Wikipedia:Charter of the Council of Wikipedia

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This page is meant as a supplementary document to the proposal WP:The need for coordination. Discussion on the Council of Wikipedia proposed on that page should take place on that page's talk page, not this page's talk page.

We the editors of Wikipedia, do hereby adopt this document and proclaim it to be the Charter for the Council of Wikipedia, created in order to improve coordination across the encyclopedia, pass necessary regulations to facilitate this coordination, and continue to improve the content and procedures of the world's largest encyclopedia.

I. Composition and Election of the Council
A. Membership of the Council
  1. The Council shall consist of two members for each participating content WikiProject, seven for WikiProject Maintenance, and no fewer than eight for an Unaffiliated Candidates Constituency.
    • The WikiProjects which will send members to the Council of Wikipedia in its first session shall be:
    • Membership criteria shall be as follows, and shall be observed by all WikiProject members; members in noncompliance shall be suspended until they comply, or if more than three months are required, expelled and required to reapply:
    • All listed WikiProjects must maintain an official list of members of the project, all subprojects, all members of all subprojects, whether each listed account has or has not made an edit in the past thirty days, and maintain an official activity status.
    • The project and all subprojects contain a combined minimum of two hundred fifty members who have made an edit in the past thirty days.
    • The project covers a broad area of human knowledge, not classifiable under any other category less broad than the sum total of human knowledge and experience.
    • WikiProject Maintenance shall have a number of seats fixed at seven, a number unmodifiable by actions of the Council. It shall be composed of projects devoted not to specific content areas, but to cleaning up and copyediting of articles, as well as hosting requests for the creation of articles.
    • The Unaffiliated Candidates Constituency shall have no fewer than eight seats, but this number may be increased by statute.
  2. Upon its election, the Council shall choose a nonmember Clerk in order to maintain its records and to bear the seal of the Council.
  3. One member shall be chosen as the Chairman of the Council, in order to facilitate its business as per Council procedural rules.
  4. All WikiProject members of the Council and the Unaffiliated Candidates Constituency shall have Work Groups, which may be a part of existing administrative structures, in order to certify that candidates meet the qualifications set forth in section (B) of this article.
B. Selection Procedure
  1. Those standing for selection to the Council must meet the following requirements:
    • They have been autoconfirmed, have made at least 2,500 edits to Wikipedia of a non-automated manner and excluding the creation of redirect pages. One thousand of these edits, also of a non-automated manner and excluding redirects, must be made in the namespace for articles.
    • They are in good standing on Wikipedia and have been nominated for the task by at least one other editor.
    • They are not party to any case on the dockets of either the Arbitration of Mediation Committees, or which is currently being heard before either.
    • They are not currently blocked or banned for any reason.
    • They have not been blocked or banned during the past year, unless the block was found to be made in error and revoked.
    • They are not members of the Arbitration or Mediation Committees, or any subcommittees thereof.
    • If they are administrators or bureaucrats on the encyclopedia, they agree to resign the position upon their election to the Council.
  2. Debates to decide the best candidate shall take place officially for fifteen days, beginning on May 15 of each year, although pre- and post-debate activities shall be permitted on designated pages.
  3. The candidate who is ultimately chosen as a member of the Council shall be selected by consensus, which shall be determined by a conference of the Work Groups for all member projects and countersigned by five uninvolved administrators.
    • Debates shall take place on one page, named as per the syntax Wikipedia:Council of Wikipedia/[year] Selection debates/Constituency [constituency number]
    • Users shall first register to vote on a page named Wikipedia:Council of Wikipedia/Voter registration, be verified as qualified to vote by an automated system as autoconfirmed users who have not faced unrevoked blocks or bans in the past six months, and if the verification process recognizes the user as qualified to vote, all users shall be bot-sorted into randomized constituencies of approximately equal population.
    • Candidates must choose a constituency to run for before the sorting of users into constituencies takes place for the election.
  4. The newly elected Council members shall take office on the fifteenth of June, and shall hold office for a term of one Gregorian year. Terms are only renewable once.
  5. Should there be a vacancy in the office of a Councillor, by blocks or bans for malicious behavior, by impeachment of the member for misconduct, by resignation from the Council or departure from Wikipedia entirely, or through the Councillor's death or incapacitation, and when this vacancy occurs fewer than forty-five days and more than ten days remain until elections for new Councillors, the Council shall choose by consensus a successor.
    • Members of the Council may be impeached for violating this Charter, the policies of Wikipedia, or the administrative directives of the Council. All cases against Council members shall be brought before the Arbitration Committee.
    • Should more than forty-five days remain in the term of a Councillor, a special election, which shall last five days from the date the vacancy is made known, is to be called in the constituency whose council seat is vacant.
    • Should fewer than ten days remain in the absent councillor's term, the seat shall be left vacant until the general election fills it.
    • Should any replacement Councillor serve for more than ninety days, they shall be considered to have served a full term, and may only be re-elected once.
  6. In order to assume office, a Councillor-elect must take the following oath: "I solemnly swear (affirm) to faithfully discharge the duties of a member of the Council of Wikipedia to the best of my abilities, and to adhere to the Charter of the Council of Wikipedia, the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia, and the rulings of the Arbitration Committee and the Mediation Committee."
