Judiciary Problems and how to solve them

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Diderot Mirabeau
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Judiciary Problems and how to solve them

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

It has come to my attention that some people consider the current debacle over the Judiciary act to be a concerted ploy by the Simplicity Party to get attention and sympathy rather than seeing it the other way - that the party arose from a genuine frustration over the level of complexity in government towards which we are prematurely headed.

However, in light of the recent proposal for a commission and since I'd like the Simplicity Party to be a constructive party willing to work towards compromises rather than one aiming to tear everything down I propose that we work out a common position in relation to the current problems of the judiciary.

I have prepared in the below a list of the problems with the Judiciary as view it personally. I'd like you all to submit any further problems that you perceive there to be with the current incarnation of it. After that I propose we rank the issues on the list by choosing five each that we perceive to be the most worrisome in prioritised order.

On the basis of such an aggregate, prioritised list of issue we can then move toward suggesting constructive solutions to each individual issue.

A) The Judiciary Act is so complicated to read and understand that it forces citizens to achieve justice by hiring lawyers.

B) The Judiciary Act gives the judiciary the power to put citizens on notice that they will be serving jury duty or face a sanction.

C) The Judiciary Act purports to give the judiciary jurisdiction over any and all dealings affecting the CDS and its citizens anywhere in SL thus potentially exposing citizens to endless amounts of baseless lawsuits to which they have to respond or risk banishment and forfeiture of assets.

D) The Judiciary Act insists that the judiciary it must validate any action by government that potentially encroaches on a citizen or non-citizens property or rights of access even if no avatar is around to file a complaint.

E) The Judiciary Act empowers the judiciary to deal with violations of the ToS and the DMCA even if seperate RL procedures are in place to handle such infringements it is unable to meter out any sanction that cannot be sidestepped by creating a new alt.

F) The Judiciary Act is modelled on the basis of RL experience and designed to be able to handle very complex issues. However nobody has bothered to validate whether it makes sense to apply this degree of RL experience toward a virtual existence. The Act is therefore bound to contain lots of unvalidated assumptions about what SL jurisprudence will be about. It would be better to start small and evolve the 'machinery' as experience is gained - preferably by making use of collaborative work tools such as a wiki to structure, accumulate and make accessible the collective body of experience as accumulated and applied through precedence-setting case resolution.

G) The Judiciary Act is modelled along the lines of Judiciary Acts used by small RL countries yet is supported only by a constituency of around 60 citizens - a very small village. It places an undue burden of complexity and resource drain on a small society that does not have the need for such complex legislation yet.

H) The Procedure used to qualify judges is overly restrictive and comprehensive. Rather than relying on judges learning on the job by for example watching the outcome of appeals of their own verdicts and by self-study it requires applicants to have qualifications surpassing those of a junior RL judge. This means that most applicants are likely to come from outside the CDS thus alienating the judiciary from the community it was supposed to serve.
Last edited by Diderot Mirabeau on Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Beathan »

The Judiciary Act is my hobby horse, but I am not a single issue guy. Even more than that, the Simplicity Party is far from a single issue, or a single person, party. I think that the Judiciary Act highlights the issue of what goes wrong when things are too complex. I think Diderot's statement is the proper position to take toward the Act in light of public concerns. I would rather see the Act erased and the status quo ante restored so that we can rebuild on the basis of the SC, not the Judiciary as constituted by the Act. However, I also don't want to be perceived as an impediment to justice. For this reason, I have and continue to support Justice's proposal -- which is not subject to the criticism of wanton destruction that could be levelled against my proposal. In this same vein, I support Diderot's efforts here and statement of policy.

Beathan
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Diderot Mirabeau
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Re: Judiciary Problems

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Maybe I should further add that if you do not perceive there to be any problems with the Judiciary act please do reply as well stating that to be the case. Alternatively, if you feel there is really only one or two issues with the act then you are of course free to list 'only' these.

