CFJ 875

"Rule 1006 should be interpreted to mean that if a Rule is enacted
 which designates a position to be an Office, and no procedure exists
 to determine which Player initially holds that Office, then such a 
 position is not an Office, unless such a Rule takes precedence over 
 Rule 1006."

Judge:       Zefram
Justices:    Chuck, favor and Andre

Judgement:   TRUE

Eligible:    Andre, Chuck, elJefe, favor, Jtael, Kelly, Murphy, 
             Oerjan, Steve, Swann, Vanyel, Zefram

Not eligible: 
Caller:      Morendil
On hold:     
Defaulted:   KoJen, Michael


  Called by Morendil, Wed, 5 Jun 1996 00:47:09 +0100
  Assigned to KoJen, Wed, 5 Jun 96 10:01:50 GMT
  KoJen defaulted
  Re-assigned to Michael, Thu, 13 Jun 1996 09:54:43 GMT
  Michael defaulted
  Re-assigned to Zefram, Fri, 21 Jun 1996 14:54:10 +0100
  Judged FALSE by Zefram, Thu, 27 Jun 1996 06:32:30 +0100 (BST)
  Judgement published, Fri, 28 Jun 1996 10:19:55 +0100
  Appealed by Steve, Kelly and Morendil, 
                                       Sat, 29 Jun 1996 20:41:29 +0100
  Player elJefe disqualifies himself, Sun, 7 Jul 1996 12:19:01 -0700
  Player Chuck appointed as Justice (Speaker elJefe is ineligible)
  Player Kelly appointed as Justice (elJefe is acting Justiciar)
  Player Andre appointed as Justice (CotC Michael is ineligible)
  Appeal distributed, Mon, 8 Jul 1996 12:12:59 +0100
  Kelly defaulted
  Player Jtael appointed in Kelly's place, 
                                       Wed, 24 Jul 1996 10:01:45 +0100
  Player Jtael defaults by deregistering
  Player favor appointed in Jtael's place, 
                                       Tue, 30 Jul 1996 11:30:16 +0100
  J. Chuck reverses decision, Sun, 14 Jul 1996 14:47:09 -0500 (CDT)
  J. Andre calls for rejudgement, Mon, 15 Jul 96 12:46:13 METDST
  J. favor reverses decision, Thu, 1 Aug 96 16:01:52 EDT

  Majority of Justices agree that judgement was incorrect, and that
  its decision is to be reversed.  There ends CFJ 875.


Justice Chuck's decision:

In the matter of Judge Zefram's Judgement of FALSE on CFJ 875, I find
that this Judgement is in error, and that the Judgement should be
reversed to TRUE.

I agree with the Judge that in such a case as described by the
Statement, there are two possible resolutions: that an indeterminate
Player holds the Office, or that the putative Office is not an Office
after all.

Zefram gives two reasons for selecting the first resolution.  He cites
Game Custom, noting that we have had indeterminate game states before.
However, I believe he is confusing two different types of
indeterminacy.  We have often had instances where we have been unsure
of the game state, but in all of these, it has been possible, at least
in principle, to determine the actual game state.  To choose Zefram's
solution would be to have a game state that is indeterminate even in
theory; I know of no such cases where this has happened before, so
this interpretation does not have the support of Game Custom.

Judge Zefram also points out that the former interpretation satisfies
both Rules in question, while the latter violates the Rule defining
the Office.  At one time, I would have agreed with Zefram.  At one
time, I *did* agree with Zefram.  As it was long ago, I cannot cite
the CFJ, nor do I remember the particulars, but the status of a Group
was in question.  As Judge, I ruled that the Group no longer existed
on the same basis as Zefram ruled here, that the Group's ceasing to
exist prevented a Rule conflict--despite the fact that no Rule
explicitly mandated the dissolution of the Group.  However, my
Judgement was found to be in error by the Appeals Court--the mere fact
that the resolution satisfied all Rules in question did not justify
creating that resolution out of thin air, with no other support from
the Rules.  This is exactly what Zefram has done here.  In as much as
past Judgements are to be considered in Judging CFJs, I find that the
Appellate Judgement in that case clearly refutes the "indeterminate
Player" interpretation here.  Thus, the only interpretation supported
is that the putative Office is not actually an Office, and the
Statement is TRUE.


Justice Andre's decision:

Judgement: REJUDGE

The Appelants have a good case in claiming Rule 1011 might disallow
the change of holding of an Office to an unknown Player. Because this
could be seen as bringing new evidence into the case, which might
indeed be a case for overturning, I think the correct thing for me to
do is setting the Judgement aside and selecting a new Judge.


