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[LEGALITY CHALLENGE] - Preventing Desertification (SOLVED)

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Araraukar
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[LEGALITY CHALLENGE] - Preventing Desertification (SOLVED)

Postby Araraukar » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:24 am

Proposal thread here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=443806

Erithaca wrote:Category: Environmental
Industry Affected: Agriculture

The General Assembly,

Shocked at the process of desertification, which causes the loss of bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife,

Noting that these in turn cause famine and drought,

Understanding that a major cause of desertification is removal of vegetation,

Hereby,

1. Mandates member nations take reasonable precautions and enact reasonable regulations to reduce excessive removal of vegetation for purposes relating to agriculture and otherwise.

2. Encourages member nations to educate those involved, especially agricultural workers, on desertification.

3. Strongly encourages member nations to take part in reforestation and construction of shelter belts, woodlots and windbreaks.

4. Mandates that the WAEC shall oversee efforts against desertification and ensure that:

a) efforts are feasible, not harmful and approved by the local community and government,

b) reforestation is planned and maintained,

c) grazing is managed to prevent overgrazing,

d) water is conserved, collected and distributed in an orderly and fair manner in areas affected by desertification,

e) records are kept of areas at risk of or undergoing desertification, along with the status of any efforts against desertification.

Rules broken: Category rule (Area of Effect, more specifically), Contradiction (of GA #413)

Reasoning, Category rule: Desertification is a process that affects much more than just agricultural industry (this could easily have been written under Health category as well), and I believe it should have been put under All Businesses (which reminds me, the proposal rules thread lacks any mention of the strengths in that AoE) instead. Land is cleared of vegetation for building projects, soil/mineral extraction, which affects manufacturing - the preamble mentions "loss of bodies of water", which presumably would affect fishing industry - and many more, including ecosystem restoration (more of that below).

The author admits that they understand desertification isn't only an agricultural issue:
Erithaca wrote:Desertification causes droughts and famine, definitely bad for your commerce!
and in the discussion thread explain that they didn't intend to seriously hinder agriculture, and it frankly speaking appears as though they aren't certain of the negative effects either (emphasis mine):
Erithaca wrote:Out of all the categories, it hinders agriculture the most. While it still will help agriculture greatly by preventing arable land turning into sand, it might have some negative impacts on agriculture. In 4c and possibly 4d, agriculture could be temporarily hindered. By controlling grazing, some farms working with grazing animals could have their business slowed.


Further, given that the committee in the proposal is, according to author, given unilateral rights to "take all possible/reasonable/allowed steps to ensure that" the things it is tasked to do in subclauses of clause 4 actually are done, the AoE should be All Businesses, Strong (again, I presume that's how the strength works, rather than Environmental: Strong, because the rules post doesn't say how it works now).
Auralia wrote:
Erithaca wrote:In the resolution, the word is "oversee". This suggests either advisory and regulatory, when appropriate.

Another important word is "ensure", which is even stronger.

If indeed the WAEC is playing a regulatory role, then its mandate and powers should be clearly defined and limited. This is not presently the case. At the moment the resolution suggests that the WAEC can freely regulate desertification efforts (a) and forestation (b), as well as aspects of agriculture (c) and water usage (d). I think this is far too much unchecked power for an international administrative agency.
Erithaca wrote:I should have looked at the definition of "oversee" before informing you incorrectly. Sorry. Because of the weak nature of "oversee", "ensure" should be "take all possible/reasonable/allowed steps to ensure that"


Reasoning, contradiction of GA #413, Wetland Protection Protocol: That resolution's clause 3.a., "Restore wetlands to their pre-construction quality and characteristics" is mentioned as one of three possibilities that nations are required to choose from. Given that desert wetlands are an actual thing that exists (some are occasionally occurring, when rains come, some are permanent, bordering a source of water, but they exist in desert climates and areas), not being allowed to intentionally cause desertification (removing the effects of "greening" an area) would prevent restoring the wetlands to their pristine stage - not just desert wetlands either; the requirement for "reforestation" would appear to ban clearing trees altogether, when you're not going to be replanting any.

In addition to which it looks like you also wouldn't be allowed to restore original desert areas back to their pristine state for purposes of endangered animal conservation and reintroduction to the wild, but since that's basically just inferred from GA #66, it's more a logical objection than a true contradiction.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:05 am

I'm conflicted out of a ruling, but I want to point out that my Wetland law wouldn't stop you from destroying a wetland, it would just make you use a separate method of compensation. I'm not going to weigh in on the challenge itself, but I know that wetland law inside and out!

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Postby Bananaistan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:34 am

We have voted to hear this challenge. Comments from the author would be gratefully appreciated. Particularly as to the justification and reasoning behind the choice of category and area of effect.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:42 am

This challenge is why CD and SL’s strict-category (and strict-strength) rulings are bad.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Christian Democrats » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:58 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:This challenge is why CD and SL’s strict-category (and strict-strength) rulings are bad.

