============================  Appeal 1932a  ============================


Panelist:                               Murphy
Decision:                               REASSIGN


Panelist:                               G.
Decision:                               REASSIGN


Panelist:                               Wooble
Decision:                               REASSIGN

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History:

Appeal initiated:                       09 May 2008 15:52:26 GMT
Assigned to Murphy (panelist):          11 May 2008 05:00:48 GMT
Assigned to G. (panelist):              11 May 2008 05:00:48 GMT
Assigned to Wooble (panelist):          11 May 2008 05:00:48 GMT
G. moves to REASSIGN:                   12 May 2008 22:28:35 GMT
Wooble moves to REASSIGN:               12 May 2008 22:57:49 GMT
Murphy moves to REASSIGN:               13 May 2008 03:23:32 GMT
Final decision (REASSIGN):              13 May 2008 04:00:08 GMT

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Gratuitous Arguments by ais523:

Just because something is "inappropriate", with the English meaning of the
word, doesn't mean that it's necessarily against the rules. (Most scams are
likely to be inappropriate from somebody's point of view, for instance, and
yet there is a tradition of not preventing scams working merely because there
are scams, only if there's some problem with them that's actually found in the
rules.) Therefore, the appelant's arguments must be referring to the Agoran
meaning, defined in several rules, but in rule 2169/4 in relation to equity
cases: "A judgement is appropriate if and only if it is a reasonably equitable
resolution of the situation at hand with respect to the matters raised in the
initiation of the case and by the parties in the course of the case." First,
there is no requirement that an equity judgement be the simplest possible
judgement, only that it is equitable, so the excess complexity of the
judgement does not prevent it being inappropriate. So I don't see how the
'gravy' that root mentions prevents the judgement being appropriate. Second,
the definition in rule 2169/4 has a "with respect to" clause; the judgement
does not have to be equitable in general, only with respect to the matters
raised in the initiation of the case (which were all about root and a
particular contract), and by the parties in the course of the case. (root was
the only party, and raised several matters pertinent to the case privately; in
particular, e stated before the judgement was made that e would agree to it.)
Therefore, everything here comes back to root, and root's arguments, and
root's contract, as being the set of things that the equitability has to be
worked out with respect to. And what could me more equitable than an outcome
that all the parties have agreed to in advance, which they worked out among
themselves and with the judge? So the judgement is clearly an appropriate one,
because it fits the entire definition in rule 2169/4, and that rule states
that a judgement is appropriate if all the conditions there are met.

To address the appelant's arguments directly, they still do not indicate how
the judgement is inappropriate, according to the Agoran definition. (They may
argue successfully for an English-language-definition inappropriacy, but
nowhere in the rules does it say that that is sufficient to overturn a CFJ.)
The reason given ("[going] 'beyond equity' (or as root admits, 'equity with
gravy') in applying a benefit to one or more parties") manifestly contradicts
rule 2169/4, which says nothing that would imply that this is inappropriate;
therefore, SUSTAIN is the only Agoran-appropriate judgement in this case.

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Panelist G.'s Arguments:

R2169 reads in part:
      A judgement is appropriate if and only if it is a reasonably
                                                        ^^^^^^^^^^
      equitable resolution of the situation at hand with respect to
      ^^^^^^^^^
      the matters raised in the initiation of the case and by the
      parties in the course of the case.

In legal practice, and in Agoran Courts, what constitutes "reasonable"
is not determined by what specific, interested parties might consider
reasonable, but by what a "reasonable disinterested observer" might
consider reasonable ("and by the parties" in R2169 refers to matters
they might raise, not to their nonexistent role as to deciding what
is equitable).  It is quite in keeping with equity for a judge to impose
a compromise that neither side would consider equitable, but that a
disinterested observer would consider fair.

It is nice if all parties come out feeling good, but if no friendly
compromise is reached, the courts have both a power and a duty to impose
a position.  When root states that the judgement was equitable to em,
it merely showed that it was agreeable to em, not that a reasonable
person would also find it equitable (even if there is no other party to
complain).  Ultimately, it the responsibility of the Courts to decide
what is equitable, and this power and duty extends to the Appeals board,
even if a single (or every) party in an equity case is satisfied with
the initial judgement.

So was this judgement equitable?  What matters should the Appeals Court
consider?  Does the self-interest of the judge matter?

In criminal cases, it has been found (CFJ 1863) that outright bribery of
the judge is only of limited importance in determining whether a judgement
was appropriate.  However, in criminal cases, judgements are chosen from
a discrete set of outcomes (legal judgements).   Equity cases allow more
grounds for flexibility for a judge, so this is grounds for more oversight
being permitted by appeals boards in determining "reasonable."  So it is
not out of keeping for an appeals board to consider the motives of the
judge in a matter of equity.  Whether or not the contract in question is
agreeable to root, and whether or not it is reasonable as a whole, the
direct and obvious bribery and resulting collusion by the judge is
sufficient grounds to question the reasonableness of the judgement, and
seek another judge.  Therefore, on the matter of the appeal (CFJ 1932a),
This Board moves to REASSIGN.

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