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[CHALLENGE AT-VOTE] Repeal: “On Scientific Cooperation”

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Merni
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[CHALLENGE AT-VOTE] Repeal: “On Scientific Cooperation”

Postby Merni » Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:09 am

At the outset: I sincerely regret posting this challenge when the proposal is already at vote. I have not been reading the GA forums and looking at upcoming proposals, so I only read this when it went to vote.

Challenged proposal: Repeal: “On Scientific Cooperation”
Hulldom wrote:

Repeal: “On Scientific Cooperation”

Category: Repeal | Target: GAR#322


The General Assembly,

Recognizing the noble goal of [resolution=GA#322]GAR#322: “On Scientific Cooperation”[/resolution] to promote scientific cooperation among the august member states of the World Assembly;

Believing, however, that there are several flaws with this legislation,

Finds as follows:
  1. Clause 1(a)’s reference to “any and all publicly available scientific literature”, given the lack of constraint on the word “scientific”, includes literature that fails to meet the standards of peer review and, given the lack of a catchment, pseudo-scientific literature published in journals with low evidentiary or replicability standards.
  2. Clause 1(b)’s collection of “all data relevant to it’s mandate” is so vague as to be unviable. The sheer amount of, wide variety of sources of, these data, presents a problem unavoidable given the lack of constraint on the literature collected in 1(a). Unscientific and pseudo-scientific data collection will find its way into the World Assembly Scientific Programme (WASP) archive as a result.
  3. That this resolution fails to take into account the censorship of materials given clause 1(c)’s notation that materials may not be disseminated if they are “illegal under extant national or sub national law”. States could make parts of scientific study illegal and thus prevent the dissemination of materials from the WASP regarding the scientific consensus. Thus, the failure to consider malicious states misrepresenting scientific data undermines the goals of this resolution.
  4. There is no mechanism for WASP to make critical claims regarding settled scientific fact or propagate new ideas beyond sharing them for peer review as in 1(d). Additionally, the lack of blindness in the peer review process provided, since WASP disseminates the data to all member states, raises the possibility of bias–a possibility which undermines the credibility of results obtained by WASP-facilitated peer review or data sharing.
  5. This legislation presents no mandate on member states, only facilitating their potential cooperation.
Therefore, the General Assembly repeals GAR#322: “On Scientific Cooperation”.

Thread: here

Rule: Honest Mistake

Clauses in question:
Clause 3 of the challenged resolution:
That this resolution fails to take into account the censorship of materials given clause 1(c)’s notation that materials may not be disseminated if they are “illegal under extant national or sub national law”. States could make parts of scientific study illegal and thus prevent the dissemination of materials from the WASP regarding the scientific consensus. Thus, the failure to consider malicious states misrepresenting scientific data undermines the goals of this resolution.

Clause 1(c) of the repeal target:
Hereby tasks the WASP with the following mandate; [...] To disseminate to any citizen of any member nation of this assembly any of this literature upon request excepting only that which is illegal under extant national or sub national law.

Clauses 1(a) and 3 of resolution 436 "Protecting Free Expression":
Defines, for the sake of this resolution, the following terms:

"free expression" as the ability to outwardly demonstrate, articulate, or otherwise express a political, cultural, social, moral, religious, ideological or other belief without fear of state punishment or reprisal,
[...]
Prohibits member states from hindering the right of individuals to free expression, excepting the restrictions established in section 2, and restrictions required to fulfill the mandates of WA legislation, or restrictions permitted in future, unrepealed WA legislation,


Argument:
I contend that there is no way for member states to "make parts of scientific study illegal and thus prevent the dissemination of materials from the WASP regarding the scientific consensus" that would not contradict resolution 436. This would be a restriction on the freedom of expression of the author of such a study, that would not be covered under clause 2 of resolution 436, and hence illegal under clause 3 of the same resolution. Resolution 436 does not cover freedom of expression for non-individuals, but this is (I argue) irrelevant here as the WASP is only disseminating studies and not authoring them.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:30 am

Your argument hinges on interpretation and enforcement of a second resolution, but the text is clear that the target fails to address this, not that WA law so fails. It's a very narrow phrasing that makes the proposal legal to my mind. I'm reminded of repeal FtSMC's challenge.

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Postby Merni » Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:42 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:Your argument hinges on interpretation and enforcement of a second resolution, but the text is clear that the target fails to address this, not that WA law so fails. It's a very narrow phrasing that makes the proposal legal to my mind. I'm reminded of repeal FtSMC's challenge.

But surely, "the resolution fails to address this issue" is an irrelevant repeal argument when the issue is addressed by an existing resolution in force? Is there an obligation on a resolution to address issues that have already been addressed by other resolutions?

Edit: Also, regardless of that, the sentence "States could make parts of scientific study illegal and thus prevent the dissemination of materials from the WASP regarding the scientific consensus." reads to me as a statement that addresses the state of law in general. "States could ..." is not true due to resolution 436 existing. (Neither was it true when the target was enacted, due to resolution 30 existing.)
Last edited by Merni on Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Jan 03, 2022 8:52 am

Merni wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:Your argument hinges on interpretation and enforcement of a second resolution, but the text is clear that the target fails to address this, not that WA law so fails. It's a very narrow phrasing that makes the proposal legal to my mind. I'm reminded of repeal FtSMC's challenge.

