NATION

PASSWORD

[CHALLENGE] Repeal "Ban on Secret Treaties"

Where WA members debate how to improve the world, one resolution at a time.
User avatar
Imperium Anglorum
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 11489
Founded: Aug 26, 2013
Left-Leaning College State

[CHALLENGE] Repeal "Ban on Secret Treaties"

Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:22 pm

First. Merely incorrect.
Lamenting that the resolution... merely establishes a bureaucratic arm of the World Assembly by creating a committee to receive and publish documents indiscriminately, as submitted by member states in compliance with the resolution,

The use of the word "merely" is factually incorrect. Three counter-examples: (a) the resolution also requires that treaties and international agreements not registered not be invoked, (b) the resolution also requires that nations themselves publish treaties and international agreements, and (c) the resolution also makes "Provisions relating to mandates for secrecy or non-disclosure of the text or existence of past treaties and international agreements" cease to have effect.

Second. Be aware of art.
intentional[] lengthen[ing of] their treaties to include limitless volumes of text [...] or establish[ing of] absurd quantities of treaties

A claim is made below that the target resolution uses the technique described with text above.

Whereas such an alarming technique has already been used within the fourth clause of the resolution[...]

This is factually incorrect, as the length of the target resolution is not limitless nor is the technique employed in absurd quantity. If any quantity is to be ascribed, it would have to be one.

Third. Arbitrary and capricious, Tiberius writes from Capri.
Below is the definition of arbitrary. The third definition on mathematics can be safely set aside.

arbitrary | ˈɑːbɪt(rə)ri |
adjective
1 based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system: an arbitrary decision.
2 (of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority: a country under arbitrary government.
3 Mathematics (of a constant or other quantity) of unspecified value.

A claim is made that a body created by the target "plac[es] unfair and arbitrary restrictions on nations" (penultimate clause, by paragraph numbering). The restrictions are not based on random choice. They are not based on personal whim: the whim of the World Assembly is anything but personal. And the restrictions are not unrestrained and autocratic: the specified requirement is highly controlled and specific nor is the power exercised in relation to a ruler holding absolute power.

Fourth. To the sequitur, ask "Quo vadis?"
I don't actually agree with the following claim. I present it merely so it can be decided upon. This clause:

Believing the doors should remain open to world leaders and their diplomats who would only be willing to work toward a cessation of hostilities in a private forum, achieving steady progress through secret agreements, without fear of retaliation from their own citizenry or members of their own government,

Can be read to imply that the target resolution prevents secret negotiations. The target resolution does not.



Drafting thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=475359
Text of submission:
    The General Assembly,

    Recalling how this chamber has previously affirmed that the nature and influence of secret treaties

    1. pose an encumbrance on government leadership and their staff when members are excluded from an internal cabal to the detriment of making informed decisions,
    2. cloud the realities of a diplomatic situation by presenting whatever conflicting information is necessary to negotiate, establish, and maintain secret treaties, and
    3. create or exploit fractures within or between governments where discrepancies in a nation's foreign policy result in an international crisis,

    Conceding that international agreements, beneficial to their members' stability, security, or economic well-being, can be the products of privately negotiated and established treaties when the challenges of conventional diplomatic exchanges would be politically or culturally insurmountable,

    Believing the doors should remain open to world leaders and their diplomats who would only be willing to work toward a cessation of hostilities in a private forum, achieving steady progress through secret agreements, without fear of retaliation from their own citizenry or members of their own government,

    Concerned that member states who are faced with mounting threats from a neighbouring military power are legislated out of the ability to establish defensive alliances in secret as a means of security against the risk of attack or invasion,

    Lamenting that the resolution, which was sold on the premise of preventing subversive diplomacy, merely establishes a bureaucratic arm of the World Assembly by creating a committee to receive and publish documents indiscriminately, as submitted by member states in compliance with the resolution,

    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,

    The membership of this venerable body, in concluding that such an ineffective branch of its government merely adds paperwork to the desires of bad actors, while placing unfair and arbitrary restrictions on nations that rely on their diplomatic abilities to maintain the peace,

    Hereby repeals GAR#408 "Ban on Secret Treaties".
Target text: viewtopic.php?p=32730345#p32730345

