Wittenberg

General => Wittenberg => Topic started by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 08:48:30 AM

Title: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 08:48:30 AM
The new Article VI has a Section 5:
Quote
The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark.  The Seneschál shall have the express duty during the said month of recess to form a government and prepare their legislative agenda, and shall announce publicly both the roster and the agenda at least before, if not sooner than, the last day on which a member of the Ziu may submit a measure to the second Clark.

What does the first sentence mean?

And also it seems that the Seneschal must personally stay in power through a whole Government, even if they're ill or can't otherwise do the job, since they can't legally be replaced without a new general election (Section 7  "No election for the Seneschál shall occur, except during the first Clark of a newly seated Ziu.")?  Am I reading this one right?
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 11:29:36 AM
Having authorized the relevant section...

The referenced sentence is in response to this clause in Section 5 (the part which you quote is actually Section 6): "The election of a Seneschál shall be the sole and exclusive business of the first Clark of every newly seated Ziu..."

In other words, the second Clark may have bills, the standard Vote of Confidence, resolutions, and so forth, whereas the first Clark may be only, exclusively, and solely the election of the Seneschal without introduction or consideration of any other matter. (Well, except that the Senate may, if it chooses, complete its election of the Mencei or other matters, hence the "...any of their business for which the consent of the Cosâ or the King be not requisite".)

As for the Seneschal staying in power: Incorrect. See Section 8:

Quote
The Seneschál shall appoint a member of the Government to be the Deputy Prime Minister, who shall be known otherwise as the Distáin. The Distáin shall act in place of the Seneschál in case of absence or disability of the latter, and shall become the Seneschál in case of death, removal or resignation. The Ziu may establish by law the procedures and standards in order to determine the absence or disability of the Seneschál, as well as the manner or conditions by which the Distáin shall be appointed.

If a Seneschal is absent, dies, or yadda yadda yadda, then the Deputy takes over. Furthermore, the Ziu may set standards by law so that the Distain doesn't just become the Senescahl on a whim.

It's a new paradigm, and certainly we will need to be making some changes to the law in order to avoid constitutional crises in the future.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 12:13:22 PM
The referenced sentence is in response to this clause in Section 5 (the part which you quote is actually Section 6): "The election of a Seneschál shall be the sole and exclusive business of the first Clark of every newly seated Ziu..."
In other words, the second Clark may have bills, the standard Vote of Confidence, resolutions, and so forth, whereas the first Clark may be only, exclusively, and solely the election of the Seneschal without introduction or consideration of any other matter. (Well, except that the Senate may, if it chooses, complete its election of the Mencei or other matters, hence the "...any of their business for which the consent of the Cosâ or the King be not requisite".)

Well, okay, but this is the sentence:

Quote
The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark.

I think I understand your intentions, but purely as a matter of written language, this is really hard to parse.

The coordinating conjunction between the two clauses suggests a logical link of exclusion between them.  For example: "Everyone gets ham for lunch, but Trevor's lunch is over there."  The suggestion is that Trevor's lunch is different in some way from everyone else's lunch, and implies that it is different in terms of the mentioned quality (hamness).

This provision reads like, "The second Clark is normal, BUT it will especially occur after a month of recess following the first Clark."  That doesn't make any sense.  If you replace the coordinating conjunction with "and," then it would make sense, but right now it's really confusing.

The second part also seems weird.  How can the second Clark "especially" occur after a month of recess following the first Clark?  Is it purporting to mandate that there be a month of recess?  I mean, the intent of this whole bit seems to be to proscribe that the first Clark is just electing a Seneschal, then there's a monthlong break, and then the subsequent six Clarks play out as normal (or five Clarks and one minute, if the king chooses to end the Government early with his new power of prorogation).  But it's really hard to understand just as it's written, and it clearly doesn't mandate anything.  In fact, as best I can tell, a Government can gain an extra month in which to pass bills by just not declaring a month of recess until later in the term.  If they wait until later, then the second Clark is not occurring after a month of recess following the first Clark, which renders the rest of the passage inoperable since its primary condition hasn't been met.

