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[DRAFT] Self-Defense Compact

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:03 am
by Separatist Peoples
Self-Defense Compact
Civil Rights | Mild


Admiring the indomitable spirit of all living creatures to preserve themselves against all odds;

Believing that the need to use lethal force is a tragedy, regardless of how necessary it may be;

Concerned that, though intended to ensure peaceful and rational social interactions, some societies nonetheless punish the use of violence when used to defend an individual against exigent risks to self and others;

Seeking to strike a balance between society's efforts to reduce violence and the individual's inherent right to survive when attacked;

The World Assembly hereby establishes the following:

  1. "Reasonable force" is the minimal amount of force an ordinary person would use to prevent or stop a similar attack in similar circumstances.
  2. Member states must permit the accused to plead a rebuttable affirmative defense of self-defense to any charge of which an element is causing willful physical harm to another individual.

  3. Member states may establish domestic policies requiring that the claimant:

    1. Satisfy a factual burden of proof not greater than that of the charge for which they are accused; or

    2. Prove that they used reasonable force based on the circumstances.
  4. Member states may further limit the aforementioned affirmative defense if the victim of the accused had the authorization to lawfully act on the state's behalf.

  5. Member states otherwise have complete, exclusive jurisdiction over legal regulation of individual self-defense or defense of others in their territory for the purposes of criminal prosecution and associated civil proceedings.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:45 am
by Liberimery
Could you give a scenario for article 3? I'm finding the situation vague and would like to clarify what it is intended to allow.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:47 am
by Separatist Peoples
Liberimery wrote:Could you give a scenario for article 3? I'm finding the situation vague and would like to clarify what it is intended to allow.

"It is intended to allow member states refuse to apply the defense as against a state actor, like a police officer or enforcement agent."

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:52 am
by Jebslund
Liberimery wrote:Could you give a scenario for article 3? I'm finding the situation vague and would like to clarify what it is intended to allow.

[OOC: If I read it correctly, it means self defense isn't valid against law enforcement doing their job. Be easier to just say anyone in the act of committing a crime can't claim self-defense and/or say self defense doesn't apply against law enforcement officials who have identified themselves as such and are carrying out their duties. Brevity is not always a good thing.]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:09 am
by Wallenburg
OOC: Perhaps we should make sure that further legislation concerning police/military conduct is not blocked by clause 3?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:09 am
by Separatist Peoples
Jebslund wrote:
Liberimery wrote:Could you give a scenario for article 3? I'm finding the situation vague and would like to clarify what it is intended to allow.

[OOC: If I read it correctly, it means self defense isn't valid against law enforcement doing their job. Be easier to just say anyone in the act of committing a crime can't claim self-defense and/or say self defense doesn't apply against law enforcement officials who have identified themselves as such and are carrying out their duties. Brevity is not always a good thing.]

OOC: I wanted to leave that to the member states. It may be that somebody committing a minor crime can nonetheless justifiably claim self defense in some jurisdictions. Your suggestion requires jurisdiction-specific information.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:11 am
by Separatist Peoples
Wallenburg wrote:OOC: Perhaps we should make sure that further legislation concerning police/military conduct is not blocked by clause 3?

OOC: How so?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:16 am
by Jebslund
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Jebslund wrote:[OOC: If I read it correctly, it means self defense isn't valid against law enforcement doing their job. Be easier to just say anyone in the act of committing a crime can't claim self-defense and/or say self defense doesn't apply against law enforcement officials who have identified themselves as such and are carrying out their duties. Brevity is not always a good thing.]

OOC: I wanted to leave that to the member states. It may be that somebody committing a minor crime can nonetheless justifiably claim self defense in some jurisdictions. Your suggestion requires jurisdiction-specific information.

[OOC: Eh, then word it in a way that allows it to be up to individual nations. My point is that there's a clearer way to put it.]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:17 am
by Separatist Peoples
Jebslund wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: I wanted to leave that to the member states. It may be that somebody committing a minor crime can nonetheless justifiably claim self defense in some jurisdictions. Your suggestion requires jurisdiction-specific information.

[OOC: Eh, then word it in a way that allows it to be up to individual nations. My point is that there's a clearer way to put it.]

OOC: Silence is inherently a reservation to member states, as the WA can only act where it has explicit authorization from a resolution.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:20 am
by Attempted Socialism
OOC: Article 3 reads weird to me. I know what you're trying to do, but when the clauses just before are about the defendant (Who is, after all, also claiming to be a victim in order to get the benefit of affirmative defence), the slightly convoluted language of Article 3 to victim initially seemed to limit self-defence when claimed by public employees. Could you make it clearer between Article 2 and 3 that there's a change of subject (From the defendant who claims self-defence to the victim of the claimed self-defence)?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:20 am
by Wallenburg
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:OOC: Perhaps we should make sure that further legislation concerning police/military conduct is not blocked by clause 3?

