Proposal to Add Judge as New Job Position for Space Station 14


A: Proposal


I propose that Judge be added as a new Job position to Space Station 14.


B: Goal of Proposal


The reason for this proposed new Job position is to codify Space Law into a functional Body of Law for Space Station 14.


C: Reasoning Behind Proposal


Oftentimes Space Law seems like a fleeting suggestion more than a real Body of Law. I think the reason for this is that Space Law lacks the infrastructure necessary to function properly. After having read the entirety of Space Law, Standard Operating Procedure, and Alert Procedure I have come to the conclusion that the reason for this is that Space Law is not really anybody’s actual Job.


The closest Job responsible for Space Law is Lawyer. However, this is not proper for any Court of Law. The real Job responsibilities of a Lawyer should actually be arguing for either Prosecution or Defense. Yet, this arguing rarely actually happens as almost nothing ever goes to Trial because Security takes over everything.


Space Law clearly delineates a line between High Crimes and Low Crimes. Low Crimes are clearly under the Jurisdiction of Security. However, High Crimes are clearly under the Jurisdiction of Trial Law. That said, in what is often times a lack of a functional Trial System; these High Crimes more likely than not fall to Security as well instead of actually going to Trial.


This is because organizing an actual Trial is next to impossible. The reason for this is because Under Space Law, how it is currently written, it’s not really anybody’s actual Job to be in charge of Space Law.


Technically speaking, Space Law falls to a Trial with the relevant Department Head or the Captain presiding as a sort of temporary, makeshift Judge. The problem with this structure is that this pins being a Judge onto the Captain and Department Heads as an ancillary responsibility rather than as a real responsibility as a designated Job; and they often times treat it as such.


After all, who cam blame them? The Captain’s actual job is to be the head of the entire Station. Because of this, the Captain’s responsibilities are to coordinate Department Heads. This is a full time job. The Captain doesn’t really have the time to ‘play Judge’ very often. Likewise, the Department Head’s actual job is to be the head of the entire department. Because of this, the Department Head’s responsibilities are to coordinate crew. This is a full time job. The Department Heads don’t really have the time to ‘play Judge’ very often.


Because the Captain and the Department Heads already have their actual jobs on their plates as positions of full time responsibility; rarely does anybody qualified actually step up to the plate to ‘play Judge.’ I once saw a Court Room pick some random person out of the hallway and shove a Judge Robe on him and call him a Judge just so that a Trial could actually happen.


As one could imagine; this resulted in a kangaroo court where Space Law was not properly upheld.


The clear remedy to this problem is to create Judge as a new Job position in Space Station 14 so that upholding Space Law actually is somebody’s Job.


D: Structure of Proposal


1: Judge shall be created as a new Job in Space Station 14.


Additional Details: This should actually be easy to do. Adding a Judge is far more about updating Space Law, Standard Operating Procedure, Alert Procedure, and Job Descriptions to empower the Job position of Judge with the proper rank and authority to perform the duties of the Judge than it is about modifying game code. The simplest way to go about implementing the Judge game code wise is to just make a duplicate Job position of the Lawyer. Rename the duplicate position “Judge” on the Job listing as well as give the Judge its own PDA and ID Card with access to what the Lawyer has access to. Judge spawns in with Judge Robes on top of standard Lawyer cloths. Judge can even spawn in at Lawyer Spawn Points if Map Makers don’t want to place specific Judge Spawn Points in Court Rooms. Also, obviously, extra Judge Robes should be removed from Vending Machines that they shouldn’t be in. So, for example, no more Judge Robes for Clown. The easiest thing to do would be to put them in Lawyer Vending Machines if Judge isn’t going to get its own Vending Machine.


2: Judge shall have a clear Job Description that lists the Judge as having both the responsibility and the authority over Trying all Trial Cases in Space Law. While the Job of the Lawyer is to argue for the Prosecution or Defense; the Job of the Judge is to Render a Verdict in Accordance with Space Law.


3: Judge shall be high ranking; equal to a Department Head.