II. Powers and Responsibilities of the Council
A. Legislative Powers
  1. The Council shall serve as a legislative body alongside the process of community consensus.
  2. The legislative powers of the Council shall be as follows:
    • To promulgate resolutions calling for action on a given area of Wikipedia.
    • To pass secondary regulations in order to implement or enforce existing Wikipedia policies.
    • To promulgate policies regarding enforcement, and guidelines for editing, naming, content, and behavior, with the exception of the Wikipedia Manual of Style and all subpages thereof.
    • To commission reports and studies on the state of Wikipedia.
    • To perform actions which it is empowered to do under Wikipedia policies and guidelines.
    • To modify its own procedures of operation.
  3. In order to be considered a resolution, a legislative document passed by the Council must not conflict with Wikipedia policy and perform at least one of the following functions:
    • Start programs and begin initiatives to improve the content of Wikipedia.
    • Issue directives to ensure that content policies are being complied with.
    • Issue requests for editors to participate in a given program.
    • Implement proposals, whether or not listed on the Wikipedia Proposal Village Pump and the Idea Lab Village Pump, but at a maximum rate of two per month unilaterally; the rest must be approved by community consensus.
    • Create support offices of the Council of Wikipedia in order to facilitate the implementation of the documents it passes, but only as much as is necessary for implementation. Any office created by the Council may be disbanded by community consensus.
    • Honor, commend, pardon, or award individual users or groups up to ten at a time, or create honorary orders, but which shall not give any permissions on Wikipedia to any given user.
    • Commission a report on Wikipedia.
    • Expand or elaborate upon resolutions performing the actions above.
  4. In order to qualify as a secondary or administrative regulation, a legislative document must not disrupt or stop the workings of community-based enforcement avenues perform one of the following actions:
    • Specifically implement a given Wikipedia policy(ies), or otherwise have its provisions authorized by Wikipedia civility, enforcement, and editor conduct policy or guidelines, and specifically reference the policy(ies) under which the regulation derives its legitimacy.
    • Perform actions implementing or as authorized by the rulings of the Arbitration Committee or Mediation Committee.
  5. Reports may contain findings of fact and recommendations for future actions by any body, but may not:
    • Function in and of themselves as resolutions, administrative regulations, or policies of any sort.
    • Serve as binding in any way upon the actions of present and future Councils or upon the editing of editors.
  6. Modifications to Council procedural rules may not:
    • Restrict the right of any member of the Council to make statements of a non-disruptive character.
    • Restrict voting rights within the Council of any Council.
  7. No actions of the Council may violate the rulings of the Arbitration Committee, Wikipedia policy where it does not have jurisdiction, or this Charter, and should any editor feel that the Council is acting in violation of these documents, the editor may bring their case immediately before the Arbitration Committee.
  8. The Council shall take no ex post facto actions, and neither shall it create documents of attainder.
B. Council Procedure
  1. In order for a document listed under section (A) of this article to become valid, it must be made public in its entirety and all reasonable pathways of dissemination, including specifically the pages of member WikiProjects, the Wikipedia Signpost, and on its own pages, must be used.
  2. Documents shall be categorized under a Council of Wikipedia Code based on their status under this Charter and under Wikipedia policy, as well as the subjects to which their provisions pertain; and policies and guidelines should also be categorized on the list of policies and list of guidelines respectively.
  3. Cases regarding deliberate miscategorization to circumvent the requirements of this Charter may be brought before the Arbitration Committee.
  4. The proceedings of the Council shall be made completely public and disseminated as legislative actions would be.
  5. In order for a document to be passed by the Council:
    • A consensus must be reached to a level commensurate to how much impact the document will create, and what type of document authorized under section (A) it is.
    • Following the attainment of consensus, at least fifty percent of council members must vote in favor of a resolution, sixty percent in favor of an administrative regulation or procedural rule, and seventy-five percent in favor of a policy or guideline.
    • For a report to be declared valid, the resolution commissioning it must have attained a consensus and reached the required vote threshold.
  6. Consensus shall be determined by the President, and countersigned by the Clerk of the Council and two uninvolved administrators, who may only countersign five times per month each.
  7. Following the attainment of consensus, a vote count shall be taken to measure whether a Council motion has passed the required vote threshold.
  8. In order to certify that the proper procedures, both as prescribed in this Charter and in the procedural rules of the Council, have been followed to make a document valid, the Clerk of the Council shall affix the Seal of the Council to the document, which at that point shall become effective upon the date which the document prescribes.
III. Amendment Process and Assorted Provisions
  1. Amendments shall take place by at-large community referendum, where seventy percent of all those voting must vote in favor of the amendment to make it valid upon the amendment's effective date.
  2. At least sixty percent of all Wikipedia community editors, who meet the following qualifications, must actually vote in order for an amendment vote to be valid:
    • Who have made at least one edit in the past thirty days, and
    • Are registered to vote
  3. A vigorous debate must have taken place on the constitutional amendment, and all sides of the issue have been examined unless there is near-unanimous or unanimous approval or disapproval of the amendment, and consensus has been established in this debate either in favor of or against the amendment.
  4. This article of the Charter of the Council of Wikipedia may not be amended through any process.
  5. The Charter of the Council of Wikipedia may itself not be sidestepped using a defense based on "Ignore All Rules."