OOC: How so?

OOC: Imo, it doesn't act as a blocker, but at least one GenSec member would insist that a resolution installing police deescalation methods, for instance, would contradict that clause.
Attempted Socialism wrote:OOC: Article 3 reads weird to me. I know what you're trying to do, but when the clauses just before are about the defendant (Who is, after all, also claiming to be a victim in order to get the benefit of affirmative defence), the slightly convoluted language of Article 3 to victim initially seemed to limit self-defence when claimed by public employees. Could you make it clearer between Article 2 and 3 that there's a change of subject (From the defendant who claims self-defence to the victim of the claimed self-defence)?

It does that right here:
Member states may further limit the affirmative defense if the victim of the crime has the authorization to act on the state's behalf.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:23 am
by Separatist Peoples
Attempted Socialism wrote:OOC: Article 3 reads weird to me. I know what you're trying to do, but when the clauses just before are about the defendant (Who is, after all, also claiming to be a victim in order to get the benefit of affirmative defence), the slightly convoluted language of Article 3 to victim initially seemed to limit self-defence when claimed by public employees. Could you make it clearer between Article 2 and 3 that there's a change of subject (From the defendant who claims self-defence to the victim of the claimed self-defence)?

OOC: I did. I named the victim rather than the accused.

Wallenburg wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: How so?

OOC: Imo, it doesn't act as a blocker, but at least one GenSec member would insist that a resolution installing police deescalation methods, for instance, would contradict that clause.
Attempted Socialism wrote:OOC: Article 3 reads weird to me. I know what you're trying to do, but when the clauses just before are about the defendant (Who is, after all, also claiming to be a victim in order to get the benefit of affirmative defence), the slightly convoluted language of Article 3 to victim initially seemed to limit self-defence when claimed by public employees. Could you make it clearer between Article 2 and 3 that there's a change of subject (From the defendant who claims self-defence to the victim of the claimed self-defence)?

It does that right here:
Member states may further limit the affirmative defense if the victim of the crime has the authorization to act on the state's behalf.

OOC: I'm having a really hard time twisting Clause 3 into a blocker on something like de-escalation efforts. Am I missing something?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:27 am
by Jebslund
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Jebslund wrote:[OOC: Eh, then word it in a way that allows it to be up to individual nations. My point is that there's a clearer way to put it.]

OOC: Silence is inherently a reservation to member states, as the WA can only act where it has explicit authorization from a resolution.

[OOC: I mean there was a clearer way to say what you said in the clause. Instead of, "3.Member states may further limit the affirmative defense if the victim of the crime has the authorization to act on the state's behalf.", possibly "3.Member states may further limit the affirmative defense in cases of persons in the act of committing a crime or against law enforcement/military personnel acting in the course of their duties.". Yes, it's wordier, but it's also clearer in meaning.

Not to mention the act is only a crime if it's not legal self-defense, so wording it as "victim of a crime" is a bit ambiguous.]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:28 am
by Wallenburg
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Wallenburg wrote:OOC: Imo, it doesn't act as a blocker, but at least one GenSec member would insist that a resolution installing police deescalation methods, for instance, would contradict that clause.

It does that right here:
Member states may further limit the affirmative defense if the victim of the crime has the authorization to act on the state's behalf.

OOC: I'm having a really hard time twisting Clause 3 into a blocker on something like de-escalation efforts. Am I missing something?

OOC: In my opinion, no. I'm referring to the disagreement over whether a clause that "encourages X" or "urges X" or "recommends X" blocks future legislation that "mandates X". The same concerns apply here, as far as I can tell.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:31 am
by Attempted Socialism
OOC:
Wallenburg wrote:
Attempted Socialism wrote:OOC: Article 3 reads weird to me. I know what you're trying to do, but when the clauses just before are about the defendant (Who is, after all, also claiming to be a victim in order to get the benefit of affirmative defence), the slightly convoluted language of Article 3 to victim initially seemed to limit self-defence when claimed by public employees. Could you make it clearer between Article 2 and 3 that there's a change of subject (From the defendant who claims self-defence to the victim of the claimed self-defence)?

