UDWiki:Administration/Policy Discussion/Arbitration

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I've been reading the discussion on the talk page about the policy and I've decided to withdraw it, re-write it and resubmit it at some point later after taking everyone's ideas into account. -- Cheese 12:46, 18 October 2008 (BST)


There is currently no set policy that arbitrators must abide by in an arbitration case. As a result, this had led to some confusion over just how much power an arbitrator has. I hope to remedy this through this policy.

At the moment, the arbitrators ruling can be anything as there is no policy to govern it. This policy aims to provide a clear set of guidelines to which arbitrators should stick to when ruling on a case, thereby giving them a clear set of measures they can use to solve the case fairly and without (too much) controversy.

The Definition of Arbitration

Arbitration shall be used if two or more parties are involved in a dispute over the content of a page. An arbitrator shall be agreed upon by both parties and the arbitrator shall request statements from those involved. The exact method used to do this is up to the arbitrator but will usually take the form of: statement, counter statement, rebuttal, counter rebuttal then ruling. No matter how it is done, both parties must be allowed the opportunity to give their side of the argument.

Arbitration will deal primarily with content disputes and is not the place for:

  1. Issues occuring in-game (for example, User X is griefing User Y, User Y wants him to stop) unless they are leading to edit wars
  2. Things seen as "newbie mistakes" such as failure to sign posts and improper formatting. These should be addressed by leaving the user a note on their talk page giving them information on these things or to vandal banning as a last resort.

The arbitrator may use a variety of measures in order to solve the dispute. These are ultimately up to the arbitrator and will vary depending on the situation. However, there are certain things an arbitrator may not do and these are covered in more detail below.

What an arbitrator cannot do

The following are expressly forbidden to be used as components of an arbitration ruling and are invalid and non-binding if used. The arbitrator may face vandalism charges if these are used.

  • Banning a user - An arbitrator may never rule that a user be banned from the wiki. This power only belongs to sysops and as a result cannot be used in an arbitration ruling even if the arbitrator is a sysop.
  • Promotion of a user - An arbitrator may never rule that a user be promoted to either sysop or bureaucrat status. This is a community decision and as a result it would be unethical for the arbitrator to make such a demand.
  • Demotion of a user - An arbitrator may never rule that a sysop or bureaucrat be demoted in any way. There is currently no established process of calling for the demotion a user from these statuses and as a result, arbitration may not be used as a method to circumvent this. Similar to promotion, it would be unethical for the arbitrator to make a decision of this nature.
  • Forced Apologies - An arbitrator may never force one or more parties to apologise to the other.
  • Restriction of community participation - An arbitrator may never restrict a user's right to participate in community aspects of this wiki (suggestions, deletions, promotions, policy discussion, etc.). This may not be done either directly (by explicitly banning the user from posting on one or more of those pages) or indirectly (by banning the user from posting on the same page as the other party). Community participation is the backbone of this wiki and to undermine it would be detrimental to its purpose.
  • Breach of Owner Privilege - An arbitrator may never make a ruling that overrules any decision that has been made by Kevan as per this section of the administration guidelines. In other words, if Kevan says no, he means no.

Ruling breaches

If a binding article of an arbitration ruling is believed to have been breached, a report should be logged on A/VB with suitable diff links and reference to the ruling (or part of the ruling) that has been broken. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis and if the user's actions are indeed deemed to be in breach of the ruling, the current vandal escalation policy shall be applied.


Appeals to arbitration rulings will be allowed but only under the following circumstances:

  • The arbitrator has made an error in their interpretation of wiki policies (including this one) thereby invalidating their decisions
  • The arbitrator's decision is not supported by substantial evidence
  • New evidence that could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the original arbitration has come to light that would have led to a different conclusion.

When an appeal is logged, a second arbitrator will be agreed on by the parties and they will review the case as it was originally presented. In the first two instances, the case will not be re-presented. In the third instance, the case will be re-heard to allow the opposing party to respond to the new evidence.

If none of these circumstances apply, the original decision will stand.

(Thank you to Atticus Rex for his input for this section)

Final Thoughts

As it stands currently, arbitration is broken. The arbitrator is not answerable to anyone and there is no clear limit to their powers. As a result, we need something to remedy that. I admit this may not be perfect but I feel it would be a step in the right direction. Any thoughts to improve this would be most welcome on the talk page.

Thank you for reading. -- Cheese 19:25, 30 September 2008 (BST)

Last Major Update made: on 2nd October at 20:10 (BST)

Voting Section

Voting Rules
Votes must be numbered, signed, and timestamped. They can take one of two forms:
  • # comments ~~~~
  • # ~~~~

Votes that do not conform to the above will be struck by a sysop.

The only valid voting sections are For and Against. If you wish to abstain from voting, do not vote.


