=========================  Criminal Case 1863  =========================

    BobTHJ violated rule 2158 by failing to assign an appropriate
    judgement to the question on veracity in CFJ 1860 when obliged to,
    by means of assigning an inappropriate judgement instead.


Caller:                                 Zefram
Barred:                                 BobTHJ

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              EXCUSED

Appeal:                                 1863a
Decision:                               REMAND

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              EXCUSED



Called by Zefram:                       10 Jan 2008 23:12:27 GMT
Defendant BobTHJ informed:              10 Jan 2008 23:16:17 GMT
Pre-trial phase ended:                  14 Jan 2008 19:55:34 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         14 Jan 2008 21:22:14 GMT
Judged EXCUSED by G.:                   14 Jan 2008 23:24:08 GMT
Appealed by Zefram:                     14 Jan 2008 23:53:47 GMT
Appealed by root:                       14 Jan 2008 23:59:24 GMT
Appealed by pikhq:                      15 Jan 2008 00:03:04 GMT
Appeal 1863a:                           15 Jan 2008 00:22:27 GMT
REMANDED on Appeal:                     21 Jan 2008 01:48:39 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         21 Jan 2008 03:21:06 GMT
Judged EXCUSED by G.:                   29 Jan 2008 08:38:54 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

BobTHJ has assigned a judgement of IRRELEVANT in CFJ 1860.  This is
a patently inappropriate judgement, because the subject matter of CFJ
1860, namely the possibility of violating one of the rules by an action
that closely resembles something that that rule prohibits, is directly
concerned with the effect of the rules.  BobTHJ notionally argues that
Steve Wallace not being a protectorate makes the matter irrelevant,
but the relevant portion of rule 2159 clearly makes no such distinction.

BobTHJ's understanding of the rules is not so poor that e would miss
the point of CFJ 1860 so spectacularly.  It appears that e knew that
eir argument of IRRELEVANT was spurious, and that e concocted it merely
to satisfy the contractual obligation to judge IRRELEVANT that e had
incurred via the Vote Market.  Furthermore, BobTHJ's violation of rule
2158 is wilful, as e explicitly invited such contractual obligation.
E knew that eir Sell Ticket could result in em being obliged to judge
arbitrarily, even in a way that was grossly contrary to eir honest
analysis.  If found guilty, I believe e should face a relatively stiff
penalty due to these circumstances.  (root, who filled the Sell Ticket,
is blameless, per CFJ 1488.)

The only wrinkle in this prosecution is that rule 2158 does not prohibit
the assignment of inappropriate judgements per se.  Rather, it obliges
judges to assign appropriate judgements within a time limit.  The time
limit has not yet expired, but by eir inappropriate judgement BobTHJ
has limited eir options such that e cannot avoid failing to assign an
appropriate judgement within the time limit.  Thus e is constructively
in breach of the requirement.  (The contract law concept of "repudiatory
breach" works this way, and might be adopted into Agoran jurisprudence.)
If the present CFJ results in a not-GUILTY judgement due solely to the
time limit not having expired, it will merely require that a similar
CFJ be called later.


Gratuitous Arguments by BobTHJ:

In my defense, I quote the first sentence of R2159 which reads:

A protective decree is an act of Agora the intended effect of
      which is to make explicit changes to the state of a protectorate

The matter of Steve Wallace's nomichood (or any other person's for
that matter) is largely irrelevant when it comes to Protective
Decrees. In order to make this question relevant Steve Wallace must
first become a Protectorate. Despite my willingness to be bribed in my
judgment of this case Irrelevant is a wholly appropriate judgment for
this reason (although others may be appropriate as well).


Judge G.'s Arguments:

The appeals court has rejected BobTHJ's arguments given for CFJ 1860,
so there are two choices; EXCUSED (following the precedent in CFJ 1804)

I argue that the primary focus of the prosecution and the appeals court
was the issue of bribery for the judge (which is often an issue, if not
always so blatantly visible).  Sniffed Justice Murphy, "Judges should not
get away with accepting bribes."  Whether or not this is true, is such
bribery actually forbidden?

The precedent in CFJ 1804 requires finding good faith in the judge's
conduct when e makes an erroneous judgement, in order to be EXCUSED.
Is there good faith here?   On one hand, it is a clear matter of public
record that BobTHJ soliticed a bribe for said judgement.  However, there
is (perhaps unfortunately) *nothing* in the rules to the effect that a
judgement is inappropriate solely due to material gains that the judgement
would yield to the judge, to infer a direct punishment would be Legislation
from the Bench.