It does that right here:
Member states may further limit the affirmative defense if the victim of the crime has the authorization to act on the state's behalf.
Yes, that is the Article 3 I mentioned.
Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: I did. I named the victim rather than the accused.
Yes, and it took me at least a second look to make sure it was what it said as well as what you clearly meant. I'm asking if you think the change of subject is clear enough - because I doubt it.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:32 am
by Separatist Peoples
Attempted Socialism wrote:OOC:
Wallenburg wrote:It does that right here:
Member states may further limit the affirmative defense if the victim of the crime has the authorization to act on the state's behalf.
Yes, that is the Article 3 I mentioned.
Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: I did. I named the victim rather than the accused.
Yes, and it took me at least a second look to make sure it was what it said as well as what you clearly meant. I'm asking if you think the change of subject is clear enough - because I doubt it.

OOC: I can't see how naming the subject explicitly is anything less than clear.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:33 am
by Wallenburg
Attempted Socialism wrote:Yes, and it took me at least a second look to make sure it was what it said as well as what you clearly meant. I'm asking if you think the change of subject is clear enough - because I doubt it.

It takes about 6 seconds to read the entire clause, so a 7th isn't exactly unreasonable for securing comprehension of the clause's meaning.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:36 am
by Jebslund
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Attempted Socialism wrote:OOC:Yes, that is the Article 3 I mentioned.
Yes, and it took me at least a second look to make sure it was what it said as well as what you clearly meant. I'm asking if you think the change of subject is clear enough - because I doubt it.

OOC: I can't see how naming the subject explicitly is anything less than clear.

[OOC: Because a victim of assault who then strike their attackers are victims of a crime. Phrasing it in a way that is focused on the actions of the person claiming self defense, or stated to be taken against a specific group (law enforcement, state actors, etc) removes that ambiguity.]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:41 am
by Separatist Peoples
Jebslund wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: I can't see how naming the subject explicitly is anything less than clear.

[OOC: Because a victim of assault who then strike their attackers are victims of a crime. Phrasing it in a way that is focused on the actions of the person claiming self defense, or stated to be taken against a specific group (law enforcement, state actors, etc) removes that ambiguity.]


OOC: If the perpetrator of the crime themselves becomes a victim of violent crime, then the opportunity to assert self defense itself applies to them, and the clause would necessarily need to remain unchanged to govern their rights. I think you are imputing confusing interpretations to the phrase that are not realistically confusing. Where the victim of a crime has state immunity to act as they have, member states may limit access to that affirmative defense to the crime.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:48 am
by Jebslund
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Jebslund wrote:[OOC: Because a victim of assault who then strike their attackers are victims of a crime. Phrasing it in a way that is focused on the actions of the person claiming self defense, or stated to be taken against a specific group (law enforcement, state actors, etc) removes that ambiguity.]


OOC: If the perpetrator of the crime themselves becomes a victim of violent crime, then the opportunity to assert self defense itself applies to them, and the clause would necessarily need to remain unchanged to govern their rights. I think you are imputing confusing interpretations to the phrase that are not realistically confusing. Where the victim of a crime has state immunity to act as they have, member states may limit access to that affirmative defense to the crime.

[OOC: I am applying a colorable interpretation. The use of the term "victim of a crime" is confusing when describing something that otherwise isn't a crime, which is why real-world laws don't use it in regards to self-defense except referring to the person using self-defense, and instead use the person claiming self-defense as the reference point. In other words, real-world laws typically state self defense cannot be claimed against law enforcement acting in accordance with their duties, not that self-defense does not apply when the victim is a member of law enforcement acting in accordance with their duties (see now how that might be confusing? It sounds like it's law enforcement who isn't allowed to claim self-defense.).

A person acting in accordance with their right to self-defense is not committing a crime unless it is in a situation where said right does not apply. Therefore, using "victim of a crime" is not really as clear as you seem to think.]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:56 am
by Separatist Peoples
Jebslund wrote:[OOC: I am applying a colorable interpretation.

OOC: No you aren't. You're applying an interpretation that rests on an unsupported textual construction.

The use of the term "victim of a crime" is confusing when describing something that otherwise isn't a crime, which is why real-world laws don't use it in regards to self-defense except referring to the person using self-defense, and instead use the person claiming self-defense as the reference point.

One need not assert a self defense defense if one has not been charged with a crime, though. So any situation where this applies, by default, must involve a crime.

In other words, real-world laws typically state self defense cannot be claimed against law enforcement acting in accordance with their duties, not that self-defense does not apply when the victim is a member of law enforcement acting in accordance with their duties (see now how that might be confusing? It sounds like it's law enforcement who isn't allowed to claim self-defense.).

If nations want to extend that immunity to off-duty police officers, they can, though. That is deliberate, because some places permit officers use their authority without being confined to uniformed work hours. The whole thing is a permissive, rather than authoritative, clause.