Author: 1 SC and 47 GA resolutions
Maintainer: GA Passed Resolutions
Developer: Communiqué and InfoEurope
GenSec (24 Dec 2021 –); posts not official unless so indicated
Delegate for Europe
Gaius Marcius Blythe
Ideological Bulwark 285, WALL delegate
Twice-commended toxic villainous globalist kittehs

User avatar
Bananaistan
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 3344
Founded: Apr 20, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Bananaistan » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:10 am

GenSec has voted to hear this challenge. As always, opinions from the author of the challenged repeal and the community are welcome.
Last edited by Bananaistan on Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Delegation of the People's Republic of Bananaistan to the World Assembly
Head of delegation and the Permanent Representative: Comrade Ambassador Theodorus "Ted" Hornwood
General Assistant and Head of Security: Comrade Watchman Brian of Tarth
There was the Pope and John F. Kennedy and Jack Charlton and the three of them were staring me in the face.
Ideological Bulwark #281
THIS

User avatar
Refuge Isle
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1079
Founded: Dec 14, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Refuge Isle » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:26 pm

As you wish.

Imperium Anglorum wrote:First. Merely incorrect.

I thought about this exact line when I was drafting it, but passed it off as being overly concerned of every possible semantic angle. The intention of the line in question was (and could have been better served to state) "simply" or a reduction of the effects of the resolution to its simplest terms. I acknowledge that 408 does other things, and so does the text of the repeal.

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Second. Be aware of art.

As I stated in the debate thread, I do not and have not said that you have employed limitless text. That is impossible. The line in the repeal observes that there is no limit to the amount of text that can be included within a treaty so as to obscure its intentions.

You have set a definition through law in plain sight by burying it at the bottom of a resolution with such needlessly grandiose language such to tune people out who may have been overly lax in their mandate to Read the Resolution. This is the technique to which I refer, it is mean to signal to the readers to take another look at 408 and discover the ways in which they have been deceived.

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Third. Arbitrary and capricious, Tiberius writes from Capri.

If your position is that I cannot use the words "arbitrary" to describe a law being set, in my opinion, to no one's benefit on the grounds that the World Assembly is not an individual, then I charge that you intend to set a dangerous precedent where no law can be challenged with any characterisations or opinions of any kind. Perhaps in addition to banning secret treaties, you would like to rules lawyer a functional ban on repeals as well. It is not the first time the word "arbitrary" has been used in a repeal and it is certainly not the last.


Imperium Anglorum wrote:Fourth. To the sequitur, ask "Quo vadis?"

Alas, I do not speak Latin.

Same with the above, a dangerous precedent to be overly strict with characterising a resolution in a repeal. The clause you reference is a statement of belief from the WA, and makes no direct reference to the ways in which your resolution restricts the belief. Still, the scenario mentioned references world leaders making steady progress through a serious of secret treaties that cumulatively build the scenario one or more parties wants, which is something that you would restrict by forcing the treaties to be published when they occur.
Last edited by Refuge Isle on Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ikania wrote:My brother in Christ, please stop posting.

User avatar
PotatoFarmers
Diplomat
 
Posts: 723
Founded: Jun 07, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby PotatoFarmers » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:44 pm

Refuge Isle wrote:As you wish.
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Fourth. To the sequitur, ask "Quo vadis?"

Alas, I do not speak Latin.

Same with the above, a dangerous precedent to be overly strict with characterising a resolution in a repeal. The clause you reference is a statement of belief from the WA, and makes no direct reference to the ways in which your resolution restricts the belief. Still, the scenario mentioned references world leaders making steady progress through a serious of secret treaties that cumulatively build the scenario one or more parties wants, which is something that you would restrict by forcing the treaties to be published when they occur.

I understand where you are coming from, but if you re-read the underlined portion below again, you probably would realise that you are implying that the original proposal does not allow world leaders and diplomats to 'work toward a cessation of hostilities in a private forum'.
Believing the doors should remain open to world leaders and their diplomats who would only be willing to work toward a cessation of hostilities in a private forum,
IC Name: The People's Republic of Poafmersia (Trigram: PFA)
IC Flag: Refer to my flag with my IC nation Poafmersia, though that nation's RP will be done with this account.

