Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy/Update and ratification

The current written arbitration policy dates from 2004 and much has evolved since then. The purpose of the proposed update is to bring the written document into line with existing well-established arbitration custom and practice. The proposed update also reflects the changes and developments in other relevant English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation policies that impact upon arbitration.

The proposed update has been reviewed five times by the community, at roughly six-monthly intervals, since it was first drafted in April 2009. Announcements inviting review and comment have typically been placed at: WP:VPP, WT:AC, WP:AC/N, WP:AN, WP:AN/I, WP:CENT and WT:BUR. Because of the broad consultation, it is fair to say that this is a mature document, already attracting broad consensus.

Please note that this is a simple yes or no vote. If you have comments on the proposed update, please make them at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Policy/Update and ratification.

Updated policyEdit

This indicates the start of the text for the proposed updated policy to replace the existing arbitration policy.


This policy governs the Arbitration Committee, arbitration proceedings and arbitration processes. It was ratified by the community on [date].

The Arbitration CommitteeEdit

Scope and responsibilitiesEdit

The Arbitration Committee of the English Wikipedia has the following duties and responsibilities:

  1. To act as a final binding decision-maker primarily for serious conduct disputes the community has been unable to resolve;
  2. To hear appeals from blocked, banned, or otherwise restricted users;
  3. To handle requests (other than self-requests) for removal of administrative tools;
  4. To resolve matters unsuitable for public discussion for privacy, legal, or similar reasons;
  5. To approve and remove access to (i) CheckUser and Oversight tools and (ii) mailing lists maintained by the Arbitration Committee.

Selection and appointmentEdit

Members of the Committee are appointed following annual elections organized and run by the community. Candidates must:

  1. Meet the Wikimedia Foundation's criteria for access to non-public data and confirm in their election statement they will fully comply with the criteria; and
  2. Disclose any alternate accounts in their election statements. Legitimate accounts which have been declared to the Arbitration Committee prior to the close of nominations need not be publicly disclosed.

In exceptional circumstances, the Committee may call interim elections, in a format similar to that of the regular annual elections, if it determines that arbitrator resignations or inactivity have created an immediate need for additional arbitrators.

Conduct of arbitratorsEdit

Arbitrators are expected to:

  1. Act with integrity and good faith at all times;
  2. Respond promptly and appropriately to questions from other arbitrators, or from the community, about conduct which appears to conflict with their trusted roles;
  3. Participate conscientiously in the Committee's activities and deliberations, advising the Committee of upcoming inactivity if that inactivity will likely last more than a week; and
  4. Preserve in appropriate confidence the contents of private correspondence sent to the Committee and the Committee's internal discussions and deliberations.

Any arbitrator who repeatedly or grossly fails to meet the expectations outlined above may be suspended or removed by Committee resolution supported by two-thirds of arbitrators.

Recusal of arbitratorsEdit

An arbitrator may recuse from any case, or from any aspect of a case, with or without explanation and is expected to do so where he or she has a significant conflict of interest. Typically, a conflict of interest includes significant personal involvement in the substance of the dispute or significant personal involvement with one of the parties. Previous routine editor, administrator or arbitrator interactions are not usually grounds for recusal.

An editor who believes an arbitrator should recuse will first post a message on the arbitrator's talk page asking the arbitrator to recuse and giving reasons. Should the arbitrator not respond, or not recuse, the user may refer the request to the Committee for a ruling. Requests for recusal after a case has entered the voting stage will not be granted, except in extraordinary circumstances.

Transparency and confidentialityEdit

Committee deliberations are often held privately though the Committee will make public detailed rationales for decisions related to cases, unless the matter is unsuitable for public discussion for privacy, legal or similar reasons. The Committee treats as private all communications sent to it, or sent by a Committee member in the performance of their duties.

Procedures and rolesEdit

The Committee may create or modify its procedures, provided they are consistent with its scope; and may form subcommittees or designate individuals for particular tasks or roles. Where appropriate, the Committee may invite community comment on intended changes prior to implementing them.

The Committee maintains a panel of clerks to assist with the smooth running of its functions. The clerks' functions include the administration of arbitration cases and management of all the Committee's pages and subpages; enforcing Committee decisions; implementing procedures; and enforcing good standards of conduct and decorum on the Committee's pages.

Arbitration proceedingsEdit


The Committee has jurisdiction within the English Wikipedia.

The Committee has no jurisdiction over: (i) official actions of the Wikimedia Foundation or its staff; (ii) Wikimedia projects other than the English Wikipedia; or (iii) conduct outside the English Wikipedia.

The Committee may take notice of conduct outside its jurisdiction when making decisions about conduct on the English Wikipedia if such outside conduct impacts or has the potential to impact adversely upon the English Wikipedia or its editors.

The Committee retains jurisdiction over all matters heard by it, including associated enforcement processes, and may, at its sole discretion, revisit any proceeding at any time.

Requesting arbitrationEdit

Requests for arbitration must be presented in the manner designated by the Committee. The Committee may accept or decline any matter at its sole discretion; it will take into account, but will not be bound by, the views of the parties to the request and other interested users.

Forms of proceedingEdit

Standard proceedings
By default, hearings are public and follow the procedures published on the relevant arbitration pages.
Summary proceedings
Where the facts of a matter are substantially undisputed, the Committee may resolve the dispute by motion.
Private hearings
In exceptional circumstances, typically where significant privacy, harassment or legal issues are involved, the Committee may hold a hearing in private. The parties will be notified of the private hearing and be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to what is said about them before a decision is made.
Appeals by blocked, banned, or similarly restricted users are usually conducted by email.


Decisions are reached by a majority vote of active, non-recused arbitrators. An arbitrator whose term expires while a case is pending may remain active on that case until its conclusion. Newly appointed arbitrators may become active on any matter before the Committee with immediate effect from the date of their appointment.

Statements may be added to case pages by any interested editor. Editors are expected to respond to statements about themselves; failure to do so may result in decisions being made without their participation. All editors are required to act reasonably, civilly, and with decorum on arbitration case pages, and may face sanctions if they fail to do so.

Admissibility of evidenceEdit

In all proceedings, admissible evidence includes:

  1. All Wikipedia edits and log entries, including deleted or otherwise hidden edits and log entries;
  2. Edits and log entries from Wikimedia projects other than the English Wikipedia, where appropriate; and
  3. Posts to official mailing lists.