As for the Seneschal staying in power: Incorrect. See Section 8:

Quote
The Seneschál shall appoint a member of the Government to be the Deputy Prime Minister, who shall be known otherwise as the Distáin. The Distáin shall act in place of the Seneschál in case of absence or disability of the latter, and shall become the Seneschál in case of death, removal or resignation. The Ziu may establish by law the procedures and standards in order to determine the absence or disability of the Seneschál, as well as the manner or conditions by which the Distáin shall be appointed.

If a Seneschal is absent, dies, or yadda yadda yadda, then the Deputy takes over. Furthermore, the Ziu may set standards by law so that the Distain doesn't just become the Senescahl on a whim.
No, I see that the Distain can be acting as Seneschal in that instance, but Section 2 seems really clear:

Quote
The Seneschál shall be elected directly by the Cosâ, and his term shall expire upon the installation of his successor. He shall maintain the confidence of a majority of the Cosâ alone in order to hold the office.

The Government is here and throughout identified with the specific person who is elected as Seneschal.  There's other provisions that say who the successor can be, but I don't really see why the term doesn't expire once that happens, since it explicitly says as much.

I mean, if you're elected as Seneschal, and you get die, your Distain becomes the new Seneschal and succeeds you in office.  Your successor being installed, the "term shall expire."
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 12:14:16 PM
Furthermore, the Ziu may set standards by law so that the Distain doesn't just become the Senescahl on a whim.
Surely the problem with this system is apparent?
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 12:31:31 PM
These all sound like great opportunities for you to reenter politics and hopper some bills!
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 01:02:29 PM
There is not much appeal in the role of legislative janitor.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 01:17:15 PM
Ah, but there is so much appeal in public service. There is always something to clean up, someone to help, and pride to be had in hard work.

Unless you mean that you are above these things? In which case, I could see why public service might be unfitting for you.

It requires a dedication to something more than crying or whining. Certainly it requires more than the flimsy excuse behind which so much of the LCC seems to hide!

By the way, your statement is unfair to janitors: they do more in service to their employers than you have done for Talossa in years.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 01:30:57 PM
Ah, but there is so much appeal in public service. There is always something to clean up, someone to help, and pride to be had in hard work.

Unless you mean that you are above these things? In which case, I could see why public service might be unfitting for you.

It requires a dedication to something more than crying or whining. Certainly it requires more than the flimsy excuse behind which so much of the LCC seems to hide!

By the way, your statement is unfair to janitors: they do more in service to their employers than you have done for Talossa in years.

This is an interesting message.  There are a lot of implications in it.
I think, though, that you probably just got annoyed with me and lost your temper.  You took a lot of pride in writing a big amendment, and you're taking criticism of the resulting law as a criticism of you, even if I was polite about it.  But I haven't said anything about you, from first to last.  I just noticed some serious problems and pointed them out.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Glüc da Dhi S.H. on August 02, 2020, 01:35:47 PM
To be fair, sir AD has done a LOT for Talossa, both as a legislator and otherwise.

Scrutiny of our laws is a good thing, even by citizens who don't hold cosa seats. If anything we should have more of it.

(And of course, earlier in the process is always better, but this shouldn't be used to silence anyone or ignore valid comments that happen to be late. It's better that these things get pointed out late than never.)

Edit: wrote this before seeing ADs reply
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 03:45:37 PM
Constructive criticism and scrutiny are welcome and invited; smarminess or insincere statements are not. It is counterproductive to engage with or respond to actors of bad faith, and it is entirely reasonable to expect that participants of public discourse should have clean hands (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_hands).

The amendment in question of this thread stands on its own, even if Davinescu cannot fathom it. As a potential member of our judiciary, I should hope that he can discern it without assistance... although I also am concerned that a person who has an outstanding nomination to the Uppermost Cort would continue to participate in political discussions.

In any case, as a gesture of good faith, I will criticize the very amendment which I wrote: in Section 5 I made a substantial grammatical error and, although the meaning can be figured out within context, it is still an issue which deserves resolution by a future amendment. To wit:

Quote
No member of the Cosâ may abstain in the election of a Seneschál, and shall rank on his ballot at least two distinct preferences, which itself shall be made public.

