Variable Law

The principle of variable law is simple enough: laws are determined at the lowest layer of the Multi Layer Democracy unless they are voluntarily promoted up to the next higher layer, by a majority of the constituencies of that layer.

So the Community owns the right to set all laws in all public matters but may chose to allow certain aspects of law to be determined Regionally and so forth up the layers. Such that there are aspects of law that, in turn, all Communities, Regions, States and Transterritories decide are the domain of the world, so that those become the law of the world and apply to all.

A higher layer only assumes determination of an aspect of law when the majority of its lower constituent members agree to promote it. And visa versa, the constituent entities can retrieve their determination of any aspect of law from the higher layer so long as a majority of the peer members agree to do the same. If that aspect of law has already been promoted to a yet higher layer, then it must be retrieved down the layered structure in the reverse order in which it was promoted. In practice, the threshold for transfer should be set at two thirds to promote sensible levels of stability. i.e. two thirds of the Communities in a Region would have to agree in order to promote an aspect of law to the Region, and two thirds of the Communities in the Region would have to agree to retrieve that aspect, in order to regain control of it.
phcrstw200All of the constituencies of a layer are bound by the decision of the majority to either relinquish or retrieve an aspect of law. A higher layer may only enter agreements with other constituencies in aspects that have been specifically promoted to them by their own constituents, for any such agreement to be binding on their own constituents.

It is a corollary of this that no layer has jurisdiction in an aspect of law that has not been promoted to it. At the most fundamental level this principle means that public law has no jurisdiction in the private space of an individual or household. It is this principle that forms the basis of human rights, as those are the rights that accrue unassailably to each of us. Human rights are effectively defined as those that we each have to practice in our personal, private space and include the right to have a personal, private space. While anyone may elect to relinquish their human rights, no law can ever remove them or ignore them.

The existing legal structures and processes of most societies do not require substantial radical overhaul to fit in with these principles, however there are some changes that these principles of variable law will probably introduce to many existing systems:

  • Abstaining from interference into personal space
  • Allowing for the retrieval of legal authority
  • Only humans are citizens and endowed with human rights

What is an “aspect of law”?

Under the system of Variable Law (see Constitution) the basic assumption of the system is that the right to regulate and legislate in all areas is retained by the Community, unless it is specifically released to a higher layer. So the test of who has legal authority over any matter is whether that matter has been specifically described in a promotion order, and if this cannot be established then the authority remains with the Community. There is no assumptive embracement or consequential inclusion principle.

Personal Space and the Universal Acceptance of Legal Legitimacy

If we are to avoid the Orwellian predictions that are now within the grasp of many societies, it is essential that we redress the balance between the personal right to personal freedom and the legitimate regulation of public space that legal systems provide.
The tendency to pass laws that intrude into personal freedoms used not to have the same significance, nor attract the opposition that it should have, because it was generally understood that the ability to enforce such laws was almost completely curtailed by the natural barriers to intrusion into, and investigation of, our personal space. That has now changed completely and the ability to smell our emotional state from across the room or hear our conversations from across the globe has provided the capability for a quantum leap in the intrusion capability of those that hold or control the technologies that enable this.
The benefit to society that modern technology offers is so great that we must embrace it and in so doing we must recognize that the capacity for intrusion comes along with those benefits and while we will seek to ring fence the technology with protection for personal privacy, we will not be able to separate the capability from the technology. For this reason we must revisit and review our legal codes to root out all laws that do not pass the test of legitimate public interest and which violate the personal space of the individual.
It is vital that the test for who is a “bad guy” has almost universal acceptance and that means being emphatic in our insistence that law abstain from regulating personal freedoms and also provides the greatest leniency possible in allowing the rights of personal action before determining a public right to regulate. A cohesive and flourishing society cannot be built on fear and moral imposition and the dystopian futures imaged by so many today are within our grasp if we do not take very seriously the need to revise our legal codes in favor of personal human rights.