Evidence from official mediation is only admissible with the express prior written consent of the Mediation Committee.

Evidence based on private communications (including, but not limited to, other websites, forums, chat rooms, IRC logs, email correspondence) is admissible only by prior consent of the Committee and only in exceptional circumstances.

Evidence may be submitted privately, but the Committee normally expects evidence to be posted publicly unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. The Committee will decide whether to admit each submission of private evidence on its own merits and, if admitted, the evidence will be considered at a private hearing.

Temporary injunctionsEdit

At any time between the request for a case being made and the closure of the case, the Committee may issue temporary injunctions, restricting the conduct of the parties, or users generally, for the duration of the case.

Format of decisionsEdit

Decisions are written in clear concise standard English and usually: (i) outline the salient principles, (ii) make findings of fact, (iii) set out remedies and rulings, and (iv) specify any enforcement arrangements. Where the meaning of any provision is unclear to any arbitrator, the parties, or other interested editors, it will be clarified upon request.

Policy and precedentEdit

The arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat. The Committee's decisions may interpret existing policy and guidelines, recognise and call attention to standards of user conduct, or create procedures through which policy and guidelines may be enforced. The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated.

While the Committee will typically take into account its earlier decisions when deciding new cases, previous decisions do not create binding precedent. As community policies, guidelines and norms evolve over time, previous decisions will be taken into account only to the extent that they remain relevant in the current context.

Appeal of decisionsEdit

Any editor may ask the Committee to reconsider or amend a ruling, which the Committee may accept or decline at its discretion. The Committee may require a minimum time to have elapsed since the enactment of the ruling, or since any prior request for reconsideration, before reviewing it. Remedies may be appealed to, and amended by, Jimbo Wales, unless the case involves Jimbo Wales' own actions.

Ratification and amendmentEdit

Once adopted by the Committee, this policy will undergo formal ratification through a community referendum and will enter into force once it receives majority support, with at least one hundred editors voting in favour of adopting it. Until this policy is ratified, the existing arbitration policy remains in effect.

Amendments to this policy require an identical ratification process. Proposed amendments may be submitted for ratification only after being approved by a majority vote of the Committee, or having been requested by a petition signed by at least one hundred editors in good standing.

The Committee is responsible for formulating its own processes and procedures under this policy, which do not require ratification.

This indicates the end of the proposed updated arbitration policy.

Ratification referendumEdit

‹See TfM›

Closed as adopted by a clear majority of those expressing an opinion, with more than 100 in favour. BencherliteTalk 23:25, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please express your preference below by voting in either the yes or no sections. If you have comments on the policy, please make them at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Policy/Update and ratification.

