Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Clerks/Procedures

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Arbitration case requests (WP:A/R/C)

All arbitration cases begin as a request for arbitration on the requests page (Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case). Clerks: regulate the format and presentation of all arbitration requests; ensure that any editors involved in the dispute are aware of the request; and enforce standards of conduct on the requests page. When the committee reaches a decision, the clerks open a case for the dispute or remove the request as unsuccessful. The committee may also dispatch a case request by motion, which the clerks would implement. Unless otherwise specified, cases decided by motion are treated like a declined case request (once the motion is implemented).

A minimum of 48 hours must elapse after a case request has been posted before the request may be accepted or declined. (A possible exception is where a request is clearly meaningless or frivolous, more information on which is listed at the end of this section.)

Vetting new requests

When a new request for an arbitration case is submitted:

  1. Verify that the parties to the request have been notified (on their user talk page) of the arbitration request.
  2. Check that the request has been made in the proper format. You may wish to compare the case request with old case requests.
  3. Add the request to {{ArbComOpenTasks/CaseRequests}}. Instructions for doing so are displayed when you edit that template.

When to take action

  • The request is accepted and a case should be opened if the case request meets all of the following criteria:
  1. Its acceptance has been supported by either of (i) four net votes or (ii) an absolute majority of active, non-recused arbitrators;
  2. More than 24 hours have elapsed since the request came to satisfy the above provision;
  3. More than 48 hours have elapsed since the request was filed; and
  4. An arbitrator has confirmed on the clerks' mailing list that the case may be opened (also confirm who the drafting arbitrators are, the name of the case and the timetable (whether it will follow the standard or not) on the mailing list).
A proceeding may be opened earlier, waiving provisions 2 and 3 above, if a majority of arbitrators support fast-track opening in their acceptance votes.
  • The request is declined and should be removed if an arbitrator has confirmed the request can be declined and:
  1. The following three are true:
    (i) At least 48 hours have elapsed since the request was submitted;
    (ii) It is mathematically impossible for the case to be accepted; and
    (iii) It is reasonable to assume that no votes will change if the request is left up. (The committee will usually clarify this in advance, on the clerks' mailing list. If no arbitrator has offered this information, you should ask.) (Controversial cases where votes are unclear, or it seems as though they may change, should not be declined early in this manner.)
  2. Or: 10 days have elapsed since the request was posted and the number of arbitrator votes to decline the request are equal to or greater than the number of arbitrator votes to accept.
  3. Or: The Committee has chosen to dispatch the request by motion, and the criteria for motion passage has been met.
  • Seek the committee's guidance if:
  • 10 days have elapsed since the request was posted and there is no clear majority amongst the arbitrators in favour of accepting or declining the request. Guidance is usually obtained via a post to clerks-l, to which all the current arbitrators are subscribed.
  • Regarding frivolous or meaningless cases:
  • If the request clearly does not belong at arbitration or is so unintelligible as to be useless then it should be dismissed immediately with confirmation from an arbitrator. In these cases, still log the entry at declined requests (see the section below), but also leave the requester a note as to where they should go instead (deletion review, requests for page protection, and/or criteria for speedy deletion are common examples).
  • Requests that do contain a genuine dispute resolution grievance must be left on the page to be handled in the normal manner.

How to take action

To remove a case request as declined:

This section of the arbitration guide has more detailed guidance on declined case requests.

  1. Confirm that the vote summary in the heading section is current
  2. Edit the section of WP:A/R/C that contains the case request. If the case is declined by motion, cut the enacted motion and paste it on the talk page where it will be archived. If not, delete the entire contents of the section (including all sub-sections, the case request header, community and arbitrator comments and voting, and so on) in a single edit. Save the page with an edit summary like "Removing request for arbitration: declined by the Committee".
  3. Go to your contributions and copy the URL of a diff of your edit.
  4. Use that diff to add an entry for the declined request to the top of the index of declined requests. Add a date.
  5. Update {{ArbComOpenTasks/CaseRequests}} by deleting the listing of the declined request.

You should also do the following things, unless the case request is obviously frivolous:

  1. The parties to the request are to be notified that the request has been declined and closed. You do not need to notify uninvolved community editors who have made statements or comments in a declined case request.
  2. When you notify the parties, include a permanent link to the level 2 section header of the case request (using [[Special:Permalink/''oldid number''#''section_name''|text of your message here]]). Ideally, you should also include in your notification a balanced, neutral summary of the arbitrators reasons for declining (if there is a consensus) and recommendations offered by the arbitrators within their votes.

You can use {{Arb premature}} if a case request is obviously unsuitable or frivolous.


To remove a case request which has been withdrawn by filing party:

If the conditions at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Procedures#Withdrawn case requests apply follow the procedure as above.


To remove a case request as declined by motion:

Occasionally, the Committee will choose to dispatch a case request by motion instead of opening a full case. In such a circumstance:

  1. Enact the motion by adding '''Enacted''' – ~~~~ under the description of the motion, and save the page.
  2. Decline the case request by using the procedure above, archiving the enacted motion to the appropriate talk page. Use the summary "Motion passed in lieu of full case" on the index of declined requests. Do not yet notify the parties to the case that the request has been closed.
  3. Return to the motions procedures and follow the relevant instructions there.

To remove a case request as accepted:

See the following section.

Opening arbitration cases

An arbitration case request should be treated as accepted and opened if it meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Its acceptance has been supported by either of (i) four net votes or (ii) an absolute majority of active, non-recused arbitrators;
  2. More than 24 hours have elapsed since the request came to satisfy the above provision;
  3. More than 48 hours have elapsed since the request was filed; and
  4. And arbitrator has confirmed on the clerks' mailing list that the case may be opened (also confirm who the drafting arbitrators are, the name of the case and the timetable (whether it will follow the standard or not) on the mailing list).

A case may be opened earlier, waiving provisions 2 and 3 above, if a majority of arbitrators support fast-track opening in their acceptance votes.