But surely, "the resolution fails to address this issue" is an irrelevant repeal argument when the issue is addressed by an existing resolution in force? Is there an obligation on a resolution to address issues that have already been addressed by other resolutions?

Edit: Also, regardless of that, the sentence "States could make parts of scientific study illegal and thus prevent the dissemination of materials from the WASP regarding the scientific consensus." reads to me as a statement that addresses the state of law in general. "States could ..." is not true due to resolution 436 existing. (Neither was it true when the target was enacted, due to resolution 30 existing.)


But the rule doesn't ask us to find an interpretation of other resolutions, just one of the target. Further, 436, by the quoted section, explicitly allows the potential for future restrictions. The repeal argues on the basis of what states could do. That is sufficient by my reading.

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Postby Merni » Mon Jan 03, 2022 9:02 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:But the rule doesn't ask us to find an interpretation of other resolutions, just one of the target.

I don't understand what you mean here. Are you saying that, in general, a repeal can argue "the target does not address X issue" when the said issue is already addressed by an extant, maybe long-lasting, resolution?
Further, 436, by the quoted section, explicitly allows the potential for future restrictions. The repeal argues on the basis of what states could do. That is sufficient by my reading.

So? There don't seem to be any such future restrictions that are relevant here. Further, such future restrictions on free expression are enacted by the WA, not by individual states.

I've also taken the time to read Repeal FtSMC's challenge.
Bananaistan wrote:GAR#97 – Quality in Health Services
The entirety of the relevant clause in the challenged repeal is “Dismayed that the resolution, which allows member states to pass the cost of treatment onto medical tourists under Clause 5, fails to account for GAR#97, Quality in Health Services, which requires member states provide a certain level of health coverage for those who cannot afford it, free of cost;”

The challenger argues that this is an honest mistake. The target “does not authorize nations to fail to provide their residents with the level of care required by [GAR#97] Quality in Health Services” and that as the target sets out the right to travel abroad for medical treatment “there is nothing for [the target] to fail to account for in [GAR#97] Quality in Health Services”.

Clause 5 of the target is: “Declares that patients seeking medical care or treatment under this act are financially responsible for any costs not compensated by existing laws in their home nation, and that such travel and payment must be arranged by the person(s) seeking treatment, or by their legal guardians or representation.”

As claimed in the challenged repeal, it is a statement of fact that GAR#97: Quality in Health Services requires that “member states provide a certain level of health coverage for those who cannot afford it, free of cost;”. The target’s provisions about the costs of medical treatment and who pays them are an added layer of complexity on top of the funding mechanism laid out in GAR#97: Quality in Health Services. It is not unreasonable for the repeal to have drawn attention to this. We find that this is not an honest mistake.

This seems to be entirely the opposite of the argument here. The repeal in that case said that its target was "added layer of complexity on top of the funding mechanism laid out in GAR#97: Quality in Health Services. It is not unreasonable for the repeal to have drawn attention to this.". In this case the repeal ignores the existence of other resolutions that address the same issue while saying that its target doesn't address the issue.
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Mon Jan 03, 2022 9:53 am

Much as I dislike the precedent, GenSec has ruled before that a repeal may state that its target does not address a major issue, even if that issue is already handily taken care of by other WA legislation. To wit, Repeal "Freedom to Seek Medical Care". Going by simple precedent, and since the challenged proposal is already at vote, there is no Honest Mistake here.

Unless my colleagues' views have changed in the intervening time.

But for a settled matter even I would be leery of discarding something that's already being voted on.


EDIT:

Merni wrote:This seems to be entirely the opposite of the argument here. The repeal in that case said that its target was "added layer of complexity on top of the funding mechanism laid out in GAR#97: Quality in Health Services. It is not unreasonable for the repeal to have drawn attention to this.". In this case the repeal ignores the existence of other resolutions that address the same issue while saying that its target doesn't address the issue.


Have a look at the other piece of this, the one I dissented on: the allegation that the target doesn't take steps to reduce the risk of epidemics. It's irrelevant IMO, but not an Honest Mistake according to the ruling.
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Postby Princess Rainbow Sparkles » Mon Jan 03, 2022 10:05 am

I just posted on the repeal proposal's At Vote thread questioning the proposal's legality. I'll reprise the argument below for Gen Sec's consideration in this Challenge thread.
After careful consideration, I must vote AGAINST this repeal effort. I must also ask whether it is ILLEGAL under the present interpretation of the Honest Mistake Rule.

This repeal includes irrelevant arguments and multiple factual misrepresentations, which I cannot support. Repeal Clause 5 says we should repeal because OSC doesn't impose mandates and instead 'only facilitates potential cooperation.' Even assuming the allegation were true, that's not a good reason for repeal and not a direction I think we should be going when evaluating what makes a good WA law. Perhaps more importantly, it is a blatant factual misrepresentation to say that OSC "presents no mandate on member states." OSC has the following clause imposing a mandate on WA nations: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law." Saying OSC places "no mandate" on members is obviously false. It should be ruled an Honest Mistake, given how that rule is currently being interpreted.

