by G.:              20 Dec 2007 05:41:07 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

Arguments against:
The rules are silent on this issue. By rule 217/6, game custom, common sense,
and the best interests of the game augment the rules where the rule text is
Common sense dictates that no action can take effect before it occurs.
Game custom dictates that actions take effect at the time of announcement.
The best interests of the game dictate that creating such a radically
changeable game-state is horrid, and trashes the game.

I note that, if these are not judged TRUE, Fookiemyartug is not and never has
been a player, a person, or even a contract.


Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

I would argue that both are possible by means of a
rule, proposal, or even ratification; but like most other things, a
contract cannot make it so by saying so.

This rule is currently in effect in B Nomic:

  Rule 3-1: The Temporal Prime Directive

  No rule or game action may require or force any retroactive changes to
  the game state. It is, however, permissible, to create rules or
  perform otherwise-legal game actions that simulate retroactive changes
  to the game state.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

It is possible for a contract to state retroactive effects which would be
binding to the members of the contract, i.e. creating retroactive obligations
for the parties of the contract if they so agree, and the Agoran Courts
would need to respect those applications, i.e. in an equity case.  However,
these obligations are legal fictions of the contract which do not translate
to legal fictions of Agora as a whole.  For example, while the contract
could consider membership to be retroactive for the purpose of assigning
contract duties (or for determining contest awardees), the membership would
not be retroactive for the purpose of registering in Agora (or for
determining the number of points awardable by the contest).

Therefore, without further defining "take effect" (does it mean within
the contract or within the greater Agoran context?) or without specifying
the type of contract change, I judge this statement UNDETERMINED.