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General => Wittenberg => Topic started by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 08:28:28 PM

Title: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 08:28:28 PM
Just a thread to collect legal questions for my own interest.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 08:33:15 PM
Org.VIII.4 says that, "Unless otherwise set by law, re-appointment shall be deemed automatic if no member of the Ziu has requested a re-appointment vote in the Cosa immediately preceding the expiration of the Judge's term; and re-appointment shall only require a simple majority of each house in the Ziu."

When is "immediately?"  There is no comparable example anywhere in the law that I can find.  In a time when four months or more might pass between legislation being passed, it seems as though "immediately" must at least embrace that minimum amount of time (since the interval isn't set in Cosa sessions, but years).  But this is one of those Zeno's provisions... if four months is immediate, then four months and a day?  Where do we draw the line?  Is six months immediate enough?  No idea.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 08:38:13 PM
Org.VIII.5 seems to set out that a justice can be removed from their seat by simple majorities: "A Judge shall remain on the Cort pü Inalt for the duration of their term, until they choose to retire, or, as prescribed by law, until such time as the Ziu shall remove him or her from their seat or until he or she can no longer perform their duties on account of incapacitation."  (ie "A Judge shall remain on the Cort pü Inalt for the duration of their term, until ... as prescribed by law, until such time as the Ziu shall remove him or her from their seat ...")

This is curious, since the procedure for the warning written into the law has much higher requirements: "[A] Notice of Reprimand must receive, in addition to requirements of other legislation, two-thirds support in the Cosa and majority support in the Senate."  But unless I'm missing something, the Ziu could pass a law saying that they may remove justices at whim (or for whatever arbitrary standard they set) and then do it.  So it'd just take two Clarks.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 08:46:20 PM
There are numerous provisions of el Lexhatx that exceed Org.VII.3's ennumerated powers on their face.  But would they be covered by Org.VII.3.18's power to regulate "relations between provinces" (AKA the Talossan Commerce Clause)?  One day we'll find out.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 09:14:09 PM
Any party with a majority in the Ziu and any province can create themselves a friendly Senats seats whenever they please.  A simple act of the Ziu creates a new province from the existing one and assigns whatever specific citizens they want, however they please (as long as it includes one active person and nine other citizens).  Theoretically this could be done multiple times, in fact, if there are enough citizens available -- but I think only Benito could actually do it more than once right now (yielded two new ten-person provinces and one four-person province).  As far as I can tell, there is nothing to prevent this.  It's actually a significant danger, since any majority in the Ziu is going to command a majority in at least a couple of provinces, and two Senats votes would be a big deal.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 09:20:00 PM
The changes to the Twelfth Covenant seem to permit the Ziu to expel any citizens it pleases based on their census responses.  It is clearly intended to refer to Org.X.5, but is only refers instead to "census law."  So a provision of el Lexhatx would qualify, and the Ziu could simply pass a special law to run a one-time census that's not anonymous, and then boot out of the country any group that they please.  You could ask whether or not someone had ever held seats for a certain party, for example, and then proscribe them for "intimidation."  This trick's a little rough and would need some fiddling, but there's a pretty big hole here for someone to exploit.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 12, 2020, 09:20:37 PM
Getting a little obvious I got side-tracked from writing my book, I think.  Better get back to it.  More to come as I notice.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Eðo Grischun on October 12, 2020, 10:52:16 PM
Any party with a majority in the Ziu and any province can create themselves a friendly Senats seats whenever they please.  A simple act of the Ziu creates a new province from the existing one and assigns whatever specific citizens they want, however they please (as long as it includes one active person and nine other citizens).  Theoretically this could be done multiple times, in fact, if there are enough citizens available -- but I think only Benito could actually do it more than once right now (yielded two new ten-person provinces and one four-person province).  As far as I can tell, there is nothing to prevent this.  It's actually a significant danger, since any majority in the Ziu is going to command a majority in at least a couple of provinces, and two Senats votes would be a big deal.

I'll bite on this one for academic debate.

Isn't everything you wrote in the quoted statement just democracy?

A party with a majority in parliament would have been democratically elected, so as long as it's actions are not inOrganic and also fall within the Organic powers vested in VII.3 then the governing party can pretty much do whatever it likes*.  That's just parliamentary democracy. 

If a government then chooses to carry out the actions you write about above, they could only do it following ratification from the original province.  The Ziu can only create new provinces, from OrgLaw, "such that the sovereignty and territory of any extant Province is not altered without the consent of that Province".  So, a referendum would need to be held.  Again, this is democracy.

For the events in your example to occur and reach conclusion, then a party would need to first convince the electorate to democratically elect them into majority to form a government, followed by the Ziu passing legislation in line with the Organic Law, followed by a democratic ratification from the original province, simultaneously with the democratic proclamation of the people forming the citizenry of the new province(s).  This is all just democracy.