By the way, I did not impugn Davinescu for having never contributed, but for having failed to contribute recently. He speaks often and loudly for someone who refuses to participate meaningfully. Moreover, he compared public service – specifically, being a member of the Ziu – to being a "legislative janitor". That comparison is unfounded and – again – for a potential member of our judiciary, it is grossly unbecoming. A person making such a comparison is deserving neither of respect nor of a seat on any of our Corts.

I will point out that the LCC lacks a majority plurality of voters' support for a reason.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 04:03:46 PM
By the way, I did not impugn Davinescu for having never contributed, but for having failed to contribute recently. He speaks often and loudly for someone who refuses to participate meaningfully. Moreover, he compared public service – specifically, being a member of the Ziu – to being a "legislative janitor".

It makes more sense when you understand that Sir Alexandreu's interventions are almost always not designed to solve problems, but to make other people feel bad. Sometimes making someone feel bad will make them do something so you don't have to. Sometimes, it's just sheer pleasure.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 04:53:47 PM
Aye, and it is self-evidently disingenuous that these criticisms were laid out after the fact when the same critic had access to The Hopper and could well have asked these questions then.

Not to mention-- it passed the Cosa unanimously.

So, when Davinescu says that he won't participate in the process because he doesn't want to be a "legislative janitor", he's not even insulting me personally, although he thinks he did; he is actually insulting all the members of the Ziu who voted for it, such as Breneir Itravilatx and Ian Plätschisch, ultimately saying that they too failed to see the errors.

I see that those two names persons "liked" several posts made in this thread by Davinescu, so I'd like to ask them: How does it feel when Davinescu equates a bill which you voted for, and which the Cosa passed unanimously, to being dirty work that would require him to clean up like a janitor?

Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 07:21:44 PM
Argh, this is a tad annoying.

First off, S:reu del Val, you went from seeming to acknowledge AD's criticisms were valid ("These all sound like great opportunities for you to reenter politics and hopper some bills!") to accusing him of bad faith ("It is counterproductive to engage with or respond to actors of bad faith") and claiming it was his fault he couldn't understand the amendment ("The amendment in question of this thread stands on its own, even if Davinescu cannot fathom it.") in approximately two seconds. What changed?

Secondly, I will admit that had I scrutinized this amendment more than I did, maybe I would have found these errors myself beforehand. Honestly, the sentence " The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark" doesn't make that much sense to me now that I think about it. However, I'm a human and it's hard to get myself to read through long and very dry legislation (going through many, many drafts of V's proposed new Organic Law during the 52nd Cosa was a real slog, trust me EDIT: not an attack on V; any new Organic Law would be a slog to proofread), especially when there are other members of the Government who purport to be much more experienced than myself at writing legalese well. I'll have to do a better job going forward.
 
Finally, I am sick and tired of hearing that any criticisms of a bill that are raised too late are inherently disingenuous. A good point is a good point regardless of when it is raised, and furthermore, it is not the responsibility of someone who is not even an MC to proofread every bill at exactly the moment the Government desires. I would really expect more grace when dealing with critics of a bill, especially when that bill is already passed!.

On this count, I practice what I preach. One of my first experiences as a politician in Talossa was an embarrassing debacle (https://talossa.proboards.com/thread/10888/defense-phoole-act) in which a bill I proposed failed because of criticisms which weren't voiced until after the voting had already started. Rather than complain about bad faith (and I find it funny you are implying the LLC are just complainers when must of pointless complaining seems to be coming from a different party), I ate my humble pie and admitted my mistake in expecting the bill to pass without comment.

I have also voted against my own bill because of arguments raised after it was put to a vote. (https://talossa.proboards.com/thread/12889/52rz2-time-admit-wrong)

I do not feel personally attacked in any way by the suggestion I probably made a mistake.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Viteu on August 02, 2020, 07:46:01 PM
However, I'm a human and it's hard to get myself to read through long and very dry legislation (going through many, many drafts of V's proposed new Organic Law during the 52nd Cosa was a real slog, trust me), especially when there are other members of the Government who purport to be much more experienced than myself at writing legalese well. I'll have to do a better job going forward.


Relevance?