The Secretariat has not been overbearing in its application of the Category Rule. So far, we have embraced a moderate approach that requires rational categorization; and we have rejected the extreme approach of strict categorization, where every single clause would have to fit the category and subcategory.

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Postby First Nightmare » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:03 pm

Preventing desertification mainly impacts agriculture, Retail, Basket Weaving, and logging.
It is nowhere near All Businesses, unfortunately, because the rest of the industries is not affected, or even affected positively(Fishing)...
which means that this proposal is illegal under every single category.
The only way to make this legal is to split it into 4 different proposals, one for Agriculture, one for Retail, one for Basket Weaving and one for logging.

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Postby Erithaca » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:51 pm

Bananaistan wrote:We have voted to hear this challenge. Comments from the author would be gratefully appreciated. Particularly as to the justification and reasoning behind the choice of category and area of effect.


I will now provide an explanation. I hope you appreciate it. I would like to apologise for any time wasted by my delay in responding.

Araraukar wrote:Desertification is a process that affects much more than just agricultural industry (this could easily have been written under Health category as well), and I believe it should have been put under All Businesses (which reminds me, the proposal rules thread lacks any mention of the strengths in that AoE) instead. Land is cleared of vegetation for building projects, soil/mineral extraction, which affects manufacturing - the preamble mentions "loss of bodies of water", which presumably would affect fishing industry - and many more, including ecosystem restoration (more of that below).


Category

I have chosen the category: Environmental. Desertification is an environmental issue and, in my mind, does not relate to any other category. The only possible reason that this could be under the health category is famine/drought. These are caused by agricultural problems.

Area Of Affect
I have chosen the area of affect: Agricultural.

Reasoning

When I came to submit the proposal, I did underestimate the importance of Area of Effect and the affect that it could have on legality. However, I stand by my choice.

My reasoning was that desertification largely affects agriculture. Outside of Erithaca, it has caused drought and famine. These are by far the most notable and serious effects of desertification.

Justification

It is possible to argue that desertification has an effect on fishing. However, this is a minor effect and would be more unrelated that the current one.
Under your logic, pretty much any proposal should be under "All Business". Nearly every, if not every, environmental proposal would have an effect on other industries. Yet again, I have chosen agriculture because it is the main one.
The loss of bodies of water was intended to refer to drought.

I also question the importance of this section of the challenge. Does the exact area of effect even matter greatly? Your statements are arguable and a legality challenge on category or area of effect seems like a waste of time.

Christian Democrats wrote:
The Secretariat has not been overbearing in its application of the Category Rule. So far, we have embraced a moderate approach that requires rational categorization; and we have rejected the extreme approach of strict categorization, where every single clause would have to fit the category and subcategory.

-- Promoting Research (majority opinion) (8 March 2018)


This goes with what I said earlier. It would be very hard to have a resolution where every clause only had an effect on a specific industry. The effects of any law are usually wide-ranging. I hope that I have demonstrated that my category and area of effect are rational: they do not merit illegality under Christian Democrat's moderate application.

Contradiction

This is the other main section of the legality challenge. I will first comment on Separatist People's response.

Separatist Peoples wrote:I'm conflicted out of a ruling, but I want to point out that my Wetland law wouldn't stop you from destroying a wetland, it would just make you use a separate method of compensation. I'm not going to weigh in on the challenge itself, but I know that wetland law inside and out!


I can see that you have declined weighing in on the category/area of effect issue. I do not understand how my resolution, by preventing the destruction of wetlands, would destroy them. You see the wetland as part of the desert, which it is very much not. A desert wetland is within the desert, but is not a desert in itself. It is also not the kind of thing that speedily encroaches on other land. It would have been helpful to define "desert" and "desertification" in the proposal, which would have prevented this problem from ever arising.

Araraukar wrote:In addition to which it looks like you also wouldn't be allowed to restore original desert areas back to their pristine state for purposes of endangered animal conservation and reintroduction to the wild, but since that's basically just inferred from GA #66, it's more a logical objection than a true contradiction.


This resolution deals with deserts encroaching on areas. I really should have defined "desert" and "desertification".

First Nightmare

First Nightmare wrote:Preventing desertification mainly impacts agriculture, Retail, Basket Weaving, and logging.
It is nowhere near All Businesses, unfortunately, because the rest of the industries is not affected, or even affected positively(Fishing)...
which means that this proposal is illegal under every single category.
The only way to make this legal is to split it into 4 different proposals, one for Agriculture, one for Retail, one for Basket Weaving and one for logging.


I agree with you until the end. Frankly, multiple proposals where the only difference was in area of affect would be barmy. It would be nigh on impossible to reach quorum, voting would take weeks and it would be straight up spam: definitely illegal!

