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[DRAFT #1] For The Innocent (co-author: Tezikstan)

Where WA members debate how to improve the world, one resolution at a time.
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Tinhampton
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[DRAFT #1] For The Innocent (co-author: Tezikstan)

Postby Tinhampton » Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:14 pm

Character count: 728
Word count: 116
Theresa Waterman, staffer and "Wicketkeeper-in-Chief:" This is neither completely imperfect nor completely perfect. Your complaints, comments, critiques and commendations are all welcome.

OOC: In April, Tezikstan wrote an otherwise-unheralded proposal entitled WA Ban On The Killing Of Innocent Civilians Act. I originally planned to propose what you see below as a much-simplified rewrite of their original draft for their consideration before the thread effectively "died." Yet I am now pleased to present the below draft as an independent proposal after some positive discussions with Tezikstan - who, for the record, has told me that it "looks a lot better" than their original.
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For The Innocent
A resolution to improve worldwide human sapient and civil rights.
Category: Civil Rights
Effect: Strong
Proposed by: Tinhampton

The General Assembly enacts as follows:
    1. No government may kill any of their inhabitants for a particular crime if they have not committed, nor are currently committing, that crime.
    2. No government shall kill any person, who is not an enemy belligerent soldier during time of war, without giving prior notice of their being killed.
  1. The immediate family of any person who is killed in contravention of Article a shall be entitled to request compensation from their government, the amount of which in each case shall be determined by the WA Commission on Human Rights.
  2. This resolution does not define the legality of capital punishment.
Co-authored with Tezikstan.
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Tinfect
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Postby Tinfect » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:30 pm

OOC:
And, what does this do that standing legislation doesn't? Summary and otherwise extrajudicial executions are prohibited by International Criminal Protocol, and I believe other resolutions as well, though I can't find them offhand. For the Wrongly Convicted, covers false convictions and even postmortem exonerations. There is nothing this draft does that isn't already done.
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Postby Cretox State » Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:05 pm

I agree with Tinfect. What does this actually contribute?

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Postby Wayneactia » Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:49 pm

Cretox State wrote:I agree with Tinfect. What does this actually contribute?

Nothing, other than adding to Tin's badge count I suppose.

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Postby Bananaistan » Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:21 pm

OOC: "Badgehunting" is not the offence it once was. This is a game, people want to play it, part of that is passing GA resolutions. There's nothing wrong with it.
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Postby Honeydewistania » Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:25 pm

Bananaistan wrote:OOC: "Badgehunting" is not the offence it once was. This is a game, people want to play it, part of that is passing GA resolutions. There's nothing wrong with it.

Big agree. If people draft and pass quality resolutions with the goal of gaining a badge, then I don’t see a problem with it.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:16 pm

Wayneactia wrote:
Cretox State wrote:I agree with Tinfect. What does this actually contribute?

Nothing, other than adding to Tin's badge count I suppose.

Tinhampton wrote:
Character count: 728
Word count: 116
Theresa Waterman, staffer and "Wicketkeeper-in-Chief:" This is neither completely imperfect nor completely perfect. Your complaints, comments, critiques and commendations are all welcome.

OOC: In April, Tezikstan wrote an otherwise-unheralded proposal entitled WA Ban On The Killing Of Innocent Civilians Act. I originally planned to propose what you see below as a much-simplified rewrite of their original draft for their consideration before the thread effectively "died." Yet I am now pleased to present the below draft as an independent proposal after some positive discussions with Tezikstan - who, for the record, has told me that it "looks a lot better" than their original.
(Image)
For The Innocent
A resolution to improve worldwide human sapient and civil rights.
Category: Civil Rights
Effect: Strong
Proposed by: Tinhampton

The General Assembly enacts as follows:
    1. No government may kill any of their inhabitants for a particular crime if they have not committed, nor are currently committing, that crime.
    2. No government shall kill any person, who is not an enemy belligerent soldier during time of war, without giving prior notice of their being killed.
  1. The immediate family of any person who is killed in contravention of Article a shall be entitled to request compensation from their government, the amount of which in each case shall be determined by the WA Commission on Human Rights.
  2. This resolution does not define the legality of capital punishment.
Co-authored with Tezikstan.

OOC: Support.

