CAcert's Arbitration Forum

CAcert resolves disputes through the Dispute Resolution Policy (DRP) which includes the rules of Arbitration. For a nice introduction to CAcert's forum, see the Handbook's Intro on Arbitration. Additional working practices can be found in ArbitrationPractices (wip).

Management of Cases

Disputes for arbitration must be sent by email to Support then transfers the request into an internal list for managing the filing of cases.

A Case Manager is allocated, who ensures that the case is logged. The CM works with the Dispute Resolution Officer to assign an Arbitrator. The Case Manager's job description is a guide to how the CM process works.

The CAcert Community member and others involved in a dispute will be notified of the arbitration via email. An example of the email is in this ArbitrationAnnouncement . Also see templates on Acceptance.

For arbitration case managers and Arbitrators there is a closed email list: .

Here is the list of current Arbitrations. More organization probably needs to be done.

Fees: are currently zero. The policy permits fees for filing a dispute, but none are currently set.


Policies (SecurityPolicy) authorise the creation of procedures which are directed at the Arbitrator:


Arbitrators are appointed by the Board. Arbitrators do double-duty as CMs, rotating. In addition, support personnel may also act as Case Managers, and there may be specifically appointed Case Managers.


The authority to hear disputes is found in the below:

Arbitration in Law

The Arbitration Act in each country refers a legal court case to Arbitration where there is a valid agreement. See also DRP 2.4. See Arbitration/DeeperResearch for links to some of these laws.

Decisions of CAcert Community

CAcert and the Community have acted as below:

This evolution of actions by the Community places DRP as our authority to hear disputes. DRP itself may be modified under Policy on Policy (or PoP), itself authorised similarly to the above. We collect comments and suggestions for future reviews at PolicyDrafts/DisputeResolution.

Choice of Law

CAcert chooses the law of NSW, Australia, which is its home. This law is part of the English Common Law tradition, so it has much in common with UK law and US law.

Choice of Jurisdiction

The jurisdiction is CAcert's own: by choosing to run its own Arbitration, it chooses to in essence create its own courts. This works for civil actions, ones between people, but it does not work for criminal actions. The laws of Arbitration also specify various exceptions such as unconscionability, which means forcing someone to do something that is so against their conscience that it is unfair. Note however that the courts of the land define what that means, not the individual.

These choices are established in a clause in the CAcert Community Agreement


The CAcert Arbitration project was the product of many people: Teus Hagen, Jens Paul, Philipp Güring, Ian Grigg. It was approved in a full sitting of the Board and Advisory at Pirmasens, Germany, m20070918.3

Further Information

For introductions, try Wikipedia on Arbitration. Arbitration/DeeperResearch has a list of laws and other readings.

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ArbitrationForum (last edited 2020-06-01 12:05:06 by BernhardFröhlich)