=============================  Appeal 818a  =============================

Panelist:                               Andre
Decision:                               SUSTAIN

Panelist:                               Morendil
Decision:                               REVERSE

Panelist:                               Michael
Decision:                               SUSTAIN



Appeal initiated:                       06 Nov 1995 14:39:00 GMT
Assigned to Andre (panelist):           06 Nov 1995 14:39:00 GMT
Assigned to Morendil (panelist):        06 Nov 1995 14:39:00 GMT
Assigned to Michael (panelist):         06 Nov 1995 14:39:00 GMT
Andre moves to SUSTAIN:                 08 Nov 1995 15:37:00 GMT
Morendil moves to REVERSE:              09 Nov 1995 01:04:00 GMT
Final decision (SUSTAIN):               10 Nov 1995 18:31:00 GMT
Michael moves to SUSTAIN:               10 Nov 1995 18:31:00 GMT


Panelist Andre's Arguments:

[date of appellate assignments approximate]

I uphold the Judge's decision of TRUE.

I also agree with most of the original Judge's reasoning. It is clear that
the Mousetrap is of a Class not defined in the Rules, which on itself is not
disallowed, but being of a Class not defined in the Rules, it can have
Jurisdiction over no Players, as Rule 1530 says:

"A compact can only have Jurisdiction over Players permitted to
it by the Rules governing its Class or Organization."

It is my feeling that Rule 116 cannot be used here. The main reason is that
Rule 116 is much too wide to be counted as 'the Rules governing its
[Mousetrap's] Class of Organization'. Another main reason is that the
Jurisdiction of a Compact is not 'not prohibited or regulated by a Rule'. It
IS regulated by a Rule, namely 1530. And extending Mousetrap's Jurisdiction
to include Swann IS forbidden by a Rule, namely 1530. In other words: Rule
116 simply doesn't apply.

Clerk of the Courts,



Panelist Morendil's Arguments:

Introductory comments

The Mousetrap, whatever legal status that entity has, was in recent
days the source of much debate and activity. Its existence first
became manifest when a Move of dubious legality, but which went
uncontested, refused to acknowledge as legal the results of an
Election conducted in accordance with the Rules.

Much of the debated that ensued, and which continues at the time of
this writing, revolved upon what interpretation we are to give to
Rule 116, and specifically to the words "govern" and "regulate", as
well as "permitted".

Let me know break from that impersonal tone which I find as tedious
as you do. As a New Player, I have learned much (and gained much
respect for some older Players) from that debate. My conclusion is
that the Mousetrap, in attempting to point out flaws in the new
Organization Rules, put a lot of weight to bear on Rule 116, and that
a clarification is necessary. I have decided on an interpretation of
that Rule that seems sensible; the results of this CFJ hopefully will
assist in interpreting further Moves abusing Rule 116, and will
perhaps be incorporated into it if it's really useful.

My interpretation of Rule 116 :

Rule 116 governs all play, if only because Players are required to
obey all Rules.

Therefore, all constructions of the form 'if the set of Rules governing
X...", when no Rules specifically govern X, shall be taken to refer
to a set of Rules of one element, Rule 116. Thereafter, <> will serve
as shorthand for "the set of Rules governing X", and thus Rule 116,
when the set of Rules referred to is empty.

1) Constructions of the form "if <> permit Y" shall be taken to mean
that Y is permitted. This follows directly from 116.
2) Constructions of the form "if <> so specifies, Y is permitted"
shall be taken to mean that Y is not permitted. This is because Rule
116 does not specify anything.
3) Constructions of the form "as defined in <>" shall be taken to
mean that whatever Entity should be defined does not exist.

I take as a given that there are no Rules specifically governing the
Class of Organization that Mousetrap, if it exists, belongs to.

