Chamber Of Justice Questions


04-03-2007 22:55:50

If you have any questions about the Dark Covenant, it's interpretation, our Articles of Conduct, IRC guidelines, trials, or anything at all to do with the Chamber of them!

Here are some links that might be helpful as well:

Dark Covenant -
Chamber of Justice -

CoJ Wiki Pages
Chamber of Justice
Judicial Procedure
CoJ Policies
IRC Guidelines
Chamber Case Records
Trial Types
Judicial Sentencing

So please post questions, I look forward to answering them.

(Updated 11/21/07 - New links)


06-03-2007 22:59:38

what's your favorite color?

nah just kiddin. Congrats on getting JUSTICAR! No offesne but I hope we don't need ya too much :P


22-04-2007 23:40:07

So I posted this almost a month ago and no all really know everything you want to know about the CoJ, eh?

Rigar Ulrand

23-04-2007 04:11:55

Well i know i don't wanna go on trial for anything

So basically yea

Good to see someone that'll do a good job in the position though


23-04-2007 10:31:39

Yep. <3 Kir. ph33r h|m!

Kaine Mandaala

23-04-2007 16:35:07

Ok I suppose I'll throw in something...

On the issue of Power of Authority in a Position:

How would you handle a complaint about abuse of power when the situation is subjective? I'll give you an example, and I'll even use myself as the 'bad guy' in question. I only say this is subjective because there are other ways I could handle the situation, and to the other side it looks like I'm being a bully.

Let's say someone makes a Wiki Article that is sub-par. It is filled with misspelled, dodgy and broken English, tons of links (internal, external and "red" - aka dead), a ton of images with no formatting and uses a ton of text formatting. On top of all this they create some crazy elaborate backstory where they are a Sith Lord/King of an entire system with 40 billion credits to their name.

I step in, tag it with all the needed flags, and start cleaning it up.

They revert it back to their version.

Someone else on the wiki staff steps in, tags it with all the needed flags, and starts cleaning it up.

They revert it back to their version.

I send out a note leting them know that they are breaking every rule there is for the wiki, and they reply by telling me to - frankly - screw off.

I lock their page.

They report me to you for abuse of power.

I know this looks like an open-and-shut case, but honestly I just want people to see thet crap I go through, and how it gets handled by the JST.


23-04-2007 17:51:44

In that hypothetical I would say you acted completely within your means. You followed normal wiki procedure by tagging the article and cleaning it up. Those tags usually include pretty easy-to-understand instructions, so it should be clear to the member what they have to do. Then after the revert, another staff member did the same thing with the instructions, and you sent a message warning them. Again they repeated the behavior.

Two warnings and a private message is more than enough to give any member fair warning in a situation like this. After locking their page I would send them an email explaining why it happened, and for what amount of time it would be locked. Then when you eventually unlock it, hopefully they follow the rules.

Kaine Mandaala

26-04-2007 11:42:37

What if it was someone on the staff getting reported? The way I run the Wiki Staff is hoiw I ran the HRLD Staff - those who serve the office act with as much power and authority as myself. The only difference is, in the end, what I say should supercede anything (other than the direct order of the GM/DGM/JST).

I had my own mini chain of command for important aspects (Me 1st, Praetors 2nd, Magistrates 3rd - in voting terms, 2M's = 1P, 2P's = Me) but in the day-to-day business they all acted on my behalf equally.

I'm not sure if this policy is shared throughout the DC.

I suppose my questions are:

1 - Does someone acting on my behalf share the power?
1a - If so, are they subject to the same immunities?
1b - If not, what are the restraints of their powers? Does it depend on position (Praetor/Magistrate, etc.)?

2 - Do others in the DC have this policy?
2a - If not, is there a power level based on the Chain of Command?

I've been stewing over this for a bit because, though the situation I gave was hypothetical, it is stereotypical as well. I'd like to know the boundries the Wiki Staff can push. There are some dedicated people in there but if there's no backing for their enforcement they'll either get discouraged or lose interest... and we need these people to keep the order.


30-04-2007 22:22:04

I think we can simplify this a bit actually, because the Wiki a fairly unique.

The way I view the Wiki and it's staff is basically the same way I view IRC and ops in a channel. You and the wiki-staff members are the "ops" of the wiki, and are there to enforce it's rules. They should all have equal abilities to enforce the rules ON the wiki - meaning all "punishments" have to be on the wiki as well (locking topics, blocking members for amounts of time, etc). Anything that the wiki-staff thinks is beyond their scope should be brought to the JST.

Hopefully that covers it.

Kaine Mandaala

30-04-2007 23:48:53

In a very Family Feud kind of way, I say...

Good answer... good answer.


02-05-2007 07:40:16

Since I understand the rules have recently been ammended so that private message conversations are now actionable in the CoJ, how do you tell a false log from a real one?

With a channel log theres likely to be other people to substantiate that it hasn't been falisfied/edited, but with a pm conversation its only going to be between the accuser and the accused, so how do you verify its a true account of the conversation?