Yes, adopt the new updated policyEdit

  1.  Roger Davies talk 18:13, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. Risker (talk) 18:53, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  3. Randomblue (talk) 18:57, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  4. Tony (talk) 18:58, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  5. — Coren (talk) 19:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  6. Baseball Watcher 19:04, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  7. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:09, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  8. --FloNight♥♥♥♥ 19:12, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  9. Timbouctou (talk) 19:14, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  10. Willking1979 (talk) 19:16, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  11. Jenks24 (talk) 19:16, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  12. Nolelover It's almost football season! 19:18, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  13. Dabomb87 (talk) 19:20, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  14. Doh5678 Talk 19:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  15. MBisanz talk 19:24, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  16. Nathan T 19:25, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  17. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:35, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  18. Malleus Fatuorum 19:36, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  19. Diannaa (Talk) 19:40, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  20. FT2 (Talk | email) 19:42, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  21. Murray Langton (talk) 19:45, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  22. Kirill [talk] [prof] 19:51, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  23. With the caveat that I share Sandstein's concern and hope that the clause in question won't be read as an expansion of ArbCom to oversee all matters. I don't think it needs to be read the way he is reading it, but if does mean that then I'd have to switch to opposing this adoption. JoshuaZ (talk) 19:53, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    No it doesn't mean what Sandstein suggests at all. In this context, it means that we will deal with the conduct aspects of a dispute which may involve other factors. Very similar language is in the existing policy.  Roger Davies talk 19:59, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  24. User:Fred Bauder Talk 19:54, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  25. SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:56, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  26. elektrikSHOOS 20:08, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  27. Chester Markel (talk) 20:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  28. Darrell_Greenwood (talk) 20:25, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  29. Strobilomyces (talk) 20:33, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  30. -- RP459 Talk/Contributions 20:36, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  31. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:36, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  32. Avi (talk) 20:37, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  33. ragesoss (talk) 20:45, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  34. EdJohnston (talk) 20:55, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  35. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:58, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  36. SirFozzie (talk) 20:59, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  37. Shell babelfish 21:01, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  38. - Philippe 21:02, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  39. the wub "?!" 21:17, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  40. Tony Fox (arf!) 21:18, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  41. Kebeta (talk) 21:37, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  42. Richwales (talk · contribs) 21:41, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  43. Tryptofish (talk) 21:46, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  44. We could go on making quibbles and clarifications for years but the core truth of it is that this is a significant improvement on the existing document. Skomorokh 21:51, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  45. Carcharoth (talk) 22:06, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  46. Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:37, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  47. AGK [] 22:50, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  48. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:56, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  49. Pathoschild 23:56:11, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  50. EWikistTalk 00:00, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  51. Off2riorob (talk) 00:02, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  52. – SJ + 00:08, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  53. Jclemens (talk) 00:21, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  54. Dcoetzee 00:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  55. Mailer Diablo 00:44, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  56. Cla68 (talk) 00:56, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  57. ~ Amory (utc) 01:22, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  58. Hersfold (t/a/c) 02:13, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  59. Tznkai (talk) 02:28, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  60. Martinp (talk) 03:42, 1 June 2011 (UTC) (to be clear: I would encourage a minor copyedit around Scope item 1 to address the concerns/comments raised by Sandstein below and FT2 on the talk page, but my ratification vote is not dependent on this.)
  61. Voyager640 (talk) 05:11, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  62. Looks good - the bit about decisions being written in plain English is a good thing to include, as this isn't always done at the moment. Nick-D (talk) 08:09, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  63. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:00, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  64. Revcasy (talk) 12:43, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  65. xenotalk 13:33, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  66. Woody (talk) 14:03, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  67.  – iridescent 14:24, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  68. Lumos3 (talk) 17:25, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  69. Echtoran (talk) 17:48, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  70. JN466 18:22, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  71. Fences&Windows 19:35, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  72. AlexiusHoratius 21:37, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  73. Ocaasi c 21:53, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  74. --White Shadows Stuck in square one 22:38, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  75. Geometry guy 22:44, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  76. Alan the Roving Ambassador (talk) 23:51, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  77. Sven Manguard Wha? 00:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC) - Not that this will stop ArbCom from creatively reinterpreting their role as they see fit. It's an improvement though.
  78. Ched :  ?  00:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  79. Camw (talk) 00:38, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  80. œ 01:20, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  81. GB fan (talk) 01:21, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  82. --Kleinzach 01:23, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  83. GFOLEY FOUR— 01:50, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  84. N419BH 01:56, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  85. DGG ( talk ) 02:42, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  86. ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 03:17, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  87. First Light (talk) 03:27, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  88. Armbrust Talk to me Contribs 07:58, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  89. Sam Blacketer (talk) 09:18, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  90. Lightmouse (talk) 10:05, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  91. ... with some mild concern, because my perception is that Arbcom's remit is, very gradually, expanding, and I think there should be a discussion about Arbcom's scope and the potential need for checks and balances; but that concern is not sufficient to stop me supporting the improved policy.—S Marshall T/C 11:02, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  92. Still leaves much to be desired, but it's an improvement.--Kotniski (talk) 12:59, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  93. CT Cooper · talk 14:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  94. Qrsdogg (talk) 14:39, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  95. On the basis that 'primarily' gives enough wiggle room to allow consensus forming processes, such as that which produced the WP:WESTBANK naming convention, but no further. PhilKnight (talk) 17:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  96. Steven Walling 17:14, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  97. umrguy42 18:17, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  98. Yes. I have some minor quibbles here and there, especially about Jimbo's involvement, but overall I support the new language. --Elonka 19:12, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  99. Support. Binksternet (talk) 19:42, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  100. Support overall. -- Ssilvers (talk) 21:00, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  101. Support, hoping that the enforcement of the policy would not be absolute and uniform in all cases, and would allow for some discussion and occasional "wiggle room" as noted by PhilKnight above. John Carter (talk) 21:31, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  102. Geoff Who, me? 22:19, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  103. Why not? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 23:04, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  104. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 23:42, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  105. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 01:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  106. Agree in general that this is an improvement on the old policy on many levels, and would support this. However, I share the reservations of Sandstein that Arbcom ought to have no governance and policy-making powers. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  107. I appreciate the concerns raised by the opposers, and also by the supporters here and on the talk. This is a large leap forward, having been through three (or more) years of revision. Rather than make minor changes now, we should lock this in, and then work on more incremental improvements to the policy in future. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  108. It's not perfect (but what policy is?), but it's a substantial improvement over what we have now, and for that reason alone it should be ratified. Amendments and adjustments can be considered later but the "bones" of this policy are right. Lankiveil (speak to me) 08:47, 3 June 2011 (UTC).
  109. Clearly an improvement. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 11:04, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  110. Its a slight move in the correct direction. --Guerillero | My Talk 18:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  111. It's a nice little fiction, why not? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:29, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  112. As others said "Clearly an improvement." but this is not to govern, and I think that if there is a thing that cannot be resolved but hasn't gone to the committee, I think that it would be there duty to help even though that they were not called for. I think still that people should say there alternate accounts. (Misunderstood) ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 22:35, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  113. Maxim(talk) 02:39, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  114. Courcelles 08:44, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  115. Donald Albury 11:04, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  116. Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 12:00, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  117. User:Ling.Nut FWIW.  – Ling.Nut 15:38, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  118. Samir 19:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  119. Oh well... support. Having a "Conduct of arbitrators" section and thereby a route for removal of unsuitable arbs is a serious improvement. See discussion on talk of what can happen without such a route. Bishonen | talk 21:27, 4 June 2011 (UTC).
  120. I was going to stay out of this completely, but given Skomorokh's, John Vandenberg's, Piotrus's, and Bishonen's supports, I'll support. I'm still unconvinced that the Arbitration Committee isn't a failed experiment, but given the lack of alternatives, I can support it sucking a little less. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:21, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  121. This appears to be a reasonable clarification and as noted would have fixed a few past issues rather quicker. Guy (Help!) 06:18, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  122. Ben MacDui 17:17, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  123. The proposed changes seem okay, but like User:MZMcBride I am unconvinced that the Arbitration Committee is making a real difference. Hawkeye7 (talk) 00:29, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  124. Given the way it's structured, I am unconvinced that the Arbitration Committee can make a real difference. But it can make incremental improvements, which this is. Cool Hand Luke 14:34, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
  125. Improvement over current policy. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 14:58, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
  126. Good enough for government work. T. Canens (talk) 12:47, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  127. Dlohcierekim 13:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  128. Net positive. Jafeluv (talk) 16:17, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  129. -- Cirt (talk) 16:28, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  130. I see nothing wrong with it. -- Atama 01:17, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  131. Because it is a substantial improvement on the present policy and not fatally flawed even when considered on its own merits. Eluchil404 (talk) 07:50, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
  132. Sure, why not? (talk) 00:24, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
  133. HominidMachinae (talk) 20:56, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
  134. Moved from oppose after Roger Davies has pointed out that there is language in the new policy limiting the Commitee's authority to make policy or content decisions. The scope of Committee decisions is still not well delineated and some of my concerns with respect to this matter remain, but on balance the new policy is a substantial improvement.  Sandstein  14:26, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

