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[AT VOTE CHALLENGE] Repeal "Ban On Secret Treaties"

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:27 am
by Bananaistan
Public challenge thread.

At the least the first argument regarding the merely clause looks like it holds water.

I move that we hear the challenge.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:26 am
by Bears Armed

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:48 pm
by Separatist Peoples
Bananaistan wrote:Public challenge thread.

At the least the first argument regarding the merely clause looks like it holds water.

I move that we hear the challenge.

Agreed. I'm on the fence about the rest but that's enough to yank it right there.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:19 pm
by Sierra Lyricalia
My first impressions of each argument of the challenge:

First: Yeah. Open and shut as argued by the challenger. Mischaracterization of the action and mandate of the target is textbook Honest Mistake.

Second: Yeah. The target is among the shorter resolutions on the books. It's legit to criticize the part about housecats, but not to pretend that it's somehow using length and volume of text to hoodwink people.

Third: Nah. Characterizing some requirement as "arbitrary" in passing is no different from saying "Sad that this resolution has terrible flaws that necessitate its repeal..." I say Clause X of GAR Y is arbitrary, you say Clause P of GAR Q requires member states' citizens to jump through too many hoops to exercise their rights. If the repeal had actually said "This clause of the target only makes sense if you assume total whim and depravity on the part of the WA," possibly that might be worth looking at. This is not.

Fourth: Nah. An implication is not an argument and can't be held to the same standard as an argument would be.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:22 pm
by Separatist Peoples
2 for illegal...anybody else?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:49 am
by Bananaistan
+1 illegal

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:46 am
by Separatist Peoples
I think, given Scion is in the throes of finals, we can probably discount participation. Which makes that a tentstive majority.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:55 am
by Bears Armed
Separatist Peoples wrote:2 for illegal...anybody else?

Illegal on the "merely" bit, at the least.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:21 am
by Grays Harbor

Yes, I actually have voted “for” on the repeal because I believe it does need repealing, but I have to say illegal since it is, well, illegal.

Now I’m tired from jumping through my mental hoops.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:58 am
by Sierra Lyricalia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:08 am
by Sierra Lyricalia
Since I seem to have the most detailed rundown of the challenge arguments in this thread, I'll write up a long-overdue draft opinion within the next couple of days.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:04 pm
by Sierra Lyricalia
"...the next couple of days" my ass. Whoops. :oops: Well, here we are:

Draft opinion
We are asked to determine if this repeal is illegal on four different counts:
  1. Honest Mistake as to the word "merely" (as, per challenger, target actually mandates multiple actions by member states);
  2. Honest Mistake as to the claim that the target utilizes obfuscatorily lengthy text to confuse or hoodwink voters;
  3. Honest Mistake as to the claim that the target places "arbitrary" restrictions on member nations; and
  4. Honest Mistake as to an alleged prohibition on secret negotiations.

We find that the repeal misrepresents its target resolution in two aspects [Honest Mistakes], and not in the other two.

On the first count, we find without difficulty that the repeal is mistaken. "Merely" denotes simplicity or solitude, in this case an allegation that the only thing the target does is create a committee. Leaving aside the fact that explicit argumentation that a target has broken the committee-only rule would be illegal as all passed resolutions are presumed legal, this is factually incorrect: there are several mandates specifically and explicitly placed on member states, and the creation of a committee may not be taken as ["merely"] the only thing the target does. The repeal therefore commits an Honest Mistake violation.

The second count requires quoting at length from the repeal to make sense of the allegation:
Aware that any nation may intentionally lengthen their treaties to include limitless volumes of text in order to obfuscate the agreement's true purpose during publication, or establish absurd quantities of treaties by this process in order to conceal which of the reported treaties are meaningful to parties with a vested interest,

Whereas such an alarming technique has already been used within the fourth clause of the resolution to establish an extraordinary redefinition of the words "secret treaty" to reference various felines and military weaponry,

In short, the repeal alleges that the target utilizes large (if not strictly speaking "limitless") "...volumes of text in order to obfuscate" its true intent. But this is prima facie untenable, as the target resolution is at most average in length, and contains neither absurdly lengthy sentences nor jargon/technical phrasing beyond that present in any other given resolution. Even counting Clause 4, the target does not utilize confusing language or large swaths of fine print. This is therefore the second Honest Mistake the repeal commits.

The third count goes to a characterization of opinion. The repeal opines that the target "plac[es] unfair and arbitrary restrictions on nations[.]" This is no different than repeal language claiming that a given resolution's flaws are so glaring that repeal is the only option open to the General Assembly. This is a matter of opinion, not a quantifiable measurement of fact, and a repeal cannot commit an Honest Mistake merely for alleging its target to place "arbitrary restrictions" on member nations. While a repeal that only alleged this might well be illegal for NatSov-only, this repeal makes other substantive allegations and thus escapes this pitfall. In short, the use of the word "arbitrary" has no effect on this repeal's legality.

The fourth count is by the challenger's own admission not clearly a violation of GA rules. We agree. Where a repeal clause can be reasonably read to be legal, GenSec does so as a matter of policy; and where a repeal clause makes hopes for the future instead of making a specific allegation against its target, no implication (legal or illegal) can reasonably be inferred from it. Therefore there is no Honest Mistake arising from such wispy and ephemeral sources here.

In total, we find the first two Honest Mistake allegations in the challenge to be correct, and the other two incorrect. The repeal is illegal as written.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:10 pm
by Sierra Lyricalia
Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:35 am
by Sciongrad
I sign on. I might provide a very short concurrence with respect to section IV, but if I do, it will only be a couple of sentences.

I concur with the majority. I write separately with respect to the fourth count only to emphasize that the relevant test we use for the honest mistake rule is whether the challenged assertion is 1. one that a reasonable member nation would adopt and 2. a reasonable interpretation of the resolution in question. Although GenSec has, as a matter of policy, embraced the rule that, as between two reasonable interpretations of a challenged proposal, we will select the one that does not invalidate the resolution, this policy will not save a resolution that fails the above test.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:46 am
by Grays Harbor
I concur, and have nothing to add.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:18 am
by Bananaistan
I concur also.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:33 am
by Separatist Peoples
I'll sign that.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:57 pm
by Sciongrad
That's five. I'll post it now.