Adien Falaut

08-05-2007 13:21:10

hmmmmmmm... Interesting

but on to my question, how long does the terms of the hands of justice and the appeals comittees and such last?


27-05-2007 13:31:44

I currently have a LoR on my profile that has not only restricted my progress but demoted me several ranks. Although the punishment was just I believe GM Firefox put a date that the LoR was to be removed, pending successful completion of my probation. The Letter of Reprimand was to be removed January of 2006. It is now May 2007 and the LoR is still on there. Now I understand my lack of activity would continue to ensure the Letters presence but I believe that if you remove it and restore me to my formal rank, or even promote me to Guardian seeing as how I have been Protector long enough, I will be more motivated to continue my studies and further myself in the Dark Brotherhood. My continued support and contribution lies solely with whether this is removed or not.


28-05-2007 19:20:20

Ok i have a question. I dont think Private Messages should be enforced as a CoJ thing. People can just close windows, its no effort, no more then hitting ignore in a channel. So how did Private Messages get inlcuded, they are private for a reason, i see Clan Channels as something more needing control over then PM's. So how come Private Messages are actionable but clan channels are not? Private messages as i see it are more a person on person disreguarding thier power, while clan channels, ops may abuse the power they are given at thier discretion.

For example, Mr B gets banned from Channel A, for no apprent reason, and no warning, therefor insults the Operator who banned him from Channel A in private message...

How does that work? Can they be punished?

Personally i'd see things in clan channels being actionable more so then private message.


02-06-2007 20:56:32

This question is for no specific reason other than curiosity. Mind you I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on the Compendium, but technical language has always been slightly confusing to me.

What kind of separation of powers exists in the DB, and where does the Justicar fit within that separation of powers?

IE could the Justicar rightly step in and declare an action taken by superior or subordinate leadership incorrect based on their interpretation of the Compendium?


10-07-2007 22:58:28

Here are the answers to everyone's questions - sorry I took so long, I sort of forgot about this board, I won't make that mistake again! They were all good questions, keep sending them!

Malisane -
There are several ways to differentiate between altered and unaltered logs. For channels the easiest way is to gather logs of the same time period from multiple people and compare them, if they match, then none are altered. Another way is to compare the “created” date/time and the “last modified” date/time. There are other ways as well, but I'd rather not give them away to those unfortunate few who would take advantage of that knowledge.

Melkor -
The Left and Right Hand of Justice both serve six-month, non-consecutive terms. The appeals panel does the same.

Jaymz -
I will respond to your requests personally to you via email. However just for everyone's general knowledge, Letters of Reprimand are permanent additions to a member's profile, they are not removed after a probationary period. Nor are demoted members returned to their former ranks after the end of probation, they have to earn their rank back as any other promotion.

Morgan/Dismal -
I am aware that the use of Private Messages in CoJ proceedings is a touchy area. Yes, people can use the ignore option, or they can merely close the message and stop talking to the other person. Beyond that, private messages are just that – private – and oftentimes their contents are not for anyone except the two members who are having the conversation.

There is basically one reason that I have made PM's admissible as evidence, and that is to prevent their use as a loophole. In the CoJ's efforts to protect our members and our enjoyable environment, we have run into situations where people will persistently and continually harass members both in channels and via private messages. When this happens, the CoJ should not be stopped from protecting it's members merely because the offender found a loophole in our policy. That being said, I am not in the business of policing PM's, nor do I want to be. I do not receive emails from people saying, “look at what so-and-so said to me in PM, that was mean, get him in trouble!” and if I did, I would not be happy. The rule exists as an added layer of protection, and to close of an old loophole that was often taken advantage of in the past.

Also Morgan mentioned that, “So how come Private Messages are actionable but clan channels are not?” That is actually incorrect, absolutely anything typed in any channel is actionable by the CoJ, as stated on the CoJ website: “Evidence from IRC or other chat programs, including personal messages and private channels, is admissible in trial.”

However this entire question has prompted me to copy a paragraph from the CoJ website that I think best explains the CoJ's policy on IRC in general:

NOTICE: Transgressions that take place on IRC will almost always remain on IRC, your punishment for breaking the rules will 99/100 times be given on IRC, and it will go no further. In basic terms, you will be held accountable for your actions on IRC, but only rarely will action be taken against you by the Brotherhood judiciary. However, consistent or grevious offenders will be brought before the Chamber and punishment will given accordingly.

Etah -
I'll address your question in a separate post because it will require a more lengthy answer, very interesting question though :)


11-07-2007 18:09:38

So here are the questions that Etah asked:

1) What kind of separation of powers exists in the DB, and where does the Justicar fit within that separation of powers?

2) Could the Justicar rightly step in and declare an action taken by superior or subordinate leadership incorrect based on their interpretation of the Compendium?

These are very interesting questions, I don't think I've actually ever thought of the DB in this manner before, but I'll explore this idea as succinctly as I can. So, for question one...

