How Does Regional Legislation
|The Admin Tower||How Does||Dispatch on NS|
In Refugia, laws are passed by a system of governance known as an all-citizen legislature. The equivalent of "citizens" in Refugia are called Member States. Nations which are members of the World Assembly and have been in the region for at least seven days are assigned that classification automatically, with all accompanying rights and abilities. Consequently, the barrier to entry is low, and the ability to work, vote, and legislate within the region is readily accessible to all those who are interested in it.
Although it is not strictly required, presently all of Refugia's regional law is located within the Refugia Revised Statutes. A key statute of this document states the following: "Member States are entitled to submit any proposal, amendment, repeal, or revision to any revised statute, including this document in its entirety." As a result, Refugia has developed a robust referendum system, which controls the establishment and refinement of laws.
At this time, there are two typical routes by which regional legislation is prepared. Drafting can occur on the CalRef forum, in the NationStates Board, or it can occur in a dispatch that you maintain on your nation. When drafting a proposal to modify regional law, be aware that there are many nations with many viewpoints in this region, some of which may have experience in this area. Posting your draft in the forum and/or advertising it on the regional message board is a great way to raise awareness of your issue, and try to get some constructive feedback on how to improve the draft.
The requirements for mechanical content are relatively few. The most important factor is being sure that it is clear what law is being added, removed, or changed. The process of modifying law is not done through a scripted program; instead, referendums are managed by regional administrators who must be able to understand what it is that you're trying to do. Beyond that, resolutions often follow a similar convention of elements, denoted in the image to the right. These elements are, more or less, a staple of what goes in a proposal:
- Some kind of opener - usually this text written in laymen's terms about what you're doing and why it's something worth doing.
- The title of your resolution, what you want the resolution to be called when at vote and recorded as, if it passes.
- The legal text you wish to add, remove, or modify.
- Your author information, and your second.
All proposals in Refugia must be seconded by at least one other Member State. That is to say, someone else must sign onto your finished proposal before it can go to vote. This approval can be signalled in the RMB or on the forum, and reported at the time of submission. A proposal may have more than one author, and it may have more than one second. For legal purposes, these additions grant no added benefit, as the requirement is only one of each.
If another Member State has contributed as much work as you have to the construction of a draft, consider asking if they would like to be a co-author of the proposal.
As the author of a proposal, the choice of when to turn in your draft is up to you. For best practices, however, it should take place after all the constructive debate about your proposal's content has concluded. Ideally, consider waiting a minimum of 24 hours after your last post-proofreading edit, so you are certain you won't want to modify anything later. A proposal's text should not be modified after it has gone to vote, or it may be considered a different proposal than the one being voted on. Additionally, a vote cannot be cancelled once it has begun, even by administration, so it is good to be certain of when you are ready.
To turn in a proposal, send a ping, telegram, or private message to the Arch-Administrator with a link to the dispatch or forum draft you would like to submit. In this message, be sure to specify who your second is, and that you would like to send the proposal to vote. If the author(s) and second(s) are legal Member States, then the proposal will be sent to a seven day region-wide referendum, held on Vote.CalRef, with appropriate official announcements. Regional law will be amended if the resolution passes, according to your text. If the resolution fails, it will trigger a cooldown applying to you (the author) which will prevent the submission of any new referendums for seven days.
For additional research into how to previous proposals have been appeared, consider consulting the directory of previously passed legislation for guidance and inspiration.