Question for the Provost

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Vilhelm Benkern
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Vilhelm Benkern » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:12 am

Thank you for that rebuttal. I have a question for the applicant: do you regard the Agreement to be solely martial or mercenary in nature?

And a question for the respondent: if it is accepted that the Agreement is not with Jingdao but with the Tègōng as an entirely separate entity, do you regard it as a neutral actor in international affairs?

Once answers have been given (or it is indicated that they shall not be answered), I will pronounce judgment on this case.
Vilhelm Benkern DEOMI, Member of the Order of the Dragon, Silver Swan, Red Dragon
Dirigent of Musica, Count of Mar Sara
In Aryasht Prapta Vrteti, former Prince of Aryasht; Zaila Vrteti, Norfolknath
In Elwynn Benjamin Sebasokrator Timothy Quentin Kern, Duke of Raikoth
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Raz
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Raz » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:29 am

Vilhelm Benkern wrote:And a question for the respondent: if it is accepted that the Agreement is not with Jingdao but with the Tègōng as an entirely separate entity, do you regard it as a neutral actor in international affairs?
I think this is a tricky question to answer, saying it is not a neutral actor would seem to suggest it is in the waters of the Ministry of the Exterior. In my opinion there is no such thing as a neutral actor, a company that slaughters cows would be considered neutral in Elwynn and Kildare but offensive in Aryasht. A company that slaughters humans will be considered offensive in Elwynn and Aryasht but neutral in Kildare. The Tègōng has not changed the policies of the Dutchy of Kildare, it did favor the policies that were already established and merely gave the Dutchy of Kildare the tools to enforce them.

I also wish to reply to the statement of Tokaray al-Osman, who said "You'll pardon me but for Dutch Taodosius, an Imperial Citizen, to be summoned to a foreign island, that of Catavia, arraigned before a priestly tribunal and then executed suggests that Kildare has been very much subjugated to a foreign power, namely the Empire of Jingdao. At least forgive me if I am mistaken in the impression that who gets to execute whom is in any way indicative of power-relationships" I wish to repeat the point that this execution took place on Jingdaoese soil according to Jingdaoese law. It seems obvious to me that in Jingdao the Dutch, who is not a diplomat, is subject to the laws of Jingdao. Dutch Taodosius was not summoned, he was invited and he went there by his own free will. Should Doctor al-Osman travel to Jingdao he would be subject to the same laws. Given his impertinent nature I would not be surprised if he would face a fate less favorable than that faced by the Dutch. Does this mean Doctor al-Osman is also subjugated to the Holy Empire?
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Vilhelm Benkern
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Vilhelm Benkern » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:00 pm

Count of Tè Gōng Li, those last comments were out of order. In fact, I have already heard you speak about Jingdaoese jurisdiction and your repeating this point does not make it any stronger. Both sides have been given the chance to make submissions and rebut the other side's submissions. I will not allow this court to descend into a chaotic argument. I thank you for helping the court understand your point of view on the Tègōng by answering my question and now ask that you respect me and this court by keeping silent unless you have a point of procedure or non-rhetorical question about the case's handling.
Vilhelm Benkern DEOMI, Member of the Order of the Dragon, Silver Swan, Red Dragon
Dirigent of Musica, Count of Mar Sara
In Aryasht Prapta Vrteti, former Prince of Aryasht; Zaila Vrteti, Norfolknath
In Elwynn Benjamin Sebasokrator Timothy Quentin Kern, Duke of Raikoth
In Khalypsil Representative of the Wisdom

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Raz
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Raz » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:42 pm

Your Excellency,

It was not my intention to make comments that are out of order, I was offended by the comments of Doctor al-Osman who said that "the fortunes of the Tègōng and Jingdao were revived through immoral earnings", referring to my business endeavors on the island Ishrua. Given that you tolerated that, even if it was not relevant to the case at all, I assumed I could take the liberty to explain what is done with people like Doctor al-Osman in Jingdao. My apologies to the Imperial Judex.
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Vilhelm Benkern » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:25 pm

I tolerate all that is said according to the procedures of this court, except where those things that are said are in contempt of the Judex or otherwise impugn the dignity of the court and its officers. But because an advocate says something here, does not mean it will be given credit or weight when it comes to making judgment. At no point did I say that your comments were in substance irrelevant or problematic, simply that they were procedurally incorrect. You cannot complain to me that you should have said something then and not now, because you have had the chance to make arguments and rebut those of the other side, and should have been prepared for that since I issued a clear schedule for this case almost a week ago.

