Dispute Resolution Process revision

Lately, I’ve been working on improving our Dispute Resolution Process, and I would like to share it with everyone else so that we can get some feedback from the community. We must ensure that the parties’ right to Due Process is respected at all times, and therefore, some modifications were needed to the original Dispute Resolution Process. Click here for the linked markdown file with the potential modifications. Remember that this is still a work in progress, so I am bringing it to the forum for further discussion.


Extension for Time Windows

Even though the default time window shall remain as 5 days doe Evidence Submission and 4 days for the Outcome Proposal, it would be reasonable to allow the parties to agree to an extension in their Agreement. This has to be agreed upon before there’s a dispute, and we would also set a limit (in this case, 21 days/3 weeks) just so that the Process remains efficient and we don’t waste our judge’s time. So if the parties don’t state the Time Windows before entering the Nation3 Agreement, we use the default option, and if they exceed the 21-day limit, we’ll go with 14 days for Evidence Submission and 7 days for Outcome Proposal.

Evidence Submission Process

This is mainly related to comms, skiff should remain our default means for communications with the parties, but we should also allow parties to specify what other means they would like to be contacted through in their agreement. This is because we don’t want only individuals to engage in Nation3 Agreements but also DAOs or multisigs, making it a bit more difficult for them to use a Skiff account since it has to be linked to an Ethereum address.


This is straightforward; @Matt_AlfalfaOrSpanky made the very valid point that we should mention that the language used in our disputes shall be English. This might feel unnecessary since the Constitution already states that the official language of Nation3 is English, but I think we have to be very explicit about it being used for our Supreme Court as well. We could have courts in other languages once we implement a sub-court system.

Appeal Process

Appeals should only proceed if they are related to procedural issues, as those stated in the link provided in the summary (like deadlines not being met by the judges, lack of notification, corruption, etc.), instead of anything related to the substance of the dispute. This is similar to how judges could only annul an award based on procedural issues in traditional courts, and it also goes in hand with the idea that an award/decision should be final - after all, we want to create a more efficient court. However, I’m very open to feedback since this part feels the most contentious, or at least in its current state.

Let me know what you all think! :balance_scale::smile:


Thank you for your work here.

Regarding appeals: I think we need something like
f. The ruling unproportionally undermines the values of our constitution.
g. The verdict violates proportionality regarding the subject of dispute.

I furthermore think, that c. shouldn’t be an appeal, but a separate case at the court.

Appeals should only proceed if they are related to procedural issues, as those stated in the link provided in the summary (like deadlines not being met by the judges, lack of notification, corruption, etc.), instead of anything related to the substance of the dispute.

I think that would be a wise decision for now.

I am skeptical towards the forum approach. a and e seem a bit difficult to me. This seems to contradict to confidentially approach. b is difficult as well, as it’s pretty much the least exiting thing we could vote on. I think we should work towards two different chambers to handle the appeals of each other.

Having the complete nation voting on issues regularly can have weird implications.
We want to establish a strict, coherent and predictable structure of law. General votes aren’t best for that. There are always politics involved. I’d like to limit political influence in our court system as much as possible.

The part that is unclear to me: When a appeal successful: We hand it back to to original judge to pass a new verdict? Apart from c and d ofc.

I’d like to have something, that says “we want our judges to regularly use X as a means to execute their verdicts”. So participants have an idea about the scale of measures to except before signing the initial contract.

The important piece here, is to offer certainty and predictability to all citizens wanting to sign a contract. Jurisdiction is a service we provide to our citizens, which most notably includes the peace of mind. The piece of mind is in some cases more important than the short term economic benefits.

Just my 2 cents. :slight_smile:

Edit: There should be some cost to failed appeals. So nobody abuses it.


Hey @RealityHedge - you referenced “f.”, “g.”, “b”, “c”, and “d” in your post as different approaches. I’m not sure what the source of information for those separate lettered approaches is. Would you kindly provide some more clarity here?

Your point about avoiding popular DAO votes in the appeal process is a good one. What other process would you recommend in lieu of a popular DAO vote?