Quote

Finally, I am sick and tired of hearing that any criticisms of a bill that are raised too late are inherently disingenuous. A good point is a good point regardless of when it is raised, and furthermore, it is not the responsibility of someone who is not even an MC to proofread every bill at exactly the moment the Government desires. [/u][/b].

Get over it.  There is an expectation that people read something before voting for it.  I'm sick and tired of people attacking something after it is passed, when it was publicly available for them to read and publicly comment on before then.  In fact, the very point of the Hopper is for the quotidian review. Also, it baffles me how my proposed Organic Law is, in any way, relevant to this conversation outside of some conspicuous and cheap political attack.   
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 07:49:44 PM
I do not feel personally attacked in any way by the suggestion I probably made a mistake.

Neither do I, and these incessant suggestions otherwise are a bit hypocritical. A person is more than capable of, as was said elsewhere, an excellent riposte of a criticism at the same time as not taking personal offense from the same criticism.

I never acknowledged that AD's criticisms were valid; on the contrary, I was suggesting that, if he wishes to complain, he should hopper some bills to correct the errors. "Put up or shut up", as it were.

I have been pretty consistent from the beginning in assessing that this thread was started and continues in bad faith.

An example of bad faith: the constant strawmen and other fallacies. No statement has been raised by me here or elsewhere that criticisms be invalid for being "raised too late", or that late criticisms are inherently disingenuous; that's a hasty, false, and impugning assumption. Again on the contrary, my criticism is instead that it is ridiculous - utterly ridiculous - that a particular person, but several people in general, are critiquing minutiae (or even substantial items, really) without offering alternatives or participating in the process.

This is not the United States, New Zealand, or any other major sovereignty; this is Talossa, and here we have a very low barrier of entry to participate in the political system. Moreover, it is insufficient to hide behind an excuse of "I'm just an average-day citizen" when the critic is, by others' own admission, more than just an average-day citizen.

If Alexandreu Davinescu, Breneir Itravilatx, C. M. Siervicül, or other members of the LCC desire to criticize the efforts of active citizens, then they should put up their own ideas or sit down.

You read that correctly and are more than welcome to hold it against me: If you're not willing to offer an alternative idea, an amendment, or at least a valuable piece of constructive feedback, then you should continue to stay silent.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 07:54:14 PM
(Replying to V; didn't see intervening comment)

That was not meant as an attack on you; proofreading any completely new Organic Law would be really hard. That's what had to be done, but it was hard to get myself to do it, and I brought it up to point out I'm not perfect and I can't always muster that kind of energy.

Note that I am not the one who presented these criticisms; you're right that it would not be great if I voted for something and then started complaining about it because I hadn't read it properly. But these criticisms are being brought by someone who did not vote on it and thus shouldn't be expected to base their schedule on when Clarks occur.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 07:57:18 PM
Quote
No statement has been raised by me here or elsewhere that criticisms be invalid for being "raised too late", or that late criticisms are inherently disingenuous; that's a hasty, false, and impugning assumption.

What? You just said:

Aye, and it is self-evidently disingenuous that these criticisms were laid out after the fact when the same critic had access to The Hopper and could well have asked these questions then.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 07:59:00 PM
Operative word: these criticisms, not all criticisms. It's not my fault that you extrapolated past the plain language.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 08:12:07 PM
I must also add that AD has said in the past that there must be a very low threshold for people to engage in politics and law. But then he mercilessly seizes upon infelicities of language in legislation. This looks very much like bad faith. If we want "ordinary people" to be able to do politics and law in Talossa, not just politics nerds and people who're involved in law outside Talossa, then we have to accept that infelicities of wording are nigh-inevitable and not use them as sticks to bash political opponents with.

I have been of the opinion for ages that there should be a Clerk of the Ziu whose job would precisely be legal proofreading. I.e. a real "legal janitor". That's the only way to avoid these little snafus but not exclude the vast majority from law and legislating.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 08:14:59 PM

I never acknowledged that AD's criticisms were valid; on the contrary, I was suggesting that, if he wishes to complain, he should hopper some bills to correct the errors. "Put up or shut up", as it were.

It looked like the beginning of this thread was a constructive conversation between the two of you. What I mean by "valid" is not that you agree with him, only that you see why someone could think that.

