HIGH COURT OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC
[2210.HC] KRIS KRINGLE V. CURLYHOWARD
SUBMISSION 03 NOVEMBER 2022 | PROBABLE CAUSE 05 NOVEMBER 2022 | VERDICT 10 NOVEMBER 2022
Curlyhoward - Corruption
Summary of the Verdict:
It is the finding of the Court that Curlyhoward’s use of their regional officer permissions to 1) pin a dispatch to the World Factbook Entry and 2) subsequently sending a regional telegram to all residents of the South Pacific fulfills the definition of corruption as defined by Article 1, Section 7 of the Criminal Code. Curlyhoward’s actions intended to influence the citizens of the South Pacific to vote for their reelection to the Local Council. By using their ability to communicate with the region at large via the appearance and communication powers given to an incumbent Local Councilor, they had undue influence and access to the citizens of the region that their fellow candidates did not possess. Therefore, for the aforementioned reason above, the Court finds Curlyhoward guilty of Corruption.
Justice Griffindor delivered the verdict, signed also by Justice Belschaft.
On 01 November 2022, the South Pacific began the process of electing the next Local Council for the upcoming term. Several candidates emerged, of which Curlyhoward was one of them. Within a few hours of the election process beginning, Curlyhoward pinned their reelection dispatch to the World Factbook Entry (WFE), using their Regional Officer authority granted to them by virtue of their Local Councilor position, which was promptly taken down by the Election Commissioner, Kris Kringle . The Election Commissioner, believing that this event was isolated, did not pursue the violation of the law further. However, two days later, Curlyhoward once again violated regional law by sending a mass, region-wide telegram to the citizens of the South Pacific asking them to vote for their reelection , again using the powers of their Regional Officer position in an unlawful manner. It was at this point that the Election Commissioner brought this second violation of the law, in addition to the first violation, to the attention of the High Court for consideration. Shortly thereafter, the Cabinet, operating under the authority granted to it by Article 4, Section 3 of the Regional Communications Act , then revoked Curlyhowards regional officer status, citing their use of their powers to engage in political debate (campaigning) .
Various members of the region, from the Election Commissioner to a member of the Cabinet, from a legislator to the defendant themself, all provided evidence of corruption having taken place or corroborated the evidence. The Election Commissioner provided evidence of the initial unlawful acts taking place  (the pinning of a dispatch to the WFE and the content of the region-wide telegram), and Purple Hyacinth, the incumbent Prime Minister, corroborated and confirmed what the Election Commissioner believed to be the facts regarding the use of regional officer powers. Article 1, Section 7 of the Criminal Code defines corruption as “the misuse of public office for private or personal advantage” . Looking first at the dispatch that Curlyhoward pinned to the WFE, it is clear that by using their regional officer permissions to place their campaign in a prominent spot within the visibility of anyone viewing the main page of the region Curlyhoward, intentionally or not, likely would have been able to gain support for their reelection bid as no other candidate possessed the ability to pin their campaign to the WFE for equal viewing. Similarly, by sending a region-wide telegram to all the members of the region using the powers of their office, Curlyhoward was able to bring his campaign to the attention of all the potential voters in the region. Intentional or not, the use of their regional officer powers constituted an undue influence on the electorate that would present a clear personal advantage in achieving reelection to the Local Council, thus fulfilling the definition of corruption under the Criminal Code.
The argument has also been made that Curlyhoward could have used stamps, and thus paid actual (real-life) currency for the ability to send mass telegrams outside of their regional officer powers, to send out the mass telegram. It is important to note that the Court decided in [2001.HQ]: Application of the Regional Communication Act that the use of stamps to engage in mass communication with members of the region falls outside the scope of the Regional Communication Act’s aim of providing a standard by which regional officers should abide with regard to the use of their privileged status , which, as noted by [1817.HC]: New Haudenosaunee Confederacy V. Concrete Slab is “a privilege and an opportunity that few ever receive” in their time in NationStates . Unfortunately for an incumbent regional officer, the ability to use stamps in favor of their regional officer position is not possible, but perhaps sending a mass telegram through a second non-regional officer nation or using an alternative legal way to spread their message could have yielded better effects with less of a legal issue.
In their defense, Curlyhoward contended that they were not aware that only Local Councilors possessed the ability to pin dispatches, run polls, or send mass telegrams. While this may or may not be truthful, the Court has no way of knowing whether or not this is how they truly thought at the time. However, the Court must admit that it seems incredibly unlikely that the defendant could not have known that only regional officers possessed the powers they are accused of abusing. Curlyhoward is among this region’s longest extant nations and would thus undoubtedly have been able to notice over the years that only members of the government (regional officers) possess the ability to communicate at large with the region, alter the region’s WFE, or create and administer polls. Similarly, when the Court asked Curlyhoward if they had read the Criminal Code, among other laws (such as the Regional Communication Act or the Charter), they revealed that they had not. The Court is understanding that being unaware of the existence of a law can happen, but ignorance of the law, particularly ignorance of law relevant to an incumbent officeholder, is not justifiable in any circumstance. The region rightly holds officeholders to a higher standard of expectation and performance, and this expectation is rooted in their ability to discharge the laws of the region and fulfill the mandate that their position entails.
In summary, the Court finds that by pinning a dispatch to the WFE and sending a mass regional telegram to the residents of the South Pacific using regional officer powers, Curlyhoward gained a personal advantage in their reelection bid for the Local Council, which fulfills the definition of corruption under the laws of the South Pacific. Therefore, the Court finds Curlyhoward guilty of corruption under Article 1, Section 7 of the Criminal Code.
 Evidence 1 Submitted by the Petitioner. Retrieved from: [2210.HC] Kris Kringle v. Curlyhoward
 Evidence 2 Submitted by the Petitioner. Retrieved from: [2210.HC] Kris Kringle v. Curlyhoward
 Regional Officer Act; Article 4, Section 3 (2022) The MATT-DUCK Law Archive
 Executive Order of the Cabinet Revoking Curlyhowards Regional Officer Powers. Retrieved from: Cabinet orders - #23 by flowerpetal
 The Election Commissioners’ initial evidence. Retrieved from: [2210.HC] Kris Kringle v. Curlyhoward
 Criminal Code; Article 1, Section 7 (2022). The MATT-DUCK Law Archive
 [2001.HQ]: Application of the Regional Communication Act. Retrieved from ORCS.
 [1817.HC]: New Haudenosaunee Confederacy V. Concrete Slab. Retrieved from ORCS.