We really need your feedback on this in order to proceed to the constructive agenda. Come on guys!
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Post by Beathan »

We now a code of procedure that makes the US Federal Code look easy to follow. We also have a judge who has exposed a lack of imagination and temperament -- and at least one candidate who would scare me out of the jurisdiction if he ever held judicial power. I am concerned that the entire judiciary process is attracting exactly the wrong sort of people. There is something about it that draws in people more concerned with process than people -- and that is harmful in a judicial system.m However, I am at a loss as to what to do with this problem -- as any attempt to draw attention to it draws fire as an "ad hominem" attack.

Perhaps we should take the American rule of slander. You can't attack a private citizen - but people seeking office are fair game because their personal character is a matter of public concern.

A further concern is that the judiciary act will invite RL regulation into SL -- at least insofar as the practice of law is concerned. We need to preserve the play aspect of SL to protect ourselves from RL government. There is nothing playful about the judiciary act or its implementation. (See my post on RL regulation on SL practice).

Beathan
Last edited by Beathan on Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

It's no secret I was against the Act; I shut up because I believed it was best to allow the citizenry in general and the RA in particular to make their own beds, after the great deal of previous debate.

I'm not really that happy to have been proven right.
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Diderot Mirabeau
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Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Thanks for your input. I propose that we develop the following common position:

[b:3gpvho9q]A. CITIZEN COMMISSION[/b:3gpvho9q]

1) We support establishing a commission to assess the grievances of the citizenry in respect to the Judiciary Act.

2) The commission should have a defined timeframe and should also put restrictions on the input from contributors so that f.x. people suffering from verbal diaerrhea are not able to dominate unduly the process. Otherwise we will just end up with a less efficient version of the forums.

3) The commission must account for the relative strength in numbers behind the view or views that it represents in its findings.

4) The operations of the supercomplex Judiciary will be suspended until such a time as the commission finishes its work and the RA has acted upon it.

[b:3gpvho9q]B. PARALLEL PROCEDURES - FREEDOM OF CHOICE
[/b:3gpvho9q]
1) If it is found that there is citizen dissatisfaction with the current approach we should establish a simple, parallel procedure, which citizens could choose to use instead to arbitrate their disputes.

2) The simple procedure would establish some very basic ground rules and would otherwise be dependent on the parties to the case asking one of a number of previously qualified citizens to be the arbitrator and agreeing on the matters of procedure jointly.

3) The simple procedure would be supported by a collaboratively maintained wiki listing case precedent like a FAQ - organised thematically.

4) If at any point throughout the procedure one party refuses to comply with a ruling by the arbitrator and there has been no previous arrangement between the parties to entrust the arbitrator with a way to sanction the dissident party the other party may choose to pursue the case through the supercomplex judiciary.

5) The verdict of the arbitrator may be appealed to the supercomplex judiciary.
[b:3gpvho9q]
C. LIMITING THE POWERS OF THE JUDICIARY[/b:3gpvho9q]

1) The power of the supercomplex judiciary to compel citizens to serve as jurors should be abolished since we already have citizen involvement through the simple arbitration procedure. We have already allocated funds to pay three judges a monthly salary.

2) The supercomplex judiciary should not be able to force anyone to don silly robes or to call the persons serving in the capacity as judges or similar by particular names.

3) The supercomplex judiciary should have its jurisdictional competence limited to only deal with affairs where at least one party is a citizen or company registered in CDS.

4) The supercomplex judiciary should not deal with cases where a sanction for the claimed offense can be better obtained through a parallel channel such as the LL abuse reporting procedure, DMCA procedure or through RL courts.

5) If over a period of six months from its first case it is found that the supercomplex judiciary goes unused the matter should be placed on the agenda of the RA to discuss if the CDS should continue to incur expenses to maintain such a costly machinery.

NOTE: Added A.4 at the request of Beathan.
Last edited by Diderot Mirabeau on Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Beathan »

Diderot --

Good job. On the Commission, I would add, "The Judiciary Act shall be suspended until the Commission has made, and the RA has acted on, its recommendations."

Also, we need to oppose mandatory inperson hearings (which are not suited to SL) and juries (which just make things worse).

Beathan
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