Quote
I have been pretty consistent from the beginning in assessing that this thread was started and continues in bad faith.
Again, that is really not how I interpreted your first couple of comments.


Quote
You read that correctly and are more than welcome to hold it against me: If you're not willing to offer an alternative idea, an amendment, or at least a valuable piece of constructive feedback, then you should continue to stay silent.
I get that you are trying to target more established citizens with this, but we better be really clear that we are not holding new or newly-returning citizens to this standard. It's already hard enough to get them to stick around; imagine how hard it would be if no one who is not in a position to propose something concrete feels comfortable airing concerns.

The LCC is still in very early days and just spent the entire election providing alternative proposals to the Free Democrats. I can assure you there will be no shortage of LCC participation in the coming months.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 08:15:41 PM
I have been of the opinion for ages that there should be a Clerk of the Ziu whose job would precisely be legal proofreading. I.e. a real "legal janitor". That's the only way to avoid these little snafus but not exclude the vast majority from law and legislating.

I know that this is very off-topic, but I would be eminently interested and qualified to take up this job, and would do it with incredible pride. I like writing "legalese" and can do so without bias (i.e., I would do this job honorably even for political opponents).
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 08:16:51 PM
But you're Attorney-General, there's a conflict of interest.

In any case, said Clerk would have to be pretty apolitical, almost like the SoS, to avoid suggestions that she were deliberately sabotaging the "other party"'s bills
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 08:20:41 PM
Operative word: these criticisms, not all criticisms. It's not my fault that you extrapolated past the plain language.
(https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/misinterpretation.png)
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 08:23:39 PM
these criticisms are being brought by someone who did not vote on it and thus shouldn't be expected to base their schedule on when Clarks occur.

A problem I see is that there seem to be real differences of opinion on what water-tight legal language is. If a person who is known to have strong partisan feelings says "the Party-Whom-I-Don't-Like submitted a shoddily worded bill", and refuses any requests for an alternative by saying "not my job", then the question arises in some minds: is there really a legal problem at all? Or is this guy just causing mischief by raising a problem which doesn't actually exist? Note that this same brain genius ginned up a scandal about "ex parte corruption", which most people disagree ever existed.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 08:25:15 PM
The LCC is still in very early days and just spent the entire election providing alternative proposals to the Free Democrats. I can assure you there will be no shortage of LCC participation in the coming months.

Respectfully: (a) I look forward to this participation, but (b) if Davinescu does not partake in this participate then he should be silent.

He can participate without or under the color of the LCC - his choice - but the principle remains. For that matter, it applies to other LCC members (such as the incumbent Governor of Florencia).

Ian, it is unacceptable to attack (even implicitly) a provincial Constitution which even Breneir critiqued and tweaked in concert with me. That's call intellectual dishonesty. I am well aware that this particular subject is well outside the bounds of this specific topic, but I bring it up to make a wider point: if the LCC is going to commence its opposition by slinging poo and arguing in bad faith, then it's a pretty poor opposition.

Attacking the FreeDems (and, conversely, attacking the LCC or NPW) is not how we rebuild or improve Talossa.

Operative word: these criticisms, not all criticisms. It's not my fault that you extrapolated past the plain language.

[picture]

 ;D ;)
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Açafat del Val on August 02, 2020, 08:26:48 PM
But you're Attorney-General, there's a conflict of interest.

In any case, said Clerk would have to be pretty apolitical, almost like the SoS, to avoid suggestions that she were deliberately sabotaging the "other party"'s bills

Perhaps for another time then, but I would like to be considered. I wouldn't just be good at it; I would enjoy it.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 08:29:08 PM
these criticisms are being brought by someone who did not vote on it and thus shouldn't be expected to base their schedule on when Clarks occur.

