Natural Justice comes originally from the Romans, thence into common law. It is what is generally considered Fairness in Western Society. It is used explicitly in the Legal System and Government, and as guiding principles in Academia, Sport and even the Military nowadays.

The notion of Natural Justice includes the following ideas:

1. That the accused must be given a clear understanding of what it is they have done badly or failed to do.

2. They must be allowed a fair investigation. They must be able to present their case and defend themselves.

3. Their case must be decided by an unbiased or disinterested person.

4. They should, unless the seriousness of the conduct makes it inappropriate, be given a chance to improve their performance and, if necessary, be provided with suitable training or assistance to do so.

5. That an accused cannot be tried more than once on the same evidence.

6. The right to have any decision based on logically probative evidence.

Now at E2, the procedure for removing offending nodes seems to defy these principles.

In particular, there is no automatic notion of a review. A node can by nuked, and the explanation given afterwards, with no possibility of either rectifying the node, or defending it's content.

Even more galling, having responded to one or more editor's criticisms, and rectified the node to their satisfaction, another editor can still nuke the write-up. This can be very demoralising.

Are these things desirable? Society has developed the notions of Natural Justice (aka Procedural Fairness) to prevent abuse of judicial power and allow people confidence that their actions will not be called to account unfairly.

E2 claims to be a 'community', and if so, then I propose that it should take on board the principles of Natural Justice that apply in the wider community.

In particular, I believe the following idea's could be used as a beginning.

1. No automatic nuking unless the writer has been prior notified, and had the ability to rectify or defend the write-up.

2. In the case of material with legal implications (copyright, defamation, sub judice), and the site is bound to act on 'outside' instructions (legal advice/threat, court order), then Natural Justice in the wider community applies, and the decision is out of the hands of the editors.

3. That if possible, no post should be nuked without a 'seconder', ie another editor's approval. Perhaps a two stage process. Nuke, and then have the post submitted to the 'Nuke Pool', where some-one else has to nuke it.

4. Prior opinions and rectifications of the write-up must be taken into account. This may take some additions to the codebase to allow editors opinions to be associated with the post.

5. Serial offenders may lose some or all rights.

6. {Optional}. Right of appeal. E2 already has a quasi method for this. You can always resubmit the article, however, in the absence of Natural Justice, it can be summarily nuked again.

The problem with procedural fairness is that it can become a time consuming exercise, and hence the popularity in some minds for summary justice.

Unfortunately, summary justice generally creates more evils than it corrects, though, in extreme cases it must be considered.

However, I do not believe E2 can be said to be in a 'State of Emmergency', and that the kind of summary justice that it executes is both unfair and harmful to the community it serves.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.