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Author Topic: Committee of Legal Reforms  (Read 746 times)

Offline Açafat del Val

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Committee of Legal Reforms
« on: January 10, 2021, 08:32:23 PM »
Capriciously verbose thread titles notwithstanding...

The program of the incumbent Government includes, in part:

Quote
Setting up two Ziu committees with equal Govt/Opposition representation to produce reports, including proposed legislation if appropriate, on:

Reform of the Cosă/Ziu.
These might include: the Cosă’s size, electoral system and ways of assigning seats; the possibility of a unicameral Ziu; moving responsibility for the Clark from the Chancery to the Mençéi and the Tuíschac’h.

Law reform.
This might include: removing Wisconsin law from el Lexhatx in favour of an indigenous equivalent; moving to an inquisitorial rather than adversarial Cort system; moving to a civil law rather than a common law system.

Accordingly, I am opening the roll and asking if there are any "volunteers". Specifically, do the @Seneschal and @Leader of the Opposition have anyone which they would like to include or see included in this endeavor?

Thank you kindly.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 08:35:43 PM by Açafat del Val »
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Offline Ian Plätschisch

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Re: Committee to Ascertain Viability of OrgLaw Reform
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2021, 08:34:15 PM »
Capriciously verbose thread titles notwithstanding...

The program of the incumbent Government includes, in part:

Quote
Setting up two Ziu committees with equal Govt/Opposition representation to produce reports, including proposed legislation if appropriate, on ... Reform of the Cosă/Ziu. These might include: the Cosă’s size, electoral system and ways of assigning seats; the possibility of a unicameral Ziu; moving responsibility for the Clark from the Chancery to the Mençéi and the Tuíschac’h.

Accordingly, I am opening the roll and asking if there are any "volunteers". Specifically, do the @Seneschal and @Leader of the Opposition have anyone which they would like to include or see included in this endeavor?

Thank you kindly.
If this is happening than I might as well be included, even if only to constantly say "no"

Offline Açafat del Val

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Re: Committee to Ascertain Viability of OrgLaw Reform
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 08:35:28 PM »
If this is happening than I might as well be included, even if only to constantly say "no"

You beat me to the draw here, lol. Please see the edited first post. Even if you say "no" to every possible OrgLaw change, you may have interest in the legal reforms.
Cheers,

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Offline Ian Plätschisch

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 10:17:06 AM »
With regard to developing our own law code to replace Wisconsin's, I am not sure what benefit we would get by doing so. If someone wants to work on that, I am unlikely to object, but I probably won't help unless I hear a very compelling case about why it's important.


Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 03:07:10 PM »
My big issue is the one the Regent keeps bringing up: Talossan law should be accessible to ALL Talossans. At the moment, being well-versed in Talossan law means also being well-versed in Wisconsin law. That means that trained lawyers in the US judicial system will always have an advantage over other Talossans - i.e. they'll be able to pull out precedents and statutes from Wisconsin to win cases (I believe Sir Cresti has done this a few times). And UC justices will have to learn Wisconsin law to be prepared for many of our cases.

I can't see how anyone would defend this. That said: what to replace it with? I suggest "judge-made Talossan common law, based on universally accepted judicial principles among Talossans, until such time as the Ziu replaces it." Another option is to go full Napoleonic Code, but that seems like too much work.

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Offline Ian Plätschisch

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 05:17:37 PM »
Perhaps I misunderstood the scope of the task. I was under the impression the Government sought to replace all of the Wisconsin law we currently use (49 chapters in all if I counted correctly) with our own version, despite most of it being (presumably) irrelevant to us given that Talossa regulates hardly any economic activity and prosecutes only a narrow range of crimes. If the goal is instead to only replace what Talossa actually needs, and get rid of the rest entirely, that seems much more reasonable.

Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 06:48:31 PM »
MZs:

Obviously I have a lot of sympathy to this idea of removing the Wisconsin provisions from our law. The main impediment has been a purely practical one. For a long time now, we have trying to operate under the knowledge that we lack the resources to investigate and involuntarily punish (in most ways) criminals outside of our usual scope, but with the desire to have the ability to act to preserve the nature of our community. If we discover that a citizen has been convicted of some sort of serious crime in their other jurisdiction, then the general idea has been to preserve some freedom to act on that knowledge. It hasn't really worked out this way, though, and in practice we mostly ignore that part of the law.

I would love to see you guys come up with a solution that preserves our ability to maintain our garden walls, yet which is also more realistic. One thought had been, after the Iusti incident (when a citizen was sent to jail in the US for horrible crimes) to adopt extratalossan verdicts dynamically. In other words, if you're convicted of something in your other jurisdiction, we consider you convicted here and assess appropriate penalties. But cooler heads prevailed and pointed out that not everyone in our country lives in a place with a fair justice system.

I think it would be foolish to try to write our own whole legal code. It would end up being unfair or incomplete, and would also spawn a huge number of arguments over things that don't actually trend to divide us in practical terms, like access to abortion.