Additional Details: Judge answers only to Server Admin, Captain, and other Judges. Judge has direct authority over Lawyers. In essence, a single Judge is the ‘Department Head’ over Space Law. Multiple Judges are a shared ‘Department Head’ over Space Law. The Admin owns the Server, and thus has power over the Judge. The Captain, being the Head of the Station, outranks the Judge. A Judge can be found to be in Dereliction of Duty by another Judge. If found to be in Dereliction of Duty; Judge A can strip Judge B of Job position as well as issue other punishments up to and equal to the punishments issued in Judge B’s Mis-Tried Cases. For example, if Judge B is found by Trial under Judge A to have improperly sentenced people to death; Judge A can sentence Judge B to death. Mis-Tried Cases become eligible for Re-Trial.


4: Judge shall have the power to Summon and Subpoena individuals in the service of Trying Cases.


Additional Details: Judge is highly advised to take Summoned or Subpoenaed Department Head’s council seriously; similar to how the Captain is highly advised to take Department Head’s council seriously. In this way, Department Heads can still serve the Court when needed in providing Expert Testimony on cases that require it. Security shall be responsible for carrying out the Summons and Subpoenas. Punishments for ignoring the Summons and Subpoenas shall be listed as new Laws for Security to carry out against infringing individuals. There shall be a clear exemption if the Summoned or Subpoenaed individual would do harm to the Station or anybody on the Station by being removed from performing their duties to appear in Court. This way the Judiciary doesn’t cause harm to the Station or anybody on the Station. As an example; if Head of Security leaving to appear in Court would cause the Station to fall apart because the Station is under attack by the Syndicate the Head of Security is able to legally ignore the Summons or Subpoena. Also, if the Station is under a strict enough Emergency Code; Summons and Subpoenas can also be legally ignored as the Station is in a State of Crisis.


5: Selecting Judge from Job Listing shall be restricted to requiring 300 Minutes of playing as Lawyer before Judge becomes eligible for play. This is the same as every Department Head.


6: Judge shall be provided a Bailiff from Security while the Court is in Session; so long as this does not pose undue stress on Security.


Additional Details: If there are too few Security Members, this can be ignored and Court can go into Session without a Bailiff. But, ideally, Court should have a Bailiff while in Session so that nobody tries to kill anybody in the Court Room.


7: Judge shall have the authority on deciding if an offense qualifies as a High Crime or a Low Crime.


Additional Details: This decision is always to be made in Accordance with Space Law. However, some Laws mirror each other across the two lists and are delineated by severity. In such situations, the Judge has the authority to decide if the offense was severe enough to bump the Case up to a High Crime. This is something of a gray area; and thus this is also something that other Judges can weigh in on if they feel the Judge presiding is not acting in accordance with Space Law. Judge does not have authority to pick and choose what is and is not a High Crime or a Low Crime. Judge has authority on deciding between similar crimes between the two lists if it comes into question. For example, if someone is destroying property; Judge has authority to decide if this is “Damage or Destruction of Property” or “Vandalism.” Essentially, Judge has authority on deciding if this is a case that needs to go to Trial; a High Crime or if this is something that falls in the Jurisdiction of Security; a Low Crime. The accused have right to send their Lawyer to the Judge to make a Determination. Security has the right to go with the Lawyer and represent their views on the matter to the Judge if Security so chooses to do so. Judges are encouraged to not funnel all Cases to themselves and only escalate Cases to Trial when appropriate under Space Law.


8: Martial Law and Court Martial


As the Captain of the ship, the Captain does have authority over the Judge. Under Alert Procedure; Captain may at his or her discretion issue Martial Law if the Station is under a severe enough Crisis Code. This will Suspend Court until the crisis is over.


Likewise, Captain has authority to issue a Court Martial if he or she sees fit. Captain can then either preside over the Case himself or herself or appoint a relevant Department Head to Preside over the Case.


9: Reappointing Judges


If a Judge is found in Dereliction of Duty by another Judge or the Captain the Judge or the Captain making this ruling can strip the Judge of Job position. At this point, it immediately becomes the duty of whoever stripped the Judge of Job position to reappoint a new Judge so that Space Law can continue.


10: Stations should allow 1 Judge for every 2 Lawyers. The amount of Judges and Lawyers should increase for larger Stations.