If you are suggesting that some specific item of evidence presented by the applicant is irrelevant and therefore should not be considered, I will hear your argument to this effect, but it is not your place to evaluate the applicant's arguments. Unless that is the case, it is the applicant's turn to speak.
Vilhelm Benkern DEOMI, Member of the Order of the Dragon, Silver Swan, Red Dragon
Dirigent of Musica, Count of Mar Sara
In Aryasht Prapta Vrteti, former Prince of Aryasht; Zaila Vrteti, Norfolknath
In Elwynn Benjamin Sebasokrator Timothy Quentin Kern, Duke of Raikoth
In Khalypsil Representative of the Wisdom

Rei Milharna

Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Rei Milharna » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:23 pm

OOC: Impinge, or more properly, impinge upon. ;)

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Vilhelm Benkern
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Vilhelm Benkern » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:31 pm

Vilhelm Benkern DEOMI, Member of the Order of the Dragon, Silver Swan, Red Dragon
Dirigent of Musica, Count of Mar Sara
In Aryasht Prapta Vrteti, former Prince of Aryasht; Zaila Vrteti, Norfolknath
In Elwynn Benjamin Sebasokrator Timothy Quentin Kern, Duke of Raikoth
In Khalypsil Representative of the Wisdom

Rei Milharna

Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Rei Milharna » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:07 pm

OOC: Today I learned.

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Tokaray al-Osman
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Tokaray al-Osman » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:21 pm

Thank you for that rebuttal. I have a question for the applicant: do you regard the Agreement to be solely martial or mercenary in nature?
Lord Arbiter,

I consider the strands of the Siseran Tègōng, the Catologian Church, the League of Nations for the Advancement of Purity and the National Protection Army now to be so tightly interwoven that it is impossible to speak of an imbedded and indeed integrated cadre of foreign officers, exercising command and control over Kildarian troops, as being in any way mercenary, considering the degree of ideological and theological alignment.

They have attempted to frame the Agreement in such a way that it would seem to be a mercenary contract but in its practical implications:

1) Command & Control
2) Recruitment & Training
3) Close Protection & Advisory Services to the Dutch
4) The Restriction of Religious Freedom

That the Empire of Jingdao has absolutely harnessed the Dutchy of Kildare to its own martial aims.

It is significant that the matter of payment of unspecified expenses was left to the very last clause - it shows the agreement for what it is, a fig-leaf, masking the pernicious alliance that they Kildare and Jingdao have concocted and elsewhere avowed.
His Imperial Magnificence Aurangzeb II Steffki, Kaiser of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, Thane of the Shirelands, Keeper of the Apollo Legacy, Wielder of the Sword of Vengeance, Grand Master of the Orders of the Dragon, Griffin, Phoenix, and Chimera, Sovereign of the Golden Mango Throne.
Dr Tokaray al-Osman KBH, Commissioner of the Chamber of the Crypteia, Emir of Jadid Khaz Modan, Annexer of Yardistan

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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Vilhelm Benkern » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:54 am

Thank you for that answer. I will now retire to consider all the arguments and evidence that has been presented to the court. I will pronounce judgement tomorrow.
Vilhelm Benkern DEOMI, Member of the Order of the Dragon, Silver Swan, Red Dragon
Dirigent of Musica, Count of Mar Sara
In Aryasht Prapta Vrteti, former Prince of Aryasht; Zaila Vrteti, Norfolknath
In Elwynn Benjamin Sebasokrator Timothy Quentin Kern, Duke of Raikoth
In Khalypsil Representative of the Wisdom

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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Vilhelm Benkern » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:44 pm

IN THE IMPERIAL JUDEX
5249 ASC.