To that end, it is This Court's business only to examine BobTHJ's arguments
for the evidence of good faith.  BobTHJ's arguments were laid out in full
(here I must consider eir clarifying defense as part of these arguments, as
that is the purpose of the defense).   I have read the arguments of BobTHJ's
judicial arguments, as well as the prosecution and the defense, and the
Appeals results.  Contrary to the prosecution's arguments, R2159 does indeed
make the distinction:

      All players are prohibited from falsely claiming, to any nomic,
      that a document is a protective decree.           ^^^^^^^^^^^^

As BobTHJ states, if a claim is made to something which is not a nomic, it
is fairly reasonable to call the truth of the claim IRRELEVANT to R2159
("false" might also be reasonable).  He goes out of eir way to contrast a
personage (Steve Wallace) to a nomic.  Therefore, on the face of it (ignoring
the bribery), BobTHJ made a more-or-less reasonable judgement.[*]

As the arguments e presented were reasonable (contrast this to the judge's
arguments in CFJ 1346 for a bad faith example), This Court therefore takes
the arguments themselves in good faith.

Therefore, BobTHJ is EXCUSED.

[*]I note that the appeals court itself performed a bait and switch in
rejecting BobTHJ's arguments, noting the relevance of "to any nomic"
in the clause while ignoring BobTHJ's clear statement that Steve Wallace is
not a nomic.  This in itself makes the Appeals court arguments suspect,
as if a misunderstanding were purposely pursued in order to punish BobTHJ
for the bribe.


Appellant Zefram's Arguments:

Kerim Aydin wrote:
>I argue that the primary focus of the prosecution and the appeals court
>was the issue of bribery for the judge

The prosecution was not for taking a bribe, it was for wilfully making
an inappropriate judgement.  The bribe was an aggravating factor for
sentencing, and evidence of bad faith, *not* part of the misconduct

>                  Contrary to the prosecution's arguments, R2159 does indeed
>make the distinction:

As you point out, R2159 makes a distinction about whether the target is
a nomic.  We still haven't determined whether Steve Wallace is, or is
a representative of, a nomic, so we certainly can't dismiss the case as
irrelevant at this stage.  BobTHJ argued (in bad faith, I believe) that
Steve Wallace not being a *protectorate*, a fact which is not in doubt
but is irrelevant to the clause in question, made the case irrelevant.


Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

They were reasonable to request further evaluation (through REMAND
or REASSIGN), even if not all of their arguments were perfect.  While
their arguments and side-motives created sufficient "reasonable doubt"
as to BobTHJ's guilt (as needed to find em guilty in a criminal trial),
it was appropriate for them to remand or reassign.  If I had anticipated
the above response, I would have been more careful at pointing out this
burden of proof issue.


Gratuitous Arguments by omd:

The statement reads (emphasis mine):

BobTHJ violated rule 2158 by failing to assign an appropriate
judgement to the question on veracity in CFJ 1860 when obliged
to, *by means of* assigning an inappropriate judgement instead.

Assigning an inappropriate judgement is not a means of failing to
assign an appropriate judgement.  In fact, the rule reads
      When a judicial question is applicable and open, and its case
      has a judge assigned to it, the judge CAN assign a valid
      judgement to it by announcement, and SHALL assign an appropriate
      judgement to it as soon as possible.

If a judge is recused (in a manner such as self-recusal, for
instance), clearly the obligation to assign a judgement does not
apply.  This can be generalized to state that when the conditions for
the SHALL become false, the obligations are voided.  Therefore, by
assigning a (possibly inappropriate) judgement, BobTHJ removed the
obligation from emself to assign an appropriate judgement, and must be
innocent of failing to do so.

Or, an alternative interpretation: Rule 2158 creates the obligation to
judge "when... its case has a judge assigned to it"-- that is,
immediately when it is assigned.  The obligation is then independent
of the judge's status as such.  Ignoring the issue with recusal,
BobTHJ could hypothetically have assigned another judgement (this time
appropriate) were the case quickly appealed.  E did not, but by this
argument, assigning an inappropriate judgement was not in and of
itself a means for failing to assign an appropriate one.

In any case, I don't see how assigning an inappropriate judgement
could possibly be a means of instantly failing an obligation to assign
an appropriate one.