The point of Repeal Clause 1 is to complain that OSC does not 'constrain' what "scientific" means. However, OSC defines "scientific" literature as "scientific publications such as journals or books that report or review original empirical and theoretical work or research in the natural and social sciences or within a given scientific field." I think that's clear enough about the scope. Repeal Clause 1 goes on to claim that, without further definition, "scientific" could be interpreted to include "pseudoscience." This is a false statement. By definition, pseudoscience is not science. To be considered pseudoscience, a belief or practice must be incompatible with the scientific method. There is no possible definition of pseudoscience in which it is included in the realm of actual science. I don't see how you can fairly claim that further definition is needed in order for "scientific" to exclude something which, by definition, is not scientific. Consistent with current interpretation of the Honest Mistake Rule, it's a misrepresentation to claim that OSC's scientific literature "includes... pseudoscientific literature."

Repeal Clause 2 suffers from similar, and more aggressive, misrepresentation. OSC says WASP will receive from member nations "all data relevant to it’s mandate." The mandate in question is the overall goal of "collect[ing] and archiv[ing] copies of any and all publicly available scientific literature." Repeal Clause 2 claims that "Unscientific and pseudo-scientific data collection will find its way into the World Assembly Scientific Programme (WASP) archive as a result." By definition, unscientific data and pseudo-scientific data would not be data relevant to a mandate of collecting available scientific literature. That is especially true for UNSCIENTIFIC data! It is a misrepresentation to claim that, because of OSC's mandate to receive and collect scientific data, unscientific data "will find its way" into the archive. Again, it should be ruled an Honest Mistake, given how that rule is currently being interpreted. (See the recent ruling on the legality of "Repeal CPA").

Repeal Clause 4 argues we should repeal OSC because it did not empower WASP to make commentary on the literature it archives and publishes. We are to believe this is inherently a flaw. However, to the extent the repeal author really cared about having a WASP critical review program, that could be accomplished via further legislation without repealing OSC. It is therefore not a logical basis for repeal. Clause 4 goes on to argue that because OSC creates a process for facilitating international peer review, without explicitly mandating that any peer review facilitated by the WA must include "blindness," it "raises the possibility of bias." However, OSC specifically requires that "any new theorems and experimental data submitted to WASP shall be disseminated to all member nations for the purpose of unbiased peer review." OSC is required to spread literature and data around so member nations can review it through their own unbiased processes. So I am not persuaded that, despite the clear purpose statement, there is a colorable risk of OSC fostering scientific bias. Overall, I'm not sure which side of the Honest Mistake Rule this claim is on. In any event, I consider the allegations of Clause 4 to be at best unfounded fear mongering, combined with the classic fallacy of complaining that the resolution doesn't do something that could easily be done without a repeal.

FWIW, I do agree with the argument made in the Repeal Clause 3. OSC does a disservice by calling on WASP to censor scientific works from the public if a member nation declares those materials illegal. However I cannot cast my vote for a repeal proposal unless the Princess stands behind each and every one of the claims.

Edit: In order to make it a little more straightforward where the legality problems arise, I'll summarize briefly:

1. Repeal Clause 5 contains the most obvious Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC "presents no mandate on member states." In fact, OSC places the following direct mandate on member states: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law."

2. Repeal Clause 1 contains an Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC's scientific literature "includes... pseudo-scientific literature." Pseudoscience is, by definition, not included in science.

3. Repeal Clause 2 contains an Honest Mistake by claiming that unscientific data "will find its way" into WASP's archives as a result of OSC's receiving all data relevant to its mandate of collecting and preserving scientific literature. It is simply false to say that unscientific data will necessarily be included ("will find its way") into an archive for scientific literature.
Last edited by Princess Rainbow Sparkles on Mon Jan 03, 2022 10:37 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Jan 03, 2022 10:51 am

Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:
1. Repeal Clause 5 contains the most obvious Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC "presents no mandate on member states." In fact, OSC places the following direct mandate on member states: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law."


But for the nested list formatting, I would agree right here. The text you cite says exactly this, but it is part of a nested list of directives to the committee. Thus, the text clearly authorizes that as a task for the committee. While gensec will avoid absurd interpretations, we can't do so at the cost of ignoring the text, including its formatting, which is as relevant to textual interpretation as, say, punctuation.

2. Repeal Clause 1 contains an Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC's scientific literature "includes... pseudo-scientific literature." Pseudoscience is, by definition, not included in science.

This has almost the opposite problem: while it may be technically correct, I'm not convinced that a misuse of a term in this way affects the interpretation enough to be an HM. I think there's a colorable application of the term's plain meaning here that saves it.

