CFJ 921

"The most recent amemdment to Rule 1671 caused all Organizations to be
 required to be dissolved."


Judge:        Antimatter
Justices:     Michael (C), Steve (S), favor (J)

Original Jmt: TRUE
Judgement:    FALSE

Eligible:     Andre, Antimatter, Blob, Chuck, Crito, Elde, elJefe,
              favor, General Chaos, Harlequin, KoJen, Michael,
              Morendil, Oerjan, Steve, Swann, Zefram

Not eligible:
Caller:       Murphy
Barred:       -
Disqualified: Vanyel
On hold:      -


  Called by Murphy, Mon, 21 Apr 1997 02:44:57 -0700
  Assigned to Antimatter, Fri, 25 Apr 1997 10:34:21 +0100
  Judged TRUE, Fri, 25 Apr 1997 19:06:57 -0800
  Published, Wed, 30 Apr 1997 09:17:27 +0100
  Appealed by favor, Wed, 30 Apr 97 08:02:17 EDT
  Appealed by Andre, Wed, 30 Apr 1997 15:16:51 +0200 (MET DST)
  Appealed by General Chaos, Wed, 30 Apr 1997 08:30:37 -0500
  Appealed by Crito, Wed, 30 Apr 1997 09:58:07 -0400
  Appealed by Swann, Wed, 30 Apr 1997 15:51:58 -0400 (EDT)
  Appealed by Murphy, Wed, 30 Apr 1997 22:23:57 -0700
  Appeals process begun, Tue, 6 May 1997 11:37:19 +0100
  Steve SUSTAINS, Mon, 12 May 1997 16:08:14 +1000 (EST)
  favor OVERTURNS, Mon, 12 May 97 11:23:03 EDT
  Michael OVERTURNS, Tue, 13 May 1997 09:32:27 +0100
  Appeal overturned, final Judgement: FALSE
  Published, Mon, 19 May 1997 09:15:50 +0100


Appeal judgement by Speaker Steve:

I hereby SUSTAIN Antimatter's Judgement.

The relevant sentence of the Frankenstein Rule is:

      An Organization shall be required to be dissolved whenever any
      of the following conditions are true:

       ii) The continued existence of the Organization would require
           that the Organization have no legal Frankenstein Monster.

Two readings have been proposed for this sentence. On the first,
defended by Judge Antimatter, an Organization is dissolved if
circumstances are such that (a) it exists, and (b) it has no
Frankenstein Monster. This seems to me be a perfectly acceptable
reading of the sentence. On a second reading, more is required than
just these joint circumstances, namely, that it actually be the
continued existence of the Organization that requires it not to have a
Frankenstein Monster. Defenders of this view would take it as evidence
against the dissolution of an Organization that it might have come to
acquire an FM had it continued to exist. This is also a perfectly
acceptable reading of the sentence.

How to choose between them? If I were Judging this Statement rather
than acting a Justice in an Appeal, I might find the task difficult.
But as I am acting a Justice, a principle presents itself which will
allow me to break the tie, namely, that one should be reluctant to
overturn Judgements unless they are mistaken in law or have some other
problem such as setting a bad precedent. Antimatter's Judgement is not
of this kind. In Judging as he did, he seems to me have exercised his
Judicial right to choose among acceptable alternatives, and I can see
no principled reason to overturn his Judgement. I therefore rule that
his Judgement be SUSTAINED.


Appeal Judgement by Justiciar favor:

I hereby OVERTURN the original Judgement.  The key consideration,
which I believe was inadvertantly overlooked by the original Judge, is
the meaning of the word "require" in

>    ii) The continued existence of the Organization would require
>        that the Organization have no legal Frankenstein Monster.

"Require" is a strong word; the synonyms in my desk dictionary include
"to make necessary", "to demand".  If a thing X requires some other
thing Y to have property P, then it must be essentially impossible for
Y to have P without violating or removing X.  Since it is quite easy
to imagine how an Organization might continue to exist but still have
a legal Frankenstein Monster, it cannot be the case that continued
existence of the Organizations *required* them to have *no* legal
Frankenstein Monster.

It has been suggested that a weaker sense of "require" is in use here.
As I understand it, the suggestion is that if, in some Gamestate, some
X has property P, then the existence of X "requires" that it have P.
This seems rather dubious to me, however, and I can find no evidence
for it in the rules; every instance of "require" in the Rules seems to
me to carry the ordinary strong sense of "require", as described
above, with the exception of the use in question, and the use in
R1397/5.  Since to my knowledge R1397/5 has never been tested in this
regard, we have no evidence (aside from questionable inquiries into
intent) for the meaning of "require" there.  Accepting this weak sense
of "require" would, it seems to me, throw the meaning of a great many
Rules into doubt: for instance, if "require" is basically synonymous
with "result in", then Rule 1584/0 has a very broad and unexpected
effect, making it impossible for Players who are On Hold to take any
actions at all, unless the Rule governing the action specifically says
that it applies to On Hold Players.  This and other similar oddities
suggests that this weak meaning of "require" is not appropriate within
the Agoran Ruleset.  So there.


Appeal Judgement by CotC Michael:

I OVERTURN the judgement of CFJ 921.

I agree with my Fellow Justice favor.

I disagree with Fellow Justice Steve, who claims that it is reasonable
to read "require" in

  "The continued existence of the Organization would require
   that the Organization have no legal Frankenstein Monster."

so that its meaning is equivalent to "result in a situation such".
There is neither game nor real-world precedent for such a reading.
One can only appeal to the intent known to be behind the creation of
the rules in R1397 (Dissolution of Organisations). However, it is well
established principle that intent is something that Agoran justice
uses only as a very last resort.  In particular, an unambiguous
reading that contradicts intent always takes precedence.

Let us examine the phrase above closely.  If it can be seen to be true
of all Organisations in existence at the time of the Frankenstein
Rule's amendment, then we can judge the CFJ true, because the context
in the Frankenstein Rule requires it, and no other rule contradicts
this provision.  (Indeed, R1397 (Dissolution of Organisations)
specifically states: "Other Rules can require an Organization to
dissolve under other circumstances.")

The presence of the "would" modifying the sentence's main verb
indicates that we are in a position where we have to start assessing
situations that may be counter-factual.

So, let us suppose that we are in a world where our arbitrary
Organisation continues to exist.  Now, given this assumption, we have
to demonstrate some requirement that the Organisation have no legal
Frankenstein Monster.

Where is such a requirement going to come from?  It certainly doesn't
come from the quoted provision above, which is simply a conditional
clause telling us that if a requirement exists, then we should
dissolve the Group.  A very simple scan of the rules does not indicate
any requirement that an Organisation not have a Frankenstein Monster
(indeed, there are no rules outside the Frankenstein category that
mention the FM at all), so therefore the provision is not true, so all
Organisations are NOT required to be dissolved.

Judgement ends.


Judgement: TRUE

Reasons and arguments:

This seems pretty simple. Since no Organization in existance at that
time had a Frankenstein Monster, all Organizations were required to be


(Caller's) Arguments: (none)