User:AvilCreeggan/New ANFM/Conflict and Discipline
Members are expected and encouraged to resolve interpersonal disputes, whether with peers or superiors, informally. This should typically be the first step members use in resolving a dispute. All members have the right to request assistance from, or communicate grievances to, a superior authority within the Alliance Navy to resolve a dispute. Grievances or disputes that are unable to be resolved through informal means should first be brought to a Community Moderator, followed by the Judge Advocate General, and may finally be escalated to Central Command if necessary.
Punitive discipline is an unfortunate, but necessary element of the Alliance Navy's culture. It maintains order and prevents behavior detrimental to the group. Personnel who violate the Code of Conduct set forth, the Community Guidelines, or who otherwise bring discredit upon the Alliance Navy may be disciplined.
The Alliance Navy’s discipline process aims to correct the behavior of the individual member and any harm created by their actions, rather than to seek retribution or public deterrence. Our principles of discipline include:
- Members should know the action(s) that they are being punished for, and how these actions violate the Community Guidelines. Where disciplinary action is not taken in regard to a discrete incident, examples of poor conduct should be provided.
- Members should have a clear expectation of consequences for future violations, as well as a clear expectation as to when they may be considered for the restoration of privileges.
- Discipline should typically be a confidential matter and should not be used to embarrass or harass a member, as these effects make a member’s future success in the Alliance Navy less likely. However, discipline is not secret, and this confidentiality must be balanced against the need of the moderation team to keep the confidence of the group through transparency. Others involved in an incident may be informed of disciplinary action, and significant actions such as ejection may be publicized to the group.
- Moderators are entrusted to use their judgment in selecting the appropriate level of punishment for a given action in a given context, or to seek the advice and counsel of other moderators and the group’s Officers in difficult situations. There is no expectation that each step will be used in order. However, taken as a whole, disciplinary steps should progress from small to large until it is clear that a member’s negative conduct will not be remedied to the group’s detriment.
- The Alliance Navy is a longtime home and source of friendship for many, and we do not intend to take that lightly. At the same time, for newer members, failure to adhere to these Community Guidelines may owe to fundamental incompatibility in values rather than mere ignorance. In these circumstances, the member and the group may both be best served by a faster separation than would be appropriate for an established member.
Consistent with the above principles, the following guideline identifies progressive disciplinary steps that may be used to correct an individual’s behavior.
- Discussion. The first solution for most minor transgressions, without a demonstrated pattern of negative behavior, should be an informal one-on-one discussion with the member in question. These discussions should clearly identify the issue at hand, discuss how it is contrary to the these guidelines, and inform the member that there will be escalating consequences for future incidents. These informal interventions should still be documented in the moderation channel.
- Formal Warning. Formal warnings are appropriate for a substantial violation of this policy, or a repeated pattern of minor incidents. The elements of a warning are the same as for informal discussions, except the member should be told clearly that they are receiving a formal warning. Warnings should be delivered in writing, and any discussion of them documented sufficiently to form a valid record that will support subsequent discipline.
- Revocation of Privileges. For members who bear additional roles and responsibilities, serious or repeat transgressions may merit the removal of these privileges on a temporary or indefinite basis. As a general rule, these actions should be communicated privately to the member or those with a need-to-know of the action. Where this tool is used, members should ideally know the circumstances (e.g. a date certain) under which they may be considered for reinstatement.
- Suspension. Members who have committed serious infractions, or who have engaged in a pattern of repeat disobedience, may be subject to removal from the Alliance Navy’s servers and communications until a date certain (typically, ranging from 1 day to 2 weeks in duration). Members should be notified of the cause, the action, and the period of time of the suspension in writing. At this point, disciplinary steps are so visible as to expect that they be known publicly, and future transgressions - without a prolonged period of good behavior - will almost certainly result in ejection.
- Temporary Ejection. The penultimate step in the disciplinary process is a temporary ejection for a fixed period of time. Generally, members should be subject to at least two of the above steps before an ejection is considered. However, egregious or outrageous acts may be considered for ejection on the first offense. Ideally, an Officer issues a temporary ejection on behalf of the group due to the sensitive nature of these decisions. However, moderators are authorized to issue interim ejections immediately for outrageous actions, or to stop actions in progress that cannot be stopped by other means. These interim actions should be brought to the moderation team for final disposition. Even at this stage, the goal of the disciplinary process is to produce a contributing member of the group. Based on the actions at hand, temporary ejections are typically appropriate for periods of one to three months. After that point, members should be allowed to return to Alliance Navy communication channels on a limited basis and may be considered for readmission. (An affirmative vote of Central Command is required to impose a temporary ejection upon a member with at least one consecutive year of tenure.)
- Indefinite Ejection. The final step in the disciplinary process is a permanent or indefinite ejection. This step requires a formal vote of Central Command to enact or rescind, and is reserved for members who have either previously been ejected or who have committed acts absolutely reprehensible to the values of the Alliance Navy. Indefinite ejection is a last resort, and should only be taken after all other reasonable steps are exhausted and no reasonable hope remains for the subject member to successfully be reintegrated into the Alliance Navy. (An affirmative vote of Central Command is required to impose an indefinite ejection.)
Judge Advocate General
The Judge Advocate General (JAG) is a special judicial body within the Alliance Navy responsible for resolving serious or complex disputes and disciplinary cases. Their jurisdiction includes both the first review or hearing of cases (“original jurisdiction”) and the review of disciplinary decisions by others (“appellate jurisdiction”). Generally, the Judge Advocate General only asserts jurisdiction over a matter when either:
- A member of Central Command refers a matter to the Judge Advocate's office, or;
- An officer or member of Central Command is accused of serious misconduct, such as actions that may justify an ejection from the Alliance Navy.
Once involved, the Judge Advocate's office acts as an inquisitorial body with extremely broad discretion in the measures they use to resolve disputes. Their powers in a dispute include, but are not limited to:
- To investigate allegations of misconduct and to require truthful and forthcoming cooperation by relevant members of the Alliance Navy; and to impose disciplinary action upon members who willfully misrepresent or conceal the truth.
- To adjust a member's status dramatically on a temporary or permanent basis, including the application of any disciplinary step contemplated in this Section except where an affirmative vote of Central Command is required.
- To convene a formal court martial, binding arbitration, compelled mediation, or other forum for dispute resolution and to require members to participate, or to refuse to convene such a forum.
The Judge Advocate General shall conclude their matters by a report to Central Command. At that time, upon an affirmative vote, Central Command may refuse the report and ask for specific revisions, additional investigation, or the substitution of their own decision directly. Unless such a vote promptly occurs and succeeds, the findings shall be considered final and binding except for actions which require an affirmative vote of Central Command.