My suggestion would instead be to eliminate the Wisconsin provisions from our statutes, but also -- very carefully! -- create a review process where our courts can appoint a special counsel to investigate convictions in other jurisdictions, and where the court then issues ruling based on carefully specified principles that incorporates the special counsel's findings.

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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 08:26:48 PM »
My suggestion would instead be to eliminate the Wisconsin provisions from our statutes, but also -- very carefully! -- create a review process where our courts can appoint a special counsel to investigate convictions in other jurisdictions, and where the court then issues ruling based on carefully specified principles that incorporates the special counsel's findings.

That is a good idea!

A different issue, however, that was raised with regard to Wisconsin law was that it could act as a fallback where Talossan law is silent. Please refresh my memory, someone - I believe that in the ESB affair (or was it another election fraud case?) we found that there wasn't a Talossan statute to cover the obvious crime, but there was a Wisconsin one. I can understand that, but for the reasons previously stated, I don't like it. While I'm at it, it seems that the reference "Anglo-American common law" which used to be in the OrgLaw has fallen out of the new version. The OrgLaw is now silent on the basic principles of our jurisprudence - all we have to rely on is the way "the Cort has always done things".

So: some principles rooted in both Talossan tradition, universal human ethics, and "common sense" that would enable judges to rule effectively in cases where Talossan statute law is silent, and replacing the "importing" of Wisconsin law. In addition to the current Covenant of Rights and Freedoms, of course. What do we think?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 08:32:18 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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Offline Eðo Grischun

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 08:19:26 AM »
To debate the Regent's point a bit further, there are instances of law that cause automatic conflict.

I don't know if we use this particular bit of Wisconsin law, so this is just for example (and not very well thought out, so forgive me please): Wisconsin's legal drinking age is 21.  This might match up to the legal drinking age of the resident places that Talossan's live in, but in a lot of cases it wont.  I think we should always try and be careful with what we legislate and how it impacts our citizens based on where they live in the world.  At present, is it technically illegal for a Talossan to drink alcohol at the age of 18 even if the place they live in has a legal drinking age of 16?  I know an obvious answer there is 'no, it isn't illegal because the laws of the place the person is in are in effect'... but, if that is true then none of Talossan law can ever be considered enforceable.

Maybe we should be deciding what bits of law Talossa actually needs to concern itself with and instead of using Wisconsin as the catch-all for everything else, have a clause stating that everything else is dependant on the resident State/country of the citizen.  ?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 08:21:21 AM by Eðo Grischun »
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Offline Ián Tamorán S.H.

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 09:06:07 AM »
As far as I know - and. of course, things may have changed since I last looked - Talossan Law refers back to Wisconsin law only in a very few places, and is NOT (in general) dependant upon that law.  Wisconsin law is *not* (explicity) the background for Talossan Law, except in those few cases. I did point out that two 18-year old same-gender Talossan intimate friends having a glass of wine on the island of Cezembre were breaking lots of Wisconsin laws - but no French laws.  I would *strongly* suggest that *all* references to the laws of all non-Talossan states be removed from our Talossan Laws. And, moreover, I would suggest that Talossan Law should concern itself only with (a) matters concerning personal freedom and rights, and (b) matters relating to internationally and universally recognised aspects of morality, and (c ) matters concerning Talossa directly.
This suggestion would mean that, for example, Talossa should *not* concern itself with who can marry whom, or the voltage and frequency of electricity supply, or way in which voting must be performed in any non-Talossa state. But it *would* be concerned with, for example, (Talossan) theft, and (all) murder, and (all) actions of impinging upon liberty or right-to-respond, and (Talossan) dishonesty and improper behaviour.
Except for the International Declaration of Human Rights, Talossa need not, and *must not* depend upon the laws of any other state.
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2021, 09:17:33 AM »
So: some principles rooted in both Talossan tradition, universal human ethics, and "common sense" that would enable judges to rule effectively in cases where Talossan statute law is silent, and replacing the "importing" of Wisconsin law. In addition to the current Covenant of Rights and Freedoms, of course. What do we think?
I want to be clear that we should be unbelievably careful about this, and we should make sure we set up such a system to strictly limit judicial power.  I'd suggest such a system involve a special counsel to do fact-finding, then some sort of adversarial process.  It's hard to emphasize just how open to abuse this system could be, if it became a backdoor for imposing ad-hoc consequences for ad-hoc crimes.  I hesitate to even suggest such a big change, since I'm generally inclined to conservatism about such things, but I've thought about this point for years, and our current system falls short in terms of equity.

Maybe we should be deciding what bits of law Talossa actually needs to concern itself with and instead of using Wisconsin as the catch-all for everything else, have a clause stating that everything else is dependant on the resident State/country of the citizen.  ?