A problem I see is that there seem to be real differences of opinion on what water-tight legal language is. If a person who is known to have strong partisan feelings says "the Party-Whom-I-Don't-Like submitted a shoddily worded bill", and refuses any requests for an alternative by saying "not my job", then the question arises in some minds: is there really a legal problem at all? Or is this guy just causing mischief by raising a problem which doesn't actually exist? Note that this same brain genius ginned up a scandal about "ex parte corruption", which most people disagree ever existed.
I'll let AD answer this himself, but if deficiencies in wording cause there to be real ambiguity as to what the law means, that seems to me to be a problem. I can't say whether that is the case here because IANAL (I am not a lawyer).
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 02, 2020, 08:34:39 PM
Quote
There is not much appeal in the role of legislative janitor.

Such a spanner at times.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 08:36:05 PM
I'll let AD answer this himself, but if deficiencies in wording cause there to be real ambiguity as to what the law means, that seems to me to be a problem. I can't say whether that is the case here because IANAL (I am not a lawyer).

Neither is AD, except in Talossan terms. The vital jurisprudential issue is that it is the Cort who decides what correct legal language is and isn't, in a proper case. Anything raised by lawyers, amateur or otherwise, is like, just their opinion, man (http://"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBesOFURek").

This is why I want to replace the Royal legislative veto with the right of the King to submit any bill to the UC for a legal opinion, on whether it's inOrganic or alternatively on whether it's so badly worded as to defeat its purpose. That might work better than establishing a Ziu Janitor.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on August 02, 2020, 08:40:23 PM
I'll let AD answer this himself, but if deficiencies in wording cause there to be real ambiguity as to what the law means, that seems to me to be a problem. I can't say whether that is the case here because IANAL (I am not a lawyer).

Neither is AD, except in Talossan terms. The vital jurisprudential issue is that it is the Cort who decides what correct legal language is and isn't, in a proper case. Anything raised by lawyers, amateur or otherwise, is like, just their opinion, man (http://"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBesOFURek").
Yes, but it would be better if everyone agreed on what the law said so we didn't need to spend months in Cort.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 08:43:15 PM
Yes, but it would be better if everyone agreed on what the law said so we didn't need to spend months in Cort.

Better, but IMHO impossible, which is why we have a Cort in the first place.

Anyway: the alternative to Cort cases is a non-partisan, trusted "Ziu Janitor", not relying on hardly-disinterested reckons from people with axes to grind.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Eðo Grischun on August 02, 2020, 08:47:11 PM
I'll let AD answer this himself, but if deficiencies in wording cause there to be real ambiguity as to what the law means, that seems to me to be a problem. I can't say whether that is the case here because IANAL (I am not a lawyer).

Neither is AD, except in Talossan terms. The vital jurisprudential issue is that it is the Cort who decides what correct legal language is and isn't, in a proper case. Anything raised by lawyers, amateur or otherwise, is like, just their opinion, man (http://"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBesOFURek").
Yes, but it would be better if everyone agreed on what the law said so we didn't need to spend months in Cort.

I get what you're saying, but even in macronational legislatures that kind of thing doesn't happen.  Courts exist for reasons and this is one of them.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 02, 2020, 10:03:44 PM
Quote from: Açafat del Val
Constructive criticism and scrutiny are welcome and invited; smarminess or insincere statements are not. It is counterproductive to engage with or respond to actors of bad faith, and it is entirely reasonable to expect that participants of public discourse should have clean hands (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_hands).
...
Aye, and it is self-evidently disingenuous that these criticisms were laid out after the fact when the same critic had access to The Hopper and could well have asked these questions then.
...
I never acknowledged that AD's criticisms were valid; on the contrary, I was suggesting that, if he wishes to complain, he should hopper some bills to correct the errors. "Put up or shut up", as it were.

As far as I can tell, the Organic Law has several significant problems caused by this amendment.  I politely pointed them out, without directing any criticism towards you or anyone else who voted for it.

I am not a politician or a legislator, and I do not feel obligated to proofread laws that you might propose.  I also do not feel obligated to fix your mistakes, just because I noticed them.  I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Talossa, and I reject any attempt to suggest that I'm not allowed to criticize the politicians in power unless I do some work for them, S:reu Attorney-Xheneral.

By the way, I did not impugn Davinescu for having never contributed, but for having failed to contribute recently. He speaks often and loudly for someone who refuses to participate meaningfully. Moreover, he compared public service – specifically, being a member of the Ziu – to being a "legislative janitor". That comparison is unfounded and – again – for a potential member of our judiciary, it is grossly unbecoming. A person making such a comparison is deserving neither of respect nor of a seat on any of our Corts.