The DB's system of government basically consists of a supreme executive (the GM), an independent judiciary (the CoJ), and a group of advisors (DC) and administrators (CONs) who are subordinate to the executive. Realistically, there isn't much of a separation of powers – nearly all power resides with the Grand Master, in fact our Dark Covenant says:

“Authority not clearly delineated or reserved by this Covenant is reserved for the Grand Master.”

This makes it pretty clear who the final arbiter of almost every situation is. The Dark Councilors and Consuls are masters of their specific domains, but they all answer to the GM. The exception to this rule is the Justicar and the Chamber of Justice – which is why the Justicar has his own section of the Dark Covenant. While the Justicar is responsible for notifying the Grand Master when a case is being prosecuted, he is no other way beholden to the GM – in fact, he is in a unique position. The Justicar is the first line of defense against a GM who has gone awry. It is his responsibility to watch over the GM as he would any other member, to ensure he is following the standards set forth by the Grand Master. In turn, the GM may remove the Justicar with the approval of the Dark Council, if the Justicar is the one who steps out of line.

So, our separation of powers is more of a split between the GM and the Justicar, with the Dark Council playing a supporting role (however, they are appointed by the GM himself).


As for your second question, the Justicar can step in and declare an action taken by any leader or member to be incompatible with the Dark Covenant – in fact that is his responsibility. This is our form of Judicial Review, however the JST is not bound to wait until a case arrives before him to create precedent or rules, he can freely amend pertinent sections of the Dark Covenant (by following the correct guidelines for amendments), and is also permitted additional powers in the judicial arena by Section 8.06A, which reads:

“These articles of conduct and reprimand do not limit the authority of the Justicar. Covenant Amendments, Judicial Decrees and Sovereign Amendments may be used to create new articles.”

So, the Justicar cannot just go around saying, “I don't like that policy, you can't do it” merely because he is technically higher up in the chain of command. He may only interfere if a policy is incompatible with the Dark Covenant. Obviously he can also express his opinions on matters as he wishes, but he cannot issue “orders” outside of his judicial capacity.

Hopefully that answered your question!

Sephiroth Kali

11-07-2007 22:49:06

Outside of what is writen in the Covenant, Which I havn't read in a couple of months, what does the Star Chamber stand in Judicial Matters? In other words, what types of situations would require SC action?


12-07-2007 00:32:35

Good question Sephiroth, I think a lot of people are confused as to what exactly the Star Chamber does, so this should help clear that up a bit.

First off I should make one thing clear, Sephiroth asked "Outside of what is written in the Covenant...where does the Star Chamber stand in Judicial Matters?" And the answer to that is, outside of what is clearly delineated in the Dark Covenant, the Star Chamber plays no role in the judicial matters of the DB. Yes, they are the mysterious Star Chamber, but even they have to operate within the parameters that have been set up. Now you also asked, "What types of situations would require SC action?" - and that has a longer answer, which I'll explain now...

The Star Chamber is only mentioned in three sections of the Dark Covenant. These include:

1) Section 3.02 - Appointment of the Grand Master
2) Section 3.03 - Indictment of the Grand Master
3) Section 5.02 - The Star Chamber

Now section 5.02 is fairly simple, it is merely one sentence long and says, "The Star Chamber is the Overclan of the Brotherhood, charged with safeguarding its long-term security." It is just there to establish basically what the Star Chamber is, and what it's role is. And in case you are wondering, since the Codex gives you the "mysterious" answer, the Star Chamber is made up of trusted past Grand Masters and trusted senior members who maintain a watchful eye over the DB - that's all you're getting out of me on that, heh.

Now the other two Sections, 3.02 and 3.03, are where the Star Chamber can really get involved. Section 3.02 sets the rules for appointing a new Grand Master. At the end of this process, the Star Chamber must approve the candidate that has been selected - basically they just stay silent if they approve, and if they disapprove they must make that known within 48 hours of the selection. However to show that even the Star Chamber is not infallible, the Dark Covenant allows the Dark Council to overturn a Star Chamber veto if they vote unanimously to do so. That's the fairly boring action they can take, the more exciting part is the next section.

Section 3.03 deals with the process of indicting a Grand Master, that is, charging him with a crime and removing him from his position. The process has four main steps:

1) The Charge -
Someone brings forth a charge against the GM, the JST investigates and determines merit, as in any other case. If he approves (or if the DC overrules his disapproval) it moves onto the next step.

2) Vote of Remand -
The Dark Council or Star Chamber decides whether the charge warrants a trial - if either of them decide it does, the case moves onto the next step.

3) Trial of Peers -
A jury of twelve members, lead by the Justicar as judge, determines the guilt or innocence of the GM.

4) Vote of Condemnation -
After the GM has been found guilty and all appeals exhausted, the DC and Star Chamber initiate a vote of condemnation. This vote is used to decide whether the charges should result in the removal of the GM, or simply standard punishments. Either 3/4 of the DC have to vote to condemn, or the Star Chamber may decide he is to be condemned (lose his position).

