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[CHALLENGE] Repeal: "Epidemic Investigation Act"

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Hulldom
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[CHALLENGE] Repeal: "Epidemic Investigation Act"

Postby Hulldom » Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:13 pm

Better to get out ahead of these things than to wait, methinks. I thank GenSec for their time beforehand, regardless of what the outcome is.

Challenged Proposal: Repeal: "Epidemic Investigation Act"

Targeted and Mentioned Resolution Links:
Target: "Epidemic Investigation Act" (GAR 566)
Mentioned: "Epidemic Response Act" (GAR 53)

Rule Broken: Honest Mistake

Contention #1: Proposal Clause c(i) is incorrect regarding what the target of the resolution says about the disclosure of confidential information.

Claim made by the challenged proposal:
"medical personnel" can disclose any information they want to WHA inspectors without state punishment regardless of whether (for example) telling any other person that same information would leave them liable to prosecution,


What the target resolution says in clause 1(b):
Inspectors’ request for access to sensitive areas or sensitive information may be rejected by the local jurisdiction. Such rejections shall be reviewed by the Independent Adjudicative Office, which may overrule such rejections if the likely harm of release is less than the likely harm to international public health interests.


While the target resolution does include a carve-out in clause 1(c)
if the likely harm of release is less than the likely harm to international public health interests.

the ability for said request to be overruled by the local jurisdiction, even if some requests can be overruled for the purposes of protecting international public health interests, renders clause c(i) an honest mistake.

Contention #2: The challenged resolution makes a factually false claim regarding the targeted resolution.

The challenged resolution claims this in clause (g):
GA#566 .... does nothing that GA#53 does not do."


The target resolution does this in clause 1:
the WHA may dispatch inspectors to investigate and report publicly on the origins of, response to, and make recommendations on the outbreak.


While it is perhaps possible that GAR 53 does this given clause 1(a):
Identifying...international outbreaks;


and clause 5 of that same resolution

FURTHER REQUIRES that all member nations allow health inspectors from the World Health Authority and international aid agencies to travel to the affected area to provide aid to infected individuals, conduct research, distribute medical supplies and vaccines, or report the latest developments to the international community, as appropriate;


"identifying" is not the same as knowing the origin of (to use a more recent example: we know about SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, but it is still unclear where its origins are even as we have identified it) and that, given the non-specificity of the research suggested in clause 5 of GAR 53 is, of itself, an opening for the specificity provided by GA 566 to be a valid new mandate.


Contention #3: The challenged resolution makes a third factually false claim regarding the targeted resolution.

This contention rests on clause (g) of the challenged resolution:
GA#566 .... does nothing that GA#53 does not do."


In effect, it is no different than the second.

In clause 2 of the target, the proposal reads:
Member nations must collect statistics on transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings and report such statistics to the WHA in a timely manner.


and no such clause in GAR 53 reads to have even a colorable interpretation that would suggest GAR 53 provides for the collection of "...statistics on transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings...".


Argument on Contention #1: The target resolution does not say that " 'medical personnel' can disclose any information they want to WHA inspectors without state punishment,...". and clause c(i) contains an honest mistake in regards to clause 1(c) of the target resolution.

Argument on Contention #2: GAR 566's new ability for the WHA to "investigate and report publicly on the origins of...the outbreak." is, in and of itself, illustrative of the challenged proposal's honest mistake in regards to the target resolution. The mandate to investigate the origins goes further than the non-specific "research" WHA officials may undertake under the title of GAR 53. Clause (g) of the challenged resolution therefore presents an honest mistake in regards to clause 1 of the target.

Argument on Contention #3: The challenged resolution claims that GAR 566 presents no new mandates beyond those already given in GAR 53. Given that GAR 566 provides for the collection of "...statistics on transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings..." and no clause in GAR 53 provides even a plausibly colorable interpretation that could be interpreted as providing that mandate, the challenged resolution's clause (g) commits an Honest Mistake in regards to clause 2 of the target resolution.
Last edited by Hulldom on Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tinhampton
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Postby Tinhampton » Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:29 pm

In my defence...

Responding to Contention #1, Article 1c of GA#566 is clear that no member state can "retaliate against the provision of information by medical personnel to Inspectors." I submit that:
  1. said Article focuses only on information that has actually been disseminated, rather than whether or not it should be disseminated in the first place;
  2. doctors, nurses, midwives and hospital receptionists are not "the local jurisdiction," especially not in privately-run healthcare systems; and that
  3. since the nature of that information is not delineated, it can reasonably refer to any information.

Contentions #2 and #3 are baseless. I actually assert of GA#566 that "where it does do good, [it] does nothing that GA#53 does not do." (By corollary, I do not believe that GA#566 contains no original ideas in relation to GA#53 and do not make such claims in my repeal.) Whether - and to what extent - GA#566 does any good is a matter of personal belief; I am not convinced that what I believe to be the good parts of GA#566 are distinct from the corresponding provisions in GA#53.
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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:46 pm

As the target is a resolution of mine, I recuse myself from the proceedings.

