Good morning! I know World Assembly Affairs have been quiet since the election, mainly because there's just been very little happening in the WA this year. But at last we have a new proposal in the GA: Greater Cesnica's Repeal: International Criminal Protocol. Let's take a look.
Forum thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=495832
Target forum thread: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=456881
Let's talk first about the resolution it's trying to repeal. International Criminal Protocol was passed on 2020/07/21. It abbreviates to ICP, so if you're bored you can read discussion and pretend it's about Insane Clown Posse, which I think is a big plus. Its big goals were to establish a base standard for the treatment and living conditions of prisoners, and to set standards and restrictions for the use of capital punishment. To this end, it outlawed what's colloquially known as solitary confinement and only allowed a slightly less severe variant under specific conditions. There are also a lot of lines in here outlining how exactly capital punishment can and can't be administered. Most of the other clauses about stuff like outlawing forced labour are pretty straightforward, so you should be able to glean most of the important stuff at a glance.
So why is this being repealed? Well, it's because of a little line tucked away at the very bottom of the text:
The author is arguing that by reserving the legality of capital punishment, ICP is hindering future legislation to end what the author views as an inhumane practice. That's the entirety of the case here. Now, I want to be clear: I know that many of us in this region have an ideological opposition to the death penalty, and the initial reaction is to vote in favour of loosening its legality. But I have a couple of reservations here.
First, capital punishment is covered in great detail in GAR#443, Preventing the Execution of Innocents. Let me give you the high points of this one: member nations are entitled to utilize capital punishment if they so choose, but it must be reviewed and confirmed by a WA committee. Member states may only submit one case per million residents per year. There's a bunch of stuff about ensuring a fair trial. It prevents the use of execution for minors and mentally disabled persons, for nonviolent offenses, and for crimes "not directly affecting more than one person." Execution methods must be confirmed to be without pain and suffering. The defense in these cases must be allowed a year during trial to review evidence, and the WA given six months after the verdict to see about overturning it. The reason I bring this up is to make clear that repealing GAR#500 will not directly enable a ban on capital punishment, and further attempts to do so would require the repeal of #443, which already bars it in many cases. Cesnica isn't being dishonest here, but I think they're a bit starry-eyed to get hung up on this point.
I do think GC borders on dishonesty in one portion of the repeal, however:
In my mind, a promise of replacement legislation carries the implication that it's been drafted to at least a reasonable measure of completeness, such that it could go to vote shortly thereafter. Here is Greater Cesnica's proposed replacement. This is a skeleton of a draft. Every line, except for the assurance of legal resources, is so close to the original most teachers would call it plagiarism. Presumably they acquired permission from the original author to use their work, but even so, this is clearly not a suitable replacement, and I take issue with propping it up to create the impression of a repeal and replace scenario.
At present, I think this repeal gains very little and loses a lot of useful (if imperfect) mandates about livable conditions and further restrictions on executions. Tell me what you think, and if it reaches quorum within the next 60 hours, I'll prepare an IFV statement taking everyone's feedback into account.
I’m gonna be inclined to agree with ya Nat, it seems a very small clause for an entire repeal, especially considering that the removal of said clause wouldn’t even affect much at all. Seems sloppy and unnecessary to me, def against.
Also hahaha I may or may not have busted out laughing at “Insane Clown Posse” xD
First off, this was a really great and entertaining write-up. I appreciate that your writing is consistently entertaining while also showing the time and research you put into understanding the content. Also thank you for letting me know that something was coming up in the GA queue, I'm afraid I'd stopped looking since it's been quiet for some time.
So all of this stuff took a while to read! After reading both the repeal proposal, the thread for the repeal proposal, the thread for the replacement proposal, and a bit extra around the edges, wow! This is really bad! I don't think it's as bad as the author's previous foray into WA writing, which was "Commend The Western Isles", but it certainly seems to be showing a theme of... not great quality.
Just for the sake of record-keeping, I voted against GAR#500 back when it was first at vote. It was specifically for the same reason this seems to have been written (or at least, the ideological push that the author is using to try and get people on board), that it explicitly attempts to allow states to enable the death penalty. I'm against the death penalty, so that line was a deal-breaker for me, especially with GAR#443 already existing. I don't like that one either, for what it's worth, but I think attempting to get rid of two proposals just to put up something explicitly banning capital punishment also isn't worth it, because that would simply never pass. There are too many people who think that capital punishment is an acceptable practice, and we kind of have to choose our battles here. Especially since the originals have really good things in them that it would be a disservice to get rid of for a moonshot.
Putting almost zero work into the replacement before pushing the repeal to a vote also irks me when the author claims to care so much about the idea of replacing it. I just see no value in this repeal. I wouldn't mind someone coming along eventually and replacing the current standards that are in place with more humane ones and ridding us of executions entirely, but this is absolutely not the one. Against.
This situation is a nightmare all around, isn't it?
In the original:
Most of these are fine, good, positive things. Well most. So we're restricting putting prisoners in inhumane conditions, hooray! We're functionally banning solitary confinement, hooray! Although 3 still seems like the government could figure out a way to wiggle one in if they wanted to.