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Postby Wayneactia » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:15 pm

Honeydewistania wrote:
Bananaistan wrote:OOC: "Badgehunting" is not the offence it once was. This is a game, people want to play it, part of that is passing GA resolutions. There's nothing wrong with it.

Big agree. If people draft and pass quality resolutions with the goal of gaining a badge, then I don’t see a problem with it.

"Quality" is in the eye of the beholder.

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Tinfect
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Postby Tinfect » Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:07 am

Honeydewistania wrote:
Bananaistan wrote:OOC: "Badgehunting" is not the offence it once was. This is a game, people want to play it, part of that is passing GA resolutions. There's nothing wrong with it.

Big agree. If people draft and pass quality resolutions with the goal of gaining a badge, then I don’t see a problem with it.


OOC:
The criminality of a badge hunt aside, it's still illegal, was rather the point. It's nothing but duplication.
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Postby Kenmoria » Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:44 am

Tinfect wrote:
Honeydewistania wrote:Big agree. If people draft and pass quality resolutions with the goal of gaining a badge, then I don’t see a problem with it.


OOC:
The criminality of a badge hunt aside, it's still illegal, was rather the point. It's nothing but duplication.

(OOC: Clause b appears to be unique, which might be enough to avoid duplication and thus illegality. The concept is still rather superfluous, however.)
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:38 am

Bananaistan wrote:OOC: "Badgehunting" is not the offence it once was. This is a game, people want to play it, part of that is passing GA resolutions. There's nothing wrong with it.

'Badgehunting' in the past was only a crime for maybe two people, one of which was called United Federation of Canada.

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:54 am

OOC: Clause C (for "cover-my-ass"? :p ) notwithstanding, I don't see how this fails to contradict PtEoI, which specifically permits member states to execute people if conditions are met. You'll have to repeal the existing shadow ban if you want to write your own, IMO.

It is not a duplication (or rather duplication is minor), because it prevents nations' intelligence and covert ops agencies from assassinating terrorists and other foreign nationals without giving public advance notice first, which to my knowledge has not been done by any resolution.
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Postby Wayneactia » Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:44 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Bananaistan wrote:OOC: "Badgehunting" is not the offence it once was. This is a game, people want to play it, part of that is passing GA resolutions. There's nothing wrong with it.

'Badgehunting' in the past was only a crime for maybe two people, one of which was called United Federation of Canada.

You can allude to things all you like. It doesn't make them any more true.

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:38 am

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:OOC: Clause C (for "cover-my-ass"? :p ) notwithstanding, I don't see how this fails to contradict PtEoI, which specifically permits member states to execute people if conditions are met.

How so?

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:59 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Sierra Lyricalia wrote:OOC: Clause C (for "cover-my-ass"? :p ) notwithstanding, I don't see how this fails to contradict PtEoI, which specifically permits member states to execute people if conditions are met.

How so?


Extant Law wrote:Subject to World Assembly legislation, member nations are permitted to sentence and carry out capital punishment within their jurisdictions.
(emphasis added)

This Proposal wrote:No government may kill any of their inhabitants for a particular crime if they have not committed, nor are currently committing, that crime.


Once the crime is no longer in the active state of currently in progress, but was committed in the past, this proposal would prohibit carrying out capital punishment even against a person who has been convicted of committing [in the past, when the crime was committed] that crime.
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Postby Kenmoria » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:34 am

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
Imperium Anglorum wrote:How so?


Extant Law wrote:Subject to World Assembly legislation, member nations are permitted to sentence and carry out capital punishment within their jurisdictions.
(emphasis added)

This Proposal wrote:No government may kill any of their inhabitants for a particular crime if they have not committed, nor are currently committing, that crime.


Once the crime is no longer in the active state of currently in progress, but was committed in the past, this proposal would prohibit carrying out capital punishment even against a person who has been convicted of committing [in the past, when the crime was committed] that crime.

(OOC: PtEoI says ‘subject to World Assembly legislation’, not ‘subject to past World Assembly legislation’, so I don’t see why future legislation couldn’t alter the status of sentencing and carrying out capital punishment in their jurisdiction.)
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:20 pm

Kenmoria wrote:
Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
(emphasis added)



Once the crime is no longer in the active state of currently in progress, but was committed in the past, this proposal would prohibit carrying out capital punishment even against a person who has been convicted of committing [in the past, when the crime was committed] that crime.

