Arbitration report

The Report On Lengthy Litigation

Although currently understaffed, the Arbitration Committee did open a new case last week and moved quickly to take preliminary action in the matter. However, the rest of the current arbitration cases remained in limbo as the arbitrators continue to deliberate. In other dispute resolution news, the idea of another variation on the mediation process has been floated.

On Tuesday, the arbitrators accepted a case brought by Ta bu shi da yu against Alfrem, arising from a dispute over the Libertarianism article. In light of continuing revert wars, the arbitrators issued a temporary injunction the next day banning Alfrem from editing the article.


Also on Tuesday, Snowspinner, who had previously launched the now-dormant Association of Member Investigations (see archived story), proposed a system he called Wikimediation. Described as "an experimental process", the proposal mixes elements of formal mediation with aspects of the requests for comment procedure.

Snowspinner indicated that he wanted Wikimediation to be less confrontational, emphasizing instead "friendly advice and constructive criticism on how to resolve an issue." Since the proposal discouraged its use merely as "a dry run" for arbitration, some people wondered if it was meant to be entirely separate from the existing dispute resolution system. However, Wikimediation would still count as an alternative method of dispute resolution, since use of such methods is strongly encouraged before resorting to arbitration.

This is one of several recent attempts to revitalize the dispute resolution processes that come before arbitration. The Mediation Committee has stepped up its activity since the addition of MacGyverMagic in June. In addition, MacGyverMagic has replaced Jwrosenzweig, who recently took a vacation from Wikipedia, as committee chairman, although Ed Poor has also helped with organization issues. In any case, the mediators have lately been more active in responding to requests for mediation. The requests for comments process has also received some relatively recent overhauls.

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