Clarification and amendment requests (WP:A/R/CA)

Requests for clarification and requests for amendment are both received at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment or WP:A/R/CA. (Historically, these requests had separate pages, but those were merged in 2012.) Clar. and Amend. requests, respectively, are requests for the committee to clarify an unclear point in one of its previous decisions and to amend a previous decision.

Usually, decisions eligible for clarification or amendment by the committee are final decisions made in a full arbitration. However, occasionally, the committee is asked to clarify or change one of its extra-case motions, a committee procedure, or a decision by the Ban Appeals Subcommittee. Appeals of arbitration enforcement (AE) actions are also heard as requests for amendments.

For amendments, users must clearly set out what amendment they wish to be made, by linking to the decision in question and asking, for example, for the decision in question to be vacated or for the given topic ban to be expanded to include a wider set of articles. Requests must be made in the prescribed format.

For clarifications, the decision must be linked to and the point of confusion must be clearly explained.

Under the Appeals of topic bans procedure, amendments which ask for a topic ban to be amended or vacated (that is, a topic ban appeal) may not be submitted until six months from the date the topic ban was made by the committee; this excludes appeals of topic bans placed in enforcement of an arbitration decision, which are considered AE actions. This procedure does not apply to decisions which specify a different timeline for appealing.

Under the Format of requests for amendment procedure, amendments which do not follow the usual format may be summarily dismissed.

Vetting new requests and motions (C/A)

When a new request for amendment or clarification is submitted, the clerks must:

  1. Ensure the request uses the appropriate template and format. Different templates exist for the following three types of amendments/clarifications: requests for amendment that ask for only one amendment; requests for amendment that ask for more than one type of amendment; and all requests for clarification.
  2. If you think an editor who is not aware of the request should have been notified, do so (and include a link to the request in your message) on their user talk page.
  3. Add an entry for the clarification or amendment request to Template:ArbComOpenTasks/ClarificationAmendment.

When a new motion is proposed, the clerks must:

  1. Notify the parties to the clarification/amendment request as well as anyone else you feel may be affected.
  2. Add the motion to Template:ArbComOpenTasks/ClarificationAmendment
  3. Add Template:ACMajority (with appropriate parameters, see documentation) below the support title for each motion.

When to action (C/A)

  • When an arbitrator asks for a particular open clarification or amendment request to be archived and there is no motion or decision to implement.

or

  • If a motion receives majority support (support by more than half the non-recused arbitrators active on the motion), then the motion carries and may be implemented 24 hours after the moment it first received majority support.

How to action (C/A)

For simplicity, these instructions will refer to "clarification" requests, but these instructions also apply to amendment requests.

  1. Decide where you will archive the clarification request:
    • The thread should generally be archived to the talkpage of that case referred in the request.
    • If the discussion did not relate to a specific case, it can be archived to Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests
    • If the discussion concerned some other process, find the most appropriate talk page and archive the clarification request to that; for example, a clarification request about some procedure of the Audit Subcommittee (AUSC) should be archived to WT:AUSC.
  2. Cut the clarification request from WP:A/R/C&A. Edit the sub-section which contains the request (these headers are hierarchically below the main "Requests for clarification and amendment" header), and cut everything within the edit box. Save this now-empty section, with an edit summary like archiving closed [clarification or amendment] request to [[Wikipedia talk:FULLPAGENAME]].
  3. Save the archived copy of the clarification request:
    • Create a new section on the talk page you have selected for archiving and paste the thread in the main edit box.
    • Remove the header from the pasted text, and add it (removing the === code) to the new-section header box, adding the current month and year in parenthesis to the end - (November 2017).
    • Add {{archive top}} above the body of your edit. If an arbitrator has requested it, add a brief explanation about the outcome of the clarification request to {{archive top}}, using the second parameter of the template, and sign it. Add {{archive bottom}} to a new line at the bottom of the edit window.
    • Above {{archive top}}, add a new line with a link to the original copy of the clarification request at WP:A/R/C&A in the following format :'''''[[Special:Permalink/OLDID#SECTIONNAME|Original discussion]]'''''
  4. Notify the listed parties, as well as any editor who would be directly impacted of the archiving of the clarification request, that the request has been closed and archived.
  5. Update ArbComOpenTasks: remove the entry of the clarification or amendment request from Template:ArbComOpenTasks/ClarificationAmendment.

When a motion is proposed in a clarification or amendment request and that motion has carried, do the following. A request for clarification or amendment may lead the Committee to decide that the situation may require a formal motion of the Committee. Follow this procedure only if the request is listed at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment; otherwise, follow the procedure in the section below this one.

