The DAO Court Internal Rules and Guidelines (IRG) seeks to establish internal processes and controls for the DAO Court in the discharge of its constitutional functions and duties to the DAO and its membership.
In any group organization, whether decentralized or not, conflicts and disputes are inevitable and, arguably, crucial to progress.
The main rationale for the creation of the DAO Court is to ensure that all intra-DAO disputes are managed and resolved internally, as much as possible, and without the need of intervention of traditional courts and arbitral bodies. This is in line with the DAO’s vision of becoming a truly decentralized organization capable of managing its own affairs.
The DAO Court serves the same function as a judiciary in a traditional governmental system. As a judicial organ, there are certain powers and functions that it needs to exercise to be able to perform its role properly. With the intentional silence of the DAOstitution, the DAO Court was provided with sufficient flexibility to define the scope of its role and responsibilities in the DAO, so long as it remains consistent with its constitutional mandate.
Accordingly, through the present draft of the DAO Court IRG proposes a court that is not merely a passive dispute resolution body; it seeks to serve actively such as by being a source of interpretation and guidance for the DAO and its future courses of action. It hopes to do this by, among others, reserving the power to issue non-binding advisory opinions and interpretative guidelines on the DAOstitution, internal rules and policies, and other DAO-related matters.
By offering to play an active role in the organization, the DAO Court seeks to be able to become an important institution in the DAO especially in its formative years where lack of clarity and certainty abounds.
Specifications and Timelines
- Definition of Key Terms
- General Provisions
- Complaints and Petitions
- Advisory Opinions
- Interpretative Guidelines
- Modifications to the IRG and Supplemental Internal Rules
Article I - Definition of Key Terms
Section 1. Definitions. Consistent and complementary to its definition in the DAOstitution, and unless the context indicates otherwise, the terms enumerated below shall have the following definitions:
- Internal Rules or Guidelines (IRG) shall refer to the set of specific rules and guidelines that sets forth the internal processes and procedures of the DAO Court in the performance of its functions and duties.
- Conflicts of Interest shall refer to a situation in which a court member has a vested interest in the outcome of a case that could potentially affect their impartiality in rendering a decision or order.
- Deliberation shall refer to the process of discussion among court members for the purpose of deciding a case.
- Dispute shall refer to any grievance, dispute, issue and/or controversy between relevant parties.
- DAO Court shall refer to the dispute resolution body and judicial organ of the DAO as established under the DAOstitution who shall, among others, be responsible for deciding inter-DAO controversies, issues and cases.
- DAO Forums shall refer to the official site for DAO-related discussions of the DAO at https://forum.breederdao.io/
- DAO member shall refer to a person who is a holder of at least one sBREED token.
- Community member shall refer to a contributor or supporter of the DAO who is not necessarily a holder of sBREED.
- Case shall refer to any pending dispute or subject matter brought before the DAO Court.
- Court member shall refer to a duly appointed or elected member of the DAO Court.
- Complaint shall refer to a formal statement or allegation of a dispute against a relevant party.
- Petition shall refer to a formal request or plea from a relevant party for the grant of an affirmative or prohibitive relief in relation to a particular case or subject matter.
- Decision shall refer to a ruling of the DAO Court on any case or subject matter brought before it.
- Order shall refer to any directive from the DAO Court granting an affirmative or prohibitive relief that is not in the form of a final decision.
- Jurisdiction shall refer to the authority of the court to decide a case and render a decision, advisory opinion or interpretative guideline with respect to such.
- Interpretative guideline shall refer to a non-binding interpretation issued by the DAO Court at its own initiative relating to any subject matter relating to the DAOstitution, the Proposal Jury’s IRG, the DAO Court’s IRG, and other rules and guidelines.
- Relevant party shall refer to a DAO member or community member.
- Majority shall refer to a voting threshold of more than fifty percent (50%) of the applicable voting power.
- Amendment is defined as a minor change to particular sections or provisions of the DAO Court’s IRG.
- Revision is defined as a major or substantial change to the provisions or sections of the DAO Court’s IRG.
Section 2. Interpretation. A reasonable interpretation shall be given to any of the key terms defined above. In case of doubt, an interpretation consistent with the DAOstitution shall prevail.
Article II - General Provisions
Section 1. Case. A case may be instituted by way of a complaint, petition, request for an advisory opinion and request for reconsideration.
Section 2. Relevant Party. Only a DAO member can institute a case. However, a community member may become a relevant party of a case if the community member is made a respondent to the said case.
Section 3. Jurisdiction. The DAO Court shall have jurisdiction over a case if, under the DAOstitution and this IRG, it is within its authority to decide or resolve. The jurisdiction of the DAO Court shall include:
- Interpretation of the DAOstitution, the Proposal Jury’s IRG, the DAO Court’s IRG, and any other rule or guidelines;
- Resolution of intra-DAO disputes, issues and controversies;
- Request for any affirmative or prohibitive relief in relation to DAO-related matters;
- Request to reconsider a decision or order in a case; and
- Any other subject matter similar to the foregoing.
