Rules for SC Proposals

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Founded: Oct 20, 2006

Rules for SC Proposals

Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:08 am

Security Council Proposal Rules

The following rules apply to all proposals submitted to the Security Council. Every proposal is reviewed by Moderators for legality, and illegal ones are held from going to vote. All authors are strongly encouraged to draft their proposal in a new thread in the Security Council forum, seeking advice from other experienced players to ensure their proposal's quality and legality prior to submission.

  1. Proposal Contents
    1. World Assembly legislation: Proposals must be written from the perspective of the World Assembly or Security Council, not that of your nation, region or another organisation.
      Note that this is "from" the perspective of the WA, not "addressed to" the WA. Most authors will start their proposal with "The Security Council" or "The World Assembly" - you are not required to, but it helps to ensure the rest of your proposal is written in line with this rule.
    2. Relevant argument: Proposals must contain an argument for the proposal, which must be relevant to what it is doing; for example if Commending a nation you should include reasons why that nation warrants a Commendation, and a Declaration must contain reasons for the opinion expressed. If your proposal is a Repeal it must address the contents of the resolution it is repealing.
      If your argument uses a different name to refer to the nominee in the argument (e.g. a Condemnation of "Sedgistan" refers to "Sedge") you need to clearly state that this is an alternate name for the nominee (e.g. "Noting that Sedgistan is more commonly referred to as Sedge").

      Repeals are essentially arguing that the WA has changed its opinion on a subject - and this can sometimes be due to reasons not discussed in the resolution being repealed. However, the repeal should still address the arguments made in the original resolution. A good example was Repeal "Commend Sedgistan" which mentioned new events (the Devonitians coup in The South Pacific) to argue that the original Commendation's citation of defending as a reason to Commend had been undermined by those non-defender actions.
    3. Duplication: Nations that are currently Commended or Condemned for a certain set of actions can't be Commended or Condemned again for that set of actions. Equally, Liberations and Injunctions cannot duplicate the reasons for any existing ones for that region. We are not currently applying the Duplication rule to Declarations.
      This still allows you to Condemn or Commend a different nation or region for the same or similar action or set of actions.

      Additionally, nations/regions can be Commended/Condemned more than once - so long as the proposals are based on different sets of actions. In general, if you've Condemned someone for X behaviour, and then want to Condemn the same nation/region for more X behaviour, you're going to have to explain what's different about it now that means that it warrants a further Condemnation.

      A region can 'stack up' multiple Liberations or Injunctions, so long as they do not duplicate each other in content.
    4. Operative clause: Proposals must contain an operative clause that states what the proposal is actually doing - e.g. Hereby Condemns Sedgistan. Declarations are an expression of opinion, often presented in the form of guidelines the SC would like nations/regions to follow. A Declaration must express an opinion of some sort.
      Operative clauses must be clear that they're targeting the nominee, rather than the actions cited in the argument clauses. You must clearly state the name of the nominee in the operative clause, not a nickname, and misspelling the name is liable to get your proposal removed.

      The action that a resolution does (Condemning, Commending, Liberating, Injuncting or Repealing) does not have to be attributed to any body - however, if it is, it must be attributed to an appropriate authority - ie. the World Assembly or The Security Council. A proposal cannot have "Sedgistan Hereby Condemns Ransium" as its operative clause.
    5. No further actions: A Proposal cannot attempt to do more than what it is able to do; Commendations/Condemnation can only Commend/Condemn the nominee, Liberations can only Liberate the targeted region, Injunctions can only Injunct the targeted region, Declarations can only express an opinion, and Repeals can only repeal the targeted resolution. For example, your proposal cannot impose fines, sanctions or a boycott on a Condemned nation.
      Declarations cannot do more than express an opinion - do not use them to legislate, and do not use them in lieu of Commendations/Condemnations - if your text could be read as the operative clause of a different proposal category (e.g. condemns Goobergunchia for its unsightly flag) then you are violating this rule.

      Declarations can encourage the creation of organisations, and set conditions for the WA/SC recognising them, as both are considered an expression of opinion. However, they cannot legislate on how organisations must act or be comprised.
  2. Fourth Wall
    1. NationStates game: Proposals cannot refer to the game, or events or actions in it, as part of a game.
      This is the hardest area of the rules to get right for newcomers. Note, the NationStates world is different to the real world, and we permit language used to describe the unique aspects of the NationStates world - not just the gameplay aspects, but also ones from roleplay and other communities.