We're banning specific instances of capital punishment. This isn't as good as stating outright that capital punishment is banned, and the author of the target would not wish that to be so anyway, I suspect. Suppose banning specific instances it still productive but at the same time, the implications that a state forcing someone to die is ever okay leaves me a little sick. So, clauses 4 and 5 of the target, I genuinely just don't care about too much.
Six confuses me just as much now as it did at the time. Not sure what a circumstance would be where an extrajudicial execution would be permitted in the first place. If there is a circumstance outside the law where a murder would take place, pretty sure that's still a murder even if it's organised by your local sheriff.
7's great, hell yeah, ban that slave labour.
Aaaand with that the rest of the resolution is a hot dumpsterfire. It's just largely about setting up procedures for capital punishment and what that sort of thing could look like in the World Assembly nation of your choosing if the nation of your choosing thinks killing people is neato burritos. And because of that mess, I voted against it at the time. Still think it should be removed.
I agree, as I mentioned in the chat. The last time I remember a line like that being floated in a proposal, it got slapped down with the response "you can't promise such a thing". And, truly, I don't know how it's possible for it to stand. It's one thing to state (to no discernable benefit) that a proposal has been drafted to address issues, but it's another to say that it is the replacement resolution. Such a line is incredibly presumptive that it would pass. Maybe I was wrong, but I was under the impression that the absolute most you could do was toss in a line saying something to the effect of "Optimistic that a replacement will be pass in short order,". So it already rubs me the wrong way, and it comes across as blatantly corrupt that the replacement in question is done by the same author and has functionally no content at this time.
If the author is presenting this on the grounds of repeal and replace, why are we repealing this now, lightyears ahead of when a credible replacement would be ready? What's the delay in even adding the protections provided in the target resolution to the replacement? There's some gaps that I can see in the target, but oh my god the replacement draft right now
What the actual hell is that supposed to mean and why are we saying that prisoners of war can be treated like garbo but our own citizens can't. Strictly speaking, it's not even saying that, it's saying that we can treat our citizens inhumanely as long as prisoners of war are treated worse. Jesus Actual Christ.
There is a similar section in the target resolution, but I do stress similar and clarify that means that it just has some of the same words:
Saying a condition is mandated for a prisoner of war (perhaps they must be excluded from other citizens by law), is substantially different than saying the legal equivalent of saying "however bad you are technically allowed to treat someone is fine as long as non-war criminals are treated slightly better. The rest of the definition in the target is fine, and those are all the parts that have been excluded from the replacement. The replacement has also yet to ban the practice of forced prison (slave) labour.
But the author is apparently ready enough with the replacement that they have chosen to advertise it in this repeal?
This is not how a repeal and replace works. I agree with the assessment that, at this time, this repeal does substantially more harm than good - especially if the replacement were allowed to pass.
Would like to second, by the way, that this is the case. the target resolution specifically states that capital punishment is up to member states. So if we want to ban it in the future, this particular resolution is going to have to go at some point. I don't think this is the way to go about it because of my above assessment.
One issue I don't like is one about vaccination where if you choose what I believe is the best choice and get the result "Vaccines are mandatory" it doesn't go under the Policies section of your nation page. I see no reason for it not to be but alas it does not go there.
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Just a reminder: Repeal: International Criminal Protocol is likely going to be at vote in about 9.5 hours. If anyone has any input to consider before the Information for Voters dispatch is completed, don't hesitate to reply. You can find my preliminary analysis here.
Actually, if GA#500 is repealed, death penalty ban can be passed legally. PEoI only reserves the right subject to World Assembly resolutions, including future ones. So death penalty can be abolished while GA#443 stands.
I already said this in the Discord server, but thanks Honeydew for correcting an absolutely crucial error in my analysis of extant legislation. GAR#443 does, in fact, only allow capital punishment "subject to World Assembly Legislation," meaning that it does not need to be repealed in order for a capital punishment ban to be legal.
Where do we go with this? The situation, now with 50% more accuracy, is that Greater Cesnica wants to repeal GAR#500 in order to attempt to pass a death penalty ban, and replace #500's most distinctive bits in the near future. The fact that the passage of this repeal will immediately enable a death penalty ban to be submitted makes it a much less risky endeavour. It doesn't change that their GAR#500 replacement is being misrepresented in the text and is nowhere near suitable to submit. The question is whether that's a dealbreaker. As of now, I'm leaning toward no, and will likely recommend in favour of this repeal for the sake of moving forward with stronger legislation. Please let me know if you have any further thoughts on this and I'll read them in the morning before posting a statement.
I agree with the above. The replacement draft is still really bad, and nothing we said before is incorrect, but knowing that a death penalty ban could go through with this out of the way shifts me to a position of supporting it. I'll be voting for when it goes up in the morning.
If the author has no intention of actually making the replacement good, someone else can do it. And I think we can make sure someone does.
I'm against a WA-wide ban on the death penalty on principle, for Nat-Sov reasons. While my own NationState(s) (as far as I know) do not practice corporeal punishments or a death penalty, we believe that it must remain for the people (or the ruler, in case of a non-democratic country) to decide. So, I'll be opposing the repeal.