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the cases we are mainly talking about now are those for money damages and with amounts posted in escrow. These have fact patterns generally like, “A and B agreed B would prepare X for A and A would pay $Y to B for B’s preparation of X. B [prepared or didn’t prepare] X, so should A have to pay B $Y? Or Is A entitled to some or all of $Y because B didn’t prepare X or messed up the preparation of X?”

I don’t think these kinds of disputes generally require any further remand or factfinding process, so I think we can likely avoid that for now.

Note quite sure what you mean by this… would you mind providing some further clarification?

Agreed there should be a cost for failed appeals.

1 Like

@ Matt_AlfalfaOrSpanky
I took the letter from the proposal, section Appeal Process paragraph 1.

a. Deadlines not being respected by the Judges.
b. Parties weren’t notified properly.
c. If one of the Judges leaks confidential information.
d. If one of the Parties has evidence that one of the Judges was biased or bribed.
e. Parties didn’t have the opportunity to present their case.

The simple exchange of tokens and services should make up for more than 99 % of transactions for now. If not all. And this proposal can be finished with this case in mind.

I don’t think I agree though. There are adjacent discussions to be had. Especially if posted escrow is deemed insignificant. Excluding people from our (not yet existing) marketplace could be a method. Or even publishing their address publicly as fraudulent.

I spend some more time thinking about this. The more I think about this, the more I understand, that I want a court of appeal. Not a more supreme one. Just one, that guards the proper proceedings. I’m going to call this court of proceedings from now on. One that never administers the case itself. But only guards the principles, that should govern our main court.

In the case of c and d it needs to be modified slightly. We probably want to trigger a DAO vote on replacement of the judge in that case. But in general I envision a process like this:

  1. The parties can file a complaint, depositing a collateral to protect from pointless appeals (1 $NATION?). There can only be filed under the following grounds:
    a. Deadlines were not respected by the Judges.
    b. Parties were not notified properly.
    c. At least one of the Judges leaked confidential information.
    d. One of the Judges was biased or bribed.
    e. Parties did not have the opportunity to present their case or the Judges omitted submitted evidence.
    f. The ruling unproportionally undermines the values of our constitution.
    g. The verdict violates proportionality regarding the subject of dispute.

A appeal must clearly state, which single one of the above cases it’s based on. There might be multiple appeals under different of the above cases for the same court case.
If the appeal is suspensive, unless it’s filed under c. There is a period of two days for appeals, after that the judgement shall be executed. If the appeal is made at a later point in time, the appeals is still valid.
[Example: The evidence, that our judge was bribed, may only have appeared later.
The original judgement may be carried out at that point. So reimbursement can’t be guaranteed, even if the appeal is successful.]
2. The courts of proceedings has 2 days to preliminary accept or decline the appeal. The court shall only check, whether the claim is of any substance.
We want to guarantee the timely execution, if there is no evidence of any wrongdoing. If the case is rejected as being without substance, the collateral is slashed.
The reason of the appeal may be changed by the court of appeal, if the appeal is misclassified.
The appeal might be rejected as duplicate. If so, the court of appeal may choose to slash or reimburse the collateral as it sees fit. We don’t want to punish our citizens for misclicks, they cause cause significant additional work.
3. If the case is accepted, an appeal proceeding takes place.
Both parties as well as the original judges can present evidence. The default Evidence Submission Time Window applies, regardless of the Evidence Submission Time Window for the original case.
4. If the appeal is rejected after the fact phase, the collateral is slashed.
If the appeal is at least partially accepted, the collateral is reimbursed.
In that case the court of appeal can trigger any following at it’s own discretion:

  • If the appeal was filed under a, b, e, f or g, the case may be remitted to the original court. The case is reopened as new in that case.
  • If the complaint was filed under d, the case may be remitted to different Judges of the original court. The case is reopened as new in that case.
  • If the appeal was filed under c or d, a reelection of any of the Judges in question may be triggered.
  • If the appeal was filed under f, a shortened reasonably anonymized version of the violation may be published in the forum, if it’s deemed relevant for the cohesion of the understanding of our constitution.