  • When a motion is proposed, any editors affected should be informed. Make sure that the motion is listed on Template:ArbComOpenTasks/ClarificationAmendment.
  • A motion passes if a majority of the Arbitrators listed as active on Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Members, minus any that abstain or recuse from the vote, support it. This majority is calculated in the usual manner (total number of active Arbitrators divided by two, then plus one).
  • If the motion will affect existing remedies or sanctions, check whether a motion is missing that "Any sanctions or other restrictions imposed under this case to date shall remain in force unaffected."
  1. Even if a motion has carried, it must remain open for at least 24 hours before it may be implemented. Also, an arbitrator should have confirmed that it should be implemented on clerks-l.
  2. Enact the motion by adding '''Enacted''' - ~~~~ under the description of the motion (above the support votes), and save the page.
  3. Follow the instructions in steps 2 & 3 above, on the talk page of the case which was amended.
  4. Editing the case page:
    • In the case log at the top of the page (when the case was closed and opened) add at the bottom of the list add a note that the case was amended including a permanent link to the motion on A/R/C&A in the following format <big>'''Case amended by [[Special:Permalink/OLDID#MOTIONSECTIONNAME|motion]]''' on ~~~~~</big>
    • Either find or create an a level 2 section entitled ==Amendments== above the "Enforcement log"/"Log of blocks, bans and restrictions" OR use the already existing amendments section.
    • Create a level 3 section including the name of the motion (if given when it was proposed) and the current month and year ((November 2017)) or just the current month and year.
    • Add the motions only with the usual tally indicating by how many votes the motion was passed and the date of passing - using the following format:
    :''Passed X to X by [[Special:Permalink/OLDID#MOTIONSECTIONNAME|motion]] at ~~~~~'' (e.g., 9 to 0) or where there have been abstentions on the motion, :''Passed X to X with x abstentions by [[Special:Permalink/OLDID#MOTIONSECTIONNAME|motion]] at ~~~~~''
    • Strike out any superseded motions using <s>...</s> and add a note, indented one more level than the previous note, in the following format ''{Superseded / Amended} by [[Special:Permalink/OLDID#MOTIONSECTIONNAME|motion]] at ~~~~~.
  5. Notify the parties on their talk pages.
  6. Post to WP:AC/N and WP:AN and create the discussion section at WT:ACN. See #Noticeboard and cross-posting below.
  7. If the motion adds to, modifies, or removes any discretionary sanctions or user edit restrictions (such as topic/site bans), refer to the steps under #Closing a case to determine how to proceed.
  8. Update Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Motions.
  9. Update ArbComOpenTasks: remove the entry of the clarification or amendment request from Template:ArbComOpenTasks/ClarificationAmendment.

When a motion is proposed in a clarification/amendment request and the motion fails, you should treat it as a resolved clarification or amendment request and archive the motion with the rest of the request.

Committee motions (WP:A/R/M)

These instructions apply only to stand-alone motions on the "Motions" request sub-page. For motions enacted as a result of a clarification or amendment request, more edits need to be made in order to also archive the associated discussion, so use the clarification/amendment instructions at #Clarification/amendment requests with a motion.

Vetting new motions

When a motion is proposed, you should inform any editors affected by the motion by leaving a message on their talk page.

When to action motions

If a motion voted on at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case or Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Motions receives the support of more than half the non-recused arbitrators active on the motion, the motion carries and should be implemented 24 hours after the time it first passed.

How to action motions

  1. Enact the motion by adding '''Enacted''' - ~~~~ under the description of the motion (above the support votes), and save the page.
  2. Cut and paste the whole amendment (including the motion, votes and discussion) to the applicable talk page:
    • Choosing the page:
    • The motion and discussion should be archived to the talk page of the page it changes (for example a change to ArbCom Procedures should be archived to Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee, Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Procedures redirects there).
    • If the motion related to a case it should generally be archived to the talkpage of that case.
    • If the motion did not relate to a specific case, it can be archived to Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests.
    • If the motion concerned some other process (and didn't modify procedures), find the most appropriate talk page and archive the clarification request to that; for example, a clarification request about some procedure of the Audit Subcommittee (AUSC) should be archived to WT:AUSC.
    • Create a new section on the talk page you have selected for archiving and paste the thread (including motion, votes and discussion) in the main edit box.
    • Remove the header from the pasted text, and add it (removing the === code) to the new-section header box, adding the current month and year in parenthesis to the end - (November 2017).
    • Add {{archive top}} above the body of your edit. If an arbitrator has requested it, add a brief explanation about the outcome of the clarification request to {{archive top}}, using the second parameter of the template, and sign it. Add {{archive bottom}} to a new line at the bottom of the edit window.
    • Above {{archive top}}, add a new line with a link to the original copy of the clarification request at WP:A/R/C&A in the following format :'''''[[Special:Permalink/OLDID#SECTIONNAME|Original discussion]]'''''
  3. Follow the instruction in #How to action (C/A) if there are amendments to past cases, or if there are changes to page-level sanctions or sanctions on individuals.
  4. Write a statement, copying motions verbatim. Follow the layout here.
  5. Post to WP:AN, WP:ACN, and any relevant/affected page and user talk pages.
  6. Create the discussion section at WT:ACN. Place your signature in a hidden comment so the section will archive properly or use {{subst:hes}} which will add a hidden comment in the wikitext: <!-- (signature) (timestamp) -->.
  7. Update Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Motions.
  8. If the motion was passed in lieu of a case request, note at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Declined requests Motion passed in lieu of full case.
  9. Amend the case page appropriately, adding any new motions, noting where old decisions are modified, etc. This should include adding <big>'''Case Amended''' by [LINK motion] on date enacted</big> to the case page.
  10. Update {{ArbComOpenTasks}}

Managing open cases

Suspending a case

Occasionally the Arbitrators may vote to suspend a case, the following procedure should be used to implement a case suspension:

  1. Go to the proposed decision page. Click "edit" next motion for suspension.
  2. Copy everything in the edit window (including the header). Keep the numbering exactly as it is. For all proposals that have been passed, replace the arbitrators' votes with tally numbers, in the form
    :''Passed X to X, ~~~~~'' or where there have been abstentions, :''Passed X to X with x abstentions ~~~~~''
  3. Go to the main case page, click "edit" next to the big "Preliminary decision" header, and paste at the bottom.
  4. Above the commented out and no-wiki'ed "case closed" notice at the top of the main case page, add <big>'''Case suspended by {{oldid2|Revision number|Section name|motion}}''' ~~~~~</big> (replacing "Revision number" and "Section name" as appropriate").
  5. Edit Template:Casenav/data, scroll to the list of data entries for the case you are suspending, and add the following text: |CASENAME-date-suspended=31 May 2013. Once you save the page, you should have added something like [1], and on the case subpages, in place of the old line specifying the deadlines, there should now be a note that the case is suspended. The case page and subpages should also be fully protected, with the protection set to expire when the suspension ends.
  6. Edit the entry for the suspended case on Template:ArbComOpenTasks/Cases by adding the parameter and value |suspended=true (like this). The case's entry on ArbComOpenTasks will automatically be updated to reflect the fact that it is suspended: the case name will be stricken through, the evidence deadline will not be shown, and the text Case suspended will be shown underneath "Proposed decision deadline".
  7. Prepare a short summary of the decision for purposes of notification. You can follow the layout here.
  8. Follow the instructions from number 10 to 17 below. Ensure you only carry out actions which are authorized at the time the case is suspended.
  9. Ensure that any parts of the decision which have been delayed or are dependent on something (not) happening are carried out as they become applicable. For example, closing the case after x period of time, reopening the case (which may be as simple as pinging the Arbs at a specific time), request the removal of admin rights after x time if the admin does not return to Wikipedia, or reopen the case if an editor return to Wikipedia.

