Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Essential Legal Principles For A Voluntaryist Society

Does a comprehensive model legal code exist for a voluntaryist society?   If not, it is far past time to produce one.  Or more perhaps competing model codes could be developed for adoption and use by different general voluntary citizenship organizations.  Perhaps this has already been done and I am ignorant or forgetful of such codes.  If you are aware of any examples please point them out.

The non-aggression principle works very well as a foundational element for libertarian political philosophies, but has its limitations as a legal principle for organized groups.  It simply lacks the necessary details.  Legal principles need to operate as axioms for solving complex problems of dispute resolution and deterrence of wrongdoing in constantly evolving societies.  Such principles should provide predictability to enable the members of the society to quickly and accurately assess the risks and rewards of different activities, and should generally produce just outcomes.  Here are some suggestions:

No Monopoly On Services:
Any person or organization using coercion or fraud to monopolize the provision of any good or service, including the enforcement of law or adjudication, is an aggressor.

Corporations and Agents:
No entity may exercise any right in excess of held by its constituents, or avoid any obligation to which its constituents are subject.  No person may escape liability for an action by acting through another entity.

Civil/Criminal:  A civil complaint arises out of an action performed without an intent or justification for aggression against another (or reckless disregard).  A criminal complaint arises out of an act performed with an intent to aggress against another.  The subject of a complaint (defendant) is the person performing the action that gave rise to the complaint.

Just Restitution:  For a civil complaint, just restitution is limited to what is needed to reverse or repair the harm caused by the action that is the basis for the complaint, including enforcement costs.  Just restitution for a criminal complaint includes civil restitution, plus whatever enforcement is reasonably necessary to prevent future aggression by the actor.  If the harm is of an nature that cannot be reversed or repaired, the actor shall be liable for restitution in proportion to the gravity of the harm and the actor's culpability in causing the harm.

Restitution, to whom paid:
All restitution shall be paid first to the victim (or family/dependents) until the harm is fully compensated, less what is reasonably necessary to pay enforcement costs.  Excess restitution shall be refunded to the payer.

Who May Bring A Complaint:  If there is a victim able to bring a complaint, only the victim, or the victim's assignee, may bring the complaint.  If there is no victim able to bring or assign a complaint, a nominee or guardian may bring the complaint on behalf of the person or persons harmed.

Voluntary Resolution:
All complaints may be resolved by agreement between defendant and victim.

Adjudication: all complaints not resolved by agreement may be adjudicated to obtain a judgement of enforcement.  Adjudication requires a neutral judge and due process of law, including at least notice and opportunity to confront the complainant, neutral witnesses and a record.  Any judgement by a process other than adjudication is unenforceable.

Harm is the deprivation of life, health, liberty or property.  Harm cannot be suffered, except by a person.  A person may suffer harm resulting from actions upon the person's property. 

Every person shall be liable for harm caused by any action creating an unreasonable risk of harm to another, in proportion to the harm caused.  One who initiates an unforced action bears the risks thereof.

Permissible use of force in defense:
No person shall be liable for harm caused to another, or to another's property, for use of force to the extent reasonably necessary to defend against aggression initiated by the other, unless the aggression is reasonably necessary for enforcement of an adjudicated claim (a judgement).

Contracts:  A contract is a special form of agreement between two or more persons party to the agreement, which is enforceable by adjudication of a civil complaint.  No contract can exist without a clear record of intent to form a contract by all parties to it and an exchange of value.

Enforcement:  Enforcement is aggression to collect just restitution for a complaint or reasonably necessary to prevent future aggression by one convicted of a criminal complaint, after adjudication.

Enforcement liability:  Enforcers shall be liable for aggression, but only to the extent the aggression is in excess of what is reasonably necessary for enforcement of an adjudicated complaint.

Minority Status: A person has minority status between birth [__ months gestation][conception][heartbeat][mother's womb-independence] and __ years of age.  A minor cannot bring a complaint unless joined by the minor's guardian.

This could go on much longer, and looking back at what I've written I already want to make changes.  But it's a start and worth putting out there.