The "friendly Senator" is just an incidental by-product, and it would probably be temporary as there would be no guarantee for the governing party that the Senate seat would remain in their control beyond the next election.


*Talossa's parliamentary system doesn't explicitly include the concept of imperative mandate.  In fact, it's not even an implied concept bound by protocol or tradition.  The concept just doesn't exist within our systems.  Sometimes, and only sometimes, we have seen members of the Ziu mention the term 'mandate', including myself, however, it holds no real legal basis in Talossa.  A government can legally do whatever it likes and pass all kinds of laws even if they never campaigned on that issue in the previous election.  This all may be an accidental result of Talossa's somewhat odd system where American influenced federal aspects, and concepts like elected bicameralism, smash together with concepts of parliamentarianism, and also that the parliamentary system in Talossa is actually pretty, pretty weak and has many major parliamentary concepts missing.  Some may argue this is by design.  Again, probably a result of American influences, such as the very strong desire for constitutional supremacy over parliamentary sovereignty (in a Talossan context, the OrgLaw being superior to the Ziu). 


***


This does make me think about another related point which has always had me feeling uneasy, by the way.  You are correct that it is somewhat easy not difficult not impossible for the Ziu to change the composition of the provinces.  However, at the same time, the provinces themselves are entirely disallowed to secede from the nation (or any territorial subdivision for that matter).  But, the provinces are also supposed to be Sovereign and autonomous at the same time.   This has never made a whole lot of sense to me; nor does it sit right with my personal ideological stances (anyone who knows my macro-national political views wouldn't be too surprised at this).

The provinces find themselves trapped within a quasi-federal union in which they are not allowed to leave.  It is inOrganic for them to even attempt to secede, while simultaneously having the Organic status of being "inherently Sovereign and autonomous". 

Org.IX.10 has similarities to Scotland's situation with requiring Westminster's permission to ask ourselves questions about our own self determination, and also with Catalonia's situation where they are constitutionally barred from same.  It also doesn't jibe well with Talossa's own spirit of self secession.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on October 13, 2020, 01:50:11 AM
I'm frankly amazed. AD is giving a whole bunch of ammunition for the Attorney-General's long-standing ambition to rewrite the OrgLaw from top to bottom. Never thought I'd see the day I saw those two on the same page  :D

The main reason that I'm honestly iffy about the question is precisely that it would degenerate into Duelling Pedants, and no consensus would emerge.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 05:43:36 AM
Any party with a majority in the Ziu and any province can create themselves a friendly Senats seats whenever they please.  A simple act of the Ziu creates a new province from the existing one and assigns whatever specific citizens they want, however they please (as long as it includes one active person and nine other citizens).  Theoretically this could be done multiple times, in fact, if there are enough citizens available -- but I think only Benito could actually do it more than once right now (yielded two new ten-person provinces and one four-person province).  As far as I can tell, there is nothing to prevent this.  It's actually a significant danger, since any majority in the Ziu is going to command a majority in at least a couple of provinces, and two Senats votes would be a big deal.

I'll bite on this one for academic debate.

Isn't everything you wrote in the quoted statement just democracy?

A party with a majority in parliament would have been democratically elected, so as long as it's actions are not inOrganic and also fall within the Organic powers vested in VII.3 then the governing party can pretty much do whatever it likes*.  That's just parliamentary democracy. 

If a government then chooses to carry out the actions you write about above, they could only do it following ratification from the original province.  The Ziu can only create new provinces, from OrgLaw, "such that the sovereignty and territory of any extant Province is not altered without the consent of that Province".  So, a referendum would need to be held.  Again, this is democracy.

For the events in your example to occur and reach conclusion, then a party would need to first convince the electorate to democratically elect them into majority to form a government, followed by the Ziu passing legislation in line with the Organic Law, followed by a democratic ratification from the original province, simultaneously with the democratic proclamation of the people forming the citizenry of the new province(s).  This is all just democracy.

The "friendly Senator" is just an incidental by-product, and it would probably be temporary as there would be no guarantee for the governing party that the Senate seat would remain in their control beyond the next election.

Sure, it's all democracy in the sense that a party must win a majority in the Ziu at least once to be able to do this, but it's clearly not an intended feature of the system.  It could be done in one Clark, and it's not clear to me that there's any requirement at all for provincial referenda.  You'd just need the government of a province, then you could carve out a new province from the old one and have the old one's government approve the deal.  One hiccup does occur to me -- this would alter the composition of the Senats, so it would maybe need to actually pass one high bar before this would work.  Hmm, so this one might actually not be a problem, thanks to that feature of the OrgLaw.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 10:45:53 AM
I'm frankly amazed. AD is giving a whole bunch of ammunition for the Attorney-General's long-standing ambition to rewrite the OrgLaw from top to bottom. Never thought I'd see the day I saw those two on the same page  :D

The main reason that I'm honestly iffy about the question is precisely that it would degenerate into Duelling Pedants, and no consensus would emerge.
Obviously, I disagree with this take.  Most of these issues thus far come from the language of the amendment you guys just passed a few months ago.  If anything, it seems like that would be an argument against it, unless the process is improved.  Assign someone in the in-group to root through this term's huge revamp and try to find problems.  Unless someone is actively looking for them, you won't find them, and someone else will later.