(OOC: PtEoI says ‘subject to World Assembly legislation’, not ‘subject to past World Assembly legislation’, so I don’t see why future legislation couldn’t alter the status of sentencing and carrying out capital punishment in their jurisdiction.)


OOC: I'll try to find a ruling or discussion on this (I'd swear there was something in writing...), but it seems perverse to me to say that "The WA permits Action X, subject to legislation" isn't contradicted by an outright ban on X. Regulations are OK, restricting circumstances of X is OK, but a full and explicit ban is a bridge too far for me to swallow. The part in red still exists and can't be waved away by saying "No, it's OK, see, it says 'subject to further laws,' so it's impossible to contradict!"

(Edit: we have long held that a "subject to WA legislation" clause does not save a later resolution from the contradiction rule when the later resolution proposes something that has no possible application that isn't in conflict (removing the double negative, when every interpretation of the later resolution's effect conflicts) with the original resolution's main point. In this case, the "subject" clause doesn't save the later proposal, because the earlier proposal says "Nations have the right to do this" and the later proposal says "No they don't, full stop.")
Last edited by Sierra Lyricalia on Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Kenmoria » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:08 pm

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
Kenmoria wrote:(OOC: PtEoI says ‘subject to World Assembly legislation’, not ‘subject to past World Assembly legislation’, so I don’t see why future legislation couldn’t alter the status of sentencing and carrying out capital punishment in their jurisdiction.)


OOC: I'll try to find a ruling or discussion on this (I'd swear there was something in writing...), but it seems perverse to me to say that "The WA permits Action X, subject to legislation" isn't contradicted by an outright ban on X. Regulations are OK, restricting circumstances of X is OK, but a full and explicit ban is a bridge too far for me to swallow. The part in red still exists and can't be waved away by saying "No, it's OK, see, it says 'subject to further laws,' so it's impossible to contradict!"

(Edit: we have long held that a "subject to WA legislation" clause does not save a later resolution from the contradiction rule when the later resolution proposes something that has no possible application that isn't in conflict (removing the double negative, when every interpretation of the later resolution's effect conflicts) with the original resolution's main point. In this case, the "subject" clause doesn't save the later proposal, because the earlier proposal says "Nations have the right to do this" and the later proposal says "No they don't, full stop.")

(OOC: That does make sense; I wasn’t aware of the ruling. Out of interest, how would a deliberately narrow exception be ruled, with regards to this? For example, resolution A says, ‘subject to WA legislation, apples are permitted in all member nations’, and then proposal B says ‘Apples are permitted in all member nations if and only if said apples are to be sold under a mountain by thirty-three year old nuns on a Tuesday at 5:37 PM’.

That’s an over-the-top example, and possibly illegal for RL reference anyway, but how would it be ruled? Would the fact that there is still a way for apples to be legally sold be sufficient to avoid contradiction, or would the fact that apples are so heavily restricted make this still illegal, for contradiction in terms of the reasonable impact on member states?)
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Kenmoria is Laissez-Faire on economy but centre-left on social issues
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This is due to a problem with how the WA contradicts democracy
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Current ambassador: James Lewitt

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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:11 pm

That discussion (not a ruling) had to do with a proposal attempting to contradict a prior resolution. This proposal does not attempt to contradict a prior resolution; the prior resolution inherently is contradictable in that it builds in the possibility of later World Assembly legislation banning capital punishment. I think the long-established – to the degree that the community laughs when people quote these clauses – vis-à-vis GA 2 'Rights and Duties...' is damning here:

Every WA Member State has the right to exercise jurisdiction over its territory and over all persons and things therein, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.

Every WA Member State has the duty to refrain from unrequested intervention in the internal or external economic, political, religious, and social affairs of any other NationState, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.

Such broad, exceptionally broad, exceptions are core the General Assembly as a game; most every proposal becomes illegal if we apply a standard that later proposals cannot contradict prior resolutions when striking aside any exceptions those resolutions make for later proposals purposefully.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:42 pm

Imperium Anglorum wrote:That discussion (not a ruling) had to do with a proposal attempting to contradict a prior resolution. This proposal does not attempt to contradict a prior resolution; the prior resolution inherently is contradictable in that it builds in the possibility of later World Assembly legislation banning capital punishment. I think the long-established – to the degree that the community laughs when people quote these clauses – vis-à-vis GA 2 'Rights and Duties...' is damning here:

Every WA Member State has the right to exercise jurisdiction over its territory and over all persons and things therein, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.

