2011 Cjantscheir v. Chancery (M)

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Din el Cort dels Edilicieux


LITZ CJANTSCHEIR
Plaintiff
v.
HIS MAJESTY'S CHANCERY
Defendant


Decided
20 September 2011/XXXII

Brief of the ruling
{{{ruling}}}

Opinion of the Court delivered by
Magistrate T.M. Asmourescu


Ruling

This case presents a series of complex matters. As such, I will be ruling on various points of PM Cjantscheir's argument separately. The first part of the argument (emphasis added by the court)

Quote:

  1. Nowhere in the Original Declaration is the Word “renunciation” mentioned, therefore, the statement cannot form a “Declaration of Renunciation” if the author, in this case, S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir has not made it explicitly clear that he wishes to renounce his citizenship. In this case S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir said he denounces his citizenship, which has a entirely different legal meaning from renouncing. Denouncing and renouncing of one’s citizenship are two entirely different things and the above quoted Article and section make it clear that only a clear “Declaration of Renunciation” is acceptable, which this statement is not.
  2. While it may or may not of been the intention of S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir to renounce his citizenship, one cannot legally interrupt his post as a renunciation of citizenship, unless S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir has made it crystal clear in his message that is his intention, be it with a goodbye message or clear use of the word “renounce”. It was wholly a assumption by the Chancery that the author, S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir, meant renunciation, without awaiting in writing confirmation that this was the exact intention of the author. The declaration does not form a “Declaration of Renunciation” so the Chancery was not legally obliged to act quickly. It should of allowed S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir the benefit of the doubt and awaited clear confirmation from S:reu Réxhifjörd Taglheir that his intention was to renounce his citizenship and sought a properly written statement to that effect. While contact may of been attempted by the Chancery or its agents, I do not believe that the Chancery had to authority to issue a termination of citizenship without a clear declaration of renunciation and such should of been received before the chancery acted.
  3. The widening of the scope of The Chancery of words accepted to mean “renunciation” sets a deadly precedent and is Inorganic. Any citizen who posts, “I denounce my citizenship in Talossa” or “I denounce the Kingdom of Talossa”, could have their citizenships terminated despite these posts being posts of protest that “Declaration of Renunciation”, it could also be reasonably assumed that other words such as “despise, loath, hate, regret etc...” could be viewed as words which mean “to renounce”. The Organic Law makes it clear, the Declaration must be a “Declaration of Renunciation”, not a Declaration of Denouncement, of Despising, or Regret. While the law must allow for a variety of words to form a Declaration of Renunciation, one must ensure that only clearly worded declarations which are verified, by the Chancery as the author’s wishes are accepted. This declaration does not meet this standard, its meaning is ambiguous, vague and it cannot be, without any reasonable doubt, be interrupted as declaration of renunciation of citizenship that satisfies the above mentioned Article and Section.
This argument contains a fundamental contradiction. Either we can hold that the formula for a renunciation of citizenship contain the word "renounce" in any acceptable form, or, we permit any terminal phrase which seems to indicate that the author intends to terminate their citizenship. As such, a citizen who states "I wish to terminate my citizenship" or "I wish for my citizenship to come to an end at this time" might also be construed as requests to renounce one's citizenship.

While the term denounce typically means to protest or censure, it is worth noting that a brief glance at the dictionary also provides an alternate definition:

Quote:

to give formal notice of the termination or denial of (a treaty, pact, agreement, or the like).
And that this particular definition has use, primarily in international affairs.

The current law itself is ambiguous. While the law states that an individual need only make a declaration of renunciation and the SoS is then directed to issue a write of termination of citizenship, the law does not provide a formula or test for what makes a valid renunciation.

With no direct precedent, we must consider the original intention of the authors of the Organic Law. This court believes that intention was to give citizens an easy means to end citizenship, if they should so desire. In this manner, an individual who no longer wishes to be a Talossan, cannot become ensnared in a bureaucracy and unable to completely sever ties in due time.

Furthermore, despite the ambiguity of the law, the Chancery, as an agent of His Majesty's government, is tasked with enforcing that law. As we must interpret the intent behind law's, the Chancery must interpret the intent behind any statement which appears to be a renunciation of citizenship.

Therefore this court holds that the actions of the Secretary of State in issuing the writ of citizenship termination, the acceptability of other words or phrases in a declaration of renunciation, and the organicity of S:reu Taglheir's renunciation are matters to be rules on separately.