So what judicial processes does the Star Chamber participate in? Simple answer: they help prosecute criminal Grand Masters.

Sephiroth Kali

12-07-2007 01:32:14

Thanks Kir :)


18-10-2007 13:50:47

hey how was this brotherhood started?


19-11-2007 16:17:31

You should checkout the Compedium, it contains a nice account of the DB's history. You can find it here:


21-11-2007 01:16:20

I got a question.

Is there any group of people or person that can usurp the powers of the GM? Or does whatever the GM say, goes, and that is that?


21-11-2007 12:31:45

Scyrone -

To answer your question simply - the Grand Master does not have a tyrannical hold over the Brotherhood. The Dark Covenant outlines the position of Grand Master in Article III, which states that the Grand Master does hold the highest authority in the Brotherhood.

However, Section 3.03 of that Article III outlines the process that is to be followed for the "Indictment of the Grand Master." Basically this outlines how claims made against the GM are taken into consideration, and can lead to the dismissal of a GM. Briefly, these steps are:

Step 1 - The Charge
Any member of the Brotherhood may bring forth a complaint concerning the GM to the Justicar. The Justicar then determines if the complaint is reasonable and actionable under the Covenant. If the Justicar determines it is actionable, the charges are prosecuted and we move to step 2. (If the JST determines it isn't actionable but the member disagrees, he can appeal to the Dark Council as a whole)

Step 2 - Vote of Remand
In this step, the Dark Council or Star Chamber determines if the complaint - along with any evidence gathered during the Justicar's investigation - warrants a trial. If they decide it is trial-worthy, we move on to step 3.

Step 3 - Trial of Peers
During this step, the GM is tried by a jury consisting of twelve Equite/Elders with the Justicar presiding. Evidence is presented and arguments made, and the jury then votes on the guilt or innocence of the Grand Master. The GM is given the same rights to appeal post-trial as any other member. If the GM is found guilty by the jury, then we move to step 4.

Step 4 - Vote of Condemnation
If a GM is found guilty, the Dark Council and Star Chamber must decide if the verdict should result in the removal of the GM from his position, or simply a standard punishment. If they vote to condemn, then the Grand Master is stripped from his position and the Dark Council begins the process of choosing a new GM.

I wouldn't really call that "usurping" the Grand Master's power, as the process is setup to ensure that only valid claims are acted upon, and the Grand Master is given the same rights and protections as any CoJ defendant. However this does allow for the removal of a corrupt GM - so the club is not trapped under their rule until they decide to leave on their own.

The second part of your question - "Or does whatever the GM say, goes, and that is that?" - actually is a different matter. The Dark Covenant states that the GM is the highest authority in the Brotherhood, that all authority not clearly given to someone else resides within his office, and that he has the right to take executive actions. This means that in nearly all situations, what the GM says goes - as long as it isn't in violation of the Articles of Conduct.


22-11-2007 20:06:24

Hey Kir,

Not really sure if this is a question that you can answer or not. But thought I should ask it nonetheless.

How can a competition host know if someone has used cheats or other modifications in a SP mission/level for their comp? Merely wondering because I would like to continue hosting some more SP missions in Tridens and Tarentum, and would like to make sure its done honestly. Most of them are done through screenshots, and I have an understanding of spotting modifications to those, but Im wondering if you can tell if someones used an ingame cheat.



23-11-2007 07:09:26

Well I can partly give you an answer at least, in the flight sim games your scores are lowered to 5-10% of what they normally would be if you use the cheats in it. DOn't know if there's anything like that in the other games tho.


24-11-2007 11:31:07

Malik is absolutely correct about the flight sims, and sticking with screenshots to report scores is always good method as well. Also looking for scores are are outliers - they are FAR higher than the other submitted scores, is usually a tip-off. Each individual platform has specific techniques, and to be honest when I have to look at stuff like that I go to the experts - members who have been around a long time and are very familiar with the specific platform in question. Find some of those people in your clan and enlist their help with your competitions and you'll be all set.


22-01-2008 18:05:36

I have a question.

Is there protection against double jeopardy?

See, I would like to become Grand Master, but don't want to be bothered with "proving myself" and writing the application and all that. So let's say I get DJK Whoever to bring a charge against me that is completely false. "Reaver is trying to become the GM!" After investigation, you find it to be false and acquit me of all charges. Can I then immediately post on the MB that I am now GM of Whatever and nothing would be done against me?


22-01-2008 19:13:39

The simple answer to your question is yes, the DB does offer protection against double jeopardy - you can read the policy here: Double Jeopardy Policy

And granted your given example was meant to be humorous, but since you misinterpreted what double jeopardy means I'll take this opportunity to clearly explain it. The double jeopardy clause protects a defendant from being prosecuted a second time for the same crime.