Also and separately, it's been a year since you guys rewrote almost the whole of the OrgLaw, and then in the next term two entire articles were then redone again.  Now you want to rewrite the whole, again?  Maybe the pace of large revisions suggests that it might make sense to slow down?
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Eðo Grischun on October 13, 2020, 12:12:03 PM
Any party with a majority in the Ziu and any province can create themselves a friendly Senats seats whenever they please.  A simple act of the Ziu creates a new province from the existing one and assigns whatever specific citizens they want, however they please (as long as it includes one active person and nine other citizens).  Theoretically this could be done multiple times, in fact, if there are enough citizens available -- but I think only Benito could actually do it more than once right now (yielded two new ten-person provinces and one four-person province).  As far as I can tell, there is nothing to prevent this.  It's actually a significant danger, since any majority in the Ziu is going to command a majority in at least a couple of provinces, and two Senats votes would be a big deal.

I'll bite on this one for academic debate.

Isn't everything you wrote in the quoted statement just democracy?

A party with a majority in parliament would have been democratically elected, so as long as it's actions are not inOrganic and also fall within the Organic powers vested in VII.3 then the governing party can pretty much do whatever it likes*.  That's just parliamentary democracy. 

If a government then chooses to carry out the actions you write about above, they could only do it following ratification from the original province.  The Ziu can only create new provinces, from OrgLaw, "such that the sovereignty and territory of any extant Province is not altered without the consent of that Province".  So, a referendum would need to be held.  Again, this is democracy.

For the events in your example to occur and reach conclusion, then a party would need to first convince the electorate to democratically elect them into majority to form a government, followed by the Ziu passing legislation in line with the Organic Law, followed by a democratic ratification from the original province, simultaneously with the democratic proclamation of the people forming the citizenry of the new province(s).  This is all just democracy.

The "friendly Senator" is just an incidental by-product, and it would probably be temporary as there would be no guarantee for the governing party that the Senate seat would remain in their control beyond the next election.

Sure, it's all democracy in the sense that a party must win a majority in the Ziu at least once to be able to do this, but it's clearly not an intended feature of the system.  It could be done in one Clark, and it's not clear to me that there's any requirement at all for provincial referenda.  You'd just need the government of a province, then you could carve out a new province from the old one and have the old one's government approve the deal.  One hiccup does occur to me -- this would alter the composition of the Senats, so it would maybe need to actually pass one high bar before this would work.  Hmm, so this one might actually not be a problem, thanks to that feature of the OrgLaw.

You're using words like 'problem'.  I'm asserting that it isn't a problem at all.  What I'm arguing is that the Ziu should be able to do all this and for it not to be an issue.  Again, this is the constitutional United States perspectives smashing up against Westminster parliamentary perspectives.  I am arguing that the actual "problem" is that the OrgLaw makes things difficult for the Ziu to do what it wants, but I say that from a point of view where parliamentary supremacy is more important to me than being tied to a rigid written constitution.

***

Quote
it's not clear to me that there's any requirement at all for provincial referenda.

The OrgLaw literally says "such that the sovereignty and territory of any extant Province is not altered without the consent of that Province".  Yes, it could be argued that that line can be interpreted to mean 'not altered without the consent of that province's executive assembly", but I think the nature of the provinces, the spirit of the OrgLaw and all prior convention pretty much makes a referendum necessary.  I would trust that the Court would also think the same.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial on October 13, 2020, 12:27:12 PM
Honestly parliamentary supremacy is probably one of the worst concepts of the British political system. It basically means everything is ad hoc, and the only thing that prevents abuse on a massive scale is either precedent (which can always be disregarded since Parliament is supreme) or the good will of every actor involved. It's a recipe for disaster.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Eðo Grischun on October 13, 2020, 12:44:44 PM
Honestly parliamentary supremacy is probably one of the worst concepts of the British political system. It basically means everything is ad hoc, and the only thing that prevents abuse on a massive scale is either precedent (which can always be disregarded since Parliament is supreme) or the good will of every actor involved. It's a recipe for disaster.

The alternative being that you end up restricted by a document written a couple of hundred years ago in a different age with different needs and without foresight of what the future may bring.  I have a lot of problems with Westminster, but the ad hoc and pragmatic nature of British constitutional affairs is not one of them.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Marcel Eðo Pairescu Tafial on October 13, 2020, 12:57:29 PM
The alternative being that you end up restricted by a document written a couple of hundred years ago in a different age with different needs and without foresight of what the future may bring.  I have a lot of problems with Westminster, but the ad hoc and pragmatic nature of British constitutional affairs is not one of them.