JUDGMENT

in the case of

THE IMPERIAL REPUBLIC

v.

THE DUTCHY OF KILDARE

ex parte TOKARAY AL-OSMAN

Having heard all the arguments and reviewed all the evidence, I have come to a conclusion on both the facts and the law on this case. I am acutely aware of the significance of this case, which is the first in which judgment will be given since the new Charter was given legal effect. The nub of this application - the compatibility of a certain agreement with the Charter - is firmly within the shade of our new constitutional framework, since it was in that new charter that the Judex was given the power to render null and void any law or measure that violates it. The power of the Arbiter to strike down enactments and government policies was previously limited to Acts and Resolutions of the Landraad and Imperial Decrees or other orders made by the Kaiser; though, it should be remembered that this does not mean the modern Arbiter has more influence over the constituent lands of Shireroth, because in that previous constitutional arrangement, the primary legislation for all subdivisions came from imperial institutions. Now we recognise the fundamental laws, other legislation and executive acts of non-central government as being of significant interest to this Judex.

The application that was made to this Judex boils down to one essential question, is the agreement between the Dutch of Kildare and the Field Marshall of the Siseran Tègōng compatible with the Charter? This primary inquiry has several components which must be investigated by the court. Is it a measure or law within the competence of the Judex? Of this, there is no doubt. It is an agreement to which the Head of an Imperial State is a party, with intended legal effect for the government and administration within Shireroth, and therefore it is subject to the Charter. Anything that is subject to the Charter is subject to the interpretation of the Judex.

In his preliminary application, the applicant asked the question: "[Is] [t]he Duchy of Kildare, under the rule of Dutchess Sophia Myksos, is a de jure or de facto ally of the Empire of Jingdao, a foreign power"? This is only partially within the scope of this case, i.e. whether such an alliance may emanate from the specific agreement which allegedly binds Kildare and Jingdao, and I shall only deal with it insofar as it is relevant to that agreement. The Judex cannot void a theoretical or abstract relationship, but only laws and measures which are intended to take effect or are in effect.

The main relevant submissions of the applicant were as follows: (i) that the Dutchy of Kildare entered into that treaty when the Dutch signed it; (ii) that that Agreement is a Treaty between the Dutchy of Kildare and a foreign entity ("a despotic theocracy," in his own colourful turn of phrase); (iii) that the Treaty therefore should have been ratified by the Landsraad under Ch.III.B.c, and is therefore contrary to the Charter and void; and (iv) that the Kaiser is responsible for direction of foreign policy under Ch.II.A. (He presumably refers to subsection 2(a).) It is a compelling line of argument but the rebuttal was swift and fierce.

The respondent did not contest point (i) - this was an agreement binding the Dutchy, a state affair and not a private or personal one. He also did not engage with the Charter provisions under points (iii) and (iv), so we must assume he agrees that full diplomatic Treaties are within the competence of the Kaiser and Landsraad for negotiation and ratification respectively. At the very least, viewing the Charter and sitting as Arbiter, I cannot see a reasonable way of reading the Charter otherwise. It was on point (ii) that the respondent mounted his defence: that this is no treaty. There were two forks to this argument. The first was that this is a mercenary agreement, mere international military procurement to secure Imperial State defence, which is within the reserved powers of the Imperial States. The second was that this agreement is not with an entity with which an agreement would be considered a diplomatic treaty. I use this cumbersome phrase because one was not provided by the respondent, but I will henceforth use the term 'diplomatic entity'.