For example - say the Chamber of Justice accused "Bob" of cheating on a Shadow Academy exam, and put him on trial. The verdict ends up being not guilty, however after the trial the Headmaster comes across some evidence he thinks would absolutely prove Bob cheated...can the Chamber prosecute him again for this crime? Answer: No. However, six months later Bob cheats on a different SA exam and the Headmaster catches him, and reports the incident to the Chamber...can he be prosecuted this time? Answer: Yes. While the type of crime is the same, he isn't being prosecuted a second time for the particular crime, so the prosecution would be permitted.

In your example your character is found not guilty of one crime, so he could not be prosecuted again for that specific incident. However he could be charged for any other crimes he commits.


23-01-2008 07:46:48

I just have a simple question, is their any chance that their is a more recent case That I can read please. Ive checked the JST page but ive read all of the cases their, just wondering why some of them dont work? Like I cant open them, as if nothing was logged on file of that case?


23-01-2008 19:57:27

Some of the cases listed on the CoJ site didn't have any news posts made about them, therefore the CoJ page doesn't link to anything for that case.

However, everything you'd want to know about the Chamber can be found in the Chamber of Justice category on the DJBWiki. If you are specifically looking for case summaries, then each case is described in detail on the Wiki, where you can find the list. Below are the two links you'd find most helpful:

Chamber of Justice Wiki Articles
Detailed Case Summaries

If you are looking for any other specific information, feel free to email me.


24-01-2008 04:26:34

I have a question.

024 DB vs Raidoner

Status: Case Dropped

Sentence: Letter of Reprimand

How is this possible? If you dropped the case how he can get a sentence? Or you can just give out LoR without any process? I am not questioning the "rightfulness" of the LoR, i just ask as process.


24-01-2008 17:44:05

Good question Zeron.

The Justicar is permitted to give Official Letter's of Reprimand (LoR) to members without running a trial, this is a power the Justicar has always had, and we follow that precedent. The reason behind it is the fact that LoR's are typically given out for minor offenses which don't quite warrant a trial, but do warrant official action. However any of the other penalties (demotion, removal of medals, etc) require a trial before the Justicar can assign them as sentence.

In this case the LoR was not actually given as part of the trial, since the case was dropped - however it was given as a result of the same events that were being considered in the trial. This was an odd situation because the DBPA was dissolved in the middle of the trial, so the jurisdictional issues aren't something that occur very often. I should have more carefully explained it the Wiki page, and I will go back and add a note about it.


24-01-2008 17:55:47

oh alright, thanks for clearing it up =).


25-01-2008 00:51:10

Another question:

In the military, if the given "crime" is minor in nature and does not warrant a court martial to determine innocence or guilt, the chain of command and the soldier has the option of instituting an Article 15 punishment (of various degrees of severity, depending on who is issuing the Article 15).

Is there such an option here in the CoJ should a member simply confess to the crime he/she is charged with?


25-01-2008 15:54:10

I actually think this happened in a case once here if I am not mistaken.

Also, I have a question (more of a mistake that I might have seen). In the first case of Cannabisia vs. DB, "Blade" was sentenced to demotion from Obelisk Warrior to Jedi Hunter. But the email just below it says it is "DJK Blade". Is this a mistake? Or is it not clear


Also, I have another question. It might have something to do with Double Jeopardy, I do not know. But would anything be able to be done if someone was convicted and found guilty, then it was realised that later they were innocent?


25-01-2008 16:14:00

To Reaver:

The "captain's mast", "office hours" or Article 15 as used by the military are basically what the Chamber of Justice is doing most of the time. The Chamber receives complaints fairly frequently - after receiving them it investigates the claims to substantiate them, and then the Justicar determines if a violation of any sort has occurred.

If a violation has occurred, the next step is determining the severity of the violation - because the severity of the action is the deciding factor in the next steps to be taken. If it is simply a small violation of our IRC policy, typically the result will just be an email requesting the member not repeat that behavior. If it is somewhat more serious, the Chamber might issue the person an official warning (especially if it is a first offense). Moving up the severity ladder, the next step would most likely be a Letter of Reprimand given by the Justicar - but without a trial, basically a severe form of "Don't ever do this again". The final step up in severity is a trial and the consequences that come from sentencing.

So there are some similarities in the way the CoJ works and the Article 15 you're referring to - however the CoJ isn't quite as bound in form as the military is, we've created our own system that is as flexible as required by our online circumstances. As for the last part of your question - if a member has committed a crime, generally admitting responsibility leads to more lenient treatment. Hopefully that answered your question.


To Scyrone:

I do see where the conflict is in the DB vs Blade the emails it says "Dark Jedi Knight", but all the records indicate he was demoted to Jedi Hunter. I could probably figure out the issue if I could get a look at the database archives for the time - it is possible Justicar Cantor may have given him back one rank due to good behavior, or he could have just been using the term "Dark Jedi Knight" in a generic way, as you might say we are all "Dark" versions of the "Jedi Knight". It's probably not worth making the SCL dig up this old information, so I guess we'll both have to be left wondering - sorry!

