The Rebel Squadrons Bylaws are the foundation of the RS itself. Among other things, this written document lays down the foundation for RS Judicary Procedures.
The Rebel Squadrons Bylaws
Section 5 - Judiciary Procedures
5.1 Judicial Overview
The Council of Justice (CoJ) is the chief judicial body of the Rebel Squadrons. The appointment and membership of the CoJ is governed by Section 2.4 of these bylaws. The CoJ exists to resolve complaints that cannot be appropriately resolved through the Chain of Command and to ensure that the foundational principles of the Rebel Squadrons are upheld throughout the organization.
5.2 The Code of Conduct
The CoJ shall publish, with the consent of the Fleet Commander, a code of conduct for Rebel Squadrons members consistent with H.I.E.R. and historical precedent. This code of conduct may be amended from time to time, and should describe what actions are considered misconduct and what appropriate sanctions are for these actions. This code of conduct will be used by members at all levels to appropriately respond to instances of misconduct.
5.3 Authority to Enact Judicial Sanctions
Officers in the Chain of Command are empowered, by virtue of their office, to enact appropriate judicial sanctions against members below them in the Chain of Command. Such an exercise of judicial authority will be in accordance with the code of conduct published by the CoJ.
This authority may also be delegated by the Fleet Commander to members of the Executive Staff, consistent with Section 2 of these bylaws. In such cases, the Executive Staff member is exercising the Fleet Commander’s authority to enact judicial sanctions.
The Fleet Commander, as the highest officer in the Chain of Command, may only be sanctioned judicially by the members of the CoJ. Such sanctions may only occur as the outcome of a formal complaint and investigation.
5.4 Judicial Complaints and Jurisdiction
Any member of the Rebel Squadrons may file a formal complaint against another member, alleging violation of Rebel Squadrons policies and regulations. Such complaints are always resolved at the lowest level possible in the Chain of Command.
Officers in the Chain of Command are empowered, by virtue of their office, to investigate and resolve complaints in which both parties are below said officer in the Chain of Command. However, officers should decline to review complaints that, in their judgment, have not been addressed appropriately by a lower level of the Chain of Command, and should instead refer the complaint to the appropriate level.
If an officer feels that they cannot impartially decide a judicial case for any reason, they should refer that case to the next step in the Chain of Command. If the Fleet Commander feels that they cannot impartially decide a judicial case for any reason, they should refer that case to the CoJ.
When violations of Rebel Squadrons policies and regulations are alleged to occur in a formal complaint, an investigation will be conducted by the appropriate officer in the Chain of Command (as described above), who serves as hearing officer. The standard sequence of events when a complaint is received is the following:
- The officer who initially receives the complaint determines whether they are an appropriate hearing officer, based on the Chain of Command. If they are, they may accept the complaint; if they are not, they should refer the case to the appropriate level.
- Once the appropriate hearing officer has received the complaint, they must contact the accuser, informing them that they will be serving as hearing officer. The accused is contacted simultaneously and informed that they have been named in a complaint, what the charges are, and the identity of the accuser.
- The hearing officer conducts an investigation, gathers additional evidence and testimony from members who were involved, and reaches a finding. Once a finding has been made, all parties in the case and the CoJ must be notified. When appropriate, the CoJ will also notify High Command and Fleet Commander of the outcome of the case.
- The hearing officer must release a finding and, if appropriate, sanctions, within a reasonable time frame after contacting the accused and accuser. If additional time beyond what would be considered reasonable is needed, the hearing officer should notify the CoJ and the parties in the case of the delay. All cases should be processed in a reasonable amount of time given the nature of the case and the parties involved.
For any case or appeal that reaches the CoJ, the CoJ shall reach a decision by a simple majority vote of the current member body. Abstentions are not permitted.
All members have the right to appeal an unfavorable judicial decision or action against them. Such appeals are made to the next level in the Chain of Command above the officer whose decision is being appealed. Appeals on the decisions of the Fleet Commander are made to the CoJ.
In the rare circumstance where the CoJ has made or upheld a decision to permanently expel a member from the club, the expelled member may bring one final appeal to the High Command and Fleet Commander. High Command may reverse the decision of the CoJ in such a situation, but only with a 75% majority and the concurrence of the Fleet Commander.
5.7 Interpretation of the Bylaws
The CoJ, in its role as chief judicial body of the Rebel Squadrons, shall serve as a resource for the High Command and the Fleet Commander regarding the interpretation of the bylaws. When disputes may arise on the proper interpretation or understanding of the bylaws, the CoJ may upon request determine the correct interpretation of the bylaws.
5.8 Recordkeeping and Confidentiality
The CoJ will keep a detailed database of all reported judicial actions and decisions by every level of the Chain of Command, to record precedent and provide a database for use against repeat or grievous offenders.
The outcome of any formal complaint is to be considered non-confidential and published accordingly on the main website. Discussion and deliberation among members of the CoJ, or among a hearing officer and other levels of the Chain of Command, are absolutely privileged and will not be divulged except with the express consent of all parties involved.
5.9 Standards of Conduct
Because the Rebel Squadrons deals with a diverse number of people within a wide range of age, geographical location, cultures and sense of social acceptability, the actions that will require official attention are diverse. All officers shall strive to govern their judicial decisions in accordance with the mission statement of the RS to the full extent of his or her abilities at all times.
The Rebel Squadrons is an organization of high standards. Accordingly, there are certain restrictions which all members are bound by, regardless of rank or position.
Members must comply with the code of conduct, as discussed above, at any time when they are engaging in club activities or representing the club.
Members must refrain from ever engaging in non-fictional acts of aggression or antagonism against any other online organization, for any reason. “Espionage”, “spying”, “hacking” of websites, and “infiltration” of rival clubs is entirely unacceptable.
Finally, members must refrain from creating a hostile or unwelcoming environment for any other member through their actions or communications. Given the diverse background of the Rebel Squadrons, all members must respect and mutually tolerate the differences of others in the organization.