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Lesson 11 - Arbitration - Working with Policies

Policies are the basic foundation of your work as Arbitrator. You may do many things as an Arbitrator, but you should not give a ruling that explicitly contradicts a policy. So one important thing in preparation for working as an Arbitrator is to have another look (or two) at those policies. All policies which have reached draft status (and are therefore binding) are published in

Handbooks, Practice Documents and Manuals are works derived from policies. They also contain important rules which should be taken into consideration when working on a ruling. But if one of those contradicts a policy, the policy is the more fundamental thing.

Challenging the Policies

PoP establishes Policies as one of WIP, DRAFT or POLICY (PoP 2.2). In DRAFT or POLICY status, they are binding on the Community (PoP 4.2-4.3). Under this binding status, a Member of the Community may only challenge a Policy in Dispute Resolution (PoP 4.3, 5.2, 7.4).

This is quite restrictive over the Member, and reserves a huge power to the Arbitrator. The powers of the Arbitrator over Policies are not listed under PoP (deliberately) but can be assumed to be quite expansive. An Arbitrator can strike, rewrite, re-interpret a clause of a Policy, as is implied by the Member's right to challenge a Policy.

But, any change to a Policy should be done with extreme care. Although the Ruling is final, it will be scrutinised by the entire Policy Group in the process of revising the Policy. This revision can either ratify the Ruling, or reject it.

Relationship of Policy to Arbitration

Policies serve the Community, not the other way around. It is normal for Policies to be somewhat short of perfect, and indeed this is intentional. The reason that the Community can work with short, sharp Policies is that they can be ultimately challenged in Arbitration. This means Policy Group can prepare our documents in advance of experience, and they do not need to predict the future accurately. Arbitration is the safety net.

Policy and Arbitration work hand-in-hand; they are equal heads of power or peers within the Community. Both support each other. The presence of Arbitration means that Policies do not need to be perfect, the presence of Policy means that Arbitration can be well-founded.

An overview of current Policy states and updates can be found in the overview Policy Decisions instead of reading through policy group decision by decision.

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BernhardFröhlich: Added some introduction and a few other additions

Arbitrations/Training/Lesson11 (last edited 2013-03-07 01:31:42 by UlrichSchroeter)