This case resulted from the merging of several Arbitration requests on the same topic into a single case, and the failure of a related request for comment to make headway. Innovations have been introduced for this case, including special rules of conduct that were put in place at the start. However, the handling of the case has been criticized by some participants; for example, although the evidence and workshop pages were closed for an extended period, no proposals were posted on the proposed decision page and participants were prevented from further discussing their case on the case pages (see earlier Signpost coverage).
The proposed decision, drafted by Newyorkbrad, Risker, and Rlevse, sparked a large quantity of unstructured discussion, much of it comprising concerns about the proposed decision (see earlier Signpost coverage). A number of users, including participants and arbitrator Carcharoth, made the discussion more structured, but the quantity of discussion has continued to increase significantly. Rlevse had said that arbitrators were trying to complete the proposed decision before September 6, but it was later made clear that he will no longer be voting on this decision. This week, arbitrators made further additions to the proposed decision and further attempts to manage the quantity of discussion.
Before discretionary sanctions can be imposed on an editor, the editor is required to be "given a warning advising of the problems with his or her editing". Additionally, where appropriate, the editor should be "counseled on specific steps that he or she can take to improve" his or her editing. The exception to this requirement is where there is "gross misconduct".
Littleolive oil filed a clarification request regarding this requirement and asked that the revert restriction that was imposed on her by Future Perfect at Sunrise be overturned by the Committee. A few users characterised the request as “forum shopping” and arbitrator Corenalleged that it was “not a request for clarification...but an appeal/protest.” However, the filer stated that the clarification fundamentally affects the restriction and that the Committee should stand by its statements - that discretionary sanctions may be appealed to the Committee.
The "standard" sanctions have changed to some extent every time that the Committee has used them, so they're hardly standard. As the wording on that page changes, editors in affected areas will have no way of knowing that the "rules" have changed. This will also lead to disputes about whether the current wording of the so-called standard discretionary sanctions, or the one in effect at the time of the decision, will hold sway. [Even with announcements of changes]...sanctions cover hundreds of pages and potentially apply to thousands of editors. Most of them don't watch WP:AN or the village pumps, and even fewer of them watch arbitration pages.
In light of the clarification, the filer suggested the Committee keep the existing discretionary sanctions wording for this case because it “clearly defines the criteria” making it “easier to determine if the criteria has been met or not”. Recently, she also asked the Committee whether she will need to file another case to deal with the "allegations of wrongdoing" and editors that were "improperly sanctioned".