Closing a case

The procedure for closing a case is as follows:

  1. Replace {{Casenav}} on all eight case pages (four case pages plus their four talk pages) with {{subst:Casenav/closed}}. This will hard-code the parameters for the historical record.
  2. If the implementation notes template has been used, the template itself and the proposal templates with it need to be hardcoded so they don't change when the case is removed from Template:Casenav/data (this is not part of closing the case). You need to replace every instance of {{ACImplNotes}} and {{ACImplNotes/Proposal}} with {{subst:ACImplNotes}} and {{subst:ACImplNotes/Proposal}} on the proposed decision page.
  3. Go to the proposed decision page. Click "edit" next to the big "Proposed final decision" header. Copy everything in the edit window down to and including the "proposed enforcement" section (don't copy the "Discussion by Arbitrators" or the "Motion to close" sections). Go to the main case page, click "edit" next to the big "Final decision (none yet)" header, and paste (ensure the "Enforcement log" remains on the main case page). Exit the proposed decision page without saving it. Do not save the main case page yet!
  4. In the edit window of the main case page, delete any proposals that do not pass or are superseded by other proposals. Keep the numbering exactly as it is but adjust any header levels if necessary (the section header of each proposal should be level 3). For all proposals that have passed, replace the arbitrators' votes with tally numbers, in the form
    :''Passed X to X at ~~~~~''(5 tildes) (e.g., 9 to 0) or where there have been abstentions, :''Passed X to X with x abstentions at ~~~~~'' (5 tildes) Remove all arbitrator comments underneath the "passed" language.
  5. Remove the words "none yet" from the final decision section header.
  6. Remove "proposed" from each of the section headers and remove the "Motion to close" and "Discussion by Arbitrators" sections from the text (if copied from PD page).
  7. Preview then save the edited "Final decision" section.
  8. In the lead section of the main case page, un-comment and un-nowiki the line that says <big>'''Case closed''' on ~~~~~</big> (5 tildes). This will render the time and date the case was closed. Also in the lead section, remove the blue box that refers to the case being open, as well as the following two paragraphs of text: "Do not edit this page unless you ... as the Proposed Decision." Also remove [[Category:Open ArbCom Cases]] from the bottom of the page.
  9. Prepare a short summary of the decision, to be used for announcing the decision on the noticeboard and for notifying the parties that the case has closed. The heading of the summary should be a link to the decision itself. Follow the layout here (examples here and here). The summary usually begins with the words "This arbitration case has been closed and the final decision is available at the link above." This is usually followed with a description of the remedies passed in the decision. Wherever possble, remedies and motions should be copied verbatim. At the bottom, put in "Discuss this", wikilinked to the section you will add to the Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard in a later step; convenient templates of the "Discuss this" and "Original announcement" links are provided when editing WP:AC/N. Feel free to consult with other clerks if you are unsure what to include in the summary. See #Noticeboard and cross-posting for more information.
  10. Notify all parties to the case of the decision by posting the summary on their user talk pages. Take care also to notify all editors that have been sanctioned or mentioned in a finding, as they are not always listed as parties.
  11. Post the summary on WP:AC/N in a new section.
  12. Copy the summary (word for word) from WP:AC/N onto a new section on WP:AN.
  13. Create the discussion section at WT:ACN. Place your signature in a hidden comment so the section will archive properly or use {{subst:hes}} which will add a hidden comment in the wikitext: <!-- (signature) (timestamp) -->. See the instructions in that page's edit notice.
  14. If the case bans a user or implements an editing restriction (such site, topic or interaction bans, 1RR, restrictions of use of admin tools, desysops) follow the instructions in #Enacting bans and editing restrictions below.
  15. If the decision of the case includes the use of general sanctions or standard discretionary sanctions (that is, sanctions on a general editing area or article), see the instructions in #Changes to article level sanctions below.
  16. Add a link to the closed case to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Index/Cases in the appropriate section (year and month of closure). Under the case link, list the remedies ordered. Next to the case link should be a parenthetical diff to the WP:AN announcement.
  17. Delete the case's entry from Template:ArbComOpenTasks/Cases and add a new entry for the case to Template:ArbComOpenTasks/ClosedCases. Use as the date the bolded close date on the main case page (so, the date closed, not the date of the final vote). This is also the date any bans, etc. would take effect.
    Prune older closed cases from the list of recently closed cases (and remove the Template:Casenav/data entry associated with any older cases you remove). A general rule is that cases older than two or three weeks can be removed from ACOT.

General points (cases)

The clerks will be required for all cases at its beginning and end, to open and close the case. However, many arbitration cases also require the clerks' attention throughout the case, not least because the arbitration policy authorises the clerks as follows:

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.

Ordinarily, the Clerk who opens a case should follow the progress of the case, watchlist the case pages, and be available to answer questions from the parties. Clerks should generally not offer substantive advice or suggestions to any Arbitrator or party, though they may choose to suggest rewordings and clarifications at their discretion.

Ensuring allegations and proposals (by non-arbs) are supported by evidence. Proposed findings of fact should be supported by links to on the /Evidence page and/or to include a few of the best diffs, to illustrate each aspect of the finding of fact. Remedies must be supported by the same, or by direct links to proposed findings of fact.

