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Author Topic: Legal Questions  (Read 1358 times)

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #30 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.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 08:46:51 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan
"It probably would be a bit helpful if you resigned and became inactive..." - Sir A. Davinescù

Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #31 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.
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.
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #32 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.
...
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.

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:
  • these instructions can be easily understood by everyone, so all citizens can understand the law,
  • there is no serious ambiguity, so there won't be any unpleasant surprises or need for months of litigating to resolve the issue, and
  • the government will easily able to follow the law.

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.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 10:07:06 PM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein

Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #33 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.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 11:47:40 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan
"It probably would be a bit helpful if you resigned and became inactive..." - Sir A. Davinescù

Online Breneir Itravilatx

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #34 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.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 12:09:48 AM by Breneir Itravilatx »
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #35 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

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Talossa. Ask me anything.

"IS INACTIVITY BAD? I THINK NOT!" - Lord Hooligan
"It probably would be a bit helpful if you resigned and became inactive..." - Sir A. Davinescù

Online Breneir Itravilatx

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #36 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. 
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MC, 55th Cosa, League of Centre Conservatives

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Legal Questions
« Reply #37 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.
Bitter struggles deform their participants in subtle, complicated ways. ― Zadie Smith
Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve. ― Robert Heinlein