  1. For - My Policy. =) -- Cheese 16:15, 15 October 2008 (BST)
  2. Weak For - I like it all except for the "no restrictions" part. I think that if the arbitration case has something to do with fighting or an edit war on the community pages like suggestions or the discussion pages, the arbitrator should be able to restrict a users ability to post on that for a while if not just to allow both parties to calm down to avoid a repeat.--SirArgo Talk 16:27, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Then I urge you to change your vote, to persuade the author of this proposal to re-write it to your liking. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 16:13, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  3. For - The old system is broken. This is an honest attempt to correct that. It's like a game update. You can't always see how it will work until you try it.--– Nubis NWO 17:00, 15 October 2008 (BST)
  4. For - Ditto. A quick look at the past cases (TF vs Saromu comes to mind) tells you all you need to know. Arbitration is quite possibly the worst system in all the wikis, and there are some real flops out there. --House of Usher 17:48, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    For - This is most definitely an improvement on the old system. No, it's not perfect, but additional issues such as not showing up, not choosing an arbitrator, time limits on rulings, the financial crisis, world hunger etc. can be resolved with another policy. This one doesn't have to handle everything. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 17:53, 15 October 2008 (BST) Vote changed. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 11:20, 18 October 2008 (BST)
    Like so: UDWiki:Administration/Policy Discussion/Arbitration Timelimit. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 23:03, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Discussion moved to talk page -- boxy talkteh rulz 10:09 18 October 2008 (BST)
  5. A start. --  AHLGTG 18:41, 15 October 2008 (BST)
  6. Weak For As SirArgo. It's not perfect (needs detail on some other cases, and I'm not too sure about not allowing an arby to rule that parties can't talk to each other,) but it's a start, and can be fixed later. Linkthewindow Talk 21:26, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Why not fix it now? I urge you to change your vote so that the author will re-write this in a more robust manner. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 16:13, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  7. Weak For - Funt + Nubis = Weak For.--xoxo 04:40, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  8. For - Progress, not perfection. -- Atticus Rex mfu pif Δ 05:29, 16 October 2008 (BST)
    How is this either, we currently have a method for overturning arbitration cases thanks to some creative users forcefully injecting one. It allows for review(this policies' raison d'etre) without all the bad things this policy adds.--Karekmaps?! 05:40, 16 October 2008 (BST)


  1. I made a couple of key points in the discussion, one of which was half addressed ("just make a list of invalid rulings / things beyond the power of an arbitrator (like sysop powers, for example). Make it short and easy to digest, and you'll probably have something worth discussing here") whilst the other was completely ignored ("Problems in past rulings tend to be when time-unlimited editing restrictions have been placed. You know, it could be okay to stop someone from replying to the other party for a month, or something."). This policy proposes that we neuter arbitration to the point where it's useless (by refusing to allow two warring parties to be separated) whilst magically (at the same time) making it over-powerful by joining it directly to the A/VB process, so that vandal escalations must result if rulings are broken, when it would make much more sense if they could result. In short, it doesn't solve the problems of the current system (which is what it claims to do) but actually adds more problems. --Funt Solo QT Scotland flag.JPG 16:26, 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Discussion moved to talk page -- boxy talkteh rulz 10:09 18 October 2008 (BST)
  2. An arbitrator needs to be able to separate users, even on community pages. And they need to set time limits to their rulings (6 months is a good general timeframe) -- boxy talkteh rulz 16:32 15 October 2008 (BST)
    Discussion moved to talk page -- boxy talkteh rulz 10:09 18 October 2008 (BST)
  3. no, gracias--/~Rakuen~\Talk Domo.gif I Still Love Grim 01:07, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  4. Solves nothing, as Funt. I've laid the groundwork for what I think would be a better way of reforming this in the past, just haven't gotten around to fixing it up based on the user input after the last vote.--Karekmaps?! 04:49, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  5. Boxy and Funt stated my main oppositions exactly. --ZsL 06:34, 16 October 2008 (BST)
  6. Psh, arbitration IRL has no power aside from both parties agreeing to stand by the ruling of the arbitrator. The aspects of the ruling must be fair and just. And so some of the limits given above will merely hinder arbitrations in general. -- Galaxy125 04:11, 17 October 2008 (BST)
  7. Nah. --HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS 06:16, 17 October 2008 (BS
  8. nah -- as above. this is an honest attempt, but falls short. --WanYao 06:28, 17 October 2008 (BST)
  9. It's like my posts on the talk page are invisible. This policy is incomplete to its subject and is an attempt to prop up a poor decision on Cheese's part. -- To know the face of God is to know madness....Praise knowledge! Mischief! Mayhem! The Rogues Gallery!. <== DDR Approved Editor 11:40, 17 October 2008 (BST)
  10. Against - Needs to be rewritten as it doesn't do what it's meant to. --Midianian|T|T:S|C:RCS| 11:20, 18 October 2008 (BST)
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