I hope that you have found my explanation clear, helpful and informative.

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Last edited by Erithaca on Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:44 am

Christian Democrats wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:This challenge is why CD and SL’s strict-category (and strict-strength) rulings are bad.

The Secretariat has not been overbearing in its application of the Category Rule. So far, we have embraced a moderate approach that requires rational categorization; and we have rejected the extreme approach of strict categorization, where every single clause would have to fit the category and subcategory.

-- Promoting Research (majority opinion) (8 March 2018)

An apt analogy: Be happy that we have just made abortion illegal. We stopped short from pronouncing capital punishment on everyone involved.

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Postby Araraukar » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:04 pm

Sorry everyone, for the vanishing act, but contracted an acute case of Real Life.

Separatist Peoples wrote:I'm conflicted out of a ruling, but I want to point out that my Wetland law wouldn't stop you from destroying a wetland

I meant the target proposal wouldn't let you RESTORE one (which is one of the three choices your resolution requires nations to choose from). As it requires reforestation, and not all wetlands have trees in their natural state.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:21 pm

Araraukar wrote:Sorry everyone, for the vanishing act, but contracted an acute case of Real Life.

Separatist Peoples wrote:I'm conflicted out of a ruling, but I want to point out that my Wetland law wouldn't stop you from destroying a wetland

I meant the target proposal wouldn't let you RESTORE one (which is one of the three choices your resolution requires nations to choose from). As it requires reforestation, and not all wetlands have trees in their natural state.

You don't need to reforest area that was never forested. Then its just foresting. This is silly.

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:35 pm

*** Secretariat Notice ***

By a vote of 4-0 we find the proposed resolution LEGAL. Details to follow, opinion forthcoming.
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Postby Araraukar » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:55 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:You don't need to reforest area that was never forested. Then its just foresting. This is silly.

No, but if an area was once no-trees swamp, then was drained and trees were planted, the antidesertification thingy would stop you from restoring the wetland as it requires reforestation after you've cut trees off an area.
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Giovenith wrote:And sorry hun, if you were looking for a forum site where nobody argued, you've come to wrong one.
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Postby First Nightmare » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:43 am

Araraukar wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:You don't need to reforest area that was never forested. Then its just foresting. This is silly.

No, but if an area was once no-trees swamp, then was drained and trees were planted, the antidesertification thingy would stop you from restoring the wetland as it requires reforestation after you've cut trees off an area.

That wouldn't be a problem for legality?
You have to do only one of three things, and if this blocks one of the three you have to do the others.

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Postby Araraukar » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:52 pm

First Nightmare wrote:You have to do only one of three things, and if this blocks one of the three you have to do the others.

I really don't think that the GenSec wants to say that it's ok for later resolutions to contradict "only parts" of previous ones... Generally speaking little duplication is fine, but no contradictions is allowed. Which is why I disagree with the ruling and think it was decided due to a misunderstanding of the challenge, but eh, the final word is GenSec's. They know everyone's watching them like a hawk every time there's a challenge. :P
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:24 pm

Uh, where's this promised opinion?

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:46 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Uh, where's this promised opinion?

No clue. I recused myself.

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Postby Christian Democrats » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:48 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Uh, where's this promised opinion?

Three members have signed an opinion, so its author should publish it.
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:54 pm

*** Opinion of the Secretariat ***

By vote of 5-0 we find the proposal legal. Separatist Peoples recused. Sierra Lyricalia wrote the majority opinion, joined by Sciongrad and Christian Democrats. Bananaistan joins the majority except as to "All Businesses," and has a short concurrence, joined by Bears Armed.

Majority Opinion:
We are asked to declare the proposal "Preventing Desertification" illegal based on two criteria: 1) a Category/Area of Effect violation, and 2) Contradiction of GA Res. #413. We find neither allegation convincing, and the proposal is legal.

Much of the meat of the AoE challenge rests on forum commentary elicited during the drafting process. We disregard this. "The law does what the law says." Where the law is ambiguous, authorial commentary can be useful in interpreting the intent of a particular clause; but there is no such ambiguity in this proposal. Per past procedure, we examine 1) does it clearly fit into the chosen AoE better than into any other, and 2) if there is no clear best fit AoE, is the chosen AoE a reasonable fit? By these criteria, the proposal fits Environmental/Agriculture.

What is the aggregate effect of this proposal? The mandated actions are the regulation of vegetation removal; "feasible" and non-"harmful" "efforts against desertification;" reforestation (emphasis added); regulation of grazing; water conservation; and recordkeeping.