Constitutions can be (and are) regularly updated and patched. The American notion of treating their Constitution almost like a holy text is as alien to me as it is to you, I'm sure.

But I do believe that there must be barriers against abuse, and a written constitition seems to me like the best way of setting them up. The German constitution for example can be changed with a supermajority in both chambers of Parliament, no problem, except for its first and twentieth article, which deal with the inviolability of human dignity and the concepts of republicanism, democracy, federalism, popular sovereignty, rule of law and the right to resist against anyone planning to undermine or overthrow this liberal democratic basic order, respectively. Everything else is fair game. Of course, it helps that the German constitution isnt hundreds of years old, but you get the idea.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 01:36:57 PM


You're using words like 'problem'.  I'm asserting that it isn't a problem at all.  What I'm arguing is that the Ziu should be able to do all this and for it not to be an issue.  Again, this is the constitutional United States perspectives smashing up against Westminster parliamentary perspectives.  I am arguing that the actual "problem" is that the OrgLaw makes things difficult for the Ziu to do what it wants, but I say that from a point of view where parliamentary supremacy is more important to me than being tied to a rigid written constitution.

The issue with your interpretation is that you are placing parliamentary supremacy at the top of the priority pile, but that's not how our system is intended to behave.  The Senats is not a secondary body to the Cosa!  It's explicitly intended to be a check on the Cosa.  So to the extent that there are ways to evade that and undermine the check, it's a problem.

I agree that if you think the Senats and OrgLaw are dumb as institutions, then this doesn't matter.  But then why both to argue the point?  If I say that the seat belts in the new Volvo don't work, it doesn't seem productive to assert that this isn't a "problem" because cars are silly, right?


The OrgLaw literally says "such that the sovereignty and territory of any extant Province is not altered without the consent of that Province".  Yes, it could be argued that that line can be interpreted to mean 'not altered without the consent of that province's executive assembly", but I think the nature of the provinces, the spirit of the OrgLaw and all prior convention pretty much makes a referendum necessary.  I would trust that the Court would also think the same.
The OrgLaw doesn't say this, and so the guiding principle would be the extent to which we interpret the government of a province to be capable of assenting to things on behalf of the province.  It is definitely not obvious either way, and a good case could be made for each side.  It'd probably come down to looking at how similar language or concepts are parsed in practice in other contexts.  But since I think the consent of the Senats is actually a brake on this one, I'm not too fussed either way.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 01:40:54 PM
Honestly parliamentary supremacy is probably one of the worst concepts of the British political system. It basically means everything is ad hoc, and the only thing that prevents abuse on a massive scale is either precedent (which can always be disregarded since Parliament is supreme) or the good will of every actor involved. It's a recipe for disaster.
Honestly parliamentary supremacy is probably one of the worst concepts of the British political system. It basically means everything is ad hoc, and the only thing that prevents abuse on a massive scale is either precedent (which can always be disregarded since Parliament is supreme) or the good will of every actor involved. It's a recipe for disaster.

The alternative being that you end up restricted by a document written a couple of hundred years ago in a different age with different needs and without foresight of what the future may bring.  I have a lot of problems with Westminster, but the ad hoc and pragmatic nature of British constitutional affairs is not one of them.
If there's no written constitution, then the Government can do whatever it can get away with, as long as they can please a bare majority.  In a country like ours, where there are few norms remaining, no physical sovereignty, and no physical institutions, we're particularly vulnerable to potential issues like perceived illegitimacy or Government abuse.

What stops the Government from passing ex post facto bills?  It would be convenient to do so at times, even if it would be a horrible abuse of power.  Likewise, what stops the Government from restricting criticism?  The OrgLaw's protections!
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Miestră Schivă, UrN on October 13, 2020, 02:07:25 PM
Obviously, I disagree with this take.  Most of these issues thus far come from the language of the amendment you guys just passed a few months ago.  If anything, it seems like that would be an argument against it, unless the process is improved.  Assign someone in the in-group to root through this term's huge revamp and try to find problems.  Unless someone is actively looking for them, you won't find them, and someone else will later.

Talk about being deformed by bitter struggles!

I'm not in favour of a total OrgLaw revamp; the Attorney-General is. The rhetorical move here ("you guys", "the in-group") is to frame the Government as not only an indissoluble bloc, but a reprehensible clique monopolising power. Stop doing that.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 02:45:14 PM
Obviously, I disagree with this take.  Most of these issues thus far come from the language of the amendment you guys just passed a few months ago.  If anything, it seems like that would be an argument against it, unless the process is improved.  Assign someone in the in-group to root through this term's huge revamp and try to find problems.  Unless someone is actively looking for them, you won't find them, and someone else will later.

Talk about being deformed by bitter struggles!

