Thursday, February 11, 2016

Introducing the Arbitration Committee by John Berrini

It is my honor to express some thoughts and introduce a landmark decision that happened at this year’s Event Holders council.  It was determined, by unanimous decision, that The Realms EHC was in need of a subcommittee with the purpose of  “holding accountable, to The Realms at large, those who are accused of negatively affecting our community in a timely manner outside of the EHC meeting.”
Here is the proposal as it was approved:
Changes(To the Omnibus)
  • Under the section “Becoming a Realms event holder”
Add the bullet point “In order for the event to be legal the event must abide by the valid rulings of the Arbitration Committee”
  • Under “Cheating”
Rule violations may result in formal charges being brought against a player to the Arbitration Committee for the purpose of disciplinary action. The person(s) responsible must be notified of this action before the meeting to allow them to speak on behalf of their action.
EHs who want to bring formal charges should report them to the Arbitration Committee


  • Add a section to “Part 3 Realms Administration” between the sections “Becoming a realms event holder” and “Magic Item rules” entitled Arbitration Committee.
Arbitration Committee
The Arbitration Committee is a group of five members and two alternates nominated and elected yearly at the EHC that seek to resolve issues, by speaking or meeting with the affected individuals and, in the case where actions are detrimental  the community levy penalties against individuals.
Being found responsible for breaking rules by a simple majority, the Arbitration Committee may levy punishment consistent with the charge and working to resolve the issue in the future.
At an emergency meeting of the EHC a 2/3 vote of the council can overturn or amend the actions of the Arbitration Committee.
The 2016 Arbitration Committee consists of - Jason Rosa, John Berrini, David Hayden, Ben Greene, Jason Gray Alternates - Henry Giasson, Jeremy Grayson

Although this proposal was not completed at the EGM, I did write the majority of it there, with input. There are provisions in the omnibus for an emergency EH meeting to pass such a proposal. We talked about doing this, however logistically; it made more sense to add this language to another matter being pushed forward.

The issue of procedure was far overshadowed by the (unanimous) support for the action
More noteworthy than the manner in which this provision was introduced and passed, was the social growth displayed by our community. For me personally, it is inspiring that members of our community banded together and reconciled the need for advancement above the red tape. The good will of the game was pushed forward of our habit to micromanage, the spirit of the game was pushed forward and we are stronger with a better product to show for it.
In my address to the EHC there were several important points discussed.  The most important issue to me was the difficulty a large body, such as the Council, has working to adjudicate personal infractions. To build on this is that we are all a close knit community and airing dirty laundry in a room of friends was difficult to do, especially in a fair manner.
The time these things take to sort out is also a consideration. The two such instances that I’ve been a part of took upwards of two hours each.  Not only is this exhausting, but it takes a good deal of time away from the once-per-year-meeting  we have each year to further develop our game
With the old system after the lengthy and difficult decision is made, our community is left with the challenge of enforcing punishment in a game where “Every EH is God at their event.”  This discouraged bringing issues to the EHC due to fear of inaction and the frustration of non-enforcement from friends of the punished. The length of inaction could also be a factor in that a theoretical infraction happening in March would take eleven months to be heard. Having to wait up to a year to bring someone up on charges was not only disheartening, but left the wronged party with the burden of bringing up wrongdoings up to a year old up to the council
Hopefully one of the unsung benefits of this now being in place is the increase in personal discipline of each player. It will certainly improve the accountability of our members. In any case, this resolution makes the game stronger in discipline and in unity. I am happy to have a part in it.

1 comment:

  1. There is no such provision to bypass the process for adding new (Rules, spells, committees) despite the level of support received at the EHC

    If by provisions you are implying the emergency EHC meeting
    "Any serious issue(s) may be brought to the attention of the Event Holders' List. If at least 50% of the EHs agree that a personal meeting is required to discuss the issue(s), then an emergency EH meeting can be called. This meeting must be attended by at least 50% of legal Event Holders and meet the restrictions of a legal event for planning purposes (i.e., at least two weeks’ notice). The person calling for the meeting will work with the organizers of the upcoming Players' Meeting and Event Holders' Council. Meetings of this nature will not have the ability to make changes to the Omnibus."

    This does not give the council power to create things on the spot. At the minimum it gives them the ability to post something they want to discuss("Any serious issue(s)") on the list get it approved for a separate meeting, having two week notice before said emergency meeting and then go through a separate voting process.

    But yeah no where in our omnibus does it say EHs can by pass the process required for posting new proposals.

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