It's important to stay on top of this on the /Evidence page /Workshop page and talk pages. Clerks are free to ask editors to supply evidence (sometimes commenting out the allegations is appropriate), removing unsupported allegations, and/or warning editors to avoid personal attacks and casting aspersions.

Closure of Evidence and Workshop phases. Around 24 hours before the phases closes leave a message on the applicable talk page stating that the phase is about to close. When the case closes {{Arbitration case phase closed}} may be placed as an editnotice and/or at the top of the page (also remove the instructions on how to make submissions).

When pages need to be undeleted for evidence, undelete the page, move it (without leaving a redirect) to Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/CASENAME/Evidence/ORIGINALPAGENAME, blank it and replace the content with a message similar to {{TempUndelete}} (adjust it for the purpose of the case). When closing the case move the page (without leaving a redirect) back to its original title and delete it again. When performing log actions (moving, deleting, etc) ensure that the edit summary indicates that the action was performed by a clerk acting on instructions from the Committee, and include a link to the case.

When the proposed decision is posted, and when any additional proposed remedies are proposed, any editors affected should be informed. Template:ArbComPD can be used for this purpose. Depending on the number of parties consider using WP:Mass message (or ask a clerk who knows how).

When the case is close to finishing, the Clerk should make an entry in the "Implementation notes" section at the bottom of the proposed decision page. This will indicate which proposals have passed. If there are any ambiguities concerning which proposals have been adopted, the Clerk should identify them so the Arbitrators have an opportunity to clarify them before the decision is finalized and announced. We have a template that can be used, ACImplNotes. An example of its use is here.

There are occasionally cases where Arbitrators propose alternate versions of a similar proposal (e.g. User X is reminded vs. User X is admonished). If both are passing by vote count, then the Arbitrators' rationales should be looked into. The one that is the first choice for the most number of Arbitrators should be passed. In case of a tie of first choices, individual Arbitrators who have not expressed a preference should be contacted. Do not close the case until there is a net change.

This email statement by an arbitrator on the subject of posting notifications to the clerks' email list is recommended reading for new clerk trainees. (Login to the clerks' mailing list required)

Miscellaneous procedures

Useful templates

Discretionary sanctions
Documentation

{{{1}}}

Arbitration enforcement templates icon (red X within curly brackets) Standardised Arbitration Enforcement (AE) templates
Generic notice (or 'mbox') templates
Notice ("mbox" or messagebox) 
It may occasionally be necessary for a clerk to post a notice at the top of an arbitration case page or case subpage. The notice should be as succinct as possible, and should also use one of the noticebox templates:
{{mbox|type=notice|text=The notice goes here. AGK 15:07, 11 October 2009 (UTC)}}
—which produces:
Editors who have put evidence on userspace subpages

See Template:Subpage evidence for documentation and usage notes. In relation to your evidence submissions at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Example/Evidence#Section title was not declared in the template!, please be aware that the Arbitration Committee does not take evidence on subpages into account. Please remove the link to all such subpages from the Evidence page, and transfer what material you want to submit for consideration to your own section (within the confines of the word limit). Thank you,

Premature arbitration requests
{{Arb premature}}

Customisable depending on the nature of the arbitration request. This example is for premature requests for arbitration about a content dispute (|1=content) with an optional salutation (|salutation=Hi, Jimmy Wales!):


Hi, Jimmy Wales! In response to your request for arbitration of this issue, the Arbitration Committee has agreed that arbitration is not required at this stage. Arbitration on Wikipedia is a lengthy, complicated process that involves the unilateral adjudication of a dispute by an elected committee. Although the Committee's decisions can be useful to certain disputes, in many cases the actual process of arbitration is unenjoyable and time-consuming. Moreover, for most disputes the community maintains an effective set of mechanisms for reaching a compromise or resolving a grievance.

Disputes among editors regarding the content of an article should use structured discussion on the talk page between the disputing editors. However, requests for comment, third opinions and other venues are available if discussion alone does not yield a consensus. The dispute resolution noticeboard exists as a first point of call for disputes that are not resolved by discussion, and the Mediation Committee provides formal mediation for advanced content disputes.

In all cases, you should review Wikipedia:Dispute resolution to learn more about resolving disputes on Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia community has many venues for resolving disputes and grievances, and it is important to explore them instead of requesting arbitration in the first instance. For more information on the process of arbitration, please see the Arbitration Policy and the Guide to Arbitration. I hope this advice is useful, and please do not hesitate to contact a member of the community if you have more questions. ~~~~
This template should always be substed. In the above example, it is not.
Notifying users that they have been named in a new proposed decision
{{ArbComPD}}

You should usually use |2=custom message goes here to include a custom message that specifies the exact nature of the proposals in question. See the template documentation page for information on that parameter.

Hi {{subst:BASEPAGENAME}}, in the open Muhammad images arbitration case, a remedy or finding of fact has been proposed which relates to you.  Please review this decision and draw the arbitrators' attention to any relevant material or statements. Comments may be brought to the attention of the committee on the proposed decision talk page. For a guide to the arbitration process, see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Guide to arbitration. For the Arbitration Committee, ~~~~

RFAR statement length issues

{{ArbComSize}}:

Please trim your statement at arbitration case requests

Hi, Arbitration Committee/Clerks. I'm an arbitration clerk, which means I help manage and administer the arbitration process (on behalf of the committee). Thank you for making a statement in an arbitration request at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case. However, we ask all participants and commentators to limit the size of their initial statements to 500 words. Your statement significantly exceeds this limit. Please reduce the length of your statement when you are next online. If the case is accepted, you will have the opportunity to present more evidence; and concise, factual statements are much more likely to be understood and to influence the decisions of the Arbitrators.

