What makes a good EOSIO Arbitrator and how are they trained?

mtabulomtabulo Posts: 18 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

This post introduces key criteria that Arbitrators for the EOSIO Core Arbitrator Forum (ECAF) would be expected to meet. It also presents an overview of how Arbitrators, once selected, could be trained.

Criteria for selecting Arbitrators

The Governance Team have been brainstorming on what would make a good Arbitrator and consider the following to be possible criteria for selecting an Arbitrator:

  1. Is known to the ECAF.
  2. Education: We anticipate that the level of a 4-year university equivalent education is appropriate. A formal degree is not required, but the person is expected to have that level of thinking & writing, as judged by the current ECAF.
  3. Language: Fluent in English, the default language of the ECAF. Proficiency in other languages is welcomed and useful.
  4. Independence. An Arbitrator would be expected to meticulously expose her interests before ECAF and peers. As a guide, the following EOSIO-specific criteria would be seen as challenges to independence and may be seen as conflicts of interest:
    • Actively participates in the operation of any Block Producer;
    • Owns more than 5% passive stake in any Block Producer or DApp;
    • Owns or controls more than 0.1% of total EOS token supply;
    • Is a lawyer or barrister: has an active license to practice law in any jurisdiction. If licensed previously, suggest that a minimum of 1 year of inactive status shall have elapsed;
    • Is affiliated with or employed by EOSIO software development companies (including Block.one) on-chain DApp businesses, EOSIO-related journalistic entities (for example, EOS Go) or subsidiaries thereof.
  5. Evidence of aptitude and/or prior experience: Writing samples of at least 2 pages length demonstrating capacity to reason and explain in an objective, organized, discursive style. (For professional arbitrators: one or more more past rulings. For trainees: college essays or theses, good-quality journalism, well-structured and reasoned personal blog posts, etc.)
  6. Commitment: Depending on prior experience, be prepared to commit to a minimum training period and a minimum weekly time commitment necessary to see a case through.
  7. There may also be an assessment of a behavioral profile match to known good arbitrators. Below is a sample profile:
    • Steady (vs Urgent) Pacing
    • Midline on Assertiveness (between Unassuming and Forceful)
    • Reserved (vs Outgoing) Sociability
    • Strong-willed (vs Compliant) Conformity
    • Skeptical (vs Trusting) Outlook
    • Deliberate (vs Bold) Decisiveness
    • Steadfast (vs Agreeable) Accommodation
    • Autonomous (vs Reliant) Independence
    • Factual (vs Intuitive) Judgment

Training Arbitrators

Once selected, Arbitrators would be trained through an apprenticeship process in which they are mentored by a more experienced Arbitrator before being allowed to rule on a dispute in their own right. For example, the experienced Arbitrator would introduce the junior Arbitrator to the intricacies of the Arbitration process and take them through prior exemplar cases. The junior Arbitrator could also shadow the experienced Arbitrator as she reviews an ongoing dispute.

Edit: 4 June 18. Conflict crtieria updated based on Community feedback that DApps may not necessarily be designed to be revenue producing.

Comments

  • tkaraivanovtkaraivanov Posts: 24 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens
    edited May 17
    • Actively participates in the operation of any Block Producer;
    • Owns more than 5% passive stake in any Block Producer or revenue-producing DApp;
    • Owns or controls more than 0.1% of total EOS token supply;
    • Is a lawyer or barrister: has an active license to practice law in any jurisdiction. If licensed previously, suggest that a minimum of 1 year of inactive status shall have elapsed;
    • Is affiliated with or employed by EOSIO software development companies (including Block.one) on-chain DApp businesses, EOSIO-related journalistic entities (for example, EOS Go) or subsidiaries thereof.

    I agree with these requirements, but I fear it may be hard to find a sufficient number of arbitrators in the beginning. In fact, I can only think of one right now. The issue arises from the fact that almost all community members have involved themselves with various EOS projects (BPCs, dapps, DACs). It's likely that this will be less of a problem in the future, but in the beginning it will be really hard. Perhaps an option might be to gradually phase these requirements in as the network evolves?

  • mtabulomtabulo Posts: 18 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    Agree that this sets a high bar for the Arbitrators, but we do want to have the criteria in place from the outset.

    It will then be up to the ECAF to decide if there should be an exception made for an individual. And because this a forum for the community, by the community, then the ECAF will also need to justify that exception to the community when it presents the Arbitrator for the community's approval.

  • brucebruce Posts: 1 Brand New

    In criteria #4, you said that being a lawyer could cause a conflict of interest regarding independence. Can you elaborate on why?

  • bluabalenobluabaleno Posts: 16 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens
    edited May 19
    • Is a lawyer or barrister: has an active license to practice law in any jurisdiction. If licensed previously, suggest that a minimum of 1 year of inactive status shall have elapsed;

    My decision of not going to law school has finally paid off...

  • bluabalenobluabaleno Posts: 16 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    @bruce said:
    In criteria #4, you said that being a lawyer could cause a conflict of interest regarding independence. Can you elaborate on why?

    Because the laws of the blockchain could be in conflict with laws of a local region.

  • ArbitratorArbitrator Posts: 4 Brand New

    @bluabaleno said:

    @bruce said:
    In criteria #4, you said that being a lawyer could cause a conflict of interest regarding independence. Can you elaborate on why?

    Because the laws of the blockchain could be in conflict with laws of a local region.