The second part of your question actually deals with something called "exculpatory evidence". The Chamber policy is that this type of evidence can be brought in at any time, and the Justicar can deal with it. Specifically the Dark Covenant, in Article VIII, Section 8.03(p) says:

"The Justicar, with approval from the Grand Master, may summarily dismiss charges regardless of the stage in the proceedings. Charged that have been so dismissed are not barred from retrial through double-jeopardy."

This does say "stage of the proceedings" meaning it has to be brought during the time of the trial. Granted if evidence was found after the trial that shows the defendant to be 100% innocent the Justicar would most likely revoke sentence, as this is a very rare event (which has yet to ever happen). However, evidence would have to be very powerful and undoubtedly true for this to occur.


18-10-2008 05:56:53

In my mind the appeals panel is what you go to for redress of grievences when your superiors fail you and you believe the chamber of justice has as well. I have also noticed that the current appeals panel has one member of the Dark Council and the panel preceding it had two (current clan Consuls are members of the Dark Council as well). I think this can be percieved as stacking the deck against those seeking redress of grievences when thier summits and the chamber of justice seemingly fails them and may produce a fatalistic and helpless atmosphear. I don't know how the dark council, the chamber of jutice, and the rest of the Brotherhood feel, but I believe this potential conflict of intrist should be avoided.


20-10-2008 22:22:07

Thanks for the question Etah - this goes to the heart of an issue which (I believe) many members find confusing.

In your question, you said, "In my mind the appeals panel is what you go to for redress of grievances when your superiors fail you and you believe the chamber of justice has as well." This is not actually the role of the Appeals Panel. The Dark Covenant lays out the role of the panel, and I'll summarize it here:

1) The Panel may only hear appeals originating from a case in the CoJ
2) These appeals may only be brought for a Dark Covenant issue or Judicial Process error
(see the Dark Covenant, Article VIII, Section 8.05 for full text)

As you can see, the Appeals Panel has a very narrowly defined role. It only hears appeals from defendants in a CoJ case, and that is all. The panel is not meant to act as a review committee for leaders, it is merely an additional safeguard we built in to the Covenant to ensure members are receiving fair trials. That is why DC members can be on the Appeals Panel without a conflict of interest issue - the panel isn't meant as a stopgap between the members of the club and the leaders of the club, it is only meant to fulfill it's role as summarized above.

In your question you seem to be placing the Appeals Panel (and the Chamber of Justice) into an inappropriate role. We do have a system in place for dealing with situations like you describe - the chain of command (BTL - AED - QUA - PCON - CON - DGM - GM). So for example, if you disagree with your QUA, I would first recommend approaching him - then if you cannot work something out, you move up the chain of command and contact your PCON or CON about the issue. Typically things can be solved at that level, however if you still aren't satisfied with the result, you can go up further and approach the DGM and finally the GM with the issue.

The Chamber of Justice and Appeals Panel are not in this chain of command because they fulfill a separate role - they administer justice and maintain the rules in the Dark Covenant. In doing so we ensure that leaders do not violate the Covenant (and prosecute them if they do), however we do not take part in policy decisions. We can help to mediate disputes between members however, if we are approached.

In my experience there are very few issues that cannot be resolved by working your way up the chain of command - and those few tend to be extreme cases where someone refuses to be reasonable. All the leaders in the Brotherhood try their best to keep all the members happy, and all of us are always willing to work towards a positive solution to any issues that arise.

Sephiroth Kali

06-12-2008 19:16:40

I have a question, how do I become an awesome JST like Kir?


07-12-2008 11:51:29

It takes years of dedication to the Brotherhood, an inherent nerdom, an interest in legal issues....oh, and you have to be balding. Those are the keys to becoming a successful Justicar.

Thanks Seph :)


28-04-2009 19:16:44

It seemed strange to when I was taking the CoJ Certification (I reread the section many times to make sure I was getting it, because it didn’t seem to make sense) and it came to my mind again due to recent events.

It seems awfully backwards to me that the trial’s with the heaviest possible sentences (1 rank elder or Equite demotion, 2 rank journeymen demotion or one years probation etc.) are given Trial by Justicar.

I would think that very petty sentences could be decided by the Justicar (the DB equivalent of Arbitration) and very serious ones would be decided by a trial of their peers. Why would the more serious trials have the least amount of accountability?

I also forgot about my last post in this thread:

I didn’t quite describe that as well as I could have. Since I just mentioned that the most serious trials are basically decided by the Justicar, if one feels a judgment against them is wrong their case goes to the Appeals panel (or that is my understanding).

I still feel that having a current member of the Dark Council (no offense Kaek) on the Appeals panel can make it appear biased as a body. Especially since their always seems to be a sitting member of the Dark Council on the Appeals panel. To have my fate judged by one DC member and then to have my fate sealed by another would just feel like a set up.

Aidan Kincaid

30-04-2009 02:31:51

Demotions aren't exactly serious... Expulsion - that would be serious.