      We often get asked if a certain term is legal within this rule - it is hard to give a definitive answer, as words can be used in so many different ways. For example "player" referring to the person playing the game is illegal, but saying a nation is a "major player" within a region is legal. The list below is a non-exhaustive guide to the most commonly raised queries:

      • NationStates or NationStates community - fine, it's considered synonymous with "the world" or "the world's community".
      • Multiverse - legal, same as NationStates.
      • Personal pronouns - illegal when referring to the nation; most commonly seen with "he" or "she". However, using the personal pronoun "who" to refer to a nation, while discouraged, is considered a grammatical error, not a rules violation.
      • Personal - illegal when referring to a nation or region, fine when referring to an RP individual within the NationStates world, or in other contexts such as "Sedgistan repressed its citizens personal freedoms".
      • Terms included within NationStates the game - eg. passwords, World Factbook Entries, founders, eject, Regional Message Board, 'black helicopters transporting nations between regions' - legal. However that does not apply to "OOC" pages or parts of pages, such as the News page, FAQs and Getting Help page.
      • Cards, and associated cards minigame related terms - legal, although the more commonly used and more "IC" term is "international artwork".
      • Store features, stamps, Postmaster General etc. - all references to commercial aspects of NationStates are forbidden.
      • Feeder (as in 'feeder region'), Sinker, Catcher, Restorer, Frontier, Warzone - legal.
      • Roleplayer, Gameplayer - illegal.
      • Forums - legal unless it "plainly refers to the electronic entity".
      • Thread (as in a forum topic) - illegal - simply describe what is done within the thread.
      • Post (as in 'post' on the forums or an RMB) - legal; it's another unique feature of NationStates that nations can post on RMBs etc.
      • "Tag" (and other variants - "tagging", "detagging" etc.) - legal when referring to the raider/defender practices.
      • April Fool's Day and its various events - not automatically illegal, but ask for a ruling before submitting.
    2. Real world: Proposals cannot reference the "real world" outside of NationStates. In particular, they must refer to nations as nations, not as the player behind them. This includes avoiding the use of personal pronouns such as "he" or "she"; instead use "they".
      Note that reference to solely real world ideologies without reference to NationStates is prohibited. Real world ideologies are ones such as Thatcherism, Fabian Socialism, or Peronism that refer to particular real world people or groups, as against ideologies that are not considered real world dependent, such as communism, capitalism, fascism. Nazism is not considered a RW ideology - it is considered synonymous with national socialism, and also has an established presence within the NS multiverse (e.g. in Issues).

      See the guide on specific terms in the Expanded details of the above rule for more.
  3. Appropriate Topics
    1. Site staff: Proposals cannot Commend or Condemn members of the site staff (Moderators, Administrators, Issues Editors, Roleplay Mentors, General Assembly Secretariat etc.) for actions taken as part of their role, and Declarations cannot cover site staff policy or decisions.
      Staff may still be Commended or Condemned for non-staff actions. Note that there are some "niche" staff roles such as Northrop-Grumman's work on the Dark Theme that are still covered by this rule.

      Issues Editors - Any issue-related work carried out by Issues Editors while on the staff is covered by this rule, including issues authoring. You may still Commend or Condemn for issues added to the game before joining the team or after leaving the team.

      General Assembly Secretariat - Authoring GA resolutions is fine to mention in proposals, as their role doesn't impact on this.

      Roleplay Mentors - While the scheme has now been disbanded, mentoring carried out while an individual was on the Mentor staff cannot be cited.
    2. Beyond the SC's capacities: Don't use proposals to raise issues that should be dealt with elsewhere, such as rules violations and technical suggestions. In some circumstances rules violations may be legal to refer to in a proposal - you must always request a ruling prior to submission if you wish to do this. If something can be addressed within a General Assembly proposal category, it should be handled within one of those rather than a Declaration.
      Commendations and Condemnations exist to Commend/Condemn nations/regions, Liberations to Liberate a region, Injunctions to Injunct a region, Declarations exist to declare an opinion on affairs within the NationStates multiverse; Repeals to Repeal a resolution. If you're looking to do something else with a proposal, you shouldn't be.