I'm not in favour of a total OrgLaw revamp; the Attorney-General is. The rhetorical move here ("you guys", "the in-group") is to frame the Government as not only an indissoluble bloc, but a reprehensible clique monopolising power. Stop doing that.
I'm not sure referring to the government as "you guys" carries quite the sinister weight you're reading into it. But to the extent that you seem to be saying that you're not going to rewrite the whole law again immediately, I'm glad! It'll make it a lot easier as a lawyer.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Danihel Txechescu on October 13, 2020, 03:18:20 PM
Constitutions can be (and are) regularly updated and patched. [...]

This is the Mexican constitution, in Git: https://github.com/ceyusa/constitucion-mexicana/
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Istefan Perþonest on October 13, 2020, 05:50:38 PM
Any party with a majority in the Ziu and any province can create themselves a friendly Senats seats whenever they please.  A simple act of the Ziu creates a new province from the existing one and assigns whatever specific citizens they want, however they please (as long as it includes one active person and nine other citizens).  Theoretically this could be done multiple times, in fact, if there are enough citizens available -- but I think only Benito could actually do it more than once right now (yielded two new ten-person provinces and one four-person province).  As far as I can tell, there is nothing to prevent this.  It's actually a significant danger, since any majority in the Ziu is going to command a majority in at least a couple of provinces, and two Senats votes would be a big deal.
Well, obviously, the first check is that you actually have to have a Senats majority in order to pass an act of the Ziu. At which point, why do you need to expand the Senats in order to secure a friendly Senats?

The only obvious case would be if you had a majority in the Senats but needed a two-thirds majority. And such cases are limited to impeaching a member of the Senats (which still has to be ratified by a provincial vote), and certain OrgLaw amendments (which would still need voter approval). It seems a contrived scenario.

The other case would be if a party thought it was going to lose the next election but could retain the Senats if it made a few friendly Senators. But, frankly, Talossan politics are too small-scale and too non-geographic for that to be the sort of secure thing that, say, a transient Congressional majority making DC into a state would be. And to do it, you'd either need the consent of the king or a two-thirds Cosa majority to pass the bill over his veto.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 06:59:08 PM
Any party with a majority in the Ziu and any province can create themselves a friendly Senats seats whenever they please.  A simple act of the Ziu creates a new province from the existing one and assigns whatever specific citizens they want, however they please (as long as it includes one active person and nine other citizens).  Theoretically this could be done multiple times, in fact, if there are enough citizens available -- but I think only Benito could actually do it more than once right now (yielded two new ten-person provinces and one four-person province).  As far as I can tell, there is nothing to prevent this.  It's actually a significant danger, since any majority in the Ziu is going to command a majority in at least a couple of provinces, and two Senats votes would be a big deal.
Well, obviously, the first check is that you actually have to have a Senats majority in order to pass an act of the Ziu. At which point, why do you need to expand the Senats in order to secure a friendly Senats?

The only obvious case would be if you had a majority in the Senats but needed a two-thirds majority. And such cases are limited to impeaching a member of the Senats (which still has to be ratified by a provincial vote), and certain OrgLaw amendments (which would still need voter approval). It seems a contrived scenario.

The other case would be if a party thought it was going to lose the next election but could retain the Senats if it made a few friendly Senators. But, frankly, Talossan politics are too small-scale and too non-geographic for that to be the sort of secure thing that, say, a transient Congressional majority making DC into a state would be. And to do it, you'd either need the consent of the king or a two-thirds Cosa majority to pass the bill over his veto.
Well, the scenario is only possible if you have a majority in the Ziu, yes.  So I guess that's a check, but the whole idea is a way for a party to increase their own power in an undemocratic way.  So the real first check is again that the Senats has to consent to any change in its own makeup (which would probably include a new province, although it's kind of arguable either way).  But yeah, you put your finger exactly on the utility of the scenario -- there have been multiple times when a party with a majority in both houses of the Ziu wanted to push forward legislation or actions that required a 2/3 Senats majority, and this could potentially create one.  I thought it was an interesting vulnerability, even if it would have a very simple fix (admitting new Senators only after an election).

I think the consent of the Senats thing detonates the whole scheme early on, though!  Which is good :)
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 07:05:07 PM
Returning to the purpose of my thread:

It looks like it's possible to render a lawsuit impossible to appeal if the Ziu creates an inferior cort and you name the justices in your suit in some way, per Org.VIII.6.  Unless the suit is predicated on the Covenants, the Cort cannot be compelled to hear an appeal, and any justice who's a named party cannot hear any part of a suit.  So any inferior court needs to have some other method of appeal, or else it will be a simple matter to place a suit beyond the reach of the CpI as long as you have a friendly judge of first resort.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 13, 2020, 07:10:06 PM
Here's a fun one!  Interestingly, it appears that no entity in the Kingdom is capable of surrendering.  The Ziu is both tasked with laws governing the defence of the country but forbidden from surrendering in war, so unless they make a law stating whose job it is to surrender, then it's impossible.  As far as they can tell, no such law exists -- although maybe "command of the armed forces" includes that, if you squint hard enough?  Probably not.