Every WA Member State has the duty to refrain from unrequested intervention in the internal or external economic, political, religious, and social affairs of any other NationState, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.

Such broad, exceptionally broad, exceptions are core the General Assembly as a game; most every proposal becomes illegal if we apply a standard that later proposals cannot contradict prior resolutions when striking aside any exceptions those resolutions make for later proposals purposefully.


The equivalent case for that first article would be an attempt to go where no International Federalist has gone before: total World Assembly annexation of every member state and assumption of control over their governments. Surely you don't mean to plead the case that that sovereigntist's nightmare is a valid interpretation of "immunities recognized by international law"? Nobody has proposed "striking aside any exceptions those resolutions make for later proposals," only stopping the use of "exception" from being interpreted as "complete reversal of meaning."

If you wanted to permit a subsequent full prohibition, it would have been better to write something along the lines of "In states choosing to utilize capital punishment... (a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)... encourages further strictures on capital punishment." The resolution as stated says "member nations are permitted to sentence and carry out capital punishment." Further laws can't just assume the right to add the word "not" in there under the theory that "subject to WA law" is carte blanche for anything they please.

I invite further comments from other players and GenSec members, as I am aware this is my interpretation and not an official ruling.
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:03 pm

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:The equivalent case for that first article would be an attempt to go where no International Federalist has gone before: total World Assembly annexation of every member state and assumption of control over their governments. Surely you don't mean to plead the case that that sovereigntist's nightmare is a valid interpretation of "immunities recognized by international law"? Nobody has proposed "striking aside any exceptions those resolutions make for later proposals," only stopping the use of "exception" from being interpreted as "complete reversal of meaning."

I think the only reasonable response to that would be 'sure', followed up with a Hot Fuzz-esque recitation of 'the law does what the law says'. (Or, if we are cool with the kids – and white-haired John Mulaney – 'Only the written word is the law'.) The phrasing 'subject to the immunities recognised by international law' is pretty broad: you have all the freedom you want, subject to the immunities recognised by the World Assembly annexing your member nation.

Putting your standard into practice also should require, at least for the sake of the community, a clear legal test to clarify an important threshold question, like that raised here. Or, as with your view on the Honest mistake rule, we can avoid those threshold questions and collapse back only to textualism, which is what the community has for a while expected. Implementing a retroactive change to interpretation of exceptions, when existing resolutions already depend on them, should be made only with a clear community consensus.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Tinfect » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:08 pm

OOC:
Allowing IA's interpretation is tantamount to backdooring amendments; it would be one thing if it explicitly makes space for later legislation to legislation on the matter of capital punishment as a whole, IE: "This Legislation makes no statement on the legality of capital punishment in itself," or somesuch.

It does not, however, say that. It instead says: "Subject to World Assembly Legislation,". Such lines are fairly commonplace in resolutions, though, frequently with the word 'standing' or something along those lines pasted in there somewhere. This can be very clearly read in the same manner as those clauses, a simple get-out clause to grandfather in standing legislation. This is not akin to amendment; were prior legislation repealed, the resolution containing such a clause continues to function as it always has, and the repealed resolution is no longer in-force, and it is thus no longer bound by it. Similar events occur wherein any legislation forms an interlocking barrier of sorts, IE, the various Abortion Rights resolutions, which would all be greatly diminished if older instances were repealed, having been written with their protections in mind.

To read this clause as permitting later legislation to outright contradict the provisions of the legislation to which it is applied is amendment, pure and simple, and it cannot be read as anything else. It is a later resolution, for all intents and purposes, rewriting standing legislation; putting a little asterisk at the end there which redirects you another resolution. Striking out that clause and telling you to 'See GAR-whatever-the-fuck'. A ruling in favor of allowing such a clause to enable contradiction by later legislation is absurd on its face. This clause is, much like the resolution itself, a duplicitous effort to dodge both the rules, and the greater democratic process of the World Assembly, and it should not be entertained.
Last edited by Tinfect on Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:56 am

Tinfect wrote:To read this clause as permitting later legislation to outright contradict the provisions of the legislation to which it is applied is amendment, pure and simple, and it cannot be read as anything else.

