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The arbitration committee makes the final decision over contested network bans and reports of operator authority abuse. The committee consists of two non-ircops and three ircops, who are appointed by the lead network administrator. Once elected, the committee member's term lasts for six months, and he may only be removed in cases of serious network rule violations or serious operator abuse at the discretion of the lead network administrator. The committee may choose to elect a chairperson at any time, who's responsibility is to coordinate the committee, write statements on behalf of the committee, and do whatever administrative work needs to be done.
An official case begins when someone sends a complaint to one of the arbitration committee members. The users involved will be asked to join the official arbitration channel with the committee members, one at a time, giving each of them an opportunity to explain their point-of-view. Any evidence or testimonies given to a committee member is subject to perjury, which is enforced by a fixed network ban of 21 days and automatic loss of any network authority. All users testifying must be reminded of this before the testifying begins.
By default, any evidence, testimonies, and official contact with committee members, except for deliberations, will be made publicly available. In the event that any material needs to be submitted privately to the committee, the committee may choose to accept it as private with a majority. Once the material is accepted, the committee may not reveal the information without the consent of the submitter. Private material cannot be used as evidence.
After the evidence and testimonies have been collected, the committee members will deliberate and vote in private session. The committee's authority is limited to placing restrictions on the relevant users in a complaint or placing restrictions on ircops – administrative abuse is outside the jurisdiction of the committee. The committee is expected to form a consensus during the deliberations, and voting is used in order to confirm the consensus or when the consensus cannot be formed.
Once a final decision has been made, a member of the majority side of the committee, and optionally the minority, will write a statement which includes general and relevant statements on policy, findings specific to the investigations of the case (citing evidence), and binding decrees on what should be done. The arbitration committee may amend any decisions at a later date at their discretion.
- Once elected, the committee member's term lasts for six months — If an arbitration committee leaves early, this does de-sync the term endings. If this is a problem, we could have it so that when someone has to leave, a pro tempore member is appointed to fill the term.
- The committee may choose to elect a chairperson at any time — If the committee needs a chairperson, they can choose a chairperson. The chairperson role is intended to be either temporary (for just one case, perhaps) or long-term (for the entire six months). If they choose not to have a chairperson, then that's fine too.
- The users involved will be asked to join the official arbitration channel with the committee members — It is not required for anyone to participate with the arbitration committee, and there shouldn't be any penalty for not doing so. The idea behind testifying is to give users an *opportunity* to give their point of view, not a mandate.
- ...subject to perjury, which is enforced by a fixed network ban of 21 days and automatic loss of any network authority. — This differs from the previous penalty of 30 days OR loss of *operator status*. The reasoning behind this is that lying in a case is very dangerous because it creates so many dangerous possibilities, for example, g-lining or de-opering an innocent person. Additionally, if this person is on our staff and lies, we lose trust in them and staff positions are all based on an expectancy of trust, therefore, we cannot have them continue being on our staff. Note that this does not bar anyone currently in a staff position from that position
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Infrastructure voting procedure
- The infrastructure team members will give their vote directly to the team leader.
- If there are two options to vote for, the team members can vote for either option. If there are more than two options to vote for, the team members should list each option in order from what they approve of most to least and the votes will be counted using a condorcet method selected by the team leader, any member may request to know the specific codorcet method in use. Team members may exclude options from their list that they have no preference with or may choose to abstain completely from voting if they have no opinion at all.
- By default, everyone voting will have three days to turn in their vote. The team leader should attempt to contact any voters that are unavailable to give them an opportunity to vote.
- If the person voting opposes the action, they must briefly explain why they oppose it. Everyone voting must be made aware of the opposal and the reason for it, and anyone who already voted must be given an opportunity to re-vote.
- It is recommended that the issue is discussed prior to the vote, preferably in #opers unless there is a reason to conduct the conversation in private.
- If a tie exists, the vote fails, a strict majority is required.
- Votes are a public matter, discussions may be held in confidence, but all votes made are open-ballot and will be available for inspection purposes to all ECNet staff and users at request.