Nationalism in its finest form: it is illegal to surrender.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 14, 2020, 07:42:26 AM
The new Org.VI has a typo as posted: the last clause has "offce" instead of "office."  The whole thing also uses the male pronoun as gender neutral, but that's unrelated and an overall problem that should be fixed with "their."
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 14, 2020, 07:55:52 AM
The new Org.VI also introduces a fascinating accidental new rule: Talossa is required to have at least two political parties.  If there ever comes a time when there is only one political party, a Government cannot be formed!  This is because the RCV requirements state that MCs must start with electing a Seneschal, and MCs must vote for at least two choices, and they must choose from among the leaders of political parties.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 14, 2020, 08:05:51 AM
It's also interesting to note that the terms of Talossan Seneschals have gradually increased as time has gone on.  Five months became six months, and stayed that way for a very long time formally, but the month of recess became almost de rigeur to extend it to seven.  And later (really almost the same time) it was extended to be basically eight, since balloting needed time to occur once it shifted to the internet.  Then recently the folks in charge changed it up to add on another month, so now a Seneschal is typically going to serve for nine months (first Clark month, then month of recess, then six more Clark months, then a month of voting).
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 14, 2020, 08:49:01 AM
The Magistracy is closed-down, and has been for a while.  But it heard a bunch of cases.  So here's a question: does any of that precedent bind any future corts?  Obviously not the CpI, but what about a new inferior cort?  It seems like it would depend on whether or not they count as coordinate courts, which is a concept with which I am largely unfamiliar.  But if an inferior court ever gets established, it will be kind of important to think about this.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Açafat del Val on October 14, 2020, 11:22:40 AM
Folks, facts are friendly or they're not, but at the end of the day they're still the facts.

As much as we in Talossa have every reason to take pride in the "amateurity" of our day-to-day operations and larger aspirations, the facts are that there has been a consistent and unjustifiably stubborn refusal to acknowledge that our laws in all forms need to be updated, synchronized, and edited (in the technical sense that there are wildly inconsistent styles, uses of punctuation, and more).

Both the Organic Law and El Lexhatx are a disgusting hodgepodge of half-efforts and compromises born of apathy, inability, or both.

The 2017 "Still Into This" version of the OrgLaw was the result of a thousand compromises. It comes from the right place, but its authors' desire to keep the peace (and their collective lack of time to commit a thousand professional hours into it) has produced a broken OrgLaw.

Hell, last term's "Uniform Seneschal" amendment was the result of too many conflicting desires. One person wanted one thing, another person wanted a different thing, but somewhere in the middle everyone agreed that a changed was needed. It was written in order to pass by a majority of the Ziu, far before any intention to make it a good piece of law, and that's the fact.

And El Lexhatx. I don't even want to start there. It has been amended so often by so many people in so many small pieces at a time that to call it a hodgepodge is a both an understatement and a euphemism. It's atrocious. Too much have we changed one small paragraph without confirming in any manner how that change may affect the thousands of other areas of laws, in no small part because few of us have the time or the desire to undertake such an endeavor.

What Talossa needs - if we ever at all about law, the concept of good government, and the administration of both - is a total and utter rewriting of both documents, in sync and without compromise.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. None of this has been intended or desired to admonish, disparage, or otherwise defame any current or past member of the Ziu who may have written or voted for any of the laws that I have implicated here. Rather, we must acknowledge the facts: the **** is broken.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Açafat del Val on October 14, 2020, 11:29:24 AM
I am exploring the possibility to form a collaborative committee, invite select people to participate, and produce a bona fide solution to referendum before the end of this term. If you are interested to serve on this committee, whoever you are, then send me a message privately (on Witt or elsewhere).

But know that this Government - or, more specifically, this Minister of the Government - has no interest to entertain any more compromises that lead to delays and broken products. If you care more about tradition or maintain the status quo for the very sake of tradition and maintaining the status quo, then do not bother. I am looking only for folks who have the determination and ability to start Talossa with a clean slate, and to give us the Organic Law that we deserve.

As staunchly republican and derivativist as I am, the ultimate "product" does not have to reflect those values. What I want is a clean book of laws, agnostic of the hot-button political issues of the day. No more half-measures; no more giving the King one job but taking away another; no more sinecures, like the provincial constables; no more confusion as to who, what, where, when, or how: these fusses must be put to bed.

Oh, and that's the final note for me: No more sinecures, and no more pomp and circumstance for the sake of pomp and circumstance. These sort of British traditions that we in Talossa like to emulate were not just willed into existence; they come from a long line of actual purposeful acts. But if an office or a tradition do not serve a real, common, or meaningful purpose other than but that's how it's always been done around here, then it's time for that thing to go.