We shall now apply that interpretation to all Rules relevant to
Mousetrap, as a demonstration that this interpretation allows
to make legal decisions without recourse to logical or mathematical
arguments, and that these decisions can be taken easily and
unambiguously :

1501 : "An Organization is Public unless the Rules defining its
Class permit (or require) it to be Private" : Mousetrap is permitted
to be a Private Organization.

1528 : "An Organization only possess [sic] Treasuries if the Rules
governing that Organization specify so" : the Mousetrap, if it
exists, cannot have Treasuries.

1529 : "A Compact may only possess those elements allowed it by the
Rules defining its Class of Organization. If these Rules do not
specify, the Compact may only consist of Statutes" : the Compact of
Mousetrap, if it exists, may only contain Statutes.

1530 : "A Compact can only have Jurisdiction over Players permitted
to it by the Rules governing its Class of Organization" : the Compact
of Mousetrap, if it exists, can potentially include any Player in its
Jurisdiction. My Judgement of FALSE follows.

1531/1532 : "The Administrator and Executor must come from within
the Jurisdiction of the Organization's Compact unless otherwise
specified by the Rules governing its Class" : in the case of
Mousetrap, if it exists, they must indeed.

1533 : "The set of required Foundors is specified within the Rules
defining the particular Class of Organization" : there is no set of
Foundors for Mousetrap that can possibly meet the requirements
specified in Rule 116, for it does not specify any, thus Mousetrap
does not exist. This is an application of case 2) of my
interpretation. All other examples were derived from 1).

In conclusion, my Judgement of FALSE on CFJ 818 is a special
case of the general interpretation stated above.


Panelist Michael's Arguments:

Argument:  I choose to entirely ignore the issue of whether or not
           the Mousetrap organisation exists.  This issue is being
addressed as I write by other Judgements and Appeals.  Of course, if
it doesn't exist, then the Judgement becomes TRUE because the
implication's antecedent is false.  However, to jump to a conclusion
on the basis of a proposition whose truth-hood is before the courts is
very dubious practice, so I will not consider this possibility, and
will instead develop my argument after assuming that the Mousetrap
does exist.

If the Mousetrap does exist, its Jurisdiction is only allowed to cover
those Players "permitted to it by the Rules governing its Class of
Organization" (1530/0).  Those who argue in favour of the Mousetrap's
existence, and its ability to do what is claimed of it, posit the view
that the phrase "the Rules governing its Class of Organisation"
denotes a set of rules that includes R116.

The basis for this claim is that the whole ruleset governs how the
game of Agora is played in its entirety, so all rules in the ruleset
must be considered as possible candidates for something which governs
a particular Class of Organisation.  It is true that R116 does not
explicitly say of itself that it does not govern the Class of
Organisation that Mousetrap purports to belong to, but nor does it say
that it does.  What then is the situation?

Let us consider some other rules first.  Perhaps the decision we reach
on the question of whether or not they govern Classes of Organisation,
and the manner in which we reach this decision will help us decide how
to treat R116.

Because it appears first in the published ruleset, let us look first
at R1020 ("The Official Name of this Nomic shall be Agora.")  Does
this govern the Class of Organisation to which Mousetrap is supposed
to belong?  My answer is a ready "no".  But then, perhaps this is not
so surprising; this is not a particularly regulatory or "governing"
rule.  It merely states a fact about the "Platonic" nature of our
game.  Let us move on then.

Skipping a few pages we come to R1497 "Truth in Advertising".  This is
clearly a rule which does govern things.  It explicitly sets out to
limit and control the behaviour of Players.  But does it govern
Classes of Organisations?  Again, it seems fair to answer "no".  Of
course, Classes of Organisation are part of the game, and the game's
behaviour and development are controlled by its rules as a whole, but
it would be a particularly stubborn debater who claimed that R1497
governed Classes of Organisations in any meaningful way.  After all,
if we were to remove R1497, would the permitted behaviour of
Organisations and their Classes change in any way?  Again, the answer
must be "no".  Though the Players involved in Organisations might be
able to behave differently in the absence of R1497,  the Organisations
themselves would not "behave" any differently.

