Proposed by Bastion, seconded by Casinea.
- Autumn 383YE
- Non-standard costs apply as detailed here.
- 30 wains of weirwood
- 60 wains of white granite
- 180 crowns in labour costs
- 20 thrones in upkeep
- Six months to complete.
- 30 wains of white granite, 15 wains of weirwood provided by Rhesa of Highguard after Autumn Equinox 383YE.
- 180 crowns provided by the Heirs of Lepidus after Autumn Equinox 383YE.
- 1 wain of weirwood provided by Richardo Glostari di Sarvos after Autumn Equinox 383YE.
- Once completed this commission will be overseen by the title Lepidean Librarian appointed by the Highborn National Assembly.
There was significant discussion among the Constitutional Court with regards to the decision to assign the true liao the civil service predict will be produced by the commission via the judgement of Rewarding. This was not one of the methods outlined in the original opportunity; however after considerable debate this return to the previous historical method of assigning true liao was judged to be neither unconstitutional, nor technically a deviation from a well worn path - merely one that had not been used since the time of Empress Teleri.
In response to an inquiry by Cardinal de Coeurdefer, Magistrate Abraham has publicised the following expansion of the discussions held by the Constitutional Court.
On this occasion, the method of allocation selected by the Imperial Senate was not one of the constitutionally valid options originally presented by the civil service. In theory this is not an issue; it is difficult for any briefing to delimit all possible constitutional solutions to a problem. Something is not intrinsically unconstitutional simply because it has not yet been ruled to be constitutional. But it does ensure that the motion will need additional scrutiny.
To compound matters, the senator who raised the motion opted not to have it scrutinised before the vote. Regrettably in recent times we have seen fewer senators presenting motions to the court for scrutiny before raising them as motions. That is perfectly fine for motions with no constitutional implications but it does not bode well if a motion is problematic.
Legally the position is clear – the Court will pass judgement on the motion after it has been considered by the Senate. But in practical terms it puts us in a undesirable position if a motion has already passed but the Court judges it must be struck down. That creates an invidious consequence wherein the Court appears to be denying the will of the Senate. This is less than ideal to put it mildly.
Being frank, Leontes the Scribe has expressed the view on more than one occasion that any senator who raises a constitutionally novel motion without first putting it through scrutiny has elected to follow this route precisely because they suspect that their motion will not pass scrutiny. Rather than get our assistance in this matter, he thinks they are deliberately calling our bluff. A suspicious mind such as his might suspect that they believe that the best way to force us to approve an unconstitutional motion is to dare us to reject it after the Senate has expressed its will.
A senator's intentions are of no legal consequence to our work, but they can have an impact on the scrutiny that follows. In such situations, the Court will take all the time the process provides to consider every possible ramification of a motion – to see if we can identify what possible nefarious consequences have been buried in its wording. Hence the protracted scrutiny and ensuing discussion of this motion.
That scrutiny quickly identified potential problems in the chosen method for distribution of the liao. The current guidance for the Judgement of Rewarding states that “If multiple rewards are upheld at the same time then allocation starts with the earliest judgement raised until the Fund is empty or all endowments have been disbursed.” By this rule, if two judgements of rewarding both passed at the same time, then the judgement which was submitted first would be upheld, not the judgement that received the most votes.
One might expect that the priests of the Imperial Synod would want to use the opportunity presented by the summit to discuss amongst themselves who might be most worthy to receive the true liao before a judgement was submitted. However with the judgement as written, it seems likely that some considerable advantage will accrue to whichever recipient's judgement of rewarding is submitted first. There was a risk that this approach could lead to situations where the Imperial Synod is not satisfied that the citizen being rewarded was their first choice with the concomitant unhappiness that that outcome might bring.
Having carefully checked the historical records, there is no legal prescription for the judgement of rewarding to be decided by first submission; this process is a matter of civil service implementation, rather than Imperial law explicitly laid down by the Senate. Furthermore, the current guidance is clearly inconsistent with the method used to decide the outcome of competing mandates. As a result the Constitutional Court have agreed with the Tribune of the Synod that the guidance should be amended so that in a case where two competing judgements of rewarding are being decided at the same, the one with the highest margin of votes in favour should be upheld first.
The final argument was that the guidance published for the Judgement of Rewarding is explicitly written to cover only judgements involving money. This restriction exists in part because the civil service have ruled that it is too complex for them to deal with the myriad of different resources that they would otherwise be required to handle. In effect the civil service can only support the use of the Judgement to distribute the Synod's money. Leontes wished to reject the motion because it clearly violates the existing guidance around the use of the Judgement of Rewarding.
That argument was settled by the fact that historical precedent exists for the use of the Judgement in this way. Indeed, it is possible that the true liao was the only thing distributed in this manner at that time (we don't know since the records are incomplete). In theory historical precedent is not binding in legal rulings – since bad precedent is no basis for good law. In practice, it does carry some weight, and particularly in situations where it is clear that citizens have attempted to guide themselves to create well-worded motions by following historically acceptable constitutional paths.Magistrate Abraham