Tinhampton wrote:Contentions #2 and #3 are baseless. I actually assert of GA#566 that "where it does do good, [it] does nothing that GA#53 does not do." (By corollary, I do not believe that GA#566 contains no original ideas in relation to GA#53 and do not make such claims in my repeal.) Whether - and to what extent - GA#566 does any good is a matter of personal belief; I am not convinced that what I believe to be the good parts of GA#566 are distinct from the corresponding provisions in GA#53.

This seems a very peculiar claim. At this point, anyone could make all sorts of factual inaccuracies by prefacing them these kinds of parentheticals. It's a novel matter which the rest of the Secretariat ought to take up.

GA 10 bans nuclear weapons in a good way.

GA 17 does not fund the Assembly, in a good way, at all.

GA 224 'Promotion of Bee-keeping', in a bad way, bans bee-keeping.

For what good it does [ie apparently nothing], GA 229 'Legal Competence' does nothing that GA 300 'Child Pornography Ban' does not do.

Regardless, this claim here is internally inconsistent. You can't have it both ways, where the proposal says something is viewed positively in one section but then on challenge, assert that 'Oh, I meant literally nothing is good'.

Insofar as GA 53 s 5 does not include public statements of origins (it does not allow publication of research, except in terms of 'appropriate' 'report[ing of] the latest development to the international community'), it's clear that GA 566 s 1 adds something to GA 53 s 5's grant of authority. Then, your proposal calls this 'sensible' in section (b), which is indicative that the repeal believes the quoted portion of GA 556 s 1 (allowing 'inspectors to investigate and report publicly on the origins of, response to, and make recommendations on [an] outbreak') is a good thing.
Last edited by Imperium Anglorum on Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Separatist Peoples
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:16 am

Imperium Anglorum wrote:As the target is a resolution of mine, I recuse myself from the proceedings.

Tinhampton wrote:Contentions #2 and #3 are baseless. I actually assert of GA#566 that "where it does do good, [it] does nothing that GA#53 does not do." (By corollary, I do not believe that GA#566 contains no original ideas in relation to GA#53 and do not make such claims in my repeal.) Whether - and to what extent - GA#566 does any good is a matter of personal belief; I am not convinced that what I believe to be the good parts of GA#566 are distinct from the corresponding provisions in GA#53.

This seems a very peculiar claim. At this point, anyone could make all sorts of factual inaccuracies by prefacing them these kinds of parentheticals. It's a novel matter which the rest of the Secretariat ought to take up.

GA 10 bans nuclear weapons in a good way.

GA 17 does not fund the Assembly, in a good way, at all.

GA 224 'Promotion of Bee-keeping', in a bad way, bans bee-keeping.

For what good it does [ie apparently nothing], GA 229 'Legal Competence' does nothing that GA 300 'Child Pornography Ban' does not do.

Regardless, this claim here is internally inconsistent. You can't have it both ways, where the proposal says something is viewed positively in one section but then on challenge, assert that 'Oh, I meant literally nothing is good'.

Insofar as GA 53 s 5 does not include public statements of origins (it does not allow publication of research, except in terms of 'appropriate' 'report[ing of] the latest development to the international community'), it's clear that GA 566 s 1 adds something to GA 53 s 5's grant of authority. Then, your proposal calls this 'sensible' in section (b), which is indicative that the repeal believes the quoted portion of GA 556 s 1 (allowing 'inspectors to investigate and report publicly on the origins of, response to, and make recommendations on [an] outbreak') is a good thing.


This is my read, as well. I know IA isn't making a Ruling, but were he, I would likely sign on.

I vote illegal.

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Sierra Lyricalia
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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Sat Jun 25, 2022 9:10 pm

*** Ruling of the Secretariat ***

We are asked to determine the legality of a repeal of GA Res. #566. We find it illegal for misrepresentation of the type cited in the "Honest Mistake" rule. Sierra Lyricalia wrote the opinion, joined by Bananaistan, and by Separatist Peoples except as to Paragraphs 5-6. Imperium Anglorum recused as author of the target. Bears Armed did not vote on this opinion, but had voted the repeal illegal in the queue as well as starting a challenge thread of his own using similar reasoning to paragraphs 7-8 below. With IA recusing and Grays Harbor CTE'd, this constitutes a majority ruling the repeal illegal.

[1] The proposed repeal of GAR #566 saw two different challenges raised: one by a player and the other a sua sponte challenge by GenSec itself. There are several questions at issue, all of which implicate the so-called "Honest Mistake" rule:

[2] The repeal alleges that:
  1. ""medical personnel" can disclose any information they want to WHA inspectors without state punishment, regardless of whether (for example) telling any other person that same information would leave them liable to prosecution";
  2. "where [the target] does do good, does nothing that GA#53 does not do.";
  3. "Non-members should not be punished for failing to follow resolutions they are not bound by; certainly no other resolution (including those which forbid terrorism, slavery, torture, enforced disappearance, and war crimes) authorises the WA or member states to impose such sanctions on non-members.";

[3] As to Allegation 1:
It would certainly be a flaw worthy of repeal if a resolution forced nations to exempt medical personnel from, say, espionage charges in the event they gave away strategic or otherwise classified information. What the target actually says is:
a. All member nations must permit the entrance and exit of WHA inspectors (hereinafter Inspectors) and fully cooperate with such requests for access or information which Inspectors may deliver to member nation authorities, subject to the following subsection.

b. Inspectors’ request for access to sensitive areas or sensitive information may be rejected by the local jurisdiction. Such rejections shall be reviewed by the Independent Adjudicative Office, which may overrule such rejections if the likely harm of release is less than the likely harm to international public health interests.