...

If Alexandreu Davinescu, Breneir Itravilatx, C. M. Siervicül, or other members of the LCC desire to criticize the efforts of active citizens, then they should put up their own ideas or sit down.

I'm not sure if you realize this, but you are directly saying that neither being an active participant here or being willing to serve on the judiciary count as "contributing meaningfully."

I must also add that AD has said in the past that there must be a very low threshold for people to engage in politics and law. But then he mercilessly seizes upon infelicities of language in legislation. This looks very much like bad faith. If we want "ordinary people" to be able to do politics and law in Talossa, not just politics nerds and people who're involved in law outside Talossa, then we have to accept that infelicities of wording are nigh-inevitable and not use them as sticks to bash political opponents with.
...
A problem I see is that there seem to be real differences of opinion on what water-tight legal language is. If a person who is known to have strong partisan feelings says "the Party-Whom-I-Don't-Like submitted a shoddily worded bill", and refuses any requests for an alternative by saying "not my job", then the question arises in some minds: is there really a legal problem at all? Or is this guy just causing mischief by raising a problem which doesn't actually exist?
...
I'll let AD answer this himself, but if deficiencies in wording cause there to be real ambiguity as to what the law means, that seems to me to be a problem. I can't say whether that is the case here because IANAL (I am not a lawyer).

Neither is AD, except in Talossan terms. The vital jurisprudential issue is that it is the Cort who decides what correct legal language is and isn't, in a proper case. Anything raised by lawyers, amateur or otherwise, is like, just their opinion, man (http://).

Look, I noticed problems with the law.  I politely raised my concerns in a thread that mentioned no person or party, attacked no one, and simply brought up the issues that I saw.  The amendment passed the Cosa unanimously, so it makes no sense as a partisan attack.

I phrased my concerns clearly and explained why I thought they were a problem.  It seems very evident to me that the law currently says that the term ends once the Seneschal's successor enters office, which seems to mean that the Government falls if the Seneschal is ever succeeded by the Distain.  And the first sentence of the new VI.5 barely makes sense to me and seems to indicate that the Government can get an extra legislative month by waiting to declare a month of recess until after the second Clark.  It's possible that I'm wrong, but I'm not a wizard... all I did was look at the plain English of the law!  Everyone can read it for themselves and decide if it's a problem.

Yes, ambiguity in the law can be resolved by the courts.  But that should be avoided, because the law should clearly say what the elected representatives of the people intend for it to say.

Here, this sentence is one of the problems I noticed:

"The second Clark of every Ziu may entertain business as normal, but especially shall occur after a month of recess following the first Clark."

I think this is what is actually intended:

"There will be a month of recess after the first Clark.  The second Clark shall follow this month of recess, and legislative business shall be conducted as normal."

This is better because:

Writing clear law is a civic necessity, not a luxury.  Laws protect the people only if everyone can generally understand them and can generally agree on their meaning.  Laws which are sloppy and vague serve only the people with the power and the resources to bend those laws to their will.  I know this might be an unpleasant thought to the Seneschal, Attorney-Xheneral, and Minister of the Interior, but one of the main functions of our laws is to protect the people from you -- you, the Government in power.  And if they aren't clear, then legislators are doing a bad job by definition -- since your job is to write clear laws that serve the people!

I have been of the opinion for ages that there should be a Clerk of the Ziu whose job would precisely be legal proofreading. I.e. a real "legal janitor". That's the only way to avoid these little snafus but not exclude the vast majority from law and legislating.
That sounds like an unpleasant job, but you're the Seneschal.  You can create this job right now, if you think it is a good idea and you think someone will do it.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 02, 2020, 11:43:14 PM
Look, I noticed problems with the law.  I politely raised my concerns in a thread that mentioned no person or party, attacked no one, and simply brought up the issues that I saw.  The amendment passed the Cosa unanimously, so it makes no sense as a partisan attack.