3. Repeal Clause 2 contains an Honest Mistake by claiming that unscientific data "will find its way" into WASP's archives as a result of OSC's receiving all data relevant to its mandate of collecting and preserving scientific literature. It is simply false to say that unscientific data will necessarily be included ("will find its way") into an archive for scientific literature.


Relevance is a very broad classification. By way of example, in legal practice, relevance often includes info otherwise inadmissible. It's perhaps tenuous, but colorable, based on the term, that the ambit of WASP may be overinclusive.

While these are all excellent examples of places the author could have drastically improved his repeal, I just don't think they rise to the level of HM give the presumption of legality for repeals.

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Postby Princess Rainbow Sparkles » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:04 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:
Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:
1. Repeal Clause 5 contains the most obvious Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC "presents no mandate on member states." In fact, OSC places the following direct mandate on member states: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law."


But for the nested list formatting, I would agree right here. The text you cite says exactly this, but it is part of a nested list of directives to the committee. Thus, the text clearly authorizes that as a task for the committee. While gensec will avoid absurd interpretations, we can't do so at the cost of ignoring the text, including its formatting, which is as relevant to textual interpretation as, say, punctuation.

I feel compelled to raise an immediate "Oh, come on!" to the above. Formatting quibbles aside, the OSC plainly puts a mandate on member nations to cooperate with WASP by supplying all relevant data. The Repeal Clause 2 even complains about the implications of that mandate. How are you going to let a repeal get away with an unqualified claim that a resolution presents no mandate on member nations when the resolution so obviously puts a mandate on member nations?! I think the HM rule is over applied, but what the hell is the point of the rule if not to prevent flagrant and obvious misstatements like that?

I want to hear how the rest of Gen Sec feel about this, and I'll save any remaining response until others have chimed in. But I felt the need to immediately speak up on that point. Carry on.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:12 am

As to Merni's challenge, I agree with Sep.

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:33 am

Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:
But for the nested list formatting, I would agree right here. The text you cite says exactly this, but it is part of a nested list of directives to the committee. Thus, the text clearly authorizes that as a task for the committee. While gensec will avoid absurd interpretations, we can't do so at the cost of ignoring the text, including its formatting, which is as relevant to textual interpretation as, say, punctuation.

I feel compelled to raise an immediate "Oh, come on!" to the above. Formatting quibbles aside, the OSC plainly puts a mandate on member nations to cooperate with WASP by supplying all relevant data. The Repeal Clause 2 even complains about the implications of that mandate. How are you going to let a repeal get away with an unqualified claim that a resolution presents no mandate on member nations when the resolution so obviously puts a mandate on member nations?! I think the HM rule is over applied, but what the hell is the point of the rule if not to prevent flagrant and obvious misstatements like that?

I want to hear how the rest of Gen Sec feel about this, and I'll save any remaining response until others have chimed in. But I felt the need to immediately speak up on that point. Carry on.


Formatting organizes thoughts and is directly relevant to interpretation and meaning. Either that applies or it doesn't.

I agree, it's incredibly technical, but the only way to read it without disregarding formatting entirely is that the mandated clause is itself assigned as a duty to the committee and not an obligation on nations. We can't invent meanings inconsistent with text and grammar. This is another example of bad law sometimes being legal.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:40 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:
1. Repeal Clause 5 contains the most obvious Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC "presents no mandate on member states." In fact, OSC places the following direct mandate on member states: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law."


But for the nested list formatting, I would agree right here. The text you cite says exactly this, but it is part of a nested list of directives to the committee. Thus, the text clearly authorizes that as a task for the committee. While gensec will avoid absurd interpretations, we can't do so at the cost of ignoring the text, including its formatting, which is as relevant to textual interpretation as, say, punctuation.

I agree as to this portion. Formatting is a permissible indicator of meaning, especially when determining the scope of this subpart. While the best reading is probably one which ignores the formatting to (effectively) rewrite the statute in light of ordinary meaning and grammar, it is not sufficiently strong to entirely preclude this other interpretation.

Separatist Peoples wrote:
2. Repeal Clause 1 contains an Honest Mistake by claiming that OSC's scientific literature "includes... pseudo-scientific literature." Pseudoscience is, by definition, not included in science.

This has almost the opposite problem: while it may be technically correct, I'm not convinced that a misuse of a term in this way affects the interpretation enough to be an HM. I think there's a colorable application of the term's plain meaning here that saves it.

3. Repeal Clause 2 contains an Honest Mistake by claiming that unscientific data "will find its way" into WASP's archives as a result of OSC's receiving all data relevant to its mandate of collecting and preserving scientific literature. It is simply false to say that unscientific data will necessarily be included ("will find its way") into an archive for scientific literature.

Relevance is a very broad classification. By way of example, in legal practice, relevance often includes info otherwise inadmissible. It's perhaps tenuous, but colorable, based on the term, that the ambit of WASP may be overinclusive.

While these are all excellent examples of places the author could have drastically improved his repeal, I just don't think they rise to the level of HM give the presumption of legality for repeals.

I agree also with Sep on this matter.