But what does it mean for an Organisation (let alone its Class) to
"behave"?  Permit me, if you will, a digression to investigate the
properties of those rules which we can all agree definitely do govern
a Class of Organisation.  Scrolling backwards from the bottom of the
ruleset (as good a direction as any other), I come first to R1455/1
"Contracts".  If any rules in the ruleset govern a Class of
Organisation, this must be one of them.  It begins by explicitly
asserting the existence of a Class of Organisations known as
Contracts, and then describes a number of properties which all
Contracts must share.

It would of course be a mistake to conclude that all rules governing
Classes of Organisation should look like this one.  I will not make
that claim, but I will note that this rule does regulate, restrict and
clarify the nature of the Contract Class of Organisation.  All of
these activities (regulation, restriction, &c) are consistent with the
commonly understood notion of "governing".

Consider the Hypertext Webster's definition of "govern" (available at
  gov.ern \'g*v-*rn\ \-*r-n*-b*l\ vb [ME governen, fr. OF governer,
fr. L gubernare to steer, govern, fr. Gk kybernan
  1a: to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; esp : to
      control and direct the making and administration of policy in
  1b: to rule without sovereign power usu. without having the
      authority to determine basic policy archaic
  2b: to control the speed of by automatic means
  3a: to control, direct, or strongly influence the actions and
      conduct of
  3c: to hold in check : RESTRAIN
  4 : to require (a word) to be in a certain case or mood {in English
      a transitive verb ~s a noun in the common case}
  5 : to constitute a rule or law for
      1: to prevail or have decisive influence : CONTROL
      2: to exercise authorityrolling(sic) others.

GOVERN implies the aim of keeping in a straight course or smooth
operation for the good of the individual and the whole; RULE more
often suggests the exercise of despotic or arbitrary power


Clearly the first meaning given above is the meaning that applies to
bodies in government, parliaments, congresses, sovereigns etc.  Its
relevance to rules is minimal.  Meaning 1b is archaic and similar in
scope (though opposite in meaning!) to 1a in any case.  Meanings 2a
and 2b do not seem to have much relevance in the abstract world of
rules.  Meanings 3a,b and c do seem to be relevant.  Meaning 4 is
clearly irrelevant.  Meaning 5 with its subclauses also seems quite

Perhaps now we can approach R116 "Permissibility of the Unprohibited".
Its one sentence deserves full reproduction here:

"Whatever is not prohibited or regulated by a Rule is permitted and
unregulated, with the sole exception of changing the Rules, which is
permitted only when a Rule or set of Rules explicitly or implicitly
permits it."

Does this rule govern Classes of Organisation?  If it does, then it
could be said to permit Mousetrap's jurisdiction to extend over Player
Swann.  If it does not, then even a brief inspection of the Ruleset
will not reveal any other rule that even comes close to permitting
this to happen.

My answer to this important question is a (tentative) "no".  It is not
clear to me that R116 does any of the things that accord with our
understanding of the word "govern".  Does it control, direct, or
strongly influence the action and conduct of Classes of Organisations?
The only sense in which this might be said to happen, would be if we
first assumed that it was a rule that did so govern, because it might
then have an influence through rules such as R1530.  But this would be
a circular argument and of no merit therefore.

A simple examination of its words reveals that by contrast, R116
"permits" and (allow me a horrible neologism) "unregulates".  If
anything, this activity is the precise opposite of what we should
expect from something that "governs".

Therefore I conclude that R116 does not govern Mousetrap's Class of
Organisation (even assuming that it exists).

Judgement ends.



Panelist Michael's Evidence:

Rule 116/0 (Semimutable, MI=3)
Permissibility of the Unprohibited

      Whatever is not prohibited or regulated by a Rule is permitted
      and unregulated, with the sole exception of changing the Rules,
      which is permitted only when a Rule or set of Rules explicitly or
      implicitly permits it.