David Jossiah Beckingham, Chairman of Poafmersia's World Assembly Board (and officially the main representative to the WA)

Citizen of The North Pacific
Ambassador to Europe.
Speaker, The North Pacific

Sportswire. Achievements: BoF 71 Bronze; IAC X and IAC XI Champions
WCC Football (Post-WC90) - 31st, with 22.89, Style: +3.14159
Get the latest from WCQ91 here: https://bit.ly/NSSWCQ91

User avatar
Separatist Peoples
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 16757
Founded: Feb 17, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Separatist Peoples » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:09 pm

I am inclined to agree with the first and third arguments. The second is unconvincing. The author seems to make a credible argument that such a tactic would be possible, if unlikely.

The third argument is only somewhat convincing. I'm willing to give our GA wordsmiths generous latitude in their rhetoric. Arbitrary literally has a specific meaning, but there are unquestionably subjective flavors in its application. I would enjoy a WA so precise as to easily convey meaning without grandiosity, but I dare to dream. Some imprecision in rhetorical presentation must be tolerated until the Singularity.

The last argument is right out. It's just not operative.
Last edited by Separatist Peoples on Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

His Worshipfulness Lord GA Secretariat, Authority on All Existence, Arbiter of Right, Toxic Globalist Dog, Dark Psychic Vampire, and Chief Populist Elitist!
Separatist Peoples should RESIGN!

User avatar
Imperium Anglorum
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 11489
Founded: Aug 26, 2013
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Imperium Anglorum » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:21 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:I am inclined to agree with the first and third arguments. The second is unconvincing. The author seems to make a credible argument that such a tactic would be possible, if unlikely.

Aha, but the author then makes in the next clause the claim that "such [a] tactic" is used in the proposal. Under the definitions given by the author, that is not so, on arguments given.

Separatist Peoples wrote:The last argument is right out. It's just not operative.

I concur.

Author: 1 SC and 47 GA resolutions
Maintainer: GA Passed Resolutions
Developer: Communiqué and InfoEurope
GenSec (24 Dec 2021 –); posts not official unless so indicated
Delegate for Europe
Gaius Marcius Blythe
Ideological Bulwark 285, WALL delegate
Twice-commended toxic villainous globalist kittehs

User avatar
Imperium Anglorum
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 11489
Founded: Aug 26, 2013
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Imperium Anglorum » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:28 pm

Refuge Isle wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:First. Merely incorrect.

I thought about this exact line when I was drafting it, but passed it off as being overly concerned of every possible semantic angle. The intention of the line in question was (and could have been better served to state) "simply" or a reduction of the effects of the resolution to its simplest terms. I acknowledge that 408 does other things, and so does the text of the repeal.

Cool, your clause doesn't say that.

Refuge Isle wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Second. Be aware of art.

As I stated in the debate thread, I do not and have not said that you have employed limitless text. That is impossible. The line in the repeal observes that there is no limit to the amount of text that can be included within a treaty so as to obscure its intentions.

You have set a definition through law in plain sight by burying it at the bottom of a resolution with such needlessly grandiose language such to tune people out who may have been overly lax in their mandate to Read the Resolution. This is the technique to which I refer, it is mean to signal to the readers to take another look at 408 and discover the ways in which they have been deceived.

Cool, your clause doesn't say that.

Refuge Isle wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Third. Arbitrary and capricious, Tiberius writes from Capri.

If your position is that I cannot use the words "arbitrary" to describe a law being set, in my opinion, to no one's benefit on the grounds that the World Assembly is not an individual, then I charge that you intend to set a dangerous precedent where no law can be challenged with any characterisations or opinions of any kind. Perhaps in addition to banning secret treaties, you would like to rules lawyer a functional ban on repeals as well. It is not the first time the word "arbitrary" has been used in a repeal and it is certainly not the last.

Your entire rebuttal is wrapped in an "If". I say to that question, "No". But to be substantively engaging, making false claims as to the contents of a resolution is illegal. And words have meaning. US dollars may be green, but they are not pink. Arbitrary has a specific meaning, using it to describe something that is not arbitrary falls outside the Honest Mistake rule.

Refuge Isle wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:Fourth. To the sequitur, ask "Quo vadis?"

Alas, I do not speak Latin.

Same with the above, a dangerous precedent to be overly strict with characterising a resolution in a repeal. The clause you reference is a statement of belief from the WA, and makes no direct reference to the ways in which your resolution restricts the belief. Still, the scenario mentioned references world leaders making steady progress through a serious of secret treaties that cumulatively build the scenario one or more parties wants, which is something that you would restrict by forcing the treaties to be published when they occur.