      With regards to rules violations, these should be reported via the normal channels. If a rule violation has been handled by Moderators already, it may be possible to refer to this in a proposal - for example if a nation was operating multiple WA nations. Any attempt to cite rules violations in a proposal must have a Moderator ruling prior to submission; otherwise your proposal will be marked as illegal. Permitting reference to rules violations is purely at the Mod team's discretion.
    3. Site rules: The Site Rules apply to any content submitted to the site - i.e. including proposals. In particular, note the Copyright section, which prohibits plagiarism.
      Plagiarism applies not just to copying an entire proposal, but also to lifting individual clauses from other proposals. Plagiarising the framework of another proposal is generally not a good idea either, and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Miscellaneous Rules
    1. Links: In-game links to nations, regions and UN/WA resolutions are allowed within proposals so long as they are formatted not to show the url. Links to other webpages, whether onsite or offsite, are not permitted.
    2. Branding: Co-authors should use the in-built mechanics for recording co-authors, rather than listing them in the text of proposals. Lists of supporters or similar are not permitted.
      Note that prior to the co-author feature being added in November 2021, resolutions listed co-authors in the main resolution text, which was legal at the time.
    3. Symbolic proposals: Were previously permitted (within strict limits) as a way of expressing the Security Council's view on matters beyond Commendations/Condemnations/Liberations/Injunctions of nations/regions. They are no longer permitted following the introduction of Declarations, which allow for a more open expression of opinion. Therefore, if you want to Condemn Hippopotamuses but you're actually trying to Condemn the really quite large semi-aquatic mammal rather than the NationStates region -- you now cannot; use a Declaration instead.
    4. Language: Proposals must be written in English.

Consequences of Violations

Violation of the Security Council Proposal Rules will result in your proposal being marked illegal and being held before it can go to vote. Violation of the Site Rules in a proposal may result in more serious punishment, which can include ejection from the World Assembly.


The Security Council ruleset is deliberately minimalist; while the ruleset has evolved from its original format in 2009, the intention remains to keep the SC as accessible as possible for those new to it, without the complex rules lawyering seen in other chambers of the World Assembly.

The primary responsibility for determining the standards of Security Council resolutions lies with delegates. Unless a proposal violates one of the above rules, it is unlikely to be deleted. If you don't like misspelled proposals, or proposals Condemning raiders just because they're raiders, or proposals Commending your region's bitterest enemies, or the way a group of nations has got together to push a particular line, it's up to you to do something about it. And the "something" is not "call the mods".

Finally, please note that the following are not rules violations:

  • Self-Commending: widely frowned upon, but if you think you warrant a Commendation but no-one else is writing it for you, knock yourself out.
  • Speling and grammer errors: Moderators are not spellcheckers. So long as your spelling and grammar don't inadvertantly cause a rule violation or descend into spam, it's up to WA members to decide whether they want to pass a resolution filled with errors.
  • Joke proposals: international politics is inherently funny, and that is sometimes reflected in Security Council legislation. There is a point where "joke proposal" becomes "spam proposal" but we're relatively lenient on this. Especially around April 1st.
  • Factual inaccuracies: Moderators are not arbiters of truth. It may come as a surprise to some, but real-world nations can occasionally be liberal with their approach to the truth. The same applies to NationStates nations, and it's up to you to distinguish your facts from the alternative facts.
  • Tit-for-tat: Sedgistan hereby Condemns Mallorea and Riva for Condemning Sedgistan. If you want to get into a tit-for-tat war with another player, so long as you aren't violating the Proposal Rules, that's up to you.
  • General Assembly Rules: belong in the General Assembly, thank you very much. They don't apply here.
Last edited by Eluvatar on Sun Jun 04, 2023 3:00 pm, edited 67 times in total.
Reason: correct capitalization

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Senior Issues Moderator
Posts: 34317
Founded: Oct 20, 2006

Rules for SC Proposals

Postby Sedgistan » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:08 am

Legality Checks

If you require a legality check for an aspect of your proposal, make that request in your drafting thread. If it's not answered within a few days, then post in Moderation linking to the thread and asking for a check. We do not generally carry out full proposal legality checks - it is the author's responsibility to write a legal proposal. Moderators will simply clear up cases when there is an uncertainty with the application of an aspect of the rules.

If your check is urgent or requires confidentiality, we may occasionally entertain legality requests via Getting Help Request; this is entirely at our discretion, and whatever ruling is made will likely be made public in due course.

Use of Puppets in Debate Threads

Puppetwank for gameplay purposes is generally tolerated (obviously unless done to break the rules). For example, if a player operates under several identities, then posting as more than one of them in the thread would be fine. However, using puppets to boost the apparent support for a proposal is frowned upon and mods will take action to stop it, which may include calling the nations out publicly.

Further Advice and Resources

Your best bet is always to post a thread in the Security Council forum for your proposal. There is an experienced community of Security Council players who can give you advice on authoring, campaigning and legality. The following threads are also worth reviewing:

Last edited by Sedgistan on Fri Mar 10, 2023 8:20 am, edited 50 times in total.

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