The second fork was anticipated by the applicant. Before engaging with that argument, we must take a break to consider the actual words of the Charter: the ratification by the Landsraad of "treaties" with "foreign powers", the "direction of foreign policy" by the Kaiser. These terms should be thought of as synonymously covering the same kinds of agreements, since it would not make logical sense for the Landsraad to be able to ratify accords which the Kaiser could not negotiate, or vice versa. Though it should be noted that the Kaiser's powers to direct policy are inherently wider than the ratification power of the Landsraad, since not all foreign policy is manifest in treaties with foreign powers. It was the applicant's submission that the Field Marshall of the Siseran Tègōng was the leader of an entity 'co-jointed' with the Empire of Jingdao, negotiating on behalf of the sovereign of that state. He suggested that a 'foreign power' in the terms of the Charter need not be a state, but in this case it was anyway. The implication was that the Agreement here should be considered to have been made by a 'diplomatic entity', whether that is the Tègōng itself or the Empire of Jingdao via its agent.

The relationship between the Siseran Tègōng and Jingdao is not obvious. The respondent paints a remarkably convoluted picture of its seemingly epic history, which spans the rise and fall of nations. I find his conclusion unsettling: that the Tègōng is not a part of Jingdao's military or security apparatus, but using Jingdao, heavily implying it is a 'foreign power' - certainly a 'diplomatic entity', previously allying itself with different individuals and nations to suit its interests. Perhaps the capability to have interests and pursue them, outside the commercial context, may be a suitable working definition. While I have generally resisted engaging with the applicant's often irrelevant comments on Jingdaoese religious and criminal law, it is relevant that there is a significant religious streak to its foundation and activities, because it demonstrates additional dimensions to its existence beyond the military. Revisiting the Agreement itself, we find significant restrictions on religious expression, in line with the views of the Tègōng, and therefore Jingdao, which follows it. I find the counter-argument that there were religious restrictions in Kildare prior to this agreement not very helpful, because while that is certainly the case, there is nothing in the Charter about religion - it is a matter of characterising the Agreement before the Judex. Before moving on from the martial issue, had the Agreement been worded differently, it might have been the case that this Agreement violated Ch.II.A.2.d, if the loyalty of the Tègōng officers and troops was to question the supreme commander-in-chiefdom of the Kaiser. This is an arguable point, but was not pursued by the applicant.

This brings us back to the first fork: that this is a purely mercenary agreement. I find this argument hard to accept because any such interpretation goes against the words of the agreement, on their face and in practice. The text speaks of the Tègōng interests in 'a stable Apollonia', providing religious and political advisors and instituting a religious order in the state. It must be questioned whether the stability being offered is primarily martial. In my judgment, this is not the case. On this crucial point the respondent has failed to show sufficient separation between the Tègōng and Jingdao to make a strong argument against what all the evidence is pointing to, namely that an unknown politico-religious entity, with martial resources, is either acting through or actually is the Tègōng and Jingdao. The content of the Agreement itself is damning, being as it is something of a fig-leaf with mere talk of expenses and looking nothing like a mercenary contract. If we are to imagine the acceptance of the Field Marshall as Count of Tè Gōng Li as some kind of implied payment for that agreement, it is still essentially rooted in political and religious domination of the institutions of an Imperial State. Is that morally wrong, problematic, unShirerithian? It is not the place of this Judex to say, and that is not the point. It is, however, against the Charter. It is patent from the Charter that such a wide-ranging agreement could be made between a foreign power - which the Tègōng it seems to me is, in the sense that its origin is alien and it seems to exert significant influence across many areas of governance, quite apart from the natural lobbying that a commercial or charitable enterprise might engage in - and an Imperial State, or better yet Mother Shireroth, only with the approval of the Landsraad and the involvement of the Kaiser. This application is therefore granted, the rights of the Imperial government under the Charter are reasserted and the Agreement is declared in its sum null and void, along with any corollary or subordinate agreements, executive orders or acts of legislation. They should not be followed by any citizen of any Imperial State or the Imperial Republic proper, and any acts that are perpetrated under their authority cannot rely on them in law. No costs are awarded, since none were applied for, and no general Judex rule concerning the expenses of the court has yet been formulated. From this decision there is no appeal.