Edits (addenda). On the second point, the ordinary meaning of 'pseudoscience' is

pseudoscience | ˈsjuːdəʊˌsʌɪəns |
noun
a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method

The claim that pseudoscience is included in scientific literature is really a relfection that future replication is not guaranteed. I cannot say that I would be willing to rule on this issue in a way which grants the committee a super-human ability to determine truth (or that the committee is some perfect arbiter of truth).

As to the third point, the replication crisis along with outright academic fraud is well-attested in scientific fields. Never mind that what's being asked here is basically for GenSec to determine whether there is a factual basis for 'unscientific' data to find its way into a scientific literature database, it's just very plausible; I don't buy that would be an honest mistake either at the burdens or merits level.
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Postby Princess Rainbow Sparkles » Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:22 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:
But for the nested list formatting, I would agree right here. The text you cite says exactly this, but it is part of a nested list of directives to the committee. Thus, the text clearly authorizes that as a task for the committee. While gensec will avoid absurd interpretations, we can't do so at the cost of ignoring the text, including its formatting, which is as relevant to textual interpretation as, say, punctuation.

I agree as to this portion. Formatting is a permissible indicator of meaning, especially when determining the scope of this subpart. While the best reading is probably one which ignores the formatting to (effectively) rewrite the statute in light of ordinary meaning and grammar, it is not sufficiently strong to entirely preclude this other interpretation.

Unreal.

Text of target: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law"
Repeal: "This legislation presents no mandate on member states"
Two Gen Sec members: "Yep"

Even considering formatting, there's no way to pretend that OSC places "no mandate" on member states. "Requires all WA members to [do a mandatory thing to assist WASP]" is the plain language of the law. Your argument is that, by organizing that requirement as a subpart of "1. Hereby tasks the WASP with the following mandate," this provision becomes a duty of WASP. Okay, so if WASP is mandated to "require[] all WA members [to cooperate and supply info]," then there is still a mandate on WA nations - one enforced by WASP. There really is no way to ignore the fact that - at the end of the day - the plain language of OSC requires WA members to do something. Claiming that OSC doesn't place any mandates on member nations is simply and unavoidably false.

I've said my peace on it. If the forgoing doesn't convince a majority of you, I'll just resign myself to watching another counterintuitive enforcement of the HM rule play out. But ignoring so obvious a violation as this would be, just, wow. I think Gen Sec should require this author to re-write the repeal in a way that does not misrepresent the plain text of the target. I think inventing highly technical justifications about formatting (ones which do not really avoid the fact that, at the end of the day, OSC imposes a cooperation and information delivery mandate on member nations) just to avoid reckoning with such an obvious a misstatement does no good.

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:27 pm

Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:I agree as to this portion. Formatting is a permissible indicator of meaning, especially when determining the scope of this subpart. While the best reading is probably one which ignores the formatting to (effectively) rewrite the statute in light of ordinary meaning and grammar, it is not sufficiently strong to entirely preclude this other interpretation.

Unreal.

Text of target: "Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law"
Repeal: "This legislation presents no mandate on member states"
Two Gen Sec members: "Yep"

Even considering formatting, there's no way to pretend that OSC places "no mandate" on member states. "Requires all WA members to [do a mandatory thing to assist WASP]" is the plain language of the law. Your argument is that, by organizing that requirement as a subpart of "1. Hereby tasks the WASP with the following mandate," this provision becomes a duty of WASP. Okay, so if WASP is mandated to "require[] all WA members [to cooperate and supply info]," then there is still a mandate on WA nations - one enforced by WASP. There really is no way to ignore the fact that - at the end of the day - the plain language of OSC requires WA members to do something. Claiming that OSC doesn't place any mandates on member nations is simply and unavoidably false.

I've said my peace on it. If the forgoing doesn't convince a majority of you, I'll just resign myself to watching another counterintuitive enforcement of the HM rule play out. But ignoring so obvious a violation as this would be, just, wow. I think Gen Sec should require this author to re-write the repeal in a way that does not misrepresent the plain text of the target. I think inventing highly technical justifications about formatting (ones which do not really avoid the fact that, at the end of the day, OSC imposes a cooperation and information delivery mandate on member nations) just to avoid reckoning with such an obvious a misstatement does no good.

Tasking a committee to require something is only a mandate on nations if nations are required in some capacity to cooperate. As such, it cannot justify itself as a mandate as organized.

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Postby Xanthorrhoea » Mon Jan 03, 2022 6:43 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:Tasking a committee to require something is only a mandate on nations if nations are required in some capacity to cooperate. As such, it cannot justify itself as a mandate as organized.


Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP…

Doesn’t this constitute a requirement for WA members to cooperate?

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Mon Jan 03, 2022 7:43 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:Tasking a committee to require something is only a mandate on nations if nations are required in some capacity to cooperate. As such, it cannot justify itself as a mandate as organized.