It is true that other businesses besides agriculture use water and clear land for development or mineral extraction. But based on the eyeball test (more or less looking at early-paragraph Wikipedia statistics and satellite photographs) the land used for these other activities is miniscule compared to that needed for agriculture. GenSec does its level best not to be the arbiter of RL facts, and so unless the proposal is clearly directing its mandates at a category or AoE other than that in which it was submitted, we leave it to the voters to decide. By this measure neither Mining nor All Businesses makes a more suitable candidate than Agriculture.

What of Logging? The citation of grazing in Clause 4(c) specifically targets agriculture in a way that no other clause therein targets any other business, even logging. However, vegetation removal is loggers' basic job description, and the ecological objections to clearcutting for lumber vs. slash-and-burn farming are extremely similar. The mention of farmers in Clause 2 is merely rhetorical, then, so the lack of education suggested for loggers is irrelevant. The proposal could have been submitted under Logging with only a little alteration to its active clauses. But that doesn't make Logging a better fit; only an equivalent fit. So the chosen AoE is certainly a reasonable fit, even if not quite the clear single best fit. Therefore the Category/AoE challenge is insufficient to discard the proposal.

The Contradiction challenge rests largely on an incorrect assumption: that the proposal actually forbids the creation of deserts. It does not do so; rather, the removal of vegetation must be regulated. Meanwhile efforts to relieve the advance of deserts are required not to be harmful. Together, these clauses make the proposal fully compatible with all of #413's wetland removal mitigation schemes, including the restoration of wetlands or the new creation of similar wetlands.

Therefore neither plank of the challenge is successful, and the proposal is legal.


Concurring Opinion:
I agree with the majority that the challenged proposal could have reasonably fit in the logging AoE. However, due to the combination of the two “reasonable fit” AoEs, agriculture and logging, and the minor effects on other industries and AoEs, I would add "All Businesses" as a third reasonable fit. I agree with the majority opinion on all other points.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:44 am

You say 5–0 above. I count 3. And before someone gets on my arse for nitpicking, I have to encode it here, which is why I want to clarify.
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Postby Sciongrad » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:18 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:You say 5–0 above. I count 3. And before someone gets on my arse for nitpicking, I have to encode it here, which is why I want to clarify.

BA and Banana have yet to sign on with any opinion. We published SL's opinion as soon as a majority signed on. But all five voting members agreed that, at the very least, the proposal was legal on contradiction and category grounds.
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:43 am

Sciongrad wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:You say 5–0 above. I count 3. And before someone gets on my arse for nitpicking, I have to encode it here, which is why I want to clarify.

BA and Banana have yet to sign on with any opinion. We published SL's opinion as soon as not long after a majority signed on. But all five voting members agreed that, at the very least, the proposal was legal on contradiction and category grounds.


Hence my apparent foot-dragging w/r/t publishing.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:16 pm

So, will they release a concurrence or sign on?

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Sierra Lyricalia
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 3390
Founded: Nov 29, 2008
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:12 am

Bananaistan has issued a brief concurrence.
Principal-Agent, Anarchy; Squadron Admiral, The Red Fleet
Stephanie Athena Zakalwe
Author: 354 GA / Issues 436, 451, 724
S.L. Ambassador to the World Assembly
Tech Level: Complicated (or not: 7/0/6 i.e. 12) / RP Details
Leonid Berkman Pavonis,
Ideological Deviant, MT Army stooge, & "red [who] do[es]n't read" (various)
Ambassador-At-Large
Illustrious Bum #279



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Christian Democrats
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10012
Founded: Jul 29, 2009
New York Times Democracy

Postby Christian Democrats » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:24 pm

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:Bananaistan has issued a brief concurrence.

BA has signed the concurring opinion in the GenSec forum.
Leo Tolstoy wrote:Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
GA#160: Forced Marriages Ban Act (79%)
GA#175: Organ and Blood Donations Act (68%)^
SC#082: Repeal "Liberate Catholic" (80%)
GA#200: Foreign Marriage Recognition (54%)
GA#213: Privacy Protection Act (70%)
GA#231: Marital Rape Justice Act (81%)^
GA#233: Ban Profits on Workers' Deaths (80%)*
GA#249: Stopping Suicide Seeds (70%)^
GA#253: Repeal "Freedom in Medical Research" (76%)
GA#285: Assisted Suicide Act (70%)
GA#310: Disabled Voters Act (81%)
GA#373: Repeal "Convention on Execution" (54%)
GA#468: Prohibit Private Prisons (57%)

* denotes coauthorship
^ repealed resolution
#360: Electile Dysfunction
#452: Foetal Furore
#560: Bicameral Backlash
#570: Clerical Errors

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Erithaca
Envoy
 
Posts: 337
Founded: Apr 10, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Erithaca » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:40 pm

The Erithacan WA delegation would like to thank the GenSec for confirming the legality of this resolution and therefore allowing everybody at the delegation to keep heir jobs. We would like to thank Araraukar for their vigilance for illegalities.


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