Alexandreu, va estimat amic, I'm afraid that, based on your Talossan track history, everything you say ever is justifiably interpreted as a partisan attack. Look at that quote in my signature. You have spent almost 15 years fighting what are now the politics of the incumbent government, accusing supporters of those politics of all kinds of malfeasance ("ex parte corruption", "betrayed stolen kept", etc)., and are most recently on record as saying that the best thing the incumbent Seneschal can do for Talossa is resign and become inactive. No matter whether or not you are an active member of a political party or an elected official, you're as non-partisan as Sean Hannity or Al Franken.

None of which means that your legal interpretations are necessarily incorrect, of course. But they are not being taken in good faith right now because of the sneering, condescending, contemptuous way in which you phrased them. Tl;dr: if you want to be taken seriously as being non-partisan, please make an effort to phrase your criticisms in a way that doesn't make you sound like the abusive schoolteacher from Pink Floyd: The Wall. V. Marcianüs has done well in that regard, I think.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Breneir Itravilatx on August 02, 2020, 11:58:24 PM
The LCC is still in very early days and just spent the entire election providing alternative proposals to the Free Democrats. I can assure you there will be no shortage of LCC participation in the coming months.

Respectfully: (a) I look forward to this participation, but (b) if Davinescu does not partake in this participate then he should be silent.

He can participate without or under the color of the LCC - his choice - but the principle remains. For that matter, it applies to other LCC members (such as the incumbent Governor of Florencia).

Ian, it is unacceptable to attack (even implicitly) a provincial Constitution which even Breneir critiqued and tweaked in concert with me. That's call intellectual dishonesty. I am well aware that this particular subject is well outside the bounds of this specific topic, but I bring it up to make a wider point: if the LCC is going to commence its opposition by slinging poo and arguing in bad faith, then it's a pretty poor opposition.

Attacking the FreeDems (and, conversely, attacking the LCC or NPW) is not how we rebuild or improve Talossa.

Operative word: these criticisms, not all criticisms. It's not my fault that you extrapolated past the plain language.

[picture]

 ;D ;)

I love getting name-checked after hitting a nerve in another section of our forum. None of this rises above a (continuing) fit of pique but it is amusing to watch.
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on August 03, 2020, 12:04:37 AM
I love getting name-checked after hitting a nerve.

I think you're letting your 87.5% majority go to your head there, bro
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Breneir Itravilatx on August 03, 2020, 12:15:27 AM
I love getting name-checked after hitting a nerve.

I think you're letting your 87.5% majority go to your head there, bro

Epic comeback. The use of the word "bro" in connection with my use of it (twice!) In the Florencia boards is a nice twist. Exquisite. :-)

I am chastened. 
Title: Re: Legal Questions
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on August 03, 2020, 12:23:11 PM
Look, I noticed problems with the law.  I politely raised my concerns in a thread that mentioned no person or party, attacked no one, and simply brought up the issues that I saw.  The amendment passed the Cosa unanimously, so it makes no sense as a partisan attack.

Alexandreu, va estimat amic, I'm afraid that, based on your Talossan track history, everything you say ever is justifiably interpreted as a partisan attack. Look at that quote in my signature. You have spent almost 15 years fighting what are now the politics of the incumbent government, accusing supporters of those politics of all kinds of malfeasance ("ex parte corruption", "betrayed stolen kept", etc)., and are most recently on record as saying that the best thing the incumbent Seneschal can do for Talossa is resign and become inactive. No matter whether or not you are an active member of a political party or an elected official, you're as non-partisan as Sean Hannity or Al Franken.

None of which means that your legal interpretations are necessarily incorrect, of course. But they are not being taken in good faith right now because of the sneering, condescending, contemptuous way in which you phrased them. Tl;dr: if you want to be taken seriously as being non-partisan, please make an effort to phrase your criticisms in a way that doesn't make you sound like the abusive schoolteacher from Pink Floyd: The Wall. V. Marcianüs has done well in that regard, I think.
It's probably an oversight, but you completely ignored the actual matter at hand in favor of attacking my tone and rehashing your grudges.

Regardless, I think it's become apparent that the problems in the law are serious and real.  I hope that the Ziu will fix them, and take steps to identify others.  It doesn't seem like these changes received enough scrutiny, and it would be better to find errors now rather than later.