With the words of the foundational document of the Tègōng, which seem remarkably apt, I conclude this judgment: Het wieden van de tuin voorkomt erger onkruid.

BENKERN
Arbiter
Vilhelm Benkern DEOMI, Member of the Order of the Dragon, Silver Swan, Red Dragon
Dirigent of Musica, Count of Mar Sara
In Aryasht Prapta Vrteti, former Prince of Aryasht; Zaila Vrteti, Norfolknath
In Elwynn Benjamin Sebasokrator Timothy Quentin Kern, Duke of Raikoth
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Deimos Jasonides » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:02 pm

Wow, that was very well-reasoned. We haven't seen judgments like that since the days of Arbiter Tosha.
Deimos Jasonides| Деймоос Ясооннаи | Deimoos Jasoonnai
Grand Officer of the Holy Order of the Strait of Barbary
Former Prime Minister of the State of Talenore
Former Sovereign Prince of Elwynn

Just another Ric

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Tokaray al-Osman
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Tokaray al-Osman » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:59 pm

Best one I've read since the days of Chief Justice Nantell (and I'm not saying that just as a contented applicant).
His Imperial Magnificence Aurangzeb II Steffki, Kaiser of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, Thane of the Shirelands, Keeper of the Apollo Legacy, Wielder of the Sword of Vengeance, Grand Master of the Orders of the Dragon, Griffin, Phoenix, and Chimera, Sovereign of the Golden Mango Throne.
Dr Tokaray al-Osman KBH, Commissioner of the Chamber of the Crypteia, Emir of Jadid Khaz Modan, Annexer of Yardistan

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Raz
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Raz » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:59 pm

Thank you for your insights into the legal restrictions for Imperial States, we will rephrase the agreement accordingly.
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Tokaray al-Osman » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:02 pm

Rephrasing something that has been declared in its sum null and void might be considered nugatory effort by some.
His Imperial Magnificence Aurangzeb II Steffki, Kaiser of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, Thane of the Shirelands, Keeper of the Apollo Legacy, Wielder of the Sword of Vengeance, Grand Master of the Orders of the Dragon, Griffin, Phoenix, and Chimera, Sovereign of the Golden Mango Throne.
Dr Tokaray al-Osman KBH, Commissioner of the Chamber of the Crypteia, Emir of Jadid Khaz Modan, Annexer of Yardistan

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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Raz » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:03 pm

Tokaray al-Osman wrote:Rephrasing something that has been declared in its sum null and void might be considered nugatory effort by some.
I'm sure Kildari companies can offer similar services.
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Tokaray al-Osman » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:05 pm

Will the Lord Arbiter tolerate such crude evasions?
His Imperial Magnificence Aurangzeb II Steffki, Kaiser of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, Thane of the Shirelands, Keeper of the Apollo Legacy, Wielder of the Sword of Vengeance, Grand Master of the Orders of the Dragon, Griffin, Phoenix, and Chimera, Sovereign of the Golden Mango Throne.
Dr Tokaray al-Osman KBH, Commissioner of the Chamber of the Crypteia, Emir of Jadid Khaz Modan, Annexer of Yardistan

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Raz
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Raz » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:13 pm

We have adressed all points made by the Lord Arbiter.
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Tokaray al-Osman » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:15 pm

Hardly, you are actively seeking to evade the implementation of his judgement by dint of a simple re-badging exercise.
His Imperial Magnificence Aurangzeb II Steffki, Kaiser of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, Thane of the Shirelands, Keeper of the Apollo Legacy, Wielder of the Sword of Vengeance, Grand Master of the Orders of the Dragon, Griffin, Phoenix, and Chimera, Sovereign of the Golden Mango Throne.
Dr Tokaray al-Osman KBH, Commissioner of the Chamber of the Crypteia, Emir of Jadid Khaz Modan, Annexer of Yardistan

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Raz
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Re: Question for the Provost

Post by Raz » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:16 pm

I'm sure that if you would seriously hold that opinion you would bring a new case to the Lord Arbiter.
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