No, retain the old policyEdit

  1. Only because I believe that in the scope and responsibilities section:
    • Item 4: To resolve matters unsuitable for public discussion for privacy, legal, or similar reasons;
    should read
    • Item 4: To resolve conduct matters unsuitable for public discussion for privacy, legal, or similar reasons;. Seddon talk|WikimediaUK 19:27, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    Seddon, you are assuming that all of these matters strictly involve user conduct. This is not the case. Privacy violations that (in some cases) are unintended, threats of harm to self or others, or similar matters are not strictly conduct issues. If something related to privacy, legal issues or similar matters winds up on the Arbcom-L mailing list, there is an expectation that the Committee address it in some way, whether directly, by referring it to WMF General Counsel or other identified staff groups, or by deciding on discussion that no action is required/appropriate. Unlike the general editorship, ignoring such issues is not really an option for Arbcom. Risker (talk) 19:47, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    Both privacy violations and threats of harm to others are conduct issues (prehaps the most extreme) and personally I feel are covered by the conduct matters.
    It certainly should not be the position of the Arbitration Committee to handle legals threats themselves. If its that serious then it should be referred to the general counsel, if its not then it can be handled by the community. Otherwise the committee is putting itself at huge legal risk and quite frankly they are not the legal representatives of the community. I am not saying the arbitration committee should ignore such issues, I'm simply saying that it shouldn't be the committee's responsibility to resolve these issues just simply pass them to the appropriate people. Hell they can be handled by committee members individually since you are all members of the community but it should not under the committees auspice. Seddon talk|WikimediaUK 20:05, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    This is an old discussion - the bottom line is that the Wikimedia Counsel doesn't exist to handle every query of a real-world nature that passes through Arbcom's inbox. While Arbcom may choose to consult, the cases where they actually need Counsel input are very few. Users worried they are being harassed and wanting advice or whatever assistance the Committee can provide, notable people who engage in socking or other misconduct where delicate handling is best, allegations that need looking into, users who disclose a personal crisis or real-world issue for which they want understanding or a second chance. Arbcom has at times in its 7 year lifespan had to look into all of them. Exactly as Risker says, a lot of things Arbcom sees are serious enough to warrant private resolution by users trusted to keep very personal matters private and balance fairness and project benefit, but which are not "conduct" or "legal"—or even sometimes anything but just sad and human. FT2 (Talk | email) 20:31, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    [Update: moved to support,  Sandstein  14:23, 13 June 2011 (UTC)] The word "primarily" in the clause "a final binding decision-maker primarily for serious conduct disputes" means that this policy establishes the Committee as Wikipedia's final binding decision-maker for everything else as well, at its sole discretion, notably not excluding issues of content or governance. This is an epochal constitutional change that I cannot support. It goes far beyond the Committee's remit as a dispute settlement body.  Sandstein  19:41, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    Point of information: the existing policy already says "The Committee will primarily investigate interpersonal disputes" and that's the basis of the text in the current draft. There is no change in meaning.  Roger Davies talk 19:53, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    If there is significant concern over this, a minor reword (To act as a final binding decision-maker for serious disputes primarily related to user conduct ...) would resolve it. Seems unlikely at this point though. FT2 (Talk | email) 20:03, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    Roger Davies, but the current policy makes rather clear that ArbCom is about resolving disputes rather than about governing Wikipedia. The new version does not; furthermore it omits the provision that "The Committee will not hear disputes where they have not been requested to rule", and does not rule out content decisions. Unlike the old policy, the new wording explicitly empowers the Committee to make final binding decisions about essentially anything on their own initiative – which makes it, in effect, Wikipedia's government. That may not have been the intention, but it's what the proposal says.  Sandstein  20:25, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    The binding decision language is so heavily qualified that I doubt that the editor on the Clapham Omnibus would consider it authorised ArbCom to govern anything let alone the English Wikipedia. Perhaps more to the point, what makes you think that the community would actually submit to attempts at governance? The torches and pitchforks would be out in no time.  Roger Davies talk 14:12, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    Instead of relying on torches and pitchforks as a means of checks and balances, we should write the policy in an unambiguous manner, e.g. as suggested by FT2, to make clear that ArbCom may make binding decisions about conduct disputes, but not about matters that are (a) issues of content or governance or (b) not the subject of serious disputes. I don't see any heavy qualifiers: the policy simply says that ArbCom is the final binding decision maker of the project, and only very weakly qualifies this by adding that such decisions are "primarily" about conduct disputes. This means e contrario that ArbCom is free to make final binding decisions about anything else if they choose to. That's the plain meaning of the text you wrote, and it's unacceptable to me. (Otherwise, by the way, the policy is fine and I could support it if it were not for this severe flaw.)  Sandstein  06:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    I also echo this point which is similar in principal to my point. Seddon talk|WikimediaUK 19:46, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    The sense I have from this thread and that on the talk page is that there is little resistance to the idea that a change of this nature would be desirable but that it is "too late". I have more than sufficient trust in the system to accept this and also trust that this small, but potentially important clarification is assumed, and may be added either to this statement or such other related statement(s) as may be expedient at a later date. I will be adding my name to the "yes" list. Ben MacDui 17:16, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  2. Disapprove of all this plebiscite business. This isn't Switzerland. ╟─TreasuryTagassemblyman─╢ 19:43, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    I disapprove of this being referred to as plebicite business. Comment on the merits or lack of. Seddon talk|WikimediaUK 20:05, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    I disapprove of this being referred to as plebicite business. Why? It's officially being termed a "referendum" – now take a guess where our article on plebiscite redirects to. ╟─TreasuryTagCANUKUS─╢ 20:09, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
