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Natural Social Contract Annotations

Dispute Resolution

The reader will only be able to understand the purpose and meaning of this annotation and its relationship to the Natural Social Contract (NSC), if s/he has first read the Introduction section of the NSC and its explanatory and elucidating annotation.

1) Every current society has a legal system which details the procedures under which crimes and other interpersonal disputes are adjudicated. The problem with all existing systems, however, is not only that the definitions of "crimes" are contradictory to the Social Meta-Needs of humans, but that the legal procedures themselves end up causing more Violation than they are trying to remedy. One of the major reasons why this is so is because the system of most current societies is based on punishment as the major deterrent to Violations. This is done in most current societies because the philosophy on which they are based does not contain any basis by which to judge the correctness of human action which is consistent with the Social Meta-Needs of optimal human Freedom. In complete opposition, the dispute resolution System contained in the NSC is based on the natural ethical imperative which is the fundamental requirement of each human's life - hir desire to optimally increase hir Lifetime Happiness. It is that ethical imperative (hir natural life purpose) which implies that Restitution rather than punishment should be the aim of any dispute resolving system. The NSC details a minimally invasive scheme containing practical elements of common law and western judicial procedures by which Restitution can be achieved wherever possible. This makes the arrangement given in the NSC more logical, more self-consistent, more consistent with the other principles of social order, and more contributory to the Lifetime Happiness of all Freemen than that of any social order currently in existence.

2) Stipulation C.1 restates Stipulation A.4, that a Freeman is Entitled to employ an Agent for any Action related to the NSC. However, in a Dispute situation it is necessary to add that the other Disputants Must be informed. Partly because of this additional condition, an Agent for a Freeman Acting in any aspect of a Case in which the Freeman is either a Defendant or Plaintiff is termed a Surrogate. Moreover, the NSC does not use the ambiguous word "represent", but instead clearly specifies the meaning of "representation" used within it by using the terms Personate and Surrogate.

3) Stipulation C.2 makes it clear that any Case is Settled as soon as a Restitution Agreement is concluded between the Defendant and Plaintiff. Unless the circumstances of the Case involve a Breach of the NSC (in which case that is an entirely separate Charge) no one else has any Entitlement to interfere in the termination of the Case by Settlement.

4) Stipulation C.3 states that the creation of a Case, the specification of the Case Process (according to the Requirements of Stipulation C.4 of the NSC), and the Restitution requested are entirely the prerogative of the Plaintiff (the Freeman who creates the Case). Although this seems to be very subjective and open to abuse, since only the putatively injured party has the ability to decide what Harm s/he has incurred (only s/he can know what s/he felt and therefore what was the reduction of hir Lifetime Happiness) and therefore what Restitution will restore hir Lifetime Happiness to what it would have been if the Harmful Event had not occurred, only s/he can correctly determine that Restitution. Any possibility of abuse of this Entitlement must therefore be left to Social Preferencing to adjudicate and ultimately determine by penalizing the party guilty of asking "too much" Restitution (ie. the definition of "too little", "too much" or a "fair amount" is determined over time as with all subjective market Actions), and thus helping hir to learn not to be so "overharmed" in future or to suffer the negative Social consequences. It should also be noted that since the Plaintiff is totally Responsible for creation and processing of the Case, he is also totally Responsible for the costs of the Case. Therefore it is up to hir to include such costs in hir Restitution Request. Any exorbitant costs will also be something that is ultimately judged by Social Preferencing.
The 48 hour rule is placed in the Stipulation because while the Restitution Request could increase during the duration of a Case for many reasons: additional unforeseen damage, legal bills, lost time, continued pain and suffering, etc, it is necessary that some reasonable time, before the Defendant needs to agree to it, be specified for the designation of the actual Restitution Requirement to which s/he is Required to agree at the Determination of the Trial. One reason for such a specified time past time, rather than the amount of the Restitution Requirement being suddenly sprung upon the Defendant at the time of hir conviction, is to allow the operation of Social Preferencing to modify and moderate such Restitution Requests either in favor of the Defendant or the Plaintiff. For similar reasons a Restitution Request could decrease during the duration of a Case, but that is less likely due to the time spent by the Plaintiff in an Unrestituted State. Note that the Restitution Request of 48 hours hence is only the Plaintiff's maximum Entitlement. Nothing prevents hir from deciding at the time of the Determination that the Restitution should be less. The 48 hours is a somewhat arbitrary time that seemed to me to be neither too much nor too little all things considered, but I am fully open to any reasonable adjustment of this timing (as I am with all other times specified in the NSC).