No, it's not. No analysis is necessary; there is no textual alteration and it therefore cannot be an amendment. Protection of Nuclear Armaments [2017] GAS 1.

An amendment[] breaks the game specifically because previous legislation can't be modified... Amendment violations actively attempt to somehow alter the text of the extant legislation. Ibid para 3. viewtopic.php?p=30876886#p30876886

Tinfect wrote:A ruling in favor of allowing such a clause to enable contradiction by later legislation is absurd on its face.

The actual merits have to do with the contradiction rule, which seems covered somewhat muddily here. The direct textualist reading of the clause in GA 443 P Innocents applies to later legislation, because it has not provided qualification only for earlier legislation in section 1. You've offered no threshold resolution mechanism and no clear test for when to apply this amorphous proposed interpretion that would override the ordinary meaning of the resolution's text. Importantly, you offered a clear distinction between 'extant legislation' and the line in section 1 in your paragraph below. That distinction matters.

Tinfect wrote:It does not, however, say that. It instead says: "Subject to World Assembly Legislation,". Such lines are fairly commonplace in resolutions, though, frequently with the word 'standing' or something along those lines pasted in there somewhere.

What follows is a solely conclusory statement. It offers no reason to affirm the treating a statement with 'standing' and without 'standing' identically. This is explicitly foreclosed by the omitted case canon. This is especially necessary when such an interpretation implicitly deviates (and explicitly concedes such a deviation) from ordinary meaning itself and, more damningly, from past practice already accepted with GA 2, as implied by the prior construction canon.

Tinfect wrote:the greater democratic process of the World Assembly,

It is undemocratic to ignore the literal text, because only that text was passed through democratic processes. Departing from the literal text does gives players neither fair notice of that departure nor fair notice as to what meaning the court would adopt. Nor does there exist democratic legitimisation of interpretive standards without something akin to an Interpretation Act 1978. The illegitimacy of overruling the literal text aside, in a democratic legitimacy weighing, only that which prioritises an active liberty to legislate – that a democratic will can in fact be tabled – would be permissible: the proposal before us therefore is legal.



What are important here are the general terms canon, the negative implication canon, and the subordinating canon. For the first, general terms are to be given their general meaning. That is what is at hand here. For the second, the inclusion of 'subject to World Assembly legislation' alone excludes all the others. There is very little not excluded, true. That is what the general terms imply. For the third, any clash is resolved ab initio with the subordinating language employed by section 1.

Insofar as we are to read a later proposal to mean something specific, we still should apply harmonious reading, avoidance, or constitutional doubt canons; this was a long-held position by Christian Democrats which also was broadly agreed upon by other members of the Secretariat. The related statutes canon requires interpretation of these different proposals as if they were one; such an interpretation implicitly provides no contradiction due to subordination.

Claims of absurd reading – something especially common with claims above – have a clear no-reasonable-person test; here too, a conclusory assertion alone is not sufficient.
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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:43 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Tinfect wrote:the greater democratic process of the World Assembly,

It is undemocratic to ignore the literal text, because only that text was passed through democratic processes. Departing from the literal text does gives players neither fair notice of that departure nor fair notice as to what meaning the court would adopt. Nor does there exist democratic legitimisation of interpretive standards without something akin to an Interpretation Act 1978. The illegitimacy of overruling the literal text aside, in a democratic legitimacy weighing, only that which prioritises an active liberty to legislate – that a democratic will can in fact be tabled – would be permissible: the proposal before us therefore is legal.



What are important here are the general terms canon, the negative implication canon, and the subordinating canon. For the first, general terms are to be given their general meaning. That is what is at hand here. For the second, the inclusion of 'subject to World Assembly legislation' alone excludes all the others. There is very little not excluded, true. That is what the general terms imply. For the third, any clash is resolved ab initio with the subordinating language employed by section 1.

Insofar as we are to read a later proposal to mean something specific, we still should apply harmonious reading, avoidance, or constitutional doubt canons; this was a long-held position by Christian Democrats which also was broadly agreed upon by other members of the Secretariat. The related statutes canon requires interpretation of these different proposals as if they were one; such an interpretation implicitly provides no contradiction due to subordination.