This has been suggested, but it poses serious problems:
cooler heads prevailed and pointed out that not everyone in our country lives in a place with a fair justice system.
It's illegal for women to sign contracts in Saudia Arabia unless countersigned by a male guardian, for example.  We wouldn't want anyone able to impose Talossan consequences at will for the same crime.  We can't incorporate every country's legal principles or laws into our own dynamically at all without some form of review, I think.

As far as I know - and. of course, things may have changed since I last looked - Talossan Law refers back to Wisconsin law only in a very few places, and is NOT (in general) dependant upon that law.
For many years, Wisconsin criminal and civil codes have been incorporated into our law.  It's actually been the first provision of el Lexhatx for its entire existence: http://wiki.talossa.com/Law:El_Lexhatx#A._General_Crime  That's what prompts this specific discussion.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 09:52:41 AM by Sir Alexandreu Davinescu »
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Offline Sir Alexandreu Davinescu

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2021, 09:57:14 AM »
Are the citizenry in general really not allowed to reply to discussions here?  For goodness sake, change that so people like the justices can participate!

V says:

My apologies to the Ziu, I realized after the fact that the Committee of Legal Reforms thread is in the Lobby and not in Wittenberg.   I posted based on the "new posts" feed.  Having realized my mistake, the post has been removed.  But I do think there is a conversation that should be open to Talossa-at-large.  So I'm reproducing my commentary here.  The original thread can be found here
______


I want to chime in regarding the alcohol analogy.  Although there is a shared minimum alcohol consumption/purchasing age of 21 among the States, it is not the same law across the Country.  In Wisconsin, someone under the age of 21 can certainly be served an alcoholic beverage in a public establishment by their parent or guardian, while in North Carolina they cannot.  Even assuming Wisconsin did have an outright ban on underage alcohol consumption, it only applies to committing the offense if present in Wisconsin, an 18-year-old who consumes alcohol in Cezembre would not have broken a Wisconsin law because they did not consume alcohol in Wisconsin.  By way of example, my first trip to Europe at age 20, I purchased and consumed a beer in Schwedenplatz (public place) in Vienna.  Did I break New York law? No. New York has a similar law to Wisconsin, but even so, I purchased and consumed alcohol publicly in another country where the conduct was permissible. So I did not have to worry about facing criminal charges when I returned home.

The US, federal and State, rarely imposes criminal liability for conduct that occurs outside of a jurisdiction.  Where it does, it's very limited circumstance--think sex tourism.  So this is not the best analogy.

Regarding the merit of the Regent's thoughts, I generally find them agreeable.  I see the value is removing Wisconsin law from our criminal law, but we cannot possibly address every instance of criminal conduct that may present itself given our resources and needs.  I like the idea of a carefully regulated special counsel, but I would add that a tenant of criminal law is that a person must be able to know what they're doing is illegal.  There must be a benchmark.  Also, Talossa is unique in that we're seeking to hold someone criminally liable for conduct outside of Talossa for general crime.  I'd say further narrowing--only those crimes of such magnitude as to impact the wellness and health of Talossa, should be permissible for consideration of judicial incorporation (I'm thinking of murder or statutory rape as opposed to a speeding ticket).
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Offline Dr. Txec Róibeard dal Nordselvă, Esq., O.SPM, SMM

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2021, 12:57:09 PM »
Are the citizenry in general really not allowed to reply to discussions here?  For goodness sake, change that so people like the justices can participate!

I'm not the author of this thread, but since it is in the lobby of the Ziu, anyone can come and go in the lobby...
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Offline Viteu

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2021, 12:59:06 PM »
Are the citizenry in general really not allowed to reply to discussions here?  For goodness sake, change that so people like the justices can participate!

I'm not the author of this thread, but since it is in the lobby of the Ziu, anyone can come and go in the lobby...

If that's the case. My apologies for the confusion. I'm actually unsure exactly which legislative forums are restricted to the Ziu.
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Offline Miestră Schivă, UrN

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Re: Committee of Legal Reforms
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2021, 01:27:27 PM »
I want to be clear that we should be unbelievably careful about this, and we should make sure we set up such a system to strictly limit judicial power.

If your priority is to "strictly limit judicial power", then certainly we should cease to operate our judiciary on a "quasi common law approach", with principles of stare decisis etc., which gives the judiciary massive power compared to a Civil Law system like France, where judges simply cannot rule unless a statute explicitly references the matter. In contrast, even disregarding the Wisconsin statutes, the Court currently has wide powers to rule based on judicial precedent, even where there is no statute.

I repeat that, with the deletion of the term "Anglo-American judicial principles" (or whatever it was), this "quasi common law approach" no longer has any backing in the Organic or Statute law - it's sheerly kept in place by inertia/the desires of the CpI justices at the moment. Choose between "limiting judicial power" and "allowing judges to rule on something which isn't specifically mentioned in Talossan law", because you can't have both. "
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 01:31:22 PM by Miestră Schivă, UrN »

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