This court hereby rules that the Secretary of State is required to enforce the law according to its generally accepted guidelines, barring further legislation. As such, the actions of Sir Iusti Canun were organic. The SoS made a valid interpretation of the request and made effort to give S:reu Taglheir ample time to clarify his intentions.

Furthermore, the court holds that a valid renunciation need not contain the word "renounce" provided the author's meaning is clear in its intention to terminate citizenship.

Next, we move on to the other arguments brought before this court:

Quote:

3) The widening of the scope of The Chancery of words accepted to mean “renunciation” sets a deadly precedent and is Inorganic. Any citizen who posts, “I denounce my citizenship in Talossa” or “I denounce the Kingdom of Talossa”, could have their citizenships terminated despite these posts being posts of protest that “Declaration of Renunciation”, it could also be reasonably assumed that other words such as “despise, loath, hate, regret etc...” could be viewed as words which mean “to renounce”. The Organic Law makes it clear, the Declaration must be a “Declaration of Renunciation”, not a Declaration of Denouncement, of Despising, or Regret. While the law must allow for a variety of words to form a Declaration of Renunciation, one must ensure that only clearly worded declarations which are verified, by the Chancery as the author’s wishes are accepted. This declaration does not meet this standard, its meaning is ambiguous, vague and it cannot be, without any reasonable doubt, be interrupted as declaration of renunciation of citizenship that satisfies the above mentioned Article and Section.</p><p>.....</p><p>2) Termination of citizenship should be considered a serious event by the Chancery, while the Chancery is under no obligation to verify who posted the post, it is under the obligation to verify the intent of a statement if the statement is not crystal clear about its actions and await for this clarification before acting upon such statement. The statement posted was unclear, its actions and effects were vague and ambiguous, yet the Chancery took the assumption that the author meant to renounce his citizenship and took steps to terminate the citizenship of the author without first, ensuring beyond all doubt this was the intention of the statement and he was fully aware of the consequences of such statement. Denounce and Renounce are two separate things and it was outside the powers granted to the Chancery, both Organically and Statutorily, to presume there was a link between these two words, without clear instructions from the author that it wasn’t his intention to denounce his citizenship, but to renounce it. The Chancery acted inorganically by issuing a writ of termination without firstly receiving these facts.
The Government raises two points on this matter. Two elements must exist in order for a renunciation to take effect. One being form, that the individual must make a declaration to the effect of wishing to terminate one's citizenship, and the other being one of intention, that the individual fully intends to renounce their citizenship.

As the law provides no form, the Secretary of State must interpret intention. The government is correct that expanding the acceptable phrases to renounce too broadly sets a dangerous precedent. However, it's argument that "denounce" may simply be a mode of protest does not apply within this context.

S:reu Taglheir's statement that he denounces his citizenship and then provides an (invalid) effective date. The government has used this invalid date as an argument as well. But the law does not provide contingency for future effective dates in this matter. The law provides that citizenship is terminated upon receipt of the notice by the SoS, in no way requiring the SoS to honor any date listed on the declaration, be it valid or otherwise.

The presence of an effective date, meanwhile seems to indicate that this is not merely a protest. One does not typically "loathe" their citizenship effective a certain date. The context in which the phrase is contained is paramount.

An individual may say, for example "I loathe the King, I despise my citizenship and I no longer wish to be a Talossan after today." By the arguments set forth by the government, such a declaration would be unacceptable as lacking in proper form despite the fact that the intention is clear.

Through all of which, we must come to a decision on the matter of whether to uphold the writ of termination of citizenship for S:reu Taglheir. Despite all of these ambiguities, we must also recognize that his statement was made on September 7, 2011. It being the 19th day of that same month, S:reu Taglheir has not made any meaningful effort to contact this court regarding these proceedings, or any individual in the government to protest these actions.

The lengthy discussion over the validity of his renunciation is publicly viewable even with a suspended Witt account. As such, we hold that the writ of termination of citizenship is ORGANIC and shall be upheld pending any appeal to the Uppermost Cort.

I further direct the Ziu upon commencement of the coming Clark to review this ambiguous law and consider methods to ensure that it is equally and equitably applied. The Secretary of State, in this matter, exercised his discretion justly and without prejudice. However, the amount of interpretation necessary under the present law lends itself to future abuse and may require further legislation.


Statement by
Magistrate T.M. Asmourescu

Transcript of Case

The proceedings of the case can be found here.