For the Arbitration Committee,

Clerk userpage stuff

{{Arbitration Clerk topicon}} {{User arbclerk}}

Maintaining order and decorum on arbitration pages

The community authorised Arbitration policy makes clerks responsible for 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. Decisions in cases have further clarified the authority of clerks to enforce standards of behaviour and the ways in which clerks are empowered to do this.

The jurisdiction of the clerks extends to the following:

However, the management and maintenance of order at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement has traditionally been left to the administrators active there. All pages relating to Arbitration Committee elections are outside the jurisdiction of the clerks as they are under the community's responsibility.

Discussions on the mailing list in February 2014 have clarified and decided upon the following stanardised enforcement process. Editors behaving in a manner which does not meet the appropriate standards of conduct and decorum may be sanctioned as follows:

  1. Editors should first be given a warning which refers to the inappropriate behaviour (including diffs if possible) and remind the user that clerks are authorised to sanction users per the arbitration policy.
  2. Editors who continue to behave in an inappropriate behaviour may be banned from specific arbitration pages (such as all those which relate to a specific case) similarly to a page ban, banned from discussing a specific issue or case on arbitration pages similarly to a topic ban, or banned from editing any arbitration page also similar to a page ban. The expiry date of bans should be proportionate to the level of inappropriate behaviour (for example, until the evidence phase closes, or a case or clarification request closed). Note: there has been no discussion of whether clerks can impose other restrictions, such as 0RR, this should be discussed on clerks-l first.
  3. If the editor breaches a ban they may be initially blocked for a short period (one day is suggested), then blocked for the duration of the ban but for no more than one week or with blocks of increasing duration up to one week.
Notes:
  • All sanctions (bans and blocks) should link to the arbitration policy referenced above, state that the user should appeal to the Committee and state that the user should make any comments on the case (etc) to the Committee by email.
  • With the exception of blocks to enforce bans, clerks cannot prohibit any activity not on the Committee's pages and cannot site ban any editor. For example you can't ban a user from discussing a specific case anywhere on Wikipedia, only on arbitration pages.
  • This procedure does not prohibit normal administrative actions to enforce Wikipedia policies and guidelines, such as a block for personal attacks or sockpuppetry.
  • If inappropriate behaviour moves off arbitration pages after a ban this should be brought to the attention of the Committee (via clerks-l).
  • If a ban made by a non-admin clerk needs to be enforced with a block please post to clerks-l and an admin clerk can do it for you.

Statement and evidence management

Length of statements
  • Statements at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case should be kept to around 500 words and 50 diffs. Although some leeway should be given (~600 words total or so is the upper limit) anything beyond that should get a notification unless an arbitrator has previously instructed otherwise. When giving notifications, be sure to clearly communicate that extensions may be requested from the Committee. Notify clerks-l on all warnings given. If the statements are not within limits after a day or two, you trim to the nearest sentence within the limit without explicitly seeking authorization unless an arbitrator previously instructs otherwise.
Usage: {{subst:ArbComSize}} ~~~~
  • Evidence submissions in open cases should be kept to around 1000 words and 100 diffs for parties; and 500 words and 50 diffs for non-parties.
Usage for non-parties: {{ArbCom evidence length header|word=xxx|diff=xx|link=xx}}
Usage for parties: {{ArbCom evidence length header|word=xxx|diff=xx|link=xx|party=yes}}
See the documentation for more advanced functionality.
{{User:HersfoldArbClerkBot/Length header}} was previously used.
  • If users are over the limits the appropriate message below can be used on their talk page:
For parties: The Arbitration Committee has asked that evidence presentations be kept to around 1000 words and 100 diffs. Your presentation is over xxxx words. Please edit your section to focus on the most relevant evidence. If you wish to submit over-length evidence, you must first obtain the agreement of the arbitrators by posting a request on the /Evidence talk page. For the Arbitration Committee, ~~~~
For non-parties: The Arbitration Committee has asked that evidence presentations be kept to around 500 words and 50 diffs. Your presentation is over xxxx words. Please edit your section to focus on the most relevant evidence. If you wish to submit over-length evidence, you must first obtain the agreement of the arbitrators by posting a request on the /Evidence talk page. For the Arbitration Committee, ~~~~
  • For an off-Wiki Javascript utility that quickly counts the number of words used in a statement, see here; simply copy and paste the entire statement, excluding the final signature, into the text box there.

Statement headings

Clerks-l discussions from September 2015 and April 2016 have clarified that the headers of statements in arbitration pages should be kept standard, as follows:

  • Statement headings at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case and Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification and Amendment should be in the format "Statement by {Username}". For the sake of consistency, use of "Comment" instead of "Statement", or adding "uninvolved", or anything that otherwise doesn't conform to that format, may be corrected at the discretion of a clerk. (This should generally be done when the deviation is disruptive, disputed, egregious, or break links.) Exceptions include if an editor has made more than one statement (in seperate requests) on a page; a notation may be made in the section header to differentiate between the two statements.
  • Similarly, /Evidence submissions should have a header in the form "Evidence presented by {Username}", and when sectioned discussion is enforced on a case talk page, "Statement by {Username}" should be used.
  • If the section header has been linked to, or otherwise was up for more than a day before being changed to the proper format, consider preserving links to those sections by using an {{anchor}}.
  • If there is any pushback, the editor in question should be advised that they are free to explain that they are uninvolved or anything that they originally planned on putting in a section header in the first line of their statement.

Changes to article level sanctions

Whenever there are changes (including new sanctions and amendments) the following pages may need to be updated:

  1. Wikipedia:General sanctions#‎Imposed by the Committee - for all sanctions including standard discretionary sanctions
Update the following pages (following the instructions there) for standard discretionary sanctions:
  1. Template:Ds/topics - there are three parts to this follow the instructions in the template's documentation
  2. Template:Ds/topics/table
  3. Add to Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log/2017

For pages which are covered (or now not covered) by sanctions add the appropriate template to the article talk page (ask another clerk for assistance if needed):

  1. Choose the appropriate template for the sanctions:
  2. The layout of the article talk page (that is where you put the template in relation to everything else) is listed at Wikipedia:Talk page layout#Lead (bannerspace).
  3. If the decision authorises sanctions for a "broadly construed" set of articles, non-admins should be careful in exercising this clause and only tag articles which are obviously covered.