A person acting in accordance with their right to self-defense is not committing a crime unless it is in a situation where said right does not apply. Therefore, using "victim of a crime" is not really as clear as you seem to think.]

This is a misconception that places the cart before the horse. As noted before, one cannot assert a defense without first requiring something to defend against in the first instance. Here, that is a legal charge of some kind. While I have clarified the language slightly to differentiate between a crime and a charge, the structure of the sentence is clear, insofar as it clearly identifies who has immunity.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:17 am
by Jebslund
Separatist Peoples wrote:
Jebslund wrote:[OOC: I am applying a colorable interpretation.

OOC: No you aren't. You're applying an interpretation that rests on an unsupported textual construction.]

[OOC: This is going to turn into a "Yes, you are, no, I'm not" thing, so I'm letting this point rest.]

Separatist Peoples wrote:One need not assert a self defense defense if one has not been charged with a crime, though. So any situation where this applies, by default, must involve a crime.

[OOC: Except that the mindset of the average reader is not going to be, "Well, you don't need to claim self-defense unless charged with a crime". It's going to be, "Self-defense isn't a crime". Hence the confusion several people have mentioned now.]

Separatist Peoples wrote:If nations want to extend that immunity to off-duty police officers, they can, though. That is deliberate, because some places permit officers use their authority without being confined to uniformed work hours. The whole thing is a permissive, rather than authoritative, clause.

[OOC: Nowhere did I say "on-duty". Off-duty police officers permitted to use their authority off-duty are still acting in accordance with their duties even though they are not on the clock. They are simply being permitted to perform said duties outside of their scheduled hours.]

Separatist Peoples wrote:This is a misconception that places the cart before the horse. As noted before, one cannot assert a defense without first requiring something to defend against in the first instance. Here, that is a legal charge of some kind. While I have clarified the language slightly to differentiate between a crime and a charge, the structure of the sentence is clear, insofar as it clearly identifies who has immunity.

[OOC: It is a common misconception. That is my point. Your wording is only clear if you have the background in law to know you have to be charged with a crime to claim self-defense. It's not as clear as you think, as evidenced by several people pointing out that the wording is unclear and requires multiple readings to make sense of.]


[OOC: Just noticed the edit. That wording is clearer.]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:22 am
by Separatist Peoples
Jebslund wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: No you aren't. You're applying an interpretation that rests on an unsupported textual construction.]

[OOC: This is going to turn into a "Yes, you are, no, I'm not" thing, so I'm letting this point rest.]

Separatist Peoples wrote:One need not assert a self defense defense if one has not been charged with a crime, though. So any situation where this applies, by default, must involve a crime.

[OOC: Except that the mindset of the average reader is not going to be, "Well, you don't need to claim self-defense unless charged with a crime". It's going to be, "Self-defense isn't a crime". Hence the confusion several people have mentioned now.]

Separatist Peoples wrote:If nations want to extend that immunity to off-duty police officers, they can, though. That is deliberate, because some places permit officers use their authority without being confined to uniformed work hours. The whole thing is a permissive, rather than authoritative, clause.

[OOC: Nowhere did I say "on-duty". Off-duty police officers permitted to use their authority off-duty are still acting in accordance with their duties even though they are not on the clock. They are simply being permitted to perform said duties outside of their scheduled hours.]

Separatist Peoples wrote:This is a misconception that places the cart before the horse. As noted before, one cannot assert a defense without first requiring something to defend against in the first instance. Here, that is a legal charge of some kind. While I have clarified the language slightly to differentiate between a crime and a charge, the structure of the sentence is clear, insofar as it clearly identifies who has immunity.

[OOC: It is a common misconception. That is my point. Your wording is only clear if you have the background in law to know you have to be charged with a crime to claim self-defense. It's not as clear as you think, as evidenced by several people pointing out that the wording is unclear and requires multiple readings to make sense of.]

OOC: Legality challenges are not based on what the reasonable person might misconstrue. It is based on what the law objectively does. If people misread the text, then that is their failing.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:36 am
by Kenmoria
“I agree fully with the ‘Irritated’ line, and with the rest of the proposal. This is a good compromise that addresses all of the flaws found in the act passed earlier. Stylistically, I believe that a hyphen in ‘self defence’ would look better, but that is just personal preference.”

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:12 pm
by Stoskavanya
Still skeptical that such a resolution is necessary in the first place, under the logic that if we begin to legislate on basic legal concepts such as this we will necessarily open the door to making further resolutions on dozens of useful yet common sense and uncreative legal concepts.