That's a hardline for me and this Government. If we as Talossans cannot honestly answer the following two questions - What does [blank] actually do!? and When was the last time that this office did anything productive!? - then it will be abolished. That may encompass such things as the provinces themselves, entire arms of the Civil Service, several officers of the legislature, and more.

If you want to help with this, come aboard.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on October 14, 2020, 12:56:31 PM
What Talossa needs - if we ever at all about law, the concept of good government, and the administration of both - is a total and utter rewriting of both documents, in sync and without compromise.
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I am exploring the possibility to form a collaborative committee
The only way both of these can be true at once is if your "collaborative committee" is in fact not collaborative but is in fact a group of secretaries taking orders from you. Whenever multiple people are working on something there must be some degree of not getting exactly what you want.

I am also not sure I trust you to be at the helm of rewriting all of our laws given that a lot of the problems you are complaining about were introduced by legislation you wrote.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on October 14, 2020, 01:03:25 PM

The 2017 "Still Into This" version of the OrgLaw was the result of a thousand compromises. It comes from the right place, but its authors' desire to keep the peace (and their collective lack of time to commit a thousand professional hours into it) has produced a broken OrgLaw.
Wrong.

I actually formatted the entire thing myself and only made some minor changes at the end based on other's feedback. I also assure you that if a problem exists now, it almost certainly existed in the previous version too, so we did not "break" anything. I can upload my annotated version of the pre-2019 Organic Law I used to make the new one, if you would like. You will see that all I did was to reorganize and take out things that weren't important enough. By no means is it perfect, but if anything the problems that exist are now a lot easier to even notice in the first place, and these problems can be fixed.

Also, I'm not sure if you were around for this, but we tried completely rewritting the Organic Law a few years ago and it did not turn out well.

Finally, to produce an Organic Law and statute laws that are up to your standards, are you willing/able to commit "a thousand professional hours?"
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Açafat del Val on October 14, 2020, 01:40:42 PM
The only way both of these can be true at once is if your "collaborative committee" is in fact not collaborative but is in fact a group of secretaries taking orders from you. Whenever multiple people are working on something there must be some degree of not getting exactly what you want.

The same can be said of you, sir.

I am also not sure I trust you to be at the helm of rewriting all of our laws given that a lot of the problems you are complaining about were introduced by legislation you wrote.

Legislation that I wrote in order to make you and others happy. What I wanted and what I wrote are two different things. If you hate the Uniform Seneschal amendment so much, put up or shut up. I have zero loyalty to the thing. Let us know how we can effectively elect a Seneschal while keeping a Monarchy, and then let's put it to a referendum.

I actually formatted the entire thing myself...

Wait, so is it okay to write a new OrgLaw by myself or not? If you did it... then surely I can, too, right? Wait a minute.

...and only made some minor changes at the end based on other's feedback. I also assure you that if a problem exists now, it almost certainly existed in the previous version too, so we did not "break" anything. I can upload my annotated version of the pre-2019 Organic Law I used to make the new one, if you would like. You will see that all I did was to reorganize and take out things that weren't important enough. By no means is it perfect, but if anything the problems that exist are now a lot easier to even notice in the first place, and these problems can be fixed.

The context is appreciated, but the fact stands: the OrgLaw is bad law.

Also, I'm not sure if you were around for this, but we tried completely rewritting the Organic Law a few years ago and it did not turn out well.

I was not. And so what? Are you saying that one failure precludes any future efforts?

If so, I will gladly use your logic to dethrone the king!

Finally, to produce an Organic Law and statute laws that are up to your standards, are you willing/able to commit "a thousand professional hours?"

Sure! Let's get to work. Do you want to work with me and others to rewrite both the OrgLaw and El Lexhatx?
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Açafat del Val on October 14, 2020, 01:46:59 PM
The same thing applies to AD, by the way, who started this thread in the first place: put up or shut up.

I am going to beat that drum until my dying breath. If you want change, get involved or be quiet.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Sir Alexandreu Davinescu on October 14, 2020, 01:51:20 PM
The OrgLaw was rewritten last year, and three articles have been entirely rewritten since then already.  Speaking personally, I certainly have no wish to see the whole thing get rewritten again.  El Lexhatx been modified a lot, but that's because people keep passing laws to suit their preferences or a changing country.  Do you envision... like, a perfect statutory law that will have no need of amendment?  That's happened before in our history (http://wiki.talossa.com/Declaration), although it didn't last long.

And of course, as before, I reject the idea that citizens are not allowed to comment upon or criticize the law or their elected officials unless they run for office and start fixing it themselves.  There needs to be room in our nation for vocal citizens, not just the politicians in charge and their grateful, compliant subjects.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Ian Plätschisch on October 14, 2020, 02:11:58 PM
The same can be said of you, sir.
No it cannot. I was not saying whether it is preferable for reforms to be written by a single person or a group of people; only that it cannot be both, which is what you want.