Legal Structure
phcrstw200

The legal system needs to mirror the multi layer constituency structure in order to be able to effectively deal with variable law. Within each constituency, at each layer, there needs to exist a legal system capable of policing, judicial process and remediation of the laws relevant and applicable within that constituency. Once an aspect of law has been promoted to a higher layer, it is the responsibility of the layer that owns that aspect to provide the legal system to support it, and vice versa when an aspect of law is retrieved. The right of appeal is a necessary part of the judicial process and the highest court of appeal should be the legislative assembly for that constituency.
Policing is an essential aspect of any legal system and is almost wholly dependent for its performance on the cooperation and respect of the population that it serves. It is this fact that serves to further underscore the imperative that the jurisdiction of law refrain from intrusion into people’s private space. It is important that the police are not placed in situations that require them to selectively enforce the law and equally important that they are not incentivized to find lawbreakers rather than solve crimes.

Remedy, restitution and remand

Legal and equitable remedies are the focus of a legal system and are also the boundaries of the legal systems right to infringe on the personal liberties of anyone transgressing the law.
The legal right to detain anyone in confinement as part of a legal judgment only exists to the extent that it is necessary to prevent further harm to others, and that shall be the sole purpose of imprisonment.

Practical Considerations

While initial exposure to the concept of variable law often elicits a euphoria, this is often quickly followed by an uneasiness as the ramifications of a multitude of variations spread across the landscape confronts our natural sense of simple passage. Never fear! There are responsibilities and requirements that come with a desire to retain and practice any aspect of law within any constituency and these create a natural tendency toward unification (without blunting individuality).
Furthermore, when you consider that law and taxes are inextricably bound together you gain a further glimpse of what will be a natural propensity to conglomerate aspects of law at reasonable and practical levels.
In understanding the likely practice of Variable Law, it is instructive to start by studying the implications at a Community level. It is incumbent on the proponents of a law that they also possess the means necessary to police and prosecute that law. That means having an enforcement capability and the infrastructure necessary to provide for the prosecution and defense of accused violators. This is not an insignificant commitment of resources for any individual community and if the enforcement is only effective with the collaboration and participation of neighboring communities, that adds weight to the desirability of promoting that aspect up to a higher level that can bring greater and wider resources to bear.

Origination, A 3 Step Process

To demonstrate how the Variable Law status of an aspect of law starts, these are the steps in the process.
This is particularly relevant to early adopters of the Standards of LIFE in Communities or Regions before there is an opportunity to implement at a higher layer. This also shows how other early adopters joining existing LIFE societies will be able to participate in the final determination of the Variable Law they inherit[1] .
Finally, this three step process also demonstrates the path that can be followed for VL status determinations of new aspects of law once LIFE societies are fully operational.

  • Step 1 – Decided
    • As LIFE societies develop and are formed there will have to decisions made about the promotion and retreival of aspects of law before there is a majority of the population in the constituency that is part of the LIFE political structure. This will be necessary because those that have adopted LIFE constitutions need to move forward and because the existing state of government structure and law may need to be accommodated into the starting status of the society, for practical reasons.
  • Step 2 – Ratified
    • Once a constitutional layer contains a super majority[2] of the population, the decisions made in Step 1 can be ratified with a majority decision.
      After ratification the status of that aspect of VL becomes the status that is inherited by all subsequent joiners, subject to the final rules for retrieval or promotion.
  • Step 3 – Confirmed
    • Once ratified, an aspect of law can be retreived or promoted only with a super majority of the contituencies.
Example

Communities start to adopt LIFE constitutions in a region. Regional affiliation is decided by each Community. Communities in their own provisonal Region, or voluntarily associated with other Communities in a provisional Region, start making decisions about the VL status of aspects of law.
Once the provisional Region contains LIFE Communities that, between them, have 2/3rds of the provisional Region’s population the Community Assemblies ratify the previously decided VL status. If the majority of Communities ratify, the VL status is confirmed.
Thereafter changes to the ratified VL status require 2/3rds of the Communities in the Region to agree to change the status.


 

  1. ^ something, as a quality, characteristic, or other immaterial possession, received from progenitors or predecessors as if by succession
  2. ^ more than two thirds

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