Claims of absurd reading – something especially common with claims above – have a clear no-reasonable-person test; here too, a conclusory assertion alone is not sufficient.


The position we held in the discussion with EP which I linked above is I think responsive to this line of argument. The statement "Member nations may do X, subject to WA law" was passed by (allegedly democratic) vote of nations. I agree that the text of a law must be taken as dispositive, in this case meaning that further WA laws may place any number of conditions, regulations, and restrictions upon X as long as they do not contradict the basic statement that member nations may do X. Your point about the democratic process applies equally (I would say more...) the other way: the electorate passed the law on the understanding that while further resolutions may further restrict X, they will not be able to ban it outright without a repeal, whose merits can be argued publicly and the repeal itself campaigned for or against. Interpretations of "subject to WA law..." subclauses (from now on, "subject future clauses") that permit them to overturn their antecedents outright are an open invitation to violate the contradiction rule. It is possible to waive the contradiction rule under limited circumstances in the interest of future laws (see e.g. "Protecting Free Expression," Clause 3 - but even there, the waiver is extremely limited in scope and a subsequent law which said "Nations may hinder the right of individuals to free expression under any circumstances they please" would similarly fall afoul of the contradiction rule). But there has never been a case in which a subject future clause has justified the complete abnegation of the provision it's attached to as you are alleging this one does. That would be a radically new interpretation of the power of such clauses.

As stated before, if you wished for the power to sentence convicts to capital punishment and carry it out to be unprotected by the resolution, it would have been better not to state the power as a positive right (i.e. better not to say explicitly that "Member states may do X."). Since you did so state, that statement is subject to the contradiction rule just like any other.
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:33 pm

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:The position we held in the discussion with EP which I linked above is I think responsive to this line of argument.

I don't think it's responsive at all.

The discussion with EP has to do with an idea which Separatist Peoples called 'constructive contradiction', applying to cases where a later proposal was created that was meant to get around prior law. The fact pattern simply isn't the same here, which I noted above already: "This proposal does not attempt to contradict a prior resolution; the prior resolution inherently is contradictable in that it builds in the possibility of later World Assembly legislation banning capital punishment". Even disregarding the fact pattern, the cross-application of the warrants doesn't apply here. EP's proposal introduced a substantial amount of uncertainty as to the effect of GA legislation after hypothetical repeals. There is no such concern here: the exceptions created are clear and explicit, the plugging of holes too are clear and explicit. There is no ambiguity as to what provisions are in effect, regardless of hypothetical repeals.

Moreover, the line of argument which you quoted above is not rooted in something to do with a constructive contradiction. It has to do with how we interpret the words themselves. Every canon of construction (that I've read so far) supports my position. They root and layer themselves around the intended – as the author I also can say that – meaning of the proposal. Every canon below would have to be discarded to adopt your preferred interpretation.

  • The general terms canon says we should take general terms seriously. The terms are general and if applied they apply to all WA legislation.
  • The negative implication canon says we should take omissions seriously. I omitted 'extant'. The terms are general and do not limit themselves.
  • The subordinating canon directs interpreters how to resolve a clash, if it occurs. Without 'subject to', there would be a clash; there isn't one, because I explicitly included it. 'Subject to', by the way, is one of the subordinating phrases mentioned explicitly in Scalia and Garner's oft-cited Reading Law.
  • The avoidance canon says to avoid interpretations that create validity questions. My reading is the only one that does this.
  • The constitutional doubt canon says to avoid interpretations that create doubt constitutionally. My reading is the only one that does this.
  • The related statutes canon says to interpret two statutes in parti materia as if they were one. Putting them together creates no contradiction because of the subordinating clause. Even if there were such a contradiction, the harmonious reading canon prefers readings that avoid contradiction. My reading is the only one that does this.
  • The superfluities canon also is violated by your preferred reading; entire front half of section 1 basically gets lopped off as if it doesn't exist.
We should take the canons of construction seriously; they offer something important: a clear and systematic way to interpret the resolutions. That's why the more legally minded people here have moved towards it. (Nb the Freedom of Expression decision about 'persons' and corporations follows directly from the artificial person canon.) Imposing a well-defined structure, rather than muddling about with case law, is the only real way to provide clear and, more importantly, predictable answers in legality questions.