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I am also not sure I trust you to be at the helm of rewriting all of our laws given that a lot of the problems you are complaining about were introduced by legislation you wrote.

Legislation that I wrote in order to make you and others happy. What I wanted and what I wrote are two different things. If you hate the Uniform Seneschal amendment so much, put up or shut up. I have zero loyalty to the thing. Let us know how we can effectively elect a Seneschal while keeping a Monarchy, and then let's put it to a referendum.
No, I'm not talking about the substance of the bill, I'm talking about the technical deficiencies. I'm not upset that you made them (they can be fixed and I wouldn't expect perfection from anyone here), but you are claiming to be able to write a technically perfect set of laws. That appears not to be the case.

Quote
I actually formatted the entire thing myself...

Wait, so is it okay to write a new OrgLaw by myself or not? If you did it... then surely I can, too, right? Wait a minute.
You are the one who wants a "collaborative committee," so you are the one contradicting yourself if you now want to write it yourself.

Quote
Also, I'm not sure if you were around for this, but we tried completely rewritting the Organic Law a few years ago and it did not turn out well.

I was not. And so what? Are you saying that one failure precludes any future efforts?

If so, I will gladly use your logic to dethrone the king!
I am simply alerting you to the fact that someone else has tried the exact same thing for the exact same reason and it did not work. If you proceed, please explain what you will do differently this time.

Quote
Finally, to produce an Organic Law and statute laws that are up to your standards, are you willing/able to commit "a thousand professional hours?"

Sure! Let's get to work. Do you want to work with me and others to rewrite both the OrgLaw and El Lexhatx?
No, because I have already been involved in four efforts to do that, with varying degrees of success, and experience tells me that fixing individual errors is the best way to go. Still Into This worked as a package deal IMO because it focused less on fixing every possible issue at once and more about simply ridding the OrgLaw of everything that didn't need to be in it and making the organization more logical.
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Éovart Andrinescù on October 14, 2020, 03:55:39 PM
The same thing applies to AD, by the way, who started this thread in the first place: put up or shut up.

I am going to beat that drum until my dying breath. If you want change, get involved or be quiet.

Careful what you wish for…
Title: Re: Legal Issues Not Directed at Anyone in Particular
Post by: Ián Tamorán S.H. on October 14, 2020, 04:19:59 PM
Gentlemen, let us not shout.

Einstein had numerous extra-marital sexual relationships. Isaac Newton was a jealous liar. Beethoven was unspeakably rude. None of those facts have any relevance to Relativity or Gravity or The Ninth Symphony. When we discuss the equations of General Relativity the moral status of their first proponent is utterly irrelevant, and scientists know this.

Similarly with laws. The persons suggesting those laws, the other actions of those persons, their rudeness or politeness or lust or sloth are in no way relevant: all that is relevant is the wording of the laws themselves. Even the intent of those laws is irrelevant - unless that intent is explicitly mentioned in those (or other) laws as part of the law itself, and not its preamble.

Debate like "You did this" "No I didn't - you got in the way" "You don't know what you're talking about" "Oh yeah? Look at such-and-such - you're incompetent" "Yah, boo, sucks" "I'm not playing your game"....  This, fellow citizens, is not worthy of us.

I would like to make the following suggestion. When we discuss past or future legislation let us be neutral - alway neutral - about who framed those laws. Let us not, in any way, comment upon those persons - even more especially if they are party to the discussion itself.  Let us remove personality from our formal discussions. Let us not say, for example, "you got this wrong in the past - you fool!", but rather "I believe that we should, in this instance, take such-and-such an action".

Well-framed laws are rather dull reading - intentionally so. Have you ever read, in full, one of those long, long software licence agreements? These do not say "if you do such-and-such you are evil and will be tortured in Hell for eternity", rather they say "such-and-such is part of this agreement between us: if this is breached then thus-and-thus will be instigated, without prejudice, governed by the laws of <national state> within whose area this contract shall be deemed to be issued"  - much more dull, but much more precise. And well-framed laws are rather dull to write, too - and need to be phrased with the same kind of precision as a computer program. (I have often thought that Legal Latin and Legislative English were precursors to Cobol, Java and HTML!).

Good parliamentary debate (certainly here, in the UK) consists of stating what the consequence of this or that clause might be, or has been, and whether this or that is consistent with such-and-such. Yes, we do, in our "Mother of Parliaments" shout at each other - but we are explicitly forbidden to make personal comments about other members of the legislature. You can say "X is mistaken about Y", but you can not say "X is lying" (and especially not "you are lying") - even though that might be what you are thinking.

I am, as I think I have said before, a scientist, and I try to use scientific reasoning at all times - tempered with an unswerving acceptance of Human Rights and Justice (both of which stand above our laws - and all other laws, too). I would urge the rest of us to do likewise.

And let us remember that many words are not always useful words. What is truly worth saying can be said succinctly.