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Re: Pennsic Letter

Poster: AEdric the Grene <AEdric@mindspring.com>

>Poster: Heather Swann <heather@pop.net>
>thing  that worries me is when people say it wouldn't have caused as much
>uproar if it were described as a 'review' vs. a 'court'. Either one seems
>to me unnecessary and potentially unpleasant and a thing that could be used
>for personal political reasons by whoever has the controls.
>The SCA rules already state that the autocrat has the authority at their
>event to toss someone off the site or to deal with problems.  This is
>already taken care of.  It seems to me that the addition of a 'review' or a
>'court' is more of a random 'kangaroo' affair, or has the potential to be

>From what I've been reading in the recent Grand Council discussions on
banishment, it seems that autocrats are very hesitant to use their power to
deal with problems with members.  Explanations given on the list point to
possibilities like discomfort with the power, not wanting to confront an
otherwise distinguished (if not Noble) member, not wanting to offend
important people, and fears that taking action would ruin the event for
all.  I can't comment on the accuracy of any of this myself, obviously,
but, if true, it would explain the desire to build a review process such
that action can and will be taken when necessary.

On the other hand, I fail to see how having all the power in the hand of
the Autocrat is different from being in the hand of 2 Kingdom Seneschals
and any appointees they name. At worst, we stay at having one person's
politics (either Kingdom Seneschal) and at best we have a review of all
actions taken by Autocrat's staff, Security, Chiurgeons, etc that provides
due process instead of a possibly arbitrary and capricious decision by one
person.  So, we're not getting worse decisions than the older way and maybe
we end up with something resembling just decisions.

Why do I say we could be getting due process [legal language brought to you
today by the letter "AE"]?  Because you can actually show up at the Review
and bring witnesses and evidence.  Additionally, there has probably been
some time between the alleged "incident" and the Review, which allows for a
cooling down on for all parties.  These I see as the best things about the
Review, as it allows time for people to (possibly) be the rational
creatures they are and not make snap decisions on taking immediate action
against some for, say, misunderstood behaviour at some social gathering.

Besides, as the Seneschal's letter for Pennsic states, the Seneschal's
Review is being done under the auspices of Corpora II.C. which as I read it
certainly seems to make such a thing possible.  Instead of the Autocrat
being responsible for the whole thing the Kingdom Seneschal(s) [Middle as
Hosting and AEthelmarc because of the Pennsic Resolution recognises their
authority in containing the actual land]  are taking responsibility.  I do
agree that this is a somewhat unusual way of doing it, but Corpora allows
it (at least by my reading, the Royalty and the Board readings being the
ones that actually count).
>As I understand the SCA rules, there are already ways of dealing with
>problems in place.  Do we just need to make better use of them, perhaps?

Actually, that seems to be entirely the point.  Pennsic this year is just
using a rules method that is foreign to what seems like almost all of us.
That doesn't make it wrong, just different.  However, as usual with doing
anything in the "non-traditional" manner, people are obviously upset about it.

>I don't know.......I'm just asking here, because it seems that the rules
>are gradually getting tighter and more numerous, and I'm not so sure if
>that's a good thing....

No, neither tighter nor more numerous that I can see.  Just done in a
different way.  It will be interesting to see if this way works any better
at solving problems than the ways used in the past.  As I said, it can't be

As for the new rules regarding "Trouble Groups", perhaps some people are
missing that the Coopers supposedly asked for such rules?  And, the Coopers
definitely have the right to set any such site rules as they feel necessary
since they are the site owners.  Of course, the only way to make certain
these are precisely what the Coopers wanted is to ask them, but in the
meantime, I see no reason to disbelieve that the rules are not what they

AEdric the Grene
House Howling Mouse

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