Nolo contendere.

Author: 1 SC and 47 GA resolutions
Maintainer: GA Passed Resolutions
Developer: Communiqué and InfoEurope
GenSec (24 Dec 2021 –); posts not official unless so indicated
Delegate for Europe
Gaius Marcius Blythe
Ideological Bulwark 285, WALL delegate
Twice-commended toxic villainous globalist kittehs

User avatar
Refuge Isle
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1079
Founded: Dec 14, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Refuge Isle » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:32 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:Arbitrary has a specific meaning, using it to describe something that is not arbitrary falls outside the Honest Mistake rule.

I'm not particularly interested in entertaining a semantics breakdown of the technical application of a word when its colloquial use is just fine and its precedent of being acceptable as a description to challenge a resolution in an appeal is already established. If I wrote a draft that said the moon was white, would you take issue and say "It's more of an eggshell white, you can take a picture and pull the hex codes..."

Cool, your clause doesn't say that. (instance 1)

I concede that the statement says "merely" instead of "simply" and if I could exchange the words, I would. Given that the resolution goes on to give other arguments, I find your complaint that it, therefore, misrepresents the original resolution by defining every problem solely in terms of this one clause to be very strange.


Aha, but the author then makes in the next clause the claim that "such [a] tactic" is used in the proposal. Under the definitions given by the author, that is not so, on arguments given.[/i]

You have to add a great deal of unwritten specifics to "Whereas such an alarming technique" with extremely literal interpretations in order to make the jump that I have said that you have some how used all possible words and, I assume, are still writing, in order to bury clause 4. In reality, if an unrelated joke clause that serves no purpose other than to flip off the WA appears in the last line of a resolution, that is about as close to "in order to obfuscate the agreement's true purpose during publication" as can be had in the WA from an IC standpoint. Or even OoC really.
Last edited by Refuge Isle on Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Ikania wrote:My brother in Christ, please stop posting.

User avatar
Sierra Lyricalia
GA Secretariat
 
Posts: 4177
Founded: Nov 29, 2008
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:13 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:I would enjoy a WA so precise as to easily convey meaning without grandiosity...

In such a WA the only participants would be lawyer-bots. I find the orcs as tiresome as the next guy, but... lemme see here... (paws through puppet lists to find God nation to boom in stentorian tones) frickin' live a little, my son!

Some imprecision in rhetorical presentation must be tolerated until the Singularity.

Quite. My impression of "arbitrary" as used in repeal arguments is that it has undergone a meaning expansion rather similar to the one George Orwell alleges of the word "fascist." I'm not particularly convinced by the third argument of this challenge.

...Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.
- Horizon, "Politics and the English Language" April 1946


It will be seen that, as used, the word "Fascism" is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
- Tribune, "As I Please" 24 March 1944 ("What is Fascism?")
Principal-Agent, Anarchy; Squadron Admiral, The Red Fleet
The Semi-Honorable Leonid Berkman Pavonis
Author: 354 GA / Issues 436, 451, 724
Ambassador Pro Tem
Tech Level: Complicated (or not: 7/0/6 i.e. 12) / RP Details
.
Jerk, Ideological Deviant, Roach, MT Army stooge, & "red [who] do[es]n't read" (various)
.
Illustrious Bum #279


User avatar
Sciongrad
Minister
 
Posts: 3060
Founded: Mar 11, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Sciongrad » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:51 pm

*** General Assembly Secretariat Decision ***
Challenged Proposal: Repeal "Ban on Secret Treaties"
Date of Decision: 5 July 2020
Decision: Proposal is illegal, 6-0
Rules Applied: Honest Mistake

Majority Opinion (Sierra Lyricalia)
Joined by Bananaistan, Grays Harbor, Sciongrad and Separatist Peoples; Bears Armed joined with respect to count one.

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.


Concurring Opinion (Sciongrad)
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.
Last edited by Sciongrad on Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
Natalia Santos, Plenipotentiary and Permanent Scionite Representative to the World Assembly


Ideological Bulwark #271



Advertisement

Remove ads

Return to General Assembly

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Chacheckastan, Princess Rainbow Sparkles

Advertisement

Remove ads