Your browser has JavaScript turned off.
You will only be able to make use of major viewing features of this page of The Self-Sovereign Individual Project website if you turn JavaScript on.

Natural Social Contract Annotations

Trial - Determination of Guilt or Innocence

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) Although Social Preferencing is the ultimate method of judgment of the Personal Social Characteristics1 of Freemen within the Social marketplace of the Freeman Society, under the NSC a Trial is the ultimate form of formal adjudication of Disputes between Freemen; and Revocation of Freeman Status is the ultimate form of punishment. As opposed to current practice, where courts are empowered to make findings of both objective facts and subjective Values (punishments, penalties or awards), under the NSC the purpose of a Trial is merely to make an objective validation or non-validation of the Events relating to the Charges. All Decisions concerning amounts of Restitution are initially up to the Freeman making the Restitution Request, but ultimately Modified by feedback form the Social Preferencing Actions of all Freemen in response. A Finding of validity automatically turns a Restitution Request into a binding Restitution Requirement (a document closely resembling a Contract) which the Actual Violator is Required to fulfill (or be in Breach of the NSC). Once again, the only ultimate judgment of both the Actual Victim (Restitution requester) with respect to amount and terms of hirs Restitution Request, and of the Actual Violator with respect to hir Violation and its Harm, is the Social Preferencing of all Freemen.

2) Another difference from current practice is that under the NSC there are no institutionally appointed Judges (because there are no Social institutions) nor any mandatory Jury duty. Both the Judge and the Jury (if the later option is used by the Plaintiff) are Freemen hired for that purpose by the Plaintiff (although s/he may, of course, let the Defendant or anyone else have some input to this Decision and there may be good reasons for doing so). In addition, the Trial Decision Process (Process of making a Determination) is completely open and up to negotiation between the Plaintiff and those s/he hires to operate the Trial, as long as it is a clearly and fully defined Process specifying the Freemen who will make the Determination and the methods by which such Determination will be made. Finally all costs of a Trial are initially borne by the Plaintiff. They are only borne by the Defendant, if and when s/he is Found Guilty, by the method of being included in the Restitution Request, which that Finding Requires hir to pay.

3) It is important to note that the Statuses of "Actual Victim" and "Actual Violator" exist only within a Relationship between Connected Freemen which comes into Existence at the point of the Trial when a Finding occurs. These terms are then applied retroactively to the time of the Event which is Determined to have been the Violation. Once a Finding is made, the entire Determination of a Trial must be Published and Searchably Linked to the Identifying Information of the Disputants.

1. A Freeman's Personal Social Characteristics (review the definition!) are, in fact, the only things on which another Freeman's Choice Estimations and consequent Rational Actions should be based, since logically they are the only ways in which s/he can be affected.