  3. Pedro :  Chat  21:41, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    The clause " will take into account, but will not be bound by, the views of the parties to the request and other interested users." makes me worried a little. I'd rather have Arbcom be impartial to the viewpoints of the parties involved and "other interested users". Unless/until someone attempts to convince me otherwise, I see that this line here will create a world of trouble in the future as people will be pointing to this one line and cry foul, regardless of which way the issue was settled and who it favors. Until this is explained away to me, I'm voting "no".--White Shadows Stuck in square one 23:31, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    To clarify, the clause states that the Committee will take parties' views into account (meaning that we will read and consider them), but that the ultimate decision will be "at [the Committee's] sole discretion" and that the Committee is "not [...] bound by the views of the parties"; in other words, it allows us to make independent decisions rather than having to follow the desires of the parties. If I'm not mistaken, this is something you agree with? Kirill [talk] [prof] 23:45, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
    I'm a big "strict interpretation" kinda of editor when it comes to the role of Arbcom and I hope that this new "charter" will be applied (if it is passed) word for word, nothing more, nothing less. With this in mind, I interpreted it as Arbcom would be free to make decisions based off of the parties' viewpoints. Which would be a disaster in political articles as well as articles that deal with other disputed issues. I do not want Arbcom ruling in a case like this based on the member's own personal options, but rather the arguments and evidence given to them; and I feel that this passage gives them that ability. Perhaps I'm interpreting this differently than others....--White Shadows Stuck in square one 03:05, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    The "views" here are those taken into account in considering a request (that's the section it's in). They are the statements people already write - their views on the conduct, policy, and project matters salient to the case and decision, and reasons why it should be accepted or declined. Which indeed are to be "taken into account" –people write statements giving their views and commenting on the significance and background of the issues in the case, in order to have them taken into account. I don't see Arbcom taking this to mean instead "views on the topic matter of the disputed articles are a factor in whether to accept or decline a case" (!) and "interested" here means the everyday sense of "attention" or "desire to get involved", not "financial or other real-world connection". FT2 (Talk | email) 12:54, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    Alright then. Thank for you taking the time to further explain this passage. I've removed my opposition vote and I'll be supporting the new rules.--White Shadows Stuck in square one 22:37, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  4. Given the low bar of 100 supports to "ratify", this comment is probably pointless. Nevertheless, I think there is something new in the jurisdiction" section: "The Committee retains jurisdiction over all matters heard by it". The AC exists to resolve disputes that the community cannot. At least in principle, if the community can resolve a dispute, the community ought to be able to remove that dispute from AC's jurisdiction. One could view AC's authority as delegated by the community, but that view appears contrary to the current wording of the "jurisdiction" section. Gimmetoo (talk) 01:04, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    It's not new at all. It merely refers to the ongoing stuff that arises out of a case: amendments, clarifications, enforcement, and so forth, which have always been handled by ArbCom. Traditionally, the committee also lets jurisdiction lapse over time: for example, major resurrections of cases are dealt with as new requests (cf. the four Scientology cases), each need their own community attempts at resolution.  Roger Davies talk 13:57, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
    Some comments on the talk page, as well as some historical background on the latter. FT2 (Talk | email) 09:52, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
  5. Opposing mostly due to the content/conduct distinction (yes I've read the above replies). Formally expanding the jurisdiction of the committee to content matters is bad news. Otherwise I don't have any real problems and the procedure is due for an update. Protonk (talk) 01:26, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    But it doesn't do this at all. Policy and precedent explicitly says The Committee does not rule on content ....  Roger Davies talk 04:50, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    The text of points 1 and 4 leave this open to interpretation. And given the willingness of the committee to rule on content matters in the past I don't really doubt such interpretations will be made. However it is both a minor point and unlikely to actually change anything. Of deeper concern is the opacity in most decisions made privately for legal, privacy or "other" reasons. Protonk (talk) 05:49, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    The text doesn't say "other" but "similar", i.e. harassment, mental health and so on. If there were a way of dealing with them publicly, without making matters worse for the editor concerned, I'd love to hear it. In fact, the committee makes very few decisions indeed of this nature.  Roger Davies talk 06:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    It isn't the scope that bothers me but the efficacy. Your track record on handling private matters without causing them to blow up in your face ("your" being my shoddy shorthand for all the arbs) is pretty poor. I don't think the answer is to avoid handling them and I fully understand that some blowups are unavoidable, but you guys seem to be unconcerned or unaware that reticence to give information where it is needed invites plenty of problems. Take your last two de-sysoppings as an example. The first one was probably going to blow up regardless (though you never did publicly resume that case AFAIK) but the second seemed kind of tone deaf. Protonk (talk) 06:34, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    I agree that we are sometimes not good at getting decent rationales out speedily but a great deal of this is down to the logistical difficulty of getting 18 volunteers scattered in different zones all around the world, and doing things in their spare time, to agree a joint statement. If the text changes during the process and needs re-approval, even getting something simple out can take two working days to get majority support. This is something we are working on though.  Roger Davies talk 07:06, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    Also the text of scope item #4 is disconcerting. While the committee obviously handles these matters right now (and I don't think the word conduct is needed), they are pretty bad at it, frankly. Protonk (talk) 02:55, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    Comment on the latter on talk page. There's also a substantial biasing effect: by definition they aren't public and those that go well often won't become public. FT2 (Talk | email) 04:39, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    I'll leave a comment there. Protonk (talk) 05:04, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per numbers 3 and 5. I'd love to have an option where the community can actually discuss this rather than the details being set out in secret, but whatever. I disagree with those points because I feel that they lie within the scope of the community, not a cabal of editors with limited accountability to the rest of the community. I elect members to ArbCom to settle disputes, not to run the wiki. Thanks, Ajraddatz (Talk) 01:39, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    If you can suggest a way of publicly discussing conduct issues involving intensely private information in open fora, without doing more harm to the subject/victim, I'd love to hear it.  