Section 4. Quorum and Deliberation. The court members can only act in an official capacity if it constitutes a quorum of at least three (3) court members. Deliberations of court members in any case may be done privately through any reasonable mode of communication. It may also be done publicly through the forums such as when greater transparency is sought or when communication and interactions with the relevant parties to the case is necessary to inquire upon and clarify certain facts and collect more information about the case.
Section 5. Voting. In deciding a case, the court members shall adopt a voting procedure that promotes independence in thought and perspective. The voting procedure may be done manually or through the use of blockchain technology. As much as possible, the court members shall vote on each identifiable issue in a case and/or the reliefs sought in relation thereto. A majority vote from the quorum shall be sufficient to render a decision or order. An abstention shall be counted as a vote against the proposed course of action.
Section 6. Decision. A case shall be deemed to be resolved upon the issuance and publication of a decision whose contents shall include:
- A summary of the facts of the case;
- The findings and ruling on the dispute;
- The basis for such findings and ruling; and
- Remedy or relief granted in favor of the prevailing party.
Section 7. Order. An order may be made with respect to a pending case which shall either direct the relevant parties to undertake a particular course of action, whether in relation to a grant of a relief or not. An order shall become effective upon its publication and shall become final upon the lapse of five (5) days unless a timely request for reconsideration is made within the said period.
Section 8. Publication. A decision or order shall be published in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums.
Section 9. Request for Reconsideration. A request for the reconsideration of a decision or order must be made within five (5) days of its publication. The request for reconsideration shall include:
- The nature or summary of the decision or order sought to be reconsidered;
- The new issue(s) to be resolved by the DAO Court;
- The new evidence or documentation in support of the request; and
- The relief or remedy sought by the requesting party.
The DAO Court may immediately deny a request for reconsideration on the ground that the request raises no new issues or presents no new evidence or documentation. Otherwise, if the DAO Court determines that the request raises a new issue or presents new evidence or documentation, it shall have ten (10) days to resolve the request on substantive grounds. The decision or order shall become final upon the issuance and publication of a final decision on the request for reconsideration. Thereafter, no further request for reconsideration shall be allowed with respect to such final decision or order.
Section 10. Execution. Any decision or order of the DAO Court may be enforced and implemented by designated DAO members, or through a committee or commission specifically created for such purposes, all of whom should have or be given the capability or resources to facilitate and ensure its execution.
Article III - Complaints and Petitions
Section 1. Complaint. A relevant party who has a dispute against another relevant party may institute a complaint before the DAO Court. The form of the complaint shall include the following:
- The name of the complainant or complaining party;
- The name of the respondent or responding party;
- The facts surrounding the dispute including the alleged violation;
- The main issue(s) of the dispute to be resolved by the DAO Court;
- The evidence or documentation in support of the complaint; and
- The relief or remedy sought as against the respondent or responding party.
Section 2. Petition. A relevant party who wishes to seek affirmative action or prohibitive relief in relation to a pending case or as a separate case on its own, may file a petition with the DAO Court. The form of the petition shall include the following:
- The name of the petitioner;
- The name of the respondent or responding party, if applicable;
- The background or facts of the petition;
- The main issue to be resolved by the DAO Court in determining whether to grant the petition or not;
- The evidence or documentation in support of the complaint; and
- The relief or remedy sought as against the respondent or responding party.
Article IV - Advisory Opinions
Section 1. Request for an Advisory Opinion; Scope. A relevant party who seeks to obtain guidance or a non-binding interpretation of the DAOstitution, the Proposal Jury’s IRG, the DAO Court’s IRG, or any other rule or guideline, may file a request with the DAO Court for an advisory opinion on the said subject matter. A request for an advisory opinion shall include:
- The name of the requester;
- The relevant background, context or facts relating to the request;
- The specific provision, clause, or rule that is subject of the request for guidance or a non-binding interpretation; and
- The main issue or question to be resolved or answered by the court in rendering the advisory opinion.
Section 2. Acceptance and Voting. Upon the filing of the request, the DAO Court may immediately deny the same if it shall find the request to be inappropriate, premature, frivolous, ridiculous, and/or violative of the DAOstitution or any applicable rule or guideline. Otherwise, the DAO Court shall accept the request within five (5) days of its submission and shall issue the advisory opinion within fifteen (15) days from the date of acceptance.
Section 3. Voting; Issuance and Publication. The voting on the issues raised in the request for advisory opinion shall be the same as the ordinary process for cases involving complaints and petitions, with the exception that no relief, remedy or any binding ruling need to be issued against or in favor of a relevant