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Arbitration Committee

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

On Wikimedia Foundation projects, an Arbitration Committee (sometimes abbreviated as "ArbCom") is a small group of trusted users who serve as a means of dispute resolution that have been initiated on some individual Wikimedia Foundation projects. Rulings, policies and procedures differ between projects depending on local and cultural contexts. According to the Wikimedia Terms of Use, users are not obliged to have a dispute solved by an ArbCom.[1] The first Wikimedia project to use an arbitration committee was the Swedish Wikipedia.[2] The English Wikipedia ArbCom was created by Jimmy Wales as an extension of the decision-making power he formerly held as CEO of site-owner Bomis Inc., to take over his role in resolving complex disputes between users.[3] Arbitration Committees are now used on 12 Wikipedia versions.


Committees typically have five to fifteen members, who are known as Arbitrators. Terms vary in length, with some as long as three years.

Projects with Arbitration Committees[edit]

Wikipedia projects[edit]

Project Native name Established E-mail Private wiki Notes
cs – Czech Arbitrážní výbor 2006 arbcom-cs@lists.wikimedia.org arbcom-cs.wikipedia.org
de – German Schiedsgericht 2007 arbcomde-l@lists.wikimedia.org arbcom-de.wikipedia.org
en – English Arbitration Committee 2004 arbcom-en@wikimedia.org arbcom-en.wikipedia.org
fa – Persian هیئت نظارت 2010 Limited purview, mainly a supervisory council for complaints against admins
fi – Finnish Välityslautakunta 2007 arbcom-fi.wikipedia.org
fr – French Comité d'arbitrage 2013 car-fr-l@lists.wikimedia.org No arbitrators elected in last elections. Inactive until next elections.
hu – Hungarian Wikitanács 2009
it – Italian Commissione arbitrale 2024 wikipedia-it-arbcom@lists.wikimedia.org wikipedia-it-arbcom.wikimedia.org Only deals with appeals to block following a community procedure for problematic users (note: this procedure applies also to admins and could lead to deflag) and complaints regarding the UCoC enforcement
nl – Dutch Arbitragecommissie 2007 arbcom-nl@lists.wikimedia.org arbcom-nl.wikipedia.org
pl – Polish Komitet Arbitrażowy 2007 wikipedia-pl-arbcom@lists.wikimedia.org
ru – Russian Арбитражный комитет 2005 arbcom-ru@wikimedia.org arbcom-ru.wikipedia.org New every half-a-year
uk – Ukrainian Арбітражний комітет 2009

Projects with inactive, trial or dissolved Arbitration Committees[edit]

Wikipedia versions
  • Arabic (inactive)
  • Bulgarian (there is a page on arbitration policy; an ArbCom hasn't been established yet)
  • Croatian (inactive)
    • (First version) An ArbCom that was proposed (and discussed) in May 2007, never reached consensus
    • (Second version) Existed from 7 June 2009 to 23 January 2010
  • Spanish (dissolved April 2009)
  • Korean (No arbitrators elected since December 2015, arbcom function suspended as of 18 March 2017.)
  • Occitan (A setting up was proposed in 2006, an election has been planned in December 2008 but was never realized)
  • Portuguese (dissolved January 2012)
  • Swedish (inactive)
  • Slovenian (deleted, with a redirect to Wikipedija:Mediacija). The page exists only as a framework for eventual setting up. The mediation wasn't needed so far, so the rules for the election process haven't been established yet.
  • Thai (term expired in January 2016, no elections held since)
Wikivoyage versions
Wikinews versions

See also[edit]


  1. "Wikimedia Terms of Use - # 13 Disputes and Jurisdictions". Archived from the original on March 18, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2022. 
  2. Hoffman, David A.; Salil Mehra (2010). "Wikitruth Through Wikiorder". Emory Law Journal 59 (2010). SSRN 1354424. 
  3. Wales, Jimmy (December 4, 2003). "[WikiEN-l] Wikiquette committee appointments". lists.wikimedia.org. Wikimedia Foundation. Archived from the original on June 29, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2022.