[4] Thus states subject to the target resolution in fact explicitly have the power to deny Inspectors "sensitive information" and the only grounds given for the IAO overruling such a denial is clearly limited to cases in which they judge the public health side of the equation as more important. While the IAO is not omniscient, and thus does not and cannot know a priori whether the harm of Inspectors acquiring sensitive information is, in fact, more or less than "the likely harm to international public health interests" - nevertheless, the information in question is necessarily related to public health and under no circumstances can be characterized as "any information [medical personnel] want". Allegation 1 is therefore a misrepresentation rendering the repeal illegal as an Honest Mistake.

[5] As to Allegation 2:
The statement that the target does nothing good not already accomplished by the earlier GAR #53 is an obvious statement of opinion and not subject to Secretariat analysis, despite several statements made in one of the challenge threads. We mention it here because one of the challenge threads spent several posts on this allegation; first, because the target does in fact create new WA mandates, and second, because the target's "goals" are described elsewhere in this repeal as sensible. While we might be tempted to say that this is a self-contradiction, it doesn't have any bearing. First, the repeal actually states:
While the aforementioned goals of GA#566's first Article may ordinarily be sensible...
(emphasis added)

[6] Thus, the repeal doesn't actually describe the target - as written - as "good" or any synonym thereof. Second, even if it had, the Secretariat has never ruled that internal inconsistency or self-contradiction is in any way illegal. A principle we are (perhaps too) fond of stating goes something like "bad doesn't mean illegal, and good doesn't mean legal." We therefore find no reason to declare Allegation 2 a misrepresentation.

[7] As to Allegation 3:
It is simply false that "no other resolution" contemplates, authorizes, or mandates that member states take action - even aggressive action - against non-member states. Now, GAR #2 does prevent the WA from organizing military expeditions against the vicious non-member hordes; and game rules do prevent WA resolutions from acting on non-member states even to the extent of "urging," "asking," or "encouraging" them to act a certain way. But no other constraint exists against WA members, whether individually, as a "coalition of the willing," or even by formal WA command, exercising all manner of acts upon non-members, from would-be Mild hortatory language all the way to the use of force. For example:

GAR #23:
10. Goods produced, in whole or in part, through servitude shall be permanently embargoed, and all investment and material support to nations, legal entities and persons practicing servitude immediately ended, except as transition assistance or compensated manumission to free people from such conditions;

11. Nations shall take part in a concerted diplomatic effort to end servitude, and to prevent areas having abandoned such from returning to such practices;

GAR #114:
STRONGLY URGE member states to encourage, via diplomatic pressure or other legal, peaceful means, non-member states to prohibit FGM and populations of non-member states to abandon the practice;

GAR #121:
3. WAIVES the protections of this resolution where it is shown that:
...
c) In dealings with non World Assembly nations this resolution has not been followed.

GAR #304:
Further aware that WA member nations have many responsibilities in wartime, for the protection of civilians and prisoners of war, and that non-member nations, who outnumber WA members severalfold and have provoked many international incidents of war, hold no such obligations,

Concerned that the occupation of any WA member nation's territories by non-member nations could result in war crimes over which the WA would have no jurisdiction nor ability to arrest,

Therefore believing that any area denial munitions available to WA member nations should be permitted in the defence of their territory from armed occupation by hostile non-members,

GAR #431:
d. Urges the imposition of tariffs on goods known to frequently harbor invasive species in response to nations that fail to adequately inspect outgoing shipping for such infestations,

GAR #445:
Charges World Assembly Scientific Programme's (WASP) Atmospheric Chemistry Establishment (ACE) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gasses in the following manner:
...
Establish (i) punitive fees for emissions beyond the cap for member nations, and (ii) tariffs that all member nations shall enforce on the trade goods produced by non-member nations whose emissions exceed their preferred levels; the proceeds of both the fees and tariffs will first go to ACE's monitoring and enforcement efforts and any remaining monies will go towards grants to fund the research, development, and implementation of green energy;

[8] The attempt to cite a (non-existent) precedent of total avoidance of, or isolation from, non-member states thus fails. What of the first part of that sentence? The target says WHA Inspectors may carry out the duties listed in the target, in non-member states, with their approval; and sanctions are permitted only if, after such approval, the non-member nation reneges on its commitment to uphold the access and non-retaliation provisions of the resolution the non-member agreed to when it gave approval. Allegation 2 is therefore a misrepresentation rendering the repeal illegal as an Honest Mistake.

[9] Thus on two counts, we cannot permit the repeal to go forward.
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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Sat Jun 25, 2022 9:14 pm

I thank GenSec for their time.
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Postby Fachumonn » Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:21 pm

Well done.


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