Roger Davies talk 05:13, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    For requests for de-adminship, I assume? If there is some absolutely hideous abuse of the tools which involves such info, then perhaps that could fit into arbcom's scope. However, dealing with regular de-adminship requests and requests for checkuser and oversight rights is a definite no from me. Ajraddatz (Talk) 18:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    Actually, the more common situation is working with editors whose medical/mental health condition is affecting their ability to contribute in a positive way to the project. Requests for checkuser and oversight rights is a mandate from the WMF, external to this project; the WMF has devolved the authority and responsibility for these functions to Arbcom on projects that have a Committee. Risker (talk) 01:19, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    @ Ajraddatz. Moving de-admin, checkuser and oversight to the community have been tried but so far not succeeded. The community has repeatedly failed to agree how community de-adminship would work to the point it's listed as a perennial proposal (the latest discussion was just a year ago). Checkuser and oversight rights must be managed by arbcom or the community per Foundation policy and the committee itself set up community elections to do so - but the attempt to devolve to the community failed. An RFC was held to decide how to fix the elections. The community was unable to reach consensus and there was also considerable community support for the proposal that Arbcom should resume handling the decision. The final result in the face of failed elections, no clear consensus, and the need of the community to fill the roles was that Arbcom would resume the previous system whereby candidates and input were requested but the Committee would make the resulting decision, until a "strong consensus" formed for an alternative approach. So that's the status quo. FT2 (Talk | email) 01:50, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    If they were so controversial, then perhaps there really wasn't a good reason to desysop them. Besides, I don't see how changing it from the editing community to your lovely cabal would make it any less controversial - all it would do it remove the community from it and have it occur in some dark cellar somewhere (or a mailing list more likely). You say that CU and OS must be regulated by arbcom or the community... so let's do it per the community! The fact that a broken system was unable to fix these things in the past is hardly a reason to restrict it to the privileged few. Honestly, all I care about is that arbcom doesn't slowly continue to obtain more and more power. If there was some way to do it where ArbCom selected the candidates, and the community voted for them via securepoll, go for it. But as I've said above, I don't want these rights changed from community-decided to cabal-appointed. Also, you say that WMF has requirements for CU/OS: then enforce them. That's still no reason to take the community out of it.
    And again I will ask, why was the community not present in the discussion of this policy update? Thanks for at least giving us the right to !vote this time. Ajraddatz (Talk) 03:27, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    The first revision was posted in April 2009, it has gone through five drafts and has received about 90,000 words of commentary from the community. (Source: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-05-30/News and notes) I will note that the community has never taken on the responsibility of desysopping, so there is absolutely no change at all. The Arbitration Committee has always held the responsibility of appointing checkusers and oversighters, even when community elections were held; only pre-vetted candidates could put their names forward. Arbcom has a fiduciary duty to the WMF in this regard. Risker (talk) 04:10, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    The process of arriving at this update has been conducted in public as the histories of this page and the talk page will attest. Each significant stage was announced to the community at various venues and participation invited/encouraged.  Roger Davies talk 04:37, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    Re community and CU/OS: What you suggest is in fact exactly what was decided. The "lovely cabal" was the body that actually tried to get the community to do more of the deciding. So much for "obtaining power". Just one catch: if you want the community to decide Checkuser or Oversight by some form of election, then you need to go out there and actually get building a strong community-wide consensus to design and endorse some specific process that does the job and replaces the broken one. The experience of trying to get consensus for a major process change can be quite sobering and thought provoking - a bit like running full-tilt into a brick wall. FT2 (Talk | email) 04:43, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    First of all, on meta they use the RfA process for CU/OS requests, and it works just fine. Please tell me if that's been tried here or not. Beyond that, have I read something wrong? According to the proposal, CU/OS appointment and desysopping would be entirely at GovCom's will - how does that possibly involve the community? Not to mention the fact that policy creep has already seen some of this happen, such as the appointment of CU and OS rights User:Courcelles. I'd hate to see what happens when it is actually confirmed policy that you guys have the power to do this.
    I really don't understand where you are coming from, or why you are taking your stance. You are saying that by having a small body of editors (e.g. cabal) with the communities best interests in mind, you will somehow promote user voting? I just don't see how consolidating power that the community previously had to a cabal possibly gets the said community involved more. But oh well, it seems that few people agree with me, so you don't seem to have anything to worry about here. Just do me a favour, and try not to turn Wikipedia into more of a governed bureaucracy than it already is. Ajraddatz (Talk) 02:52, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
  7. I think that the criteria for being a party or for naming a party needs to be reworked. Racepacket (talk) 12:39, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
    I suspect the details of party criteria, addition and removal would come under "arbitration case procedures" rather than policy, the same way that "4 net supports to accept a case" or "24 hours before opening" or all the other details are dealt with. FT2 (Talk | email) 02:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  8. Per my comments on talk --B (talk) 23:03, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
  9. Fuck no. As someone who was subject to FT2 (talk · contribs)'s secret, in camera, unethical, and irresponsible Arbcom hearings a few years ago, from my point of view, giving ArbCom any powers to do anything in secret is reprehensible. Remember, there was nothing privileged or confidential about me that prompted FT2's inappropriate actions. NOTHING. There are other Arbcom members who have the same moral fiber as FT2, so how can we trust them? Do we have to trust the strength of those Arbcom members like Casliber who actually has backbone? Let's remember there were strong Arbcom members three years ago when FT2 singlehandedly decided to play judge jury and executioner, and from my perspective, there are new FT2's on the Arbcom now. Bring to the open PERIOD. Because as FT2 proved so well, secrecy breeds power hungry behavior. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    I make that 6 mentions in as many lines. You might want to remind yourself of the committee's comment at the time first, and remember I spent most of the rest of that year trying to reform Arbcom's internal procedures to ensure it could never happen again - which is the true test of a regret. The issue here is whether this is a clearer policy and better guidance than the existing 2003/04 policy. This one formally makes private hearings "exceptional" and only in very limited cases (eg privacy, legal, harassment). The old one didn't. This one sets arbitrator conduct standards (which I requested were strengthened in the 1st draft). The old one had none. The committee now has formal procedures to ensure key practices are agreeable and documented. Then it had none. It does still allow for private hearings in rare cases - but I think on reflection you'll agree a case like yours hasn't happened before or since, so clearly a large part of the desired change has happened. The idea got through. FT2 (Talk | email) 00:31, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    I don't fucking care what you say, because you can't speak the truth about anything. You were fucking wrong, and you know it. You have the moral fiber of an ant. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 00:50, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    OrangeMarlin, your situation, and the RFC that followed, is one of the main motivators in rewriting this policy. It is one of the "cases" that we kept in our minds as we filled in blanks and closed loopholes and clarified limits. Not a single arbitrator who has sat on the Committee since that event ever wants to see a repeat of it, and committee actions are often delayed to ensure that there is a broadbased agreement before moving forward, with specific limitations (specifically urgent desysops, which are immediately posted and may move to a full case at the request of the admin). There are still some discussions that will take place in private (for example, working with editors who are exhibiting mental health problems that are affecting their work on-wiki), but the editors are involved in the conversations. It is unfortunate that you were not active during the 2+ years that we have been working to improve this policy, as your feedback would definitely have been considered. Nonetheless, the Arbitration Committee is always made up of editors with a range of experience and personality type, and I am sure that all members of the community find some agreeable and others not so much. The key is in ensuring a balance between them, and the membership of the Committee is something that is up to the community to decide. Risker (talk) 01:13, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    So, why the fuck wasn't FT2 desysopped and thrown off the project? He wasn't. So he knows he can get away with this kind of shit. And so will the next person. There should be NO secrecy unless it's very specifically detailed, because we will get FT2 Part 2, the return of the lust for power. And really, you're going to deal with mental health issues over the internet? Fuck me, I didn't know that Arbcom was a licensed psychiatrist too.OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 05:17, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    The conduct of arbitators section deals with this sort of thing and introduces a clear route for removal of arbitrators; something missing in the existing policy.  Roger Davies talk 05:37, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    Nobody is suggesting that ArbCom is moving into the online psychiatry business, but they do have to decide what to do about editors whose contributions are affected by mental health issues - and making everything public in such cases could do quite a bit more harm to the person involved -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:04, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    Albeit I agree with a lot of OrangeMarlin's points (and remember talking about it offline quite a bit), I think its fair that I bring up a good example of this problem. For the first 4 years on Wikipedia (I joined when I was 14) I suffered problems ranging from major depression to major anger problems. This caused about a number suicide threats that in retrospect I am not proud of, and as a result had my admin tools taken for about 6 months. I was going to actually never ask them back, but a lot of peer pressure kind of made that impossible. I know unfortunately I would never pass another RFA so I enjoy the fact that I could get it back. It's only been a couple years, but my mental health is about 95% intact, discounting for some anger spurts from time to time, which usually I consolidate to other venues. As someone who really doesn't care what is released about him (hell when I redid my userpage I did a lot public info reveal, (I'm more than above age at this point). However, that's just me. Mitch32(Can someone turn on the damn air conditioning?) 13:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
    Very pleased to hear you're progressing well, and it's great that you can talk about it openly. I'm certainly no expert, but talking publicly about problems does seem to help a lot of people - though I think it does require a positive attitude by the person, which you seem to have. However, I know of at least two cases from my time at Wikipedia when the people involved were not psychologically positive at all, could definitely have suffered more had the discussions taken place in public, and which were definitely better kept private. -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:09, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
  10. I oppose because the drafters should have provided a chart or some other information showing changes from the old policy, which provisions were added, removed and kept the same. Figureofnine (talk) 22:01, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
    The old policy is here, there aren't really many actual 'changes' as such, it's mostly an updated, clearer and more formal version of the old one rather than a change in the rules. Bob House 884 (talk) 22:31, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
    To paraphrase Tony1 in a similar discussion on talk, a list of changes might not be helpful. This one was written from scratch, based on the old one, rather than edited from the old one. After six years of wiki-evolutioin, two years in gestation, and a huge number of revisions, a shopping list of individual changes will likely be much longer and more difficult to grasp than a simple reading of the actual versions.  Roger Davies talk 09:07, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    Agreed, I think we would have done this if the old and new versions lined up well paragraph-by-paragraph, but that isn't really so much the case. But I will try to remember to suggest that we follow the Rayseyer-Cordon Rule in the future where it would be helpful. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:34, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    We do use something similar in case/motion voting to track copy-edits etc. But they're nothing like the complexity of this document. Roger Davies talk 05:59, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  11. I agree with Sandstein and Ajraddatz, this new policy would essentially give ArbCom authority over any issue. ArbCom was intended to resolve disputes, not govern Wikipedia. This new policy is quite wordy, using a large amount of unspecific words, and not clearly establishing boundaries for ArbCom. For example, with this new policy in effect, it would essentially allow ArbCom to use IRC logs and emails as evidence, but only "by prior consent of the Committee and only in exceptional circumstances." "Exceptional circumstances" is not defined, and how would these private logs be verified as genuine? Unlike Wikipedia edits, IRC logs and email messages can be forged. These new additions give ArbCom too much authority over Wikipedia. Therefore, I cannot support the ratification of this new policy. Alpha Quadrant talk 04:28, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    I'm sorry you find this wordy. We have all done our best to keep it concise and to the point though with seventy or so editors participating in the various drafts there is inevitably scope for improvement.