Additional Details: The reason for this is so that there is a Lawyer for Prosecution, a Lawyer for Defense, and a Judge to Render Verdict. So, 1 Judge and 2 Lawyers could make sense for smaller Stations while a larger Station could have 2 Judges and 4 Lawyers or 3 Judges and 6 Lawyers. An increased number of Judges would allow for Judges to hold each other accountable to Space Law as well as allow Judges to more easily swap out with each other between cases so that Judges can eat and drink for a while without having to pause Trying Cases through Court Recess. Judges shall be able to take a 5 Minute Court Recess when needed; especially if there is only one Judge on the Station.


E: Conclusion of Proposal


Really, the entire idea of this proposal is to make a functioning body of Space Law by making it actually someone in authority’s specific Job to be in charge of Space Law. As Space Law is currently written, it is ineffective because its functioning depends on shattering what should be the job of the Judge into many separate shards and handing them out to the Lawyer, the Department Heads, and the Captain.


By taking these pieces of authority and codifying them into the position of Judge; we can take this responsibility off the plates of the Lawyer, the Department Heads, and the Captain (so that they can focus on their actual jobs) and vest this responsibility into a new position tailor made specifically for it.


Thus, if it’s someone’s job to sit in the Court Room and Try Cases all Shift; maybe then we can actually have Trials with competent Judges instead of expecting the Captain and Department Heads to leave their actual jobs to ‘play Judge,’ pulling random person out of the hallway to ‘play Judge’ or doing neither and allowing all responsibility to default to Security (as usually happens) thus rendering Space Law largely ineffective.


Section D 8 is here to show that the Judge being created as a Job position is not to usurp power from the Captain or Department Heads. Rather, it is because the Captain and Department Heads don’t really have the free time to ‘play Judge’ that Judge should exist as its own Job. Section D 8 exists so that no real power will shift on the Station if Judge is created as a Job position. If Judge does well, Captain and Department Heads are freed of the responsibility. If Judge does poorly, Captain has authority to step in and ‘play Judge’ just like Captain already has now. In essence, Judge exists to Try Cases so that Captain and Department Heads don’t have to. Judge essentially acts as an extension of the Captain’s authority over Space Law without outranking the Captain.

Interesting idea, though as Space Law is not implemented in LRP this might only be appropriate for MRP/HRP. A judge might suit those servers better compared to LRP given how chaotic and fast-paced LRP is compared to both MRP and HRP. But overall, I quite like the idea. 

This sounds like a really cool role 👍


So, having played a lot more in other roles and getting a better understanding of the different jobs on the Station, I do think I should update this proposal as some things have come to mind.

Firstly, I think my original idea of having Judge be a department head was overstated. I was trying to figure out a way to make sure that Judge had authority to try cases on everyone accept Captain. My fear was that if Judge was too lowly ranked that other players might simply ignore Judge’s ruling by pulling rank on Judge. ‘I’m HOP, I don’t have to do what you tell me, etc.’

But, in looking at the structure of command, it really doesn’t make sense to have Judge at the same level as HOS, HOP, CMO, etc. The only role that Judge is generally over is Lawyer. Outside the Court Room, Judge really doesn’t need to and shouldn’t outrank other department heads.

So, I think the most effect way to handle this is to give Judge sort of dual authority level. While not trying cases, Judge is simply a Civilian Role. Though, with power over Lawyers. I kind of hesitate to call legal its own ‘Department’ when it would really just have Judge and Lawyers. But, Judge should be able to have the authority over Lawyers to direct them if they’re slacking off and not being on the lookout for cases. Otherwise, in general, Judge should not be over anybody else.

That said, while trying cases, Judge has authority over everyone on the ship except Captain. So, the Judge’s rulings of innocent or guilty; and the Judge sentencing if the accused is found guilty, stand and need to be enforced by Security. The only people who can appeal this ruling are either the Captain or another Judge if we allow for multiple Judges. Another Judge can only appeal the ruling if the ruling was not in accordance with Space Law. Captain has absolute authority, and thus does not have such restrictions on appealing a Judge’s ruling.

Another thing is that several times in my proposal I mentioned ‘when the alert level if high enough’ such as when Court Should be Suspended as a sort of Martial Law until things on the Station are safe again. After having played more, I have a better understanding of the Alert Codes and I do think that Red or Higher is where this line should be drawn.

Judges are lawyers in real life