Even if the appeal is valid, none of the above are required.
[Example: The Judges might have unduly evidence under e, which is too insignificant to reopen the original case. This might be case, if stronger evidence for the same factual claim was admitted. The Judges shall be informed and admonished for more diligence. The collateral gets reimbursed, but the case is not reopened based on the complaint.]

Someone, who served on the court of appeals, shall not be allowed to become a normal judge later. I think we need that to prevent collusion.

I don’t think this is prefect by any means. But I think it sets a good baseline, such that appeals are possible and handled in a decent fashion, without breaking underlying promises significantly. While keeping the process smooth and quick in the normal case.


PS: Less relevant sidetrack:

I don’t even think, I’d agree to this. Let me make an example: B advertises his great expertise. A decides to hire him based on the displayed expertise. After the output is done, A is unhappy about the quality of the work. A gathers evidence of fraudulent statements and presents a case.
Fact finding can be very useful.

I still agree we should avoid that for now. We should care about the low hanging fruits right now.

I do think there is a discussion to be had here, but that doesn’t belong in this thread. This tread is already complex enough.

Edit: Broken format.

Thank you so much for the feedback, I agree that the appeal system is currently the weakest part of the DR process. Using the DAO to solve it isn’t ideal, it was just a short-term solution we had thought of - since as you mentioned, nobody wants DAO politics to get involved in the outcome of the dispute. So another alternative could be to have a jury system for the appeal court, where we select random Nation3 Citizens from a pool of voluntaries (that would be compensated for their “jury duty”), which will then determine if the appeal should be accepted or not. This is the reason why i also want appeals to be focused on procedural + objective issues instead of the substance of the dispute - the Court’s decision shall be final unless it really vulnerated due process.

I agree we should include appeals for cases such as unconstitutional rulings, but about The verdict violates proportionality regarding the subject of dispute., i think this is a bit subjective, and maybe shouldn’t be appealable - especially since parties would have to disclose information related to the subject of the dispute.

Those are just some thoughts, still working on this, so I appreciate all the feedback ~ btw, check out @0xGallego’s comments about this on discord

I am generally a huge fan of randomly chosen judges.
Just based on pure practicality, I don’t think this will work out. In my experience some users tend to be more active than others. And I really don’t want the process to stall, just because some user didn’t read the memo. That seems like the worst thing, that could happen.

I totally agree here.

It is subjective. Most things we handle are. That is kind of the nature of what we are trying to capture with the court. If they weren’t, we could just make it a smart contract.

I think two things should be appealable:

  1. the court did check proportionality
  2. the court did consider the outcome of that during the judgement

This is a procedural issue, not a material one.

Let me make an example, why I think this is important.

C tasks B with building a web application and corresponding smart contracts, that should be executable by entering the data in the form and signing it off.
After the agreed time frame something is delivered, but C is unhappy with the result and takes B to court.

It turns out the smart contract part is missing and just a nice looking web application was delivered. The court rules in favor of C, that the money should be returned to C.

I want B to be able to make an appeal based on proportionality. Because the court was so preoccupied with finding whether the product has material issues. Which it clearly has. It just didn’t check, to which degree the service was delivered. And whether there would be a (probably much lower) payment warranted.
The court of appeal obviously would never decide about what is proportional. That is actual complex work. The court of appeal just reproves the original court and hands back the case. The original court should do the job.

If the original court would have checked and came to conclusion, that

  1. the smart contract was according to the specification the more relevant work
  2. the documentation of the frontend is bad. And therefore the frontend is unusable from an economic standpoint.

So it concludes even though it acknowledges, that some work was done. But that C should be fully reimbursed, anyways for above reasons.
B will just as unhappy with the outcome. But proper procedures were followed, so there is no ground for an appeal.
Obviously the original court can also come to the above conclusion after the appeal was made and the case has been handed back.

I hope this example demonstrates, why I think this is important.