    I've just left some comments in response to your coup d'état fears on the talk page. But please remember what the long-established "What Wikipedia is not" policy says: Wikipedia is not governed by statute: it is not a moot court, and rules are not the purpose of the community ... While Wikipedia's written policies and guidelines should be taken seriously, they can be misused. Do not follow an overly strict interpretation of the letter of policy without consideration for the principles of policies. which runs dead against Sandstein's monolinear interpretation.

    Regarding evidence, there are currently no restrictions of any kind in the current policy on what can be adduced in evidence. ArbCom is well aware of the potential for forgery in IRC logs, emails and so forth - as well as the potential for disclosing intensely personal information - and therefore treats each instance on its merits. This, incidentally, is precisely the reason why editors should not be able to post logs and emails automatically as part of a case and why discretion about public disclosure rests with ArbCom.

    I hope this helps,  Roger Davies talk 09:09, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

    Overall, I like this new policy, but a few lines should be reworded so that they are clearer, specifically the multiple uses of "exceptional circumstances" and "primarily". It is significantly better than the previous version, however, the scope of ArbCom is too unspecific in this version. In principle it may be only for resolving conduct disputes, but that is not how the suggested policy reads. I would support if the scope was clarified in the amendment. Alpha Quadrant talk 18:00, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    Mostly "exceptional circumstances" is used here as a synonym for "rarely" and could probably all be expunged without significant change of meaning. From that point of view, it's no big deal either way.  Roger Davies talk 06:03, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  12. - A protest NO vote, since the Jimmy-Wales-as-Named-Plenipotentiary provision was not removed. I realize that the old document has the same anachronism. Shame on you for not fixing it! Carrite (talk) 05:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    [Chuckle] The Jimmy appeal provision is the sole remaining vestige of the very considerable powers in various areas enshrined in the existing policy. I realise that yours is a protest vote, but do you really want that old policy to continue in force, with all the anachronisms (you put it) that it contains?  Roger Davies talk 05:55, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
    Think of this page as a rare moment for feedback free from both the ballot box and the maneuverings about a given case before the committee. I would cherish this were I in your shoes as such feedback is rarely unladen by politics. Protonk (talk) 20:03, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  13. Protest vote as I do believe this new draft is a step in the right direction over the old one. But I cannot support as there are still many facets to this proposal that I find unsettling:
    1. The proposal was submitted to the community for approval pre-written, without even a veneer of community input.
    2. Per Sandstein, the lines between strict dispute resolution and governance in general are increasingly blurred. This proposal all but invites more creation of new policies by ill-considered and overreaching motions in the future.
    3. I categorically oppose secret hearings of any kind. Private matters unrelated to user conduct disputes should be forwarded to the office, OTRS, the General Counsel, oversight-l, etc as appropriate. The Arbitration Committee's scope did not and should note encompass serving as the customer service department for whomever happens to drop by arbcom-l. If such a body is necessary beyond OTRS, it should be created as a separate body from Arbcom with separated powers.
    4. The Committee has no business appointing checkusers and oversighters, and this responsibility should be devolved to the community as soon as possible. I do understand that there is no consensus for how to do so at this time, but it needs to be done. TotientDragooned (talk) 20:25, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  14. None of this will matter because it doesn't solve wiki's root problems.BarkingMoon (talk) 00:58, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
  15. I have a principled opposition to this policy, relating to its construction of jusiprudence, jurisdiction, and governance. Fifelfoo (talk) 07:12, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  16. Not that it matters since there are already 100 supporting, but those commenting above summarize my views nicely. -Atmoz (talk) 15:43, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  17. Time to write out the "private hearings" provision that allows for closed-door cases without onwiki discussion. This is entirely contradictory to our open-model of governance and ArbCom's high position is no excuse for a run-around of this important feature of our model. If for legal reasons some cases cannot be held in public, then at least ArbCom needs to publicize on-wiki: 1. that an offwiki case is taking place 2. the parties involved and 3. any editor restrictions or policies developed from the case. I cannot support this unless I am certain that the final results of all arbcom decisions, including those decided off-wiki, are logged publicly on Wikipedia (preferably in the same place, such as the ArbCom noticeboard). ThemFromSpace 17:01, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    There is though another great principle, that we should do no harm. Please see my response on the talk page.  Roger Davies talk 22:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    I just don't see the reason here, there are problems with the existing policy yes but I don't see how this addresses them. I also share serious concerns about closed-door cases. Wikipedia is founded on principles of openness, to my knowledge I can see one and only one reason administrative proceedings should be private (WP:OUTING concerns) and even then they should only discuss in private what cannot be said in public for fear of further harm. What I mean is that I think that even the discussion of principles and facts of the case should be public, with ONLY the oversighted edits redacted. Also, I find arbcom's remit to only handle user CONDUCT to be pointless because content and conduct are often intimately intertwined. HominidMachinae (talk) 20:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC) On review of more of the specific changes I think that this should be ratified and then amendments be discussed, including an open-forum requirement HominidMachinae (talk) 20:00, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
  18. Per User:Sandstein. Glad this was drafted, and otherwise entirely support. Is there a reason not to adjust this? Jd2718 (talk) 02:17, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    There are over 130 people who support the current wording (at least sufficiently to ratify); it would be extremely inappropriate to make what the opposers believe is a substantive change in the document once people have already voted to accept that wording. One does not make a substantive change in the middle of a ratification vote. I trust you realise that the phrase you are objecting to comes directly from the old policy, which you are supporting. Risker (talk) 02:31, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    There appear to have been but 19 supports when Sandstein raised his objection. I wish there had been a pause and correction then, before the next 100 supports came in. I know it's a pain, but the amount of effort already invested + the importance of Arbitration Policy, imo make it worth fixing before adopting. Jd2718 (talk) 02:42, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    Sandstein's oppose was available for review by the over 100 editors who supported adoption after he registered his oppose. Stands to reason that they do not share the concern. –xenotalk 04:49, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    Shame that the policy wasn't made by the community, or else we might not have this problem. Ajraddatz (Talk) 02:54, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    Original ratification by the community. This current proposal has gone through five drafts with active community participation, thousands of edits, and multiple notifications to the community over 2+ years before it got here. It has indeed been developed with a huge amount of community input. Risker (talk) 03:08, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    The question: "Is there a reason not to address this?" has received responses, but not what I'd hoped for. 1. It's late to make changes. 2. It looks like current policy (iow, nothing is worse than before), but a) why not improve and b) see Sandstein for this change in context, and 3. Xeno's fallacy - see Ben MacDui's comment for a yes-voter who disagrees; we don't know what the 130 say about this, only that it did not stop them from saying ok. Essentially I got wikipedia responses - steeped in process without mentioning policy. So it goes. Jd2718 (talk) 13:38, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
    What may seem to you as process wonkery by Risker and Xeno is actually an articulation of WP:CONSENSUS, one of our core policies. The thrust is that there is no consensus at all for a unilateral change.  Roger Davies talk 13:12, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    I note with dismay that my concerns seem to have been well-founded. With respect to a current request for arbitration, three arbitrators so far (Jclemens, Kirill and Newyorkbrad) have voted to accept a case apparently with a view to making a policy and/or content decision, that is, to influence to which extent Wikipedia should cover an internet smear campaign against a living person. That's a textbook content decision that needs to be made by community consensus.  Sandstein  11:20, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    Not everyone sees things in the such black and white terms nor makes such bold claims based on such slight evidence. What's more, at this stage of a proceeding, likely outcomes are anyone's guess.

    Perhaps far more to the point, under the existing (old) policy which remains in force until this one is ratified, under the "exception" provision in the scope clause, there is nothing whatsover to prevent ArbCom making a content decision.

    In fact, the protections against this are in the new proposed policy, which says that the arbitration process is not a vehicle for creating new policy by fiat.... The Committee does not rule on content, but may propose means by which community resolution of a content dispute can be facilitated.

    It seems to me that you are criticising the committee for things which are explicitly permissible under the old policy, while simultaneously seeking to block the reforms that would remedy them.  Roger Davies talk 13:12, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

    Yes, you're right, the language you refer to does explicitly limit the Committee's authority to make content and policy decisions. In view of this, I can support the updated policy, even though I still believe the "primarily" is confusingly and misleadingly placed. The language does not limit governance decisions (indeed some functions now assumed by the committee, such as assigning advanced permissions, are already of an executive nature), but this is hopefully more of a theoretical concern.  Sandstein  14:23, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
  19. Per Sandstein, and per the continued inclusion of Jimbo as the final appeal, as opposed to the WMF as a whole. And since Roger will undoubtedly respond to this oppose the way he has just about every other: please do not waste my time by creating a false dichotomy. While this new policy improves on the existing one overall, opposing aspects of the new does not constitute a reaffirmation of the old. Given the amount of power ArbCom holds, getting it right should be held paramount to getting it done. Resolute 13:55, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
  20. Ruslik_Zero 16:11, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.