Tarax Kor

30-04-2009 02:37:28



01-05-2009 23:00:28

The Appeals Panel has never been used. Its jurisdiction is narrowly tailored only to procedural error so unless the JST messes up big time (or blatantly abuses power), I doubt it will ever be used.

You overestimate the conspiratorial nature of the DC. We pretty much all hate each other and would never work together. Hehe


02-05-2009 23:10:57

Demotions aren't exactly serious... Expulsion - that would be serious.

Expulsion is definitely more serious than reduction. But rank is something someone either works very hard for or spends a lot of time on their knees to get and regardless its an achievement that shouldn't be taken away lightly. Not that I believe any current or past Justicar's or Hand's of Justice are more corrupt than the average Dark Jedi. But rules should be created to prepare for future eventualities. In my humble opinion, purely in the interest of justice and for the appearance of fair handedness (the latter is almost as important as the former) the most serious consequences should have the most transparency and the greatest amount of accountability.


02-05-2009 23:12:29

We pretty much all hate each other and would never work together. Hehe



03-05-2009 00:11:58

Expulsion is definitely more serious than reduction. But rank is something someone either works very hard for or spends a lot of time on their knees to get and regardless its an achievement that shouldn't be taken away lightly. Not that I believe any current or past Justicar's or Hand's of Justice are more corrupt than the average Dark Jedi. But rules should be created to prepare for future eventualities. In my humble opinion, purely in the interest of justice and for the appearance of fair handedness (the latter is almost as important as the former) the most serious consequences should have the most transparency and the greatest amount of accountability.

There also has to be a reasonable limit to how far we can go to make things "appear" fair. There hasn't been a time in the entire DB history where it's been more "fair" than it is now, in terms of punishment. All the rules are laid out, with options available to appeal decisions, should they be warranted. Also, the Covenant has gone through many people over it's building, meaning the forms of punishment and who should ultimately decide on them has been discussed in great detail. It is not a random decision by one person, and as such, should have not play a factor in determining "fairness". Rank is something we all work hard on, but it is also something that can be recovered in time, should one be demoted.

Also, in regard to transparency, how much more is needed? Each and every case is documented on the wiki and each case is also made into a "report" that is posted on the DB site laying out the details, rulings and explanation as to how the ruling came to be. The rules, as they are, have bent themselves over backwards to be as fair and balanced as possible. There have been no cases in recent memory where those rules have been abused and someone convicted wrongly for actions they didn't commit.

After awhile the paranoia (for lack of a better word) of what the DC may or may not do has to stop. If every decision had to be consulted on by varying parties each time, nothing would ever get accomplished. In the end, decisions are made by the people who do the jobs...that is why they were chosen for that job and given the responsibilities for it. The same responsibilities agreed upon by both former and current leaders.


05-05-2009 02:09:22

I would also add in passing that we've come a long way. When I was HCIed in the EH ages ago it was by secret executive fiat. And that was an expulsion case.


05-05-2009 02:12:24

If every decision had to be consulted on by varying parties each time, nothing would ever get accomplished.

That is precisely why I have no problems with trials with less serious consequences (which are apt to be the most numerous) being decided by Trial by Justicar. It is quick, painless and generally fair. But if we have a jury system it seems to me it should be used for the less frequent cases with the more serious possible outcomes.

Reduction two grades (or one grade if it will demote you out of your class, IE Elder to Equate or Equate to Journeymen, which seems to me the most serious of the two) and a years probation (a year of no promotions or awards is harsh and would most likely kill the persons enthusiasm for the DB all together so can be said to closely resemble expulsion) should like I said before, have the highest amount of accountability (IE the decision resting not only with the Justicar and the Hand’s but also a jury of the accuseds peers).


08-05-2009 13:53:11

a year of no promotions and medals?

I'm pretty sure you have no idea what the probation term entails. It means that yeah, he can still get that stuff but it need CoJ approval first; which if the person has been acting in a decent manner and behaving as they are suppose to then there would be no issue. Therefore it is not a serious punishment in any way. Its actually a slap on the wrist if anything.

GM Paladin

08-05-2009 21:12:58

I'm going to be uncharacteristically blunt - You all don't realize how good you have it, or how far things have come. :)

When I was Justicar, back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, there was no Covenant, there were no Hands of Justice acting as counsel, and there were few if any set penalties. Evidence was presented, you made a statement or argument informally, and the matter was decided by the Justicar and what were then known as Archons. There was, as far as I recall, no appeal beyond the Justicar.

I could draw some high brow legal analogy to the evolution of the system as akin to the evolution from common law to a statutory framework, but that would be beside the point. I think that Kir and his predecessors between his term and mine have done a lot of good in making the system a lot more transparent.

