On 22 October 2015 at 18:09, WereSpielChequers <werespielchequers@gmail.com> wrote:
Another option is to invest in training arbs and functionaries. Both on technical training - if Sarah and Kevin are right re the Lightbreather case then it may just be that they didn't know how to get or read the evidence; Also they could be given the sort of training that UK magistrates go on. Question to Risker, what sort of training do they currently undertake?

In theory, the community selects as arbitrators individuals whom it believs have already demonstrated sound judgment in handling disputes or other problematic situations. In past years, it has had a plethora of choices; however, as the pool of people who are pretty good at this sort of stuff has diminished - either the editors who are good at it are not interested in doing it full-time, or they simply don't exist in the numbers they used to - we've seen an increasing number of arbitrators being selected who may be fine Wikipedians but they're just not really suited, or they've been carefully building their careers to this point.  Being able to make decisions is important. One of the best arbitrators Wikipedia ever had was Wizardman - and he was also one of the least appreciated, despite the fact that he was almost always on time, his proposed decisions were bang on, and there was almost never any chit-chat in the background about the cases he wrote. 
The reality is that there's no training provided to new arbitrators. In years past, we had developed an orientation program (I do not know if it is still in existence) that went through very basic stuff.  But you have to keep in mind that historically, as far back as I can remember, most "new" arbitrator candidates campaign on the idea of "changing" arbcom in various ways.  The problem is that almost none of them want to change it in the same way, and it gets deadlocked just the way that things get deadlocked onwiki.  There is one topic that one or two arbitrators have been chasing for a long, long time, but have been unwilling to bend in their own personal vision so it has never been effectively resolved.  I worked very hard during my last term to try to get out of the mailing list system and move to a case-based CRM system  but it was adamantly opposed by one colleague and most of the rest simply didn't care enough about the issue to come out one way or the other - so arbcom is still stuck in that same circle.  In other words, Arbcom does in a lot of ways reflect the community it "serves" - amateurs at what they're discussing, with difficulty achieving consensus on any kind of change, and with the same sort of problems of dominating editors turning off those who have no strong opinions on matters.