Code of Conduct Procedures of the Legal Network
The aim of the Code of Conduct (the CoC) is to ensure that the platforms organized for the Legal Network by the FSFE, including the Legal Network mailing list, the Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW), and other relevant events, are spaces for constructive and respectful discussion.
The aim of measures implemented as a result of the CoC is to assist the person involved to understand and behave in a more constructive manner in the future. Participants on the mailing list and at Legal Network events are expected to behave with courtesy and according to professional standards suitable for the widest international audience.
The Legal Network Council shall advise the Legal Coordinator and the FSFE on the course of action to be taken in cases of a breach of the CoC. Nevertheless, the final decision lies with the Legal Coordinator and the FSFE.
The Three-Strikes Rule
Each infraction will earn an individual a “strike”. When a person accrues three strikes, the Legal Coordinator will consult with the Legal Network Council on how to proceed and what action will be taken against this person.
If the infraction is sufficiently serious, the Legal Coordinator will consult with the Legal Network Council on how to proceed and what action will be taken against this person, regardless of the number of strikes the person currently has.
Public Facing Infractions without a Complaint
Procedure for infractions on the mailing list
In the event that a minor infraction occurs on the Legal Network mailing list, the Legal Coordinator and the FSFE will take the following steps:
- Send an email to the person explaining the infraction, and how long they will be placed on temporary moderation.
- Place the person on temporary moderation, which means that the person’s emails are withheld for review before they are approved to go through to the mailing list.
- Depending on the situation and the nature of the infraction, communicate on the mailing list that such behaviour constitutes an infraction under the CoC.
Procedure for infractions at an event
In the event that a minor infraction occurs at the LLW or any other physical event organized for the Legal Network, the Legal Coordinator and the FSFE can take the following steps:
- If it is reasonable in the situation, immediately respond that such behaviour is not appropriate.
- If it is reasonable in the situation, take the person aside, with another staff member or Legal Network Council member, to explain the infraction.
- If the person committing the infraction is a speaker, make a general reminder to all present of the CoC and to be respectful, either immediately before the Q and A section of the talk, or in between talks.
Infractions Involving Complaints
In the event that a complaint is received about the potential breach of the Code of Conduct, the following procedure will apply:
- All complaints shall be forwarded immediately to the Legal Coordinator.
- The Legal Coordinator shall prepare a written report of the incident.
- The written report shall include the first-person accounts of the reporting party and the injured party (if not the same person), the person complained about, and any relevant witnesses to the incident.
- The written report shall be forwarded to the Legal Network Council for advice on the course of action to be taken.
- The course of action decided upon to be taken shall be communicated immediately to the person complained about, as well as the reporting party and the injured party.
Receiving and Reporting the Complaint
If a complaint is made to FSFE staff, the following steps should be taken:
- Complaints should be forwarded immediately to the Legal Coordinator
- In the event that the complaint involves the Legal Coordinator, the complaint should be forwarded immediately to the Deputy Legal Coordinator or the President of the FSFE.
Preparing the Written Report
The Legal Coordinator shall prepare a written report of the incident as soon as possible after receiving a complaint, or after being made aware of a serious breach of the Code of Conduct.
- If the reporting party is not the same person as the injured party, the injured party will be contacted as well to obtain a written report.
- The person complained about shall also be contacted to let them tell their side of the story. Any witnesses shall be contacted to give their accounts as well. These accounts shall also be included in the written report.
- The reporting party (and the injured party) shall be given the opportunity to check if the written report is correct before proceeding.
In summary, the following information shall be included in the written report:
- Identifying information of the participant who allegedly violated the CoC, the reporting party, and the injured party (if the reporting party is a witness to the incident).
- The behavior in question that is complained about.
- The approximate time of the incident or behaviour.
- As many relevant circumstances surrounding the incident as appropriate, to provide context.
- The names of any other persons who may have been involved in and/or witnessed the incident.
- The accounts of the person reported and any witnesses.
The written report shall be communicated as soon as possible to the Legal Network Council.
- The complaint shall be discussed with the Legal Network Council.
- The aim of the discussion is to help advise the FSFE on how to proceed and the action to be taken against the person involved.
After a decision is made on what action should be taken, this shall be communicated to the person complained about, as well as the reporting and/or injured party, immediately.