Enacting bans and editing restrictions

Site bans
After the user talk page notification of the decision being enacted:

  • Note: If you're not an admin, ask an admin clerk to do the following for you as you close the case.
  • If the ban is indefinite (including if there is a set appeal time frame) block the user indefinitely with standard settings but with talk page access disallowed, select "Arbitration enforcement" from the dropdown and link to the decision.[ban 1]
  • Add the {{Banned user}} template to the top of the user page and user talk page of the banned user. For example, {{banned user|by=the [[Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee|Arbitration Committee]]|link=[[Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Example#Example banned|arbitration decision]]}}
  • Log the block in the Enforcement log of the case.

Note on sitebans

  1. ^ The banning policy states that talk page access is "usually not allowed" and may only be used for appeals. As ArbCom only accepts appeals (for their site bans) by email there is no reason to depart from the "usually not allowed" given that the user in question wouldn't be able to use their talk page anyway.

Other bans and editing restrictions (including topic or interaction bans, mentoring, 1RR, restrictions of use of admin tools)
After the user talk page notification of the decision being enacted:

Desysops
After the user talk page notification of the decision being enacted:

  • Post a request to the bureaucrats' noticeboard using the user template in the edit notice there, include a link to the decision (for example, a link to the section of the case). Or, if you're a bureaucrat, remove the permission yourself, linking to the decision in the log reason.
    • If the desysopped editor has self-granted edit filter manager rights, post a note to the edit filter noticeboard for review.
  • Log the desysop in the Enforcement log of the case (log the actual desysop if the 'crat doesn't).

Clerk recusal

A clerk should not be acting in his official capacity in a matter—be it a case, discussion, request, or otherwise—in which he or she is not a neutral party. Use your common sense in determining whether or not you are neutral, and do not hesitate to ask, on clerks-l or the clerks' noticeboard, that another clerk take over your duties in a given matter if you become conflicted.

This e-mailed statement from the committee is required reading for all clerks (valid login for clerks-l mailing list required).

Majorities

{{ACMajority}}, automates the calculation of majorities.

The majority is equal to: The number of active arbitrators halved, plus one, rounded down to nearest whole number; an "active arbitrator" is any arbitrator who is not recused and who is considered active by virtue of their status at WP:AC/M, their involvement in the given arbitration proceedings, or by their special directions to the clerks.

Active arbitrators Respective majority Active arbitrators Respective majority
17 9 12 7
16 9 11 6
15 8 10 6
14 8 9 5
13 7 8 5

Note that {{ACMajority}} can be used to easily calculate the majority for a given case, and additionally provides a table of what the majority would be with various numbers of abstentions. The table can be hidden, when the majority by-line needs to be used for a motion (not on a case page).

Each arbitrator is presumed to be active unless they have recused or abstained (usually per direction on clerks-l) on a specific case, matter, or other vote; or unless they are listed as inactive in the Members list.

Arbitrators that are listed as inactive on the general list but who have been active on a given matter (such as voting to accept a case) are taken to be active (and, if necessary, the count adjusted accordingly); excluding Arbitrators who are recused.

Noticeboard and cross-posting

The ArbCom noticeboard, Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard, has been (since January 2009) the page for announcements by the ArbCom (or its clerks). Only Arbitrators and the clerks, acting in their official capacity, are to add announcements to the noticeboard. A "discuss this" link at the bottom of every announcement has as its target the noticeboard talk page, to allow for discussion of the notice by any who wish to participate. Clarifications or suggestions relating to the announcement should probably be made by following that link.

  • Announcements for the Arbitration Committee will be made on the noticeboard by an arbitrator;
  • Announcements relating to the close of a case, temporary injunctions, or a motion passing will be made by the case clerk during case closure or archiving the motion;
  • All announcements should have a "Discuss this" wikilink that points to an appropriate section on Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard. The format of the wikilink is so—
: Discuss this at: '''[[Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Thread title]]'''
{{subst:Hes}}
: [[Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#XY|'''Original announcement''']]
  • Announcements made to the noticeboard are cross-posted to the Administrator's noticeboard, and sometimes other pages as appropriate — ensure that when an arbitrator posts an announcement that it is cross-posted (do this yourself if the arb doesn't);
  • Clerks are responsible for centralizing discussion to the Arbitration Committee Noticeboard talk page.

The procedure for cross-posting is:

  1. Copy the wikitext of the original announcement in full, including the original signature;
  2. Paste the text of the announcement onto the appropriate boards in a new section, with the same subject line;
  3. On a new line include the text, "For the Arbitration Committee, ~~~~".

Tasks at the beginning of each year

In response to elections

  • Check with outgoing arbs whether they wish to remain active on cases which are open over the new year (if applicable)
  • Check with outgoing arbs whether they intend to remain on the clerks-l mailing list
  • Following the election (or when incoming arbs are subscribed to arbcom-l) add incoming arbs to the current members list - example
  • On or after 1 Jan:
    • move incoming arbs to the active list (unless advised that they are inactive), and outgoing arbs to an outgoing list (if they are remaining active on cases) - example
    • strike the votes of outgoing arbs on case requests, clarification and amendment requests and motions not related to a case

Other

  • Discretionary sanctions log (ArbCom procedure)
    • To create the yearly log page:
      1. Click here to current a log page for the current year
      2. Add <noinclude>{{Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log/Header}}</noinclude> to the top of the page
      3. On the next line add ==2017==
      4. Add the headers for each current case where discretionary sanctions are authorised. The easiest way is to copy headers from the previous year to the current year then check that each is still currently authorised.
    • Add the current year to the header template - example
    • Blank any log pages which are more than five years old by replacing recorded sanctions (everything below the level 2 year header) with {{Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions/Log/Courtesy blanked}} - example
  • Index pages

Arbitrators going (in)active

From time to time arbitrators will go inactive or reactivate from inactivity. When that happens a number of pages must be updated (when an arbitrator activates, the process is generally the reverse of the process when an arbitrator goes inactive). Move the arbitrator to the "inactive" section (or "active", if dealing with a resumption of activity) of the following pages:

  • The master list at WP:AC/CM;
  • The case activity listings at Template:Casenav/data (except on cases the arbitrator has specifically requested to be left active/inactive on, if any; recusals should be left unchanged).
  • Any implementation notes on open cases.