This would require that the WA not have the power to delegate authority to its committees. Thus any committee created without an explicit instruction by the WA - outside of the clause creating the committee - to member states that they must abide by the committee's authority, does not have any power to compel member states to cooperate with or obey it in any capacity. That strikes me as absurd.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Jan 04, 2022 12:54 am

Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:Your argument is that, by organizing that requirement as a subpart of "1. Hereby tasks the WASP with the following mandate," this provision becomes a duty of WASP. Okay, so if WASP is mandated to "require[] all WA members [to cooperate and supply info]," then there is still a mandate on WA nations - one enforced by WASP. There really is no way to ignore the fact that - at the end of the day - the plain language of OSC requires WA members to do something. Claiming that OSC doesn't place any mandates on member nations is simply and unavoidably false.
Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:Tasking a committee to require something is only a mandate on nations if nations are required in some capacity to cooperate. As such, it cannot justify itself as a mandate as organized.

This would require that the WA not have the power to delegate authority to its committees. Thus any committee created without an explicit instruction by the WA - outside of the clause creating the committee - to member states that they must abide by the committee's authority, does not have any power to compel member states to cooperate with or obey it in any capacity. That strikes me as absurd.

This is a good point. I had earlier conceived of the committee action in terms something done separately from a resolution mandate per the traditional strip-out committees test. If the community is willing to accept that committees can give rise to an effect by itself – ie a committee can give statistical effect to a proposal without additional action – we shouldn't set a precedent that would create a logical incongruence.

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Merni
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Postby Merni » Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:36 am

Xanthorrhoea wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:Tasking a committee to require something is only a mandate on nations if nations are required in some capacity to cooperate. As such, it cannot justify itself as a mandate as organized.


Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP…

Doesn’t this constitute a requirement for WA members to cooperate?

I agree with this. The full text is
1) Hereby tasks the WASP with the following mandate;

(a) To collect and archive copies of any and all publicly available scientific literature with the aim of preserving and protecting it for use now and in the future excepting only that which is illegal under extant WA law.
(b) Requires all WA members to cooperate with the WASP by supplying it with all data relevant to it's mandate within extant national and subnational law.
(c) To disseminate to any citizen of any member nation of this assembly any of this literature upon request excepting only that which is illegal under extant national or sub national law.
[...]

It is not clear that clause (b) is a task of the WASP, rather than a direct mandate to member states.


Sierra Lyricalia wrote:Much as I dislike the precedent, GenSec has ruled before that a repeal may state that its target does not address a major issue, even if that issue is already handily taken care of by other WA legislation. To wit, Repeal "Freedom to Seek Medical Care". Going by simple precedent, and since the challenged proposal is already at vote, there is no Honest Mistake here.
[...]
EDIT:

Merni wrote:This seems to be entirely the opposite of the argument here. The repeal in that case said that its target was "added layer of complexity on top of the funding mechanism laid out in GAR#97: Quality in Health Services. It is not unreasonable for the repeal to have drawn attention to this.". In this case the repeal ignores the existence of other resolutions that address the same issue while saying that its target doesn't address the issue.


Have a look at the other piece of this, the one I dissented on: the allegation that the target doesn't take steps to reduce the risk of epidemics. It's irrelevant IMO, but not an Honest Mistake according to the ruling.
The relevant part of the ruling (underlining supplied):
Epidemics and risk
The repeal claims “that the resolution makes no attempt to reduce risks imposed by epidemics, threatening well-intended nations with the risk of being overwhelmed by infected nonresidents and being unable to appropriately quarantine them;".

The challenger argues that this is an honest mistake. As the target remains silent on the matter, there is no additional threat or risk to nations as they remain in control of medical related immigration and temporary inward travel.

The initial part of the relevant clause in the repeal, “that the resolution makes no attempt to reduce risks imposed by epidemics,” is a statement of fact. The resolution is indeed silent on the matter. However, we find that a repeal can reasonably claim that a target did not deal with a matter which was very relevant to the topic of the resolution, when the resolution factually did not. In this case, issues around epidemics and quarantines are relevant to the subject matter of the target.

The second part of the relevant clause in the repeal, “threatening well-intended nations with the risk of being overwhelmed by infected nonresidents and being unable to appropriately quarantine them”, bears further examination. It is possible to imagine a situation where infected medical tourists may be able to leave a nation prior to or during the outbreak of an epidemic and before they are quarantined by the home nation (under GAR#389: Rights Of The Quarantined). The well-intentioned receiving nations which had maintained an open border for incoming medical tourists under the target might be inundated with infectees. It just might even be overwhelmed.

Although it would appear that this may be an outlandish or unlikely interpretation, it is possible. As the target did not address the issue, there is some small element of a potential increased risk. It falls within the allowable embellishments and exaggerations under the honest mistake rule. Thus we find that this is not an honest mistake.

