Justicar Report #1
JST Who Is This Bubba Guy?
I'm going to keep doing this: I want to thank our exceptionally dedicated GMs, past and present, and the hardworking members of the Electorate for entrusting me with this position. As for me, I've been part of this club longer than some of our youngest members have been alive -- sixteen years this June. In that time, I've served in every leadership position in Clan Plagueis from Battleteam Leader to Consul, served two terms as Right Hand of Justice (first for Kir, then for Jac), and spent a little over two years as Headmaster (in fact, my last day as Headmaster was two years ago tomorrow!). In other words, I've done all the things.
I am a lawyer in real life with about five years of experience under my belt. I've long had an interest in the legal world, including the Brotherhood's unique (and, I think, uniquely effective) legal system encapsulated in the Covenant. I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity to hold this position -- it has been a goal of mine for many years.
Bubba = Dacien? Huh?
Some people have asked me how I got the name "Bubba" from "Dacien Victae." That's not how it worked. I started my DB career, many moons ago, as "BubbaX," a name that I saw in a random online game that I barely remember. I promptly stole it for myself, thinking it was very cool. What can I say? I was young.
I was also right. It is very cool, and anyone who disagrees will be sentenced to three months in the Panda Cage.
Anyway, as I grew older I figured I deserved at least two names, so now you can call me either Bubba or Dacien. Whatever floats your boat.
The Justicar plays an important role in this club with a mandate to protect the rights of the membership and enforce the Covenant; I view those duties as two sides of the same coin, as violations of the Covenant often directly harm other members' enjoyment of the club. I understand that most members have only fleeting involvement with the Chamber of Justice, usually under difficult circumstances. To help shine some light on how the Chamber operates, here is an excerpt from my statement to the Electorate detailing how I intend to run the Chamber of Justice:
Through work, I have some real-world experience with mediation and negotiation, which I hope to put to use. Certain provisions of the Covenant call for mediation of disputes, typically led by the Justicar or a “senior leader.” I intend to make myself available to mediate member-member and member-leader disputes, should the parties involved wish it. I do not believe that the Chamber of Justice exists solely for the purpose of punishment; it can and should provide alternative means of conflict resolution.
That said, the Chamber of Justice should never be the first recourse for interpersonal disputes. Members should involve their house and clan leaders in the process before reaching out to the Chamber for assistance. We are here to help, but so are your leaders.
Complaints and Investigations
When formal complaints are filed, I will ensure that the Chamber carefully, comprehensively, and fairly investigates the allegations. My Hands will be empowered to seek out evidence and ask questions of complainants and anyone with knowledge of the allegations. Charges will never be the goal of an investigation; rather, the Chamber will always attempt to determine, to the best of its ability, the basic facts underlying a complaint.
I want to stress that it is never appropriate to threaten to "send someone to the CoJ." The Chamber is not some sort of personal bogeyman. We take complaints very seriously, and any abuse of the Chamber's process will be treated seriously as well.
At the end of an investigation, I will confer with the Hands and make a decision as to whether charges are warranted pursuant to the Covenant. Charges are only appropriate when the available evidence, on its face, demonstrates conduct breaching a specific prohibition of the Covenant. That is not to stay that all who are charged are guilty: there can be good explanations for facts that otherwise would be clear violations of the Covenant, and all who are charged will be presumed innocent and given the benefit of the doubt when offering reasonable explanations. However, I will never bring charges against a member without strong evidence establishing a violation to begin with.
Written Decisions and Sentencing
Jac has done a million wonderful things for this club. As Justicar, I think his greatest contribution was the professionalization of decision-making in the Chamber. All of his Justicar opinions were clearly written and describe, in detail, the facts, relevant precedents, and his decision. I intend to continue that approach to the best of my ability. In that, I have the benefit of having drafted charging documents and trial briefs as Jac’s Right Hand. He had incredibly high standards for such work, and I feel my experience in that regard has prepared me for decision writing.
Sentencing decisions will be made in stages. The charges brought will detail the possible scope of sentencing, as dictated by the Covenant. Final sentencing decisions will occur only after a guilty verdict is rendered. Sentencing will be handled carefully and fairly, relying on past precedents whenever appropriate to ensure consistent treatment of similar situations. Factors such as admission, degree of contrition, good behavior, and experience (e.g., long-time members really should know better than to clone themselves), will all be considered.
A Friendly Reminder to Be Decent to People
I'm going to keep this short. Every so often, someone in this club will be a jerk to someone else in this club. Thankfully, it usually doesn't rise to the level of harassment or verbal abuse that might lead to charges from the Chamber of Justice. There's no rule against being a jerk sometimes. All I ask is that if you find yourself expressing your inner-jerk, take a deep breath. Put your phone down and walk away from Telegram. This club is its members; we're all in this together. You don't have to like everyone, but please try to be good to each other and keep it civil.
Left Hand of Justice Applications!
I posted this on Saturday: I need a new Left Hand of Justice and I am accepting applications that are due no later than 11:59 pm EDT, Friday May 11.
In addition, I want to note that in order to streamline Chamber staffing this Left Hand will be serving out the rest of my LHoJ term, which runs until February 26, 2019. At that time, I will seek a new Left Hand and whoever I select this time around may apply (if he or she wishes) to serve as Right Hand.
For this LHoJ's term, you should also expect a considerable amount of project work primarily in the form of writing and editing a new batch of CoJ courses for the Shadow Academy. Some details on that project are in the next section of this report. Here are the job requirements for LHoJ again:
I have no specific rank or experience requirements, but I do want to know a few things from your application:
- Who are you? Why is this the right job for you?
- Do you have any prior CoJ experience?
- Do you have any real world legal experience? (Real legal experience is not a required trait, but it can be helpful and I'm curious).
In addition, you must answer one of the following two questions (you can do both if you want, but I won't hold it against anyone who only tackles one of them.) There is no right answer to either of the questions, and if you wish I will keep your answers confidential.
- Take some time to review recent CoJ cases. Do you think any of them were wrongly decided? Was the sentencing too harsh? Too lenient? Explain.
- What is your opinion of the current Letter of Reprimand removal policy? Do you believe the policy has been correctly applied? Should the Covenant process be amended?
Finally, please submit your application in PDF form.
And that's it! Remember, you have until midnight on Friday, May 11. This is a critical role for the Chamber, and I don't want to leave it open any longer than necessary so I retain the right to select someone before Friday.
Again, I will be putting out my first report soonish so keep an eye out for that. Also, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns my door is always open. Feel free to hit me up on Telegram or shoot me an email.
Alright, as promised, here is a little preview of the plan for the new courses. Jac left me a great roadmap for this project, outlining a series of seven courses. A couple will be all multiple choice or true/false exams, which can be autograded. The middle pair will be a mix of multiple choice and short answer. The final set of courses will be more intense and require considerably more effort to complete. These plans are, of course, subject to change as we get into writing them.
Once the new Left Hand is selected, work will begin! I hope to have them done in the next few months, and we may start to roll them out in batches depending on how the work goes. I may ask for volunteers to help with writing or editing, so keep an eye out for that.
I've also sent a couple of smaller projects to the Appeals Panel, seeking volunteers. If none of them are interested in those projects, I may seek volunteers from the club at large.
Wrap it Up Already
That's it for now. If all goes well, I won't have anything too interesting to report before we start rolling out SA courses. Please feel free to email me or message me on Telegram with any comments, questions, or concerns.
I hope to have report graphics next time around, too! :p
Adept Dacien Victae
Justicar of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood