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The role of the Ombudsman is established by the following articles of the Charter:
Article 28: The Ombudsman shall be elected by a simple majority of the voting citizenry during the same election period as the Citizendium Council. Any Citizen in good standing may be nominated for the position, and all valid, accepted nominations must appear on the ballot.
- The role of the Ombudsman is a) to offer guidance on existing policy and its interpretation to help resolve disputes b) to advise the Council and c) settle disputes, including imposing interim solutions pending relevant policy decisions. Throughout, the Ombudsman's guidance is expected to be in accord with the established principles and policies of Citizendium, and particularly with the Charter. The Ombudsman is available to mediate any dispute.
- The Ombudsman mediates a dispute when requested by all involved parties or when requested by the Chief Constable. Agreements worked out through mediation shall be binding but may be appealed.
Article 40: Whenever possible, disputes shall be settled informally at the lowest possible level by subject matter Editors. Specifically, the following shall apply:
- Any party involved in a dispute may contact the Ombudsman for assistance in dispute resolution.
- When a formal decision on content disputes or disputes involving violation of the rules is necessary or demanded, the Ombudsman shall facilitate the presentation of the issue to the Citizendium Council.
- All Citizens shall have the right to a fair hearing, which shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following: the opportunity to present one's case in one's defense, the right to be heard by a fair and unprejudiced body, the right to have others offer testimony on one's behalf.
- The Citizendium Council may impose sanctions that result in blocking a citizen's access to Citizendium, removing or altering content, or terminating the citizen. The Citizendium Council may from time to time devise additional sanctions as appropriate.
- Citizens shall not have arbitrary or excessive sanctions imposed upon them.
Article 44: The Citizendium Council shall create a procedure allowing for dispute resolution to be heard privately. Privately heard disputes forfeit their right to appeal on technical grounds, although an appeal will still be possible upon discovery of new information.
- In some cases, either at the discretion of the adjudicating council or at the request of a disputant, part of a public dispute resolution process may be removed from public view. Such an exception shall require public justification by the Ombudsman.