    I have so many questions regarding this answer. So should the arbitrators completely disregard any national laws? And potentially make decisions, which can in local jurisdictions be seen as wrong and even "illegal"?

    But even more, what legal basis (applicable law) should the arbitrators use when deciding cases? As I see it, the current EOS constitution does not provide enough details for specific relationships and transactions that may happen on the network. Such situation basically invites arbitrators to decide based on their "gut feeling" which makes the whole system highly unpredictable.

    What other "laws of the blockchain" do you have in mind?

  • bluabalenobluabaleno Posts: 16 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    @Arbitrator said:

    @bluabaleno said:

    @bruce said:
    In criteria #4, you said that being a lawyer could cause a conflict of interest regarding independence. Can you elaborate on why?

    Because the laws of the blockchain could be in conflict with laws of a local region.

    I have so many questions regarding this answer. So should the arbitrators completely disregard any national laws? And potentially make decisions, which can in local jurisdictions be seen as wrong and even "illegal"?

    But even more, what legal basis (applicable law) should the arbitrators use when deciding cases? As I see it, the current EOS constitution does not provide enough details for specific relationships and transactions that may happen on the network. Such situation basically invites arbitrators to decide based on their "gut feeling" which makes the whole system highly unpredictable.

    What other "laws of the blockchain" do you have in mind?

    The Constitution is the supreme law of the blockchain, and it overrides any national or local law.

    Yes, it might be the case that a decision is in contradiction of the dispute in the regional ruling. It might even case the block-producer in that region to be hit with a ceases and desist and stop the operation of EOS nodes in that region.

    However, this is likely a rare occurrence.

    I agree, the Constitution is extremely vague. But so is the United States Constitution. It is not the job of the Constitution to outline the specific laws regarding specific transactions. The Constitution does, however, refer to different arbitration forums where the matters are decided.

    In my work with Kleos, an arbitration organization on Ethereum, they have different courts with hierarchical circuits.

    I imagine EOS will evolve a similar structure in the future.

  • MortenMorten Posts: 27 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    @mtabulo said:

    As a guide, the following EOSIO-specific criteria would be seen as challenges to >independence and may be seen as conflicts of interest:

    • Is a lawyer or barrister: has an active license to practice law in any jurisdiction. If licensed previously, suggest that a minimum of 1 year of inactive status shall have elapsed;

    Hi @mtabulo,

    I'm a lawyer with an active license and I have thought about contributing as an arbitrator. I consider my background an advantage, not an impediment. I would be interested to hear some elaboration on why a lawyers license would be a conflict of interest.

    Most arbitrators in "the legacy world" are lawyers from different jurisdictions. The same is true for lawyers working in international courts. The fact that lawyers in these cases work with laws other than their national laws is normally not seen as a problem.

    I might see some reasons for requiring a deactivation of the national license in order to qualify, but I am curious to why a minimum of 1 year of inactive status should be required if a lawyer chooses to give up their license to become a core arbitrator for EOS.

  • MortenMorten Posts: 27 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    @Arbitrator said:

    @bluabaleno said:

    @bruce said:
    In criteria #4, you said that being a lawyer could cause a conflict of interest regarding independence. Can you elaborate on why?

    Because the laws of the blockchain could be in conflict with laws of a local region.

    I have so many questions regarding this answer. So should the arbitrators completely disregard any national laws? And potentially make decisions, which can in local jurisdictions be seen as wrong and even "illegal"?

    But even more, what legal basis (applicable law) should the arbitrators use when deciding cases? As I see it, the current EOS constitution does not provide enough details for specific relationships and transactions that may happen on the network. Such situation basically invites arbitrators to decide based on their "gut feeling" which makes the whole system highly unpredictable.

    What other "laws of the blockchain" do you have in mind?

    Hi @Arbitrator,

    According to proposed article XVII in the draft constitution, choice of law for disputes shall be, in order of precedence, this Constitution, the Maxims of Equity, and the laws of Malta.

    That mean that arbitrators will have to base their decisions on the maxims of equity and the relevant Maltese laws in cases where the constitution is vague or silent.

    If contracting parties wants their case decided by a different set of laws, they need to clarify this in their ricardian contract. The parties can also agree to another choice of law after the dispute has arisen.

  • ThurgoodMarshallFanThurgoodMarshallFan Posts: 20 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    I can't think of any possible hypothetical where a law license could create a conflict of interest with the parties. Never hire any former lawyers if you want but at least remove that as an initial criteria, so you can at least broaden your applicant pool. As @morten said a legal background can only help. There is a lot more that goes into arbitrating than temperament, ability to write and reason, and so on.

    Full disclosure: current practicing attorney, zero interest in being an EOS arbitrator. My interest is if I ever have to litigate an on chain EOS dispute in 20 years after EOS has taken over the world, I am going to want arbitrators who are intimately familiar with legal procedure and norms.

    Who is providing training here and do they have a legal background?

  • Maven2017Maven2017 Posts: 5 Brand New

    Good morning..where do we see the nominees and where do we officially apply? Thank you.

  • mtabulomtabulo Posts: 18 Jr. Member - 1/5 EOS Tokens

    @Maven2017 said:
    Good morning..where do we see the nominees and where do we officially apply? Thank you.

    The process is described here: https://forums.eosgo.io/discussion/1104/eos-core-arbitration-forum-nominations-announcement

    You can find the most up to date status of nominations on telegram https://t.me/EOSArbNominations

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