Of course, there are times when I pine for the flexibility of the old days, but I'm one of those Earth-roaming dinosaurs. :)

Traan Reith

09-05-2009 02:33:25

I believe probation is not just medals and promotions, it's also appointments to positions. A person on probation cannot become any sort of leader without CoJ approval, so probation is very serious. CF's and small crescents are stuff that Kir would probably sign off on with no problem, but Dark Cross and above, Promotion to Aedile or Pcon or some such would require a much more indepth look and be far more likely to be turned down. Probation is not some measely little nothing slap on the wrist, it's a serious punishment that stands to possibly and probably inhibit advancement in any way. It should be treated with more respect that it has been given in recent days.


09-05-2009 05:50:37

I'm about to leave for work so I don't have a lot of time, but I wanted to make a couple quick points:

1) As for Trial by Justicar/ seem to be reading the Covenant incorrectly. The Justicar only sees the cases with lower-possible punishment (1-grade demotions, LoR, probation) - anything higher than that requires a trial by Jury. Go back and read Sections 8.03(h) and 8.03(i) again and you'll see that. So the JST already does see the less-severe cases (1-grade demotions), while a jury is required for the most serious punishments (2-grade demotions, 3-grade demotions, longer probation terms, expulsion, etc.).

2) Probation does NOT mean you cannot get medals/promotions/appointments - it merely means that those things must be approved by me before they go through. And Tra'an...I'm not sure where you get your info on what would be turned down...but you're way off base. As long as the member is serving their probation with 'good behavior', I always approve the requests. In fact, I don't think I have ever denied a request since I've been JST.

Selika Roh

09-05-2009 12:17:04

I'm going to be uncharacteristically blunt - You all don't realize how good you have it, or how far things have come. :)

Indeed, they really don't. Even beyond what you've mentioned there, Paladin, things were really bad back when the DB was part of the EH. You'd just be HCI'ed (which is a synonym for having a large, pointy stick shoved into uncomfortable places) and that would be that. Kids these days wouldn't know real bias if it came up and smacked them in the face... :lol:

Yeldarb Vohokou

28-05-2009 01:46:31

I hope this does not come across as another member of CSP shouting conspiracy. But does it not seem odd that all members of the CoJ come from Taldryan?

Yes Kir I know you spent time as Consul of CP and DGM and have my full confindence in the ability to do your job fairly, even though I do not always agree. I just believe the current set up can look a little biased when it comes to administating justice, as we all know how much many members of other Clans complain about Taldryan and now they run the courts.

Now the only thing I could come up with the help this illusion not seem so biased is to remove the Hands from Clans just like they would with any other DC position for the length of their terms, or to make all the members come from seperate Clans around the Brotherhood. I know the latter would be the worst pick of the two, as that will not allow for the best person for the job, which is something we all try to make happen.

DJK Yeldarb Vohokou


28-05-2009 11:04:53

The current LHoJ was in CNS when originally chosen to join the CoJ, and a quick look at his History outline would have shown this. The current appeals panel also does not have a single Tal member on it. Kir can't predict if people will move Clans or not :P So I think the point is moot?

Yeldarb Vohokou

28-05-2009 14:26:58

The current LHoJ was in CNS when originally chosen to join the CoJ, and a quick look at his History outline would have shown this.  The current appeals panel also does not have a single Tal member on it.  Kir can't predict if people will move Clans or not :P  So I think the point is moot?

And you can also see that the RHoJ was in Arcona for a few days also, I agree that no body can predict when people will be moving Clans, either pre or post appointment, but it still seems odd that they now all reside in Taldryan, more specifically both of the same house Dinaari, you know the same place your from.


28-05-2009 15:02:00

Seriously...the guy was given the LHoJ job on Dec. 15, 2008 and transferred to Tal on May 11, for 5 months he was not a part of the Clan, and therefore the two HoJs were of different Clans. The HoJ "terms" generally last 6 months, so for one of those months it just happens that both of them are in Taldryan. Again, Kir can't predict what's going to happen in 5 months, so really this isn't a factor at all. Now, if he did choose both from the same Clan, then *maybe* you have a point...although I'm sure if they were from any other Clan it would never have been brought up in the first place :P

Yeldarb Vohokou

28-05-2009 15:08:14

...although I'm sure if they were from any other Clan it would never have been brought up in the first place :P

Exactly, by now I thought you would have known that we only pick on Tal

Kalak Ragnose

29-05-2009 05:13:48

I disagree. If Kir and the HoJ's were all in Clan Naga Sadow, I think there would be questions asked, and that goes for any clans. However, I don't think claims of bias can be used against Kir at the very least. I don't know enough about the HoJ's but I doubt that Chaosfails, did I say that? I meant Chaosreigns :P is all that likely to be bias, or he probably wouldn't be picked at all.


29-05-2009 08:31:50

Funny enough, there was another period of time that both Hands of Justice's were from the same Clan...namely CNS. It ran for about 4-5 months like that and things still seemed to run smoothly with nothing blowing up, so I guess it can work


28-02-2010 22:36:50

Is it healthy to have read the Covenant all the way through?

Five times?

Because you were bored?


06-03-2010 13:38:36

Yes, it absolutely is - I wish more people would read it all!