5) There is a natural asymmetry to the arrangements of a Case Process described in Stipulation C.4. The Plaintiff quite naturally should have the prerogative to Decide the details of the Trial Service Contract, since s/he is the one who has created the Case and is going to pay all its costs of processing even if no Restitution is received. On the other hand, the Plaintiff needs to make all these parameters about the Case available to the Defendant and all other Freemen (ie. Publish them) in a timely manner so that all Freemen who have an interest in the Case (particularly the Defendant) will have time to respond. 30 days seemed like a reasonable length of time for the arrangement of the Case Process and the Publication of the details of that process, but as with all numbers in the NSC it is completely open to variation by input from others. Note that no Freeman is Compelled to participate in a Trial, because any such Compulsion would necessarily be a Violation.

6) Stipulation C.5 Requires that as long as the Defendant fulfills his Requirements in the Case Process as detailed in Stipulation C.6, the Case Process Must cause a Determination of its Charges within a relatively short time (maximum 90 days) or else the Plaintiff (who has created the Case and directed its processing) Must terminate the Case and Drop the Charges. The Case needs to proceed quickly so that the Defendant is neither kept in limbo with respect to the charges nor Required to pay more Restitution merely because of the passage of time and the additional costs unnecessarily incurred by the Plaintiff. 90 days seemed like a reasonable length of time for the total duration of a Case, but as with all numbers in the NSC is completely open to variation by input from others.

7) Stipulation C.7 specifies the conditions under which a plea of Defense will invalidate a Charge of Violation. As this Stipulation makes clear, any possibility of the Defendant perceiving that s/he might be the Actual Victim of Responsible Harm Effectively Caused by the Plaintiff is sufficient for a plea of Defense with Necessary Harm to be validated by a Trial. Once again, since the Evaluation of this perception of threat and of the Actions that were deemed necessary to prevent Harm can only be the necessarily subjective prerogative of the one who is in a position to perceive that situation (the Freeman who perceives the threat), any abuse of a plea of Defense with Necessary Harm must necessarily be left to Social Preferencing to adjudicate and ultimately determine by penalizing a Freeman who feels threatened "too easily" and/or takes what other Freemen are convinced were unnecessarily Harmful Actions. By such feedback from other Freemen through Social Preferencing, a Freeman will learn to not be so easily threatened in the future (or at least to not act so hastily on such feelings), to not cause UnNecessary Harm during Defense and to Restitute if UnNecessary Harm did occur, or otherwise to suffer the negative Social consequences. However, a plea of Defense with Necessary Harm can only be invalidated by the Plaintiff producing evidence that it was clearly impossible for hirself to be the Effective Cause of the Responsible Harm that the Defendant was concerned would happen if s/he (the Defendant) did not take the Defensive Actions (which Actions would then become Violations).

Virtually all the same consideration as above apply to Stipulation C.8 which Entitles a Freeman who is RePossessing an Entitled Possession to take Actions that Effectively Cause Necessary Harm, and to use a plea of RePossession with Necessary Harm to avoid any Restitution for such Harm to the Freeman who is currently in Possession of the Property.

8) Stipulation C.9 essentially states that any Defendant is always Entitled to bring counter Charges against hir Plaintiff.

9) Stipulation C.10 makes it clear that there is no rule against "double jeopardy" in the NSC, since the effect of any such rule would be to prevent an Actual Victim from obtaining full Restitution (for Harm not realized until after a first Trial and Restitution Requirement). The natural check on abuses of this NSC Entitlement is the same as with any other Case:

  1. If the Plaintiff loses the Case (the Determination of Trial is that the Charge is invalid), then s/he Must pay all costs of the Case, and
  2. If the Plaintiff requests a Restitution amount that is deemed to be too large by Freemen who might otherwise want to InterAct with hir, such Freemen will be less inclined to do so, since their potential liability would be more with hir than with others who request lower Restitution amounts. This is, of course, just one example of how Social Preferencing provides the feedback necessary to stabilize the Social Order.