Make sure that any relevant dates (eg 'as of' day month year) are updated, and ensure that on the master list the total number of active arbitrators is updated.

Include phrasing in the edit summary such as "updating active/inactive counts," "{arbname] now active on {case} per clerks-l".

Also update the majority on any motions on the clarification and amendment and motions pages. The arbitrator going inactive or active may have left special instructions which may have to be noted on the relevant pages.

If you are asked to remove the arbitrator's votes, indent them. If they have voted first, you will have to remove the # sign. If they have voted after another arbitrator, you can add a colon after the hash sign, '#:'

Arbitrator retirements

Upon the retirement of an arbitrator from the committee, there is a handful of paperwork-type tasks to be completed:

  1. Remove the arbitrator from the list of current arbitrators (WP:AC/CM).
  2. Add the arbitrator to the list of former Committee members on Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/History, and then update the graphs (Template:ArbitrationCommitteeChartRecent and Template:ArbitrationCommitteeChart).
  3. Check non-case pages for all open motions and consider indent & strike votes by that arb and update majority.
  4. Check all open cases and indent & strike votes by that arb and update majority.
  5. Remove arbitrator from Template:Casenav/data (shows arbs activity on cases) and update case majorities (if not already done).
  6. Update the WP:AUSC and WP:BASC pages, if appropriate.
  7. Update the list of clerks-l subscribers.

Additionally, the following should be done by an arbitrator. Extensive nagging should be used to remind the powers that be to complete all the paperwork once the retiring arbitrator has been removed.

  1. Delete arbitrator from the on-wiki list of arbcom-l subscribers.
  2. Update Template:Functionaries list of permission holders (CU & OS) and from functionaries-en subscribers (or move to the former arbs section).

Appointing a trainee clerk

If the clerks reach a clear consensus that an editor who has expressed an interest in clerking is suitable (and the Committee has no objections), then the process for appointing that editor is as follows. Clerks are initially appointed as a trainee (see welcome message below for details). Whereas appointment of a trainee is mostly a matter for the clerks, the decision to appoint an editor as a full clerk lies with the Committee (and usually follows a traineeship).

  1. Subscribe the editor to clerks-l through the administrative interface (membership management > mass subscription) then add their username in the field below their email address in the membership list.
  2. List the editor in the list of mailing list subscribers (in the same edit as step 3) at WP:AC/C#Mailing list.
  3. List the editor as a trainee at WP:AC/C#Personnel and in the following format (don't enter their timezone, so that the editor can decide to reveal it or not):
    * {{/c|Username||t}}
  4. Post an announcement to the ArbCom noticeboard (WP:AC/N) noting that a new trainee clerk has been appointed.
  5. Post the following to the trainee's talk page:
Welcome message for user talk page of new clerks

Hi <Clerkname>. We have added you to the list of clerks and subscribed you to the mailing list (info: [[WP:AC/C#clerks-l]]). Welcome, and I look forward to working with you! To adjust your subscription options for the mailing list, see the link at [[mail:clerks-l]]. The mailing list works in the usual way, and the address to which new mailing list threads can be sent is {{NoSpamEmail|clerks-l|lists.wikimedia.org}}. Useful reading for new clerks is the procedures page, [[WP:AC/C/P]], but you will learn all the basic components of clerking [[wikt:on-the-job|on-the-job]].

New clerks begin as a trainee, are listed as such at [[WP:AC/C#Personnel]], and will remain so until they have learned all the aspects of the job. When you've finished training, which usually takes a couple of/a few months, then we'll propose to the Committee that you be made a full clerk. As a clerk, you'll need to check your e-mail regularly, as the mailing list is where the clerks co-ordinate ([[WT:AC/C|on-wiki co-ordination page]] also exists but is not used nearly as much). If you've any questions at any point of your traineeship, simply post to the mailing list.

Lastly, it might be useful if you enter your timezone into [[WP:AC/C#Personnel]] (in the same format as the other members have), so that we can estimate when we will have clerks available each day; this is, of course, at your discretion. Again, welcome! Regards, ~~~~

Appointing a full clerk

Once a trainee can effectively perform all clerking tasks (those listed at the bottom of this section) one of the full clerks will start a discussion amongst all the full clerks (usually with an off list group email) to reach a consensus as to whether recommend the trainee to the Arbitration Committee for promotion. If either the full clerks or the Committee do not reach a consensus to promote they will usually create a way for that clerk to find a way to show the experience/skills which are lacking.

While there is no criteria for promotion the full clerks will generally want to see experience with a wide range of aspects of the clerk role, some of these won't be possible, in which case the full clerks will look for an ability to deal with unknown situations or similar experiences outside the arbitration process:

  • opening and closing cases;
  • removing and archiving case, clarification and amendment requests;
  • enacting Committee decisions and motions (including enacting, modifying and repealing individual and page-level sanctions; preferably, if possible, including a desysop and siteban);
  • managing and interacting with participants in the arbitration process (including hatting/removing comments, assisting, warning/banning/blocking);
  • interacting with other clerks and arbitrators effectively and positively;
  • important to note though, this is not an exhaustive list and the full clerks will make a gut call based on their interactions with and observations of the trainee.
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