There are three points of difference that I note between this and the current case:
  1. The issue of epidemics and quarantine is "very relevant to the topic of the resolution" on a freedom to seek medical care in other resolutions. I argue that the issue of censorship is not "very relevant" to a resolution on scientific co-operation, especially when a pre-existing resolution solves that issue. (Censorship is not more relevant to scientific co-operation than it is to anything that involves public expression, and that is a vast field.)
  2. The target not addressing the issue left "some small element of a potential increased risk", thereby justifying the repeal's statement as an "embellishment or exaggeration". This is not the case here, as 436 explicitly rules out any possibility of a member state instituting censorship of the kind envisaged by the repeal here (at least without another WA resolution carving out an exception for that purpose.) In other words: In that case, the issue that the repeal pointed out did exist and was not solved by the target. In this case, the issue being pointed out by the repeal does not exist in the form stated by the repeal, as it has been dealt with by 436.
  3. There is a difference in how the clauses in question were framed:
    In that case:
    Appalled that the resolution makes no attempt to reduce risks imposed by epidemics, threatening well-intended nations with the risk of being overwhelmed by infected nonresidents and being unable to appropriately quarantine them;

    In this case:
    That this resolution fails to take into account the censorship of materials given clause 1(c)’s notation that materials may not be disseminated if they are “illegal under extant national or sub national law”. States could make parts of scientific study illegal and thus prevent the dissemination of materials from the WASP regarding the scientific consensus. Thus, the failure to consider malicious states misrepresenting scientific data undermines the goals of this resolution.

    It is visible that in the case of FtSMC, the risk that was posed to member states was phrased as part of a single sentence explicitly dealing with "the resolution". In this repeal, the risk of censorship is a separate sentence that does not have any qualifier like "but for other resolutions ..." or "under this resolution ...". Further, the target's lack of a clause preventing scenarios such as the one brought up in this repeal does not "undermine the goals of" the target, as resolution 30 existed when the target was passed, and resolution 436 exists now.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:48 am

As to Merni's issue (severable from the 'is there a mandate' issue raise by Princess Rainbow Sparkles), can you show that no part of scientific study falls into the following Protecting Free Expression exceptions?

Permits member nations to enact reasonable restrictions on peaceful free expression in those cases where the expression constitutes:
    a. defamation, as defined in section 1b,
    b. blatant and explicit pornographic material,
    c. an incitement to violence or widespread lawlessness,
    d. a threat to civilian or military health or safety,
    e. perjury or any other threat to the functioning of judicial proceedings,
    f. the leaking of classified information, or other information obtained in confidence, except where the information constitutes evidence of serious wrongdoing and disclosure thereof is clearly in the public interest,
    g. an infringement on private or intellectual property rights,
    h. a violation of prior, unrepealed international legislation,

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Postby Merni » Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:04 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:As to Merni's issue (severable from the 'is there a mandate' issue raise by Princess Rainbow Sparkles), can you show that no part of scientific study falls into the following Protecting Free Expression exceptions?

Here you go. But note that the restrictions permitted by this section are only reasonable restrictions, which are unlikely to extend to banning the dissemination of a scientific study by a scientific body.

Permits member nations to enact reasonable restrictions on peaceful free expression in those cases where the expression constitutes:
a. defamation, as defined in section 1b,
By the said section defamation has to contain false information. A scientific study generally doesn't contain information known to be false. Most studies also do not "seeks to maliciously injure the reputation of another individual, group, or organisation".
b. blatant and explicit pornographic material,
A scientific study might contain blatant and explicit pornographic material if it is really necessary, but banning the whole study would not be a reasonable restriction in this case (in my opinion).
c. an incitement to violence or widespread lawlessness,
I don't see how this could happen.
d. a threat to civilian or military health or safety,
As above. Information of a scientific study on its own can't possibly be a threat to health and safety.
e. perjury or any other threat to the functioning of judicial proceedings,
As for c.
f. the leaking of classified information, or other information obtained in confidence, except where the information constitutes evidence of serious wrongdoing and disclosure thereof is clearly in the public interest,
This is a debatable one. I don't think allowing states to reasonably restrict the leaking of classified information under this section constitutes "fail[ing] to take into account the censorship of materials" as the repeal states.
g. an infringement on private or intellectual property rights,
This can hardly be what is meant by the repeal by "censorship". States are required per resolution 232 to enforce foreign copyrights, and the target itself "Forbids the utilization of the WASP for the deliberate bypassing of intellectual property laws".
h. a violation of prior, unrepealed international legislation,
Scientific studies don't generally constitute a violation of international law, and where they do, states have the WA's backing to take action against such violation.
Edit to fix formatting.
Last edited by Merni on Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Tue Jan 04, 2022 4:48 am

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:Tasking a committee to require something is only a mandate on nations if nations are required in some capacity to cooperate. As such, it cannot justify itself as a mandate as organized.


This would require that the WA not have the power to delegate authority to its committees. Thus any committee created without an explicit instruction by the WA - outside of the clause creating the committee - to member states that they must abide by the committee's authority, does not have any power to compel member states to cooperate with or obey it in any capacity. That strikes me as absurd.

Clause b is explicitly part of Section 1, a duty given to the committee and not member states.

Tasks given to committees are not mandates on members, and without explicit directive to comply, there's no duty to cooperate with committees.

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Postby Princess Rainbow Sparkles » Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:41 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:
Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
This would require that the WA not have the power to delegate authority to its committees. Thus any committee created without an explicit instruction by the WA - outside of the clause creating the committee - to member states that they must abide by the committee's authority, does not have any power to compel member states to cooperate with or obey it in any capacity. That strikes me as absurd.