Gratuitous Arguments by G.:

Interesting line.  My counter is that in this part of the Rule:

      When a judicial question is applicable and open, and its case
      has a judge assigned to it,  the judge CAN assign a valid
      judgement to it by announcement, and SHALL assign an appropriate
      judgement to it as soon as possible.

the "CAN" and "SHALL" can reasonably be read as inseparable, with the
reasonable interpretation of "the judge is empowered to assign exactly
one judgement (since the delivery makes the case non-open), and it must
be an appropriate judgement delivered asap."   Interpreted that way,
making an inappropriate judgement is an "instant" closing of the window
of opportunity for an appropriate judgement and an instant violation of
this combined clause.

I suggest this as a "reasonable" interpretation of the combined clause,
the language could be clearer and I see your line of reasoning.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

#1:  CFJ 1860, upon reassignment, has been found FALSE.  This has not
been appealed, and moreover the reasoning in the case points out that
BobTHJ was incorrect; using that standard, the judgement of IRRELEVANT
is inappropriate for CFJ 1860.  So a finding of INNOCENT is inappropriate
here (the objections raised by H. comex as to the "directness" of an
inappropriate judgement as a mechanism for preventing an appropriate one
being delivered on time might be addressable in an inquiry CFJ, but
lacking such guidance I find the mechanism reasonably direct).

#2:  The Appeals Court has instructed me as follows:
  "However, I do believe that the prior judge should also consider
   the nature of the bribe on which BobTHJ's judgement was
   apparently based.  E was evidently willing to judge either
   TRUE or FALSE, which are mutually exclusive judgements, based
   upon whichever way the bribe went.  This is evidence of bad
   faith on BobTHJ's part that went unaddressed by the prior judge."

I will address this more directly.  We are all self-interested
judges in this small community.  Sometimes the self-interest is
more direct than others.  Previously, when obvious self-interest
has come up, we have ethically recused ourselves.  But not always!

For example, CFJs 1622-1623 were egregious examples of self-
interested judgements.  In these cases, it was the *arguments* (and
not the self-interest) that were the ultimate test.  In CFJ 1346,
when an inappropriate judgement was made, the appeals court (CFJ1346a)
based its overturning on the arguments made by the judge, not on the
fact that the judge was (quite, quite obviously) self-interested.

I see no reason to differ in standards here.  In fact, seeing the
self-interest in black-and-white, shown in a manner when any player
could have "paid" for the judgement, it is refreshing and
straightforward (as opposed to past cases where a scam worked
because a secret scam member was assigned as a judge).  BobTHJ noted
in making the offer that e felt that the judgement could go "either
way", this indicates to me that e (in good faith) saw arguments on
multiple sides.  BobTHJ's only mistake here was in not requiring that
reasonable arguments be provided by the buyer!

If you want standards to differ, put an explicit crime in the rules
for judging in self-interest, and good luck proving it.

But until such legislation exists, as I said in my earlier judgement,
evidence of faith should arise from the arguments, not additional
details of side-interests.  (This is not inconsistent:   CFJ 1622
would have been good faith, CFJ 1356 bad faith, based on the argument
quality and not the self-interest that existed in both cases).

#3.  So looking at the quality of the arguments, we see that the
Appeals Panel states in part:
   "The judge's arguments were somewhat reasonable, as laid out in
    the original judgement of CFJ 1863."

   "Having reread the prior judge's arguments a week later, the
    finding of good faith in the defendant's judgement seems
    reasonable to me."

I will take this as sufficient guidance that GUILTY is not an
appropriate judgement.

#4.  That only leaves the choice between EXCUSED and UNAWARE.
BobTHJ's error was an error in interpretation and logic in the
byways of the gray areas of the rules, and *not* an error of being
unaware of a particular, solid, obvious fact.  I believe that if a
judge lays out a good faith argument, e must follow it to its
conclusion.  If e does so, than e *cannot avoid* making a judgement
that e does.   So in those cases, EXCUSED remains preferred, even
if the UNAWARE option exists (CFJ 1804).

This differs from cases where the judge makes an inappropriate
judgement due to missing some clear and obvious statement of fact,
for which UNAWARE would be appropriate.  I note that the difference
between the two is a bit hair-splitting, but this court wishes to
strengthen the notion that a judge is inexorably bound to follow eir
arguments.  I'm never aware of what future judges will think, so I'm
EXCUSED to not consider future opinions and logic chains.  However,
I can forecast what I might judge if a vital piece of evidence were
presented to me, so for being unaware of such vital pieces of fact,
UNAWARE would be appropriate.

So again, this court finds EXCUSED.