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:The statement "Member nations may do X, subject to WA law" was passed by (allegedly democratic) vote of nations. I agree that the text of a law must be taken as dispositive, in this case meaning that further WA laws may place any number of conditions, regulations, and restrictions upon X as long as they do not contradict the basic statement that member nations may do X. Your point about the democratic process applies equally (I would say more...) the other way: the electorate passed the law on the understanding that while further resolutions may further restrict X, they will not be able to ban it outright without a repeal, whose merits can be argued publicly and the repeal itself campaigned for or against.

This requires an imputation about the legislative intent of the Assembly. The only valid textualist view about intent is exactly what was enacted. Extra-textual considerations such as 'but the Assembly actually intended to create a blocker' do not apply simply because the proposal – due to all the canons of construction above – doesn't create a blocker. If the Assembly had intended to create a blocker, it would have created one. That is, if the Assembly wanted a resolution prohibiting future resolutions from 'overturn[ing] their antecedents', it would have said so explicitly.

That said, if any extra-textual considerations are to be seriously entertained, it really should be the opinion of the author(s). The 'will' of a large multitude of people acting for different reasons in the Assembly cannot be ascertained. When it comes to adjudication, what this leads to is legislative histories where judges simply look into the crowd and pick their friends, creating a navigational hazard wherein the currents turn on the tribunal's whim. That is not good for the game.

And if a paean to democratic principles is to be made, this point about blockers still doesn't actually address my point, that democratic principles only matter when there exists an 'active liberty' to actually propose legislation. If the people are sovereign, the courts should move out of their way and permit them to exercise their sovereignty. This, eg, is why a sovereign body cannot actually bind its future selves. (Note also the repealability canon, stating that the legislature cannot derogate from its own authority or the authority of its successors.) A tribunal deferring to popular sovereignty in this case requires allowing the people actually to exercise their liberty (ie to make it active). Thus, actually supporting democratic principles requires adopting a less restrictive interpretation of 'subject to' clauses.

The other points made beg the question by assuming the existence of a contradiction without providing evidence thereto.

Addendum. (After work.)
Imperium Anglorum wrote:I think the long-established – to the degree that the community laughs when people quote these clauses – vis-à-vis GA 2 'Rights and Duties...' is damning here:

Every WA Member State has the right to exercise jurisdiction over its territory and over all persons and things therein, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.

Every WA Member State has the duty to refrain from unrequested intervention in the internal or external economic, political, religious, and social affairs of any other NationState, subject to the immunities recognized by international law.

For the latter, how could the ACA's 'every member nation must sanction the shit out of North Korea' clause not violate a prohibition on unrequested intervention in the internal affairs of any other NationState? North Korea has internal and external economic, political, religious, and social policies in all eight (external economic, internal economic, ... cont) categories which would be lead to action under the ACA. Under your reading, all such interventions, without stretching 'unrequested' to a similar extent as 'consensual war', are foreclosed by GA 2. GA 440 'Admin Compliance Act' requires every member state to intervene in all such matters, especially the external ones.

The comments on the former clause also still apply. How can a nation have exclusive jurisdiction over its territory and over all persons and things therein when we have international courts which try diversity jurisdiction cases against sovereigns (GA 513 'Sovereign Justice Accord')? When we have international bankruptcy proceedings which require comity for foreign court determinations?

Note. "Comity" is "the recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the legislative, executive or judicial acts of another nation, having due regard both to international duty and convenience, and to the rights of its own citizens or of other persons who are under the protection of its laws." Hilton v. Guyot, 159 U.S. 113, 164 (1895).

Such exclusive jurisdiction does not exist due to these resolutions. There are necessarily others; the national sovereignty and intervention clauses exist in a like manner to the 10th amendment to the US Constitution works, reserving everything not covered by that document to states in the federation.

The point of this addendum is to return to a point I made above. Even if the merits on how the interaction ought to be interpreted are lost (or, right now, blithely ignored), 'putting your standard into practice also should require, at least for the sake of the community, a clear legal test to clarify an important threshold question, like that raised here. Or, as with your view on the Honest mistake rule, we can avoid those threshold questions and collapse back only to textualism, which is what the community has for a while expected. Implementing a retroactive change to interpretation of exceptions, when existing resolutions already depend on them, should be made only with a clear community consensus'.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:11 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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