- Case Number: a20090303.1
- Status: complete
- Claimants: Philipp Dunkel
Respondents: Ian Grigg & Mathias Subik
- Complaint: Assurance made on an unproper form
Ian Grigg showed Philipp Dunkel an assurance he has done on Mathias Subik. This assurance was not done on a CAcert CAP form as required by the Assurance Policy (point 4.1 §3) Therefore Philipp Dunkel challenges this as contrary to policy.
- Case Manager: Alejandro Mery (temporarily)
- Arbitrator: Sebastian Kueppers
- Date of arbitration: 2009/03/04
Ian Grigg assured Matthias Subik. The CAP form was handwritten.
The AP includes the language: "Recording of essential details on CAcert Assurance Programme form." The use of the word CAcert implies that the form be APPROVED by CAcert. The form in question was handwritten, and therefore not APPROVED. Therefore complainant requests the Assurance be struck, and as a further remedy, that the Assurance Policy be modified to clearly state the requirement for an APPROVED form.
english common law
The english common law position on contracts (that is, documents with legal effect) is that as long as the document carries all the elements of a good contract, it is a good. That is, form is not important.
Elements of the CAP
The elements of the CAP are listed clearly in the Assurance Policy, section 4.5.
There is a tradition of variations, for following motives.
CAcert documents are often translated. If the content and layout of the CAP form is to be controlled or APPROVED, then the translations would need to be similarly approved.
personalised CAP form
There has been some suggestion that personalised CAP forms are a good idea.
modifying the CAP form
There is a tradition of modifying the CAP form. Currently, old CAP forms are modified by adding in ink the words "I agree to the CAcert Community Agreement."
Agent of Approval
If CAP forms were to be approved there should be an agent who does that job. Is it the Board, the policy group, the Assurance Officer, the Event Coordinator or the languages people? No writings on this question are known.
At CeBIT, CAP forms with the CeBIT logo and the list of Assurers present were prepared. These were not APPROVED, but are in use.
However, some CAP forms were approved by the Board 20090303. It is unclear when or where other CAP forms were approved.
CAP forms are evidence between Assurer and future Arbitrators. It is unclear if CAP forms have ever been submitted as evidence, so there is no clarity as to whether any control of forms has ever taken place.
purpose of the CAP
The purpose of the CAP is to provide evidence to support the Assurance. It is not the Assurance itself, and the question of APPROVAL turns essentially on how good the evidence is to the ultimate purpose of Assurance.
- There is currently no requirement for an APPROVED form.
- There is no apparatus defined for APPROVING the form, nor is here a custom in use.
- Any form that includes the elements listed in AP should be treated as valid. Or more precisely, an assurance should not be challenged merely on the basis that the paperwork is not of an APPROVED form.
- Therefore the Claim is dismissed.
- As the claim is dismissed, the Assurance and the CAP form in question was not looked at in any depth.
- The question of whether forms should be controlled in the future was not examined closely.
- There is no privacy issue in this case, the names in the record should be in the clear.