Justice favor's decision:

Judgement on Appeal of CFJ 875: I overturn the matter which is being
considered.  (Rule 1447/4's worded a little funny, ain't it?)  That
is, I find that the statement is TRUE (or, more to the point and as
required by 451/1, *was* TRUE at the time it was issued).  The
argument per se is relatively simple: Rule 1006/5 includes being held
by a Player as part of the definition of an Office, and Rule 1011
forbids us from changing a Nomic property without a procedure
specified by the Rules.  A Rule which specified an Office, but did not
give us a procedure for someone coming to hold it, would require us to
violate either 1011 or 1006, and therefore unless it took precedence
over both of them (and in particular over 1006), it would fail to have
effect.  So the Statement is TRUE.  I feel, though, that I should deal
with some of the side-arguments that have occurred on this topic:

  - Judge Zefram did not err in suggesting that the state of the Game
    might be indeterminate; this Judgement is silent on whether or not
    that is possible.  But even an indeterminate Game state in which
    someone (someone we know not whom) held an Office, but came to
    hold it without benefit of a procedure blessed by the Rules, would
    violate 1011.

  - There are questions of just how much of a "procedure" Rule 1011
    really demands.  Prior Judgements teach us that the null
    procedure, a simple ad hoc adjustment of the Gamestate to bring it
    into line with conflicting Rules, is *not* permitted.  That is,
    nowhere do the Rules grant us license to fiddle with the Gamestate
    as we wish in order to cure conflicts between Rules.  (Of course,
    we may sometimes have no other choice, but this is not one of
    those times.)

  - If Rule 1006/5 had not mentioned in its very first, definitive,
    sentence that an Office is a thing that is held by a Player, it
    would have been correct to see 1011 as merely overriding the
    second sentence of 1006/5 in this case, resulting in an Office
    that was held by no one.  But given that being held is an
    essential property of an Office, we cannot use 1011 to reach that
    deeply into the guts of 1006/5 and make adjustments to the essense
    of its function (again, we cannot just fiddle with things to try
    to get them to work).

  - Given what is apparently a threefold conflict between 1006/5,
    1011, and a hypothetical procedureless Rule defining an Office,
    where the latter does not win a precedence battle with 1006/5, it
    seems comfortable to allow the latter to be the loser, resulting
    in the entity in question not being an Office.  I will not ask
    what it might be instead, and I will avoid the issue of whether
    the Entity in question exists at all!

Note, of course, that 1006/6 fixes this problem, and there is now
always a procedure for determining who holds an Office...

(Original) Judgment: FALSE


The first paragraph of Rule 1006/5 defines the term "Office".  It
states "An Office is a position ... established by the Rules and held
by a Player".  The second sentence, "At any time, for each Office there
shall be exactly one Officer who holds it", merely clarifies the latter
clause of the definition.

In the circumstances described in the Statement, another Rule (which
defers to Rule 1006) designates some position as an Office, but there
is no way to determine who holds that Office.  There are two ways to
interpret this situation.  Firstly, the position may be an Office, held
by some Player whose identity cannot be determined.  Secondly, the
position may not be an Office, because no Player holds it.

The first interpretation allows for both Rules to be correct, without
conflict.  The lesser Rule establishes an Office, and 1006/5 states
that it is held by exactly one Player.  However, the identity of that
Officer is indeterminate.  Note that there is precedent for the game
state to be actually indeterminate.

The second interpretation requires the reasoning that, because the
identity of the Officer is indeterminate, there is no such Officer.
This is logic of extremely dubious value.  From this interpretation of
the situation comes a conflict between the two Rules -- the lesser Rule
stating that the position in question is an Office, and Rule 1006/5
implying by definition that it is not.

I believe that the first interpretation is to be preferred, for two
reasons.  First, it avoids a conflict between Rules.  Second, it is
consistent with game custom, which holds that the actual game state is
independent of our perceptions of it.  I therefore Judge this CFJ



Rule 1006/5 (Mutable, MI=1)
Defaults for Officers

      An Office is a position of authority or responsibility
      established by the Rules and held by a Player, who is called an
      Officer.  At any time, for each Office there shall be exactly
      one Officer who holds it.

      A position of responsibility or authority is only an Office if
      the Rules specifically designate it as such.  An Office only
      exists as long as there is a Rule in force which specifies that
      it exists.  If the Rule or Rules which mandated the existence of
      an Office are changed such that they no longer do so, that
      Office ceases to exist.

      A given Office has whatever duties, responsibilities, and
      privileges that the Rules assign to it.

Created by Proposal 386, Aug. 16 1993
Amended by Proposal 733, Nov. 24 1993
Amended by Proposal 881, date unknown
Amended by Rule 750, date unknown
Amended by Proposal 1006, ca. Aug. 25 1994
Amended by Rule 750, ca. Aug. 25 1994
Amended(1) by Proposal 1336, Nov. 22 1994
Amended(2) by Proposal 1582, May 15 1995
Amended(3) by Proposal 1699, Sep. 1 1995
Amended(4) by Proposal 1763, Oct. 31 1995
Amended(5) by Proposal 2442, Feb. 6 1996


(Caller's) Arguments:

Relevant Rules : 1006, 1631

Basically, I agree with Steve that Rule 1006 defines an Office as a
position designated by such by the Rules and which is held by exactly
one Player.

Consequently, if another Rule states that a position which is held by
no Player is an Office, that Rule is in conflict with 1006 and such a
provision cannot apply unless such a Rule wins that conflict.