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by The Township of Junitaki-cho. . 32 reads.

Information for Voters: Repeal: "International Criminal Protocol"

Repeal: "International Criminal Protocol"
Information for Voters

Summary

Repeal: "International Criminal Protocol" is an attempt to repeal GAR#500: International Criminal Protocol, hereafter referred to as GAR#500. Before we get to the why, let's briefly run down what GAR#500 does: it established standards of living and treatment for prisoners (or rather, expanded on those from prior legislation), including banning solitary confinement except in specific circumstances and disallowing forced labour, and it set some standards for how capital punishment - the death penalty - can be used. But there's one more line tucked away at the bottom of the resolution: "Reserves to Member-States the right to determine the legality of capital punishment within their jurisdiction."

This is the subject of the repeal at vote. The author, Greater Cesnica, makes the case that the death penalty is inhumane and ineffective, and that in order to eventually outlaw the death penalty, GAR#500 must be repealed and replaced. No issue is taken with the rest of the substance of the original text.

Analysis

So here's the deal: there's exactly one argument here, and it's very straightforward. In the World Assembly, all passed legislation is active, and new proposals can't contradict existing law. That means when a resolution like GAR#500 goes out of its way to say "This is legal," nobody else can come along and attempt to ban it. The author wants to repeal GAR#500 so that there's no barrier to passing a complete ban on capital punishment, which is currently in the works. So most of your position on this one probably depends on your beliefs about the incredibly polarizing issue that is the death penalty. If you're in that camp and you're still here, thanks for stopping by, it's great to have you about.

Beyond that, why might you vote for or against this? It mostly comes down to the laws that are gained or lost. GAR#500 focused partly on capital punishment, but its provisions on solitary confinement and forced labour are valuable. The sections on basic living conditions for prisoners are good too, but I've seen it opined that they're redundant in light of prior human rights legislation; I can't comfortably say whether that's the case. Nevertheless, certain provisions will require a replacement be passed to restore their effect.

And this is a good time to talk about Cesnica's promise in the repeal, "Reassuring member states that a replacement resolution has been drafted to carry on the vital protections GA #500 offered concerning prison conditions." The implication here is that a replacement is ready to go to vote in the event that this repeal passes. But the proposed replacement, which can be found here, is skeletal at best. It borrows its text from GAR#500 almost verbatim, and the few changes present appear to weaken the law rather than strengthen it - its rough definition of inhumane treatment, for instance, or its allowance of forced labour. You should be aware that despite the preamble, a realistic replacement is not waiting in the wings.

Is this a dealbreaker? I don't know. I'm not a fan of the way Cesnica hints at a barely existent replacement. I think it's quite misleading. And repeals can't themselves be repealed, so any misstep is permanently in the record books. That said, if you're a proponent of banning capital punishment, do you really want to wait for someone to draft the exact same thing without that one sentence?

It's also worth noting that some people, specifically foolish Refugi IFV writers, might mistakenly believe GAR#443 also blocks a death penalty ban, and write an entire opinion which hinges on that incorrect assumption. In reality, GAR#443 is subject to past and future WA legislation, so it is possible to instate a ban without first repealing it.

Recommendation

Based on the belief that the death penalty is unjust and should eventually be banned, and with the reassurance that GAR#500's crucial advancements can be replaced - even if the current draft isn't going to cut it - the Refugia Councillor of World Assembly Affairs recommends voting for Repealing: "International Criminal Protocol".

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