Decision 2548E – Lake Elsinore Unified School District (Edwards)

LA-CE-6118

Decision Date: February 2, 2018

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 42
Perc Index: 102

Decision Headnotes

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.01000 – Exceptions; Responses to Exceptions; Standing; Extensions of Time/Late Filing/Waiver

Despite its highly repetitive and often misplaced or entirely irrelevant arguments, charging party’s appeal from dismissal/refusal to issue a complaint identified the asserted error by the Office of the General Counsel in dismissing her charge, and thus substantially complied with PERB Regulation 32635. While clarity and conciseness are always appreciated, the regulation governing appeals does not expressly require a “clear and concise statement” of the appeal. (p. 11.)

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.03000 – Remand for Further Hearing; Remand to General Counsel

Despite its highly repetitive and often misplaced or entirely irrelevant arguments, charging party’s appeal from dismissal/refusal to issue a complaint identified the asserted error by the Office of the General Counsel in dismissing her charge, and thus substantially complied with PERB Regulation 32635. While clarity and conciseness are always appreciated, the regulation governing appeals does not expressly require a “clear and concise statement” of the appeal. (p. 11.)

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.06000 – De Novo Review; Standard of Review by Board

Despite its highly repetitive and often misplaced or entirely irrelevant arguments, charging party’s appeal from dismissal/refusal to issue a complaint identified the asserted error by the Office of the General Counsel in dismissing her charge, and thus substantially complied with PERB Regulation 32635. While clarity and conciseness are always appreciated, the regulation governing appeals does not expressly require a “clear and concise statement” of the appeal. (p. 11.)

1503.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; REGULATIONS
1503.01000 – In General

Despite its highly repetitive and often misplaced or entirely irrelevant arguments, charging party’s appeal from dismissal/refusal to issue a complaint identified the asserted error by the Office of the General Counsel in dismissing her charge, and thus substantially complied with PERB Regulation 32635. While clarity and conciseness are always appreciated, the regulation governing appeals does not expressly require a “clear and concise statement” of the appeal. (p. 11.)

1503.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; REGULATIONS
1503.02000 – Regulations Considered (By Number)

Despite its highly repetitive and often misplaced or entirely irrelevant arguments, charging party’s appeal from dismissal/refusal to issue a complaint identified the asserted error by the Office of the General Counsel in dismissing her charge, and thus substantially complied with PERB Regulation 32635. While clarity and conciseness are always appreciated, the regulation governing appeals does not expressly require a “clear and concise statement” of the appeal. (p. 11.)

1503.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; REGULATIONS
1503.03000 – Regulations Considered (By Number) (Continued)

Despite its highly repetitive and often misplaced or entirely irrelevant arguments, charging party’s appeal from dismissal/refusal to issue a complaint identified the asserted error by the Office of the General Counsel in dismissing her charge, and thus substantially complied with PERB Regulation 32635. While clarity and conciseness are always appreciated, the regulation governing appeals does not expressly require a “clear and concise statement” of the appeal. (p. 11.)

101.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; APPLICABILITY OF AND CONFLICTS WITH OTHER STATUTES
101.01000 – In General

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

101.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; APPLICABILITY OF AND CONFLICTS WITH OTHER STATUTES
101.02000 – Conflicts Between PERB-Administered Laws and Other California Statutes; Education Code/Supersession; MMBA Supersession

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.01000 – In General/Exclusive Initial Jurisdiction-Deferral to Arbitration; Deference by Reviewing Courts

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.02000 – Concurrent or Conflicting Jurisdiction with Other Agencies or Courts; Interpretation or Enforcement of Other Statutes

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.01000 – In General/Prima Facie Case

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.02000 – Investigation of Charge

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.05000 – Dismissal of Charge; Appeal

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.08000 – Pleading Requirements

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.01000 – In General

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.02000 – Education Code Sections Considered by PERB (By Number)

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.03000 – Education Code Sections Considered by PERB (By Subject)

Although the charge relied extensively on the Education Code and other matters outside PERB’s jurisdiction, because it alleged that a public school district employer had denied charging party retirement or other employment benefits to which she was legally entitled because of her protected activity, the matter constitutes an unfair practice allegation within PERB’s legislatively designated field of expertise. (p. 12.) The Office of the General Counsel correctly determined that while PERB has no authority to enforce or order remedies for violations of the Education Code, the Board and its agents may interpret the provisions of the Education Code or other matters of external law where necessary to administer EERA or to harmonize it with external law. (pp. 11-12.) To avoid acting in excess of its authority, PERB has an obligation to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a dispute, regardless of whether the parties themselves have raised the issue. (p. 11.)

101.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; APPLICABILITY OF AND CONFLICTS WITH OTHER STATUTES
101.01000 – In General

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

101.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; APPLICABILITY OF AND CONFLICTS WITH OTHER STATUTES
101.02000 – Conflicts Between PERB-Administered Laws and Other California Statutes; Education Code/Supersession; MMBA Supersession

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.01000 – In General/Exclusive Initial Jurisdiction-Deferral to Arbitration; Deference by Reviewing Courts

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.02000 – Concurrent or Conflicting Jurisdiction with Other Agencies or Courts; Interpretation or Enforcement of Other Statutes

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.01000 – In General/Prima Facie Case

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.02000 – Investigation of Charge

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.05000 – Dismissal of Charge; Appeal

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.08000 – Pleading Requirements

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.01000 – In General

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.02000 – Education Code Sections Considered by PERB (By Number)

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.03000 – Education Code Sections Considered by PERB (By Subject)

Where Charging Party’s discrimination allegation turns on a matter of law outside PERB’s traditional expertise, i.e., whether the public school employer complied with state law and/or regulations governing certificated employee retirement credit, the appropriate question is not which of two competing interpretations of external law is the more plausible, but whether the language in dispute is reasonably susceptible to the charging party’s interpretation and whether that interpretation supports a viable, i.e., non-frivolous, legal theory of an unfair practice or other violation of a PERB-administered statute. Where the investigation of an unfair practice charge results in receipt of conflicting allegations of fact or contrary theories of law, fair proceedings, if not due process, demand that a complaint be issued and the matter be sent to formal hearing to test a novel theory or competing theories of law, so long as the theory advanced is “viable,” i.e. non-frivolous. The Board is necessarily cautious about rejecting allegations involving statutory, decisional, regulatory, or other authority outside PERB’s jurisdiction and special expertise in labor relations, particularly when the area of external law is itself unsettled.