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The arbitration committee is created to handle all abuse and appeal complains, and as such the arbiters will have purview in all such cases. This committee's charter also establishes the practices and due process to handle any such complaints. The user making either an abuse or appeal is hereafter referred to as the user and the Arbitration Committee Members are referred to as the arbiters.
The arbiters are three IRC operators that serve at the pleasure of the infrastructure committee, and will only be removed when a new arbiter(s) is appointed by majority vote of the infrastructure committee. The new arbiters will assume full responsibility in all capacities at once, including cases currently under consideration. If the arbiters feels they can no longer discharge their duties temporarily, they may notify the lead network administrator who will then be charged to appoint a temporary arbiter(s) to act in their absence. The infrastructure committee may still vote to replace the arbiters at this point, which will in effect remove the temporary and normal arbiters from their posts, and immediately replace them with the new arbiters. If the arbiters feels they can no longer discharge their duties, they may resign, at which point the lead network administrator is charged with appointing a temporary arbiters to act in their absence until the infrastructure committee can meet to appoint a new arbiters. In no case can the lead network administrator hold the position of arbiters or temporary arbiters.
All decisions noted below must be undertaken by the arbiters as a whole, via a vote. Two arbiters constitues a quorum. If necessary, ties will be broken by the lead network admninistrator.
An abuse complaint is defined as a complaint wherein the user makes a claim regarding improper use of IRC operator authority in a way that is abusive and not consistent with rules for IRC operator conduct. To be valid, an abuse complaint must be made to the arbiters within two weeks of the date of the matter in the complaint.
An appeal complaint is defined as a complaint wherein the user makes a claim that rules were improperly administered, overly broad or narrow, or otherwise unclear or inconsistent in a way that makes proper enforcement impossible. Appeals will only be considered if the user has been banned or shunned for at least one week and the ban is still in force when the appeal is made.
Complaint Trial Procedures
When a user registers a complaints with the arbiters, the arbiters will ascertain is the complaint meets the above guidelines and if so, if it fits in the category of an abuse complaints or an appeal. The arbiters then can exercise judgement as to how to try the complaint. The arbiters have three options and may use their own judgement to ascertain which option to pursue and should make this judgement based on the complexity of the case as well as if they have an interest in it.
- Try the case directly
- Appoint one of their number to try the case directly
- Appoint another IRC operator to try the case
- Appoint a panel with three members, two of whom are IRC operators, one of whom is a user, to try the case. This panel may or may not have some of the arbiters as members.
Regardless of the method chosen, the panel or individual trying the case will call people in one by one to testify and otherwise gather information. When they feel all relevant information has been gathered, the panel or individual makes a decision. If a panel, a vote is taken, the majority rules, no abstaining votes are permitted. This decision will be followed by a short written explanation as well as suggested action.
In the case of a matter of abuse, the lead network administrator will have discretion in the final action taken, unless the case is against him or her, in which case the arbiters will have discretion in the final action taken. In either case the suggestion made after the decision should in general be adhered to.
In matters of appeals, the arbiters will enact the decision's consequences at once, unless such decisions directly impact the arbiters, in which case the lead network administrator is responsible for enacting such decisions immediately.
Appealing to Infrastructure
If a user or operator is not satisfied with the conclusions of the arbiters they may appeal it to the infrastructure committee by notifying the lead network administrator. The infrastructure committee can decide to hear the case or not by a majority vote. If they choose to hear the case, they will gather information as required, and may order a new trial by the arbiters if they feel it was not fair, confirm the arbiterss decision, or render their own decision which overrides that of the arbiters. The infrastructure committees decision to hear an appeal or their decision once they do hear an appeal is final and cannot be changed. Should a case be remanded for a new trial, the user or operator in question may make another appeal to the infrastructure committee if they feel this new trial was also somehow inadequate.
Limitation on Duplicate Complaints
No user can make two complaints about the same issue. That said, the arbiters is obliged to hear all complaints, including duplicates, though if they believe there is a duplicate they may immediately render judgement that the complaint is a duplicate and refer to their previous judgement. If the user disagrees, they may appeal as described above.