Clause b is explicitly part of Section 1, a duty given to the committee and not member states.

Tasks given to committees are not mandates on members, and without explicit directive to comply, there's no duty to cooperate with committees.

I don't know where "tasks given to committees are not mandates on members" comes from. Why can't a task given to a committee also impose a mandate on member nations? Particularly when (it seems from format) the committee is tasked with what is otherwise a very plain and obviously worded mandate on members.

I don't know where the need for "an explicit directive to comply" comes from. Even if some authors have structured their proposals that way in the past, I don't see anything in the rules of logic or the game that would justify a claim that it's a requirement. If we take a very quick look at the Proposal Rules on Committees:
Every proposal must affect member states in some fashion. A committee may be the primary agent of that effect, but forming it may not be the proposal's only action. Requiring member states to interact with the committee somehow is sufficient, provided the interaction creates a measurable burden - one more strenuous than simply filing paperwork.

Under the plain language of the rule, a committee may be the primary agent imposing an effect on member states. All it takes is requiring member states to "interact" with the committee "somehow." While an explicit command that members comply with a committee would certainly be sufficient, it is clearly not necessary under the rules. There are other ways to interact "somehow." An obvious one - consistent with the rule's statement that committees may be the "primary agent" of an effect on member states - is tasking a committee with enforcing a mandate on member nations.

I'm pretty sure that logic holds together.
Last edited by Princess Rainbow Sparkles on Tue Jan 04, 2022 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Tue Jan 04, 2022 9:02 am

Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:Clause b is explicitly part of Section 1, a duty given to the committee and not member states.

Tasks given to committees are not mandates on members, and without explicit directive to comply, there's no duty to cooperate with committees.

I don't know where "tasks given to committees are not mandates on members" comes from. Why can't a task given to a committee also impose a mandate on member nations? Particularly when (it seems from format) the committee is tasked with what is otherwise a very plain and obviously worded mandate on members.

I don't know where the need for "an explicit directive to comply" comes from. Even if some authors have structured their proposals that way in the past, I don't see anything in the rules of logic or the game that would justify a claim that it's a requirement. If we take a very quick look at the Proposal Rules on Committees:
Every proposal must affect member states in some fashion. A committee may be the primary agent of that effect, but forming it may not be the proposal's only action. Requiring member states to interact with the committee somehow is sufficient, provided the interaction creates a measurable burden - one more strenuous than simply filing paperwork.

Under the plain language of the rule, a committee may be the primary agent imposing an effect on member states. All it takes is requiring member states to "interact" with the committee "somehow." While an explicit command that members comply with a committee would certainly be sufficient, it is clearly not necessary under the rules. There are other ways to interact "somehow." An obvious one - consistent with the rule's statement that committees may be the "primary agent" of an effect on member states - is tasking a committee with enforcing a mandate on member nations.

I'm pretty sure that logic holds together.

That requirement must necessarily be on member states by the WA. Having it come from the committee without an independent directive to cooperate from the WA is rather like me saying you have to give me money without, say, a court enforcing that order.

This is a colorable reading of the proposal that survives based on the presumption of legality provided to repeals under the HM precedent.

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Postby Princess Rainbow Sparkles » Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:00 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:That requirement must necessarily be on member states by the WA. Having it come from the committee without an independent directive to cooperate from the WA is rather like me saying you have to give me money without, say, a court enforcing that order.

This is a colorable reading of the proposal that survives based on the presumption of legality provided to repeals under the HM precedent.

I've already explained how the rules of the game don't support this position. SL also pointed out that - as a matter of logic - if the WA has authority to impose mandates on members at all, it implicitly has the ability to delegate that authority to a committee. SL's interpretation is supported by the game's rules, which explicitly allow for a committee to be the primary agent of an effect on member nations.

Also let's not get so distracted by trees that we lose sight of the forest. OSC very plainly states a requirement that all WA members cooperate and supply information. That's a mandate. Even if you believe it's colorable to claim that there would be trouble enforcing that mandate because of how it was formatted (like an order saying you have to give me money without court enforcement), then it is still false to claim that OSC presents "no mandate on member states" at all.

I think whatever amorphous presumption of honesty a repeal is supposed to enjoy has been rebutted here. I've certainly seen the presumption rebutted by substantially less evidence of mischaracterization within the past month or so.

But I'm basically repeating myself now. If these are the grounds where you wish to bury your head, to avoid seeing an obvious example of a repeal making a false claim about the contents of a target, what else can I say?

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:10 am

Princess Rainbow Sparkles wrote:snip

Your last point, for all that it is dressed up in unnecessary snark, is well taken. There is always a point at which opposing sides in disagreement need to accept that neither is changing their position and further debate is wasted effort. You make fair points, but I do not think that the technical reading of the clause structure should be ignored. I made a judgment call based on the data before me.

The beautiful thing about GenSec is that my opinion is only 1/6th authoritative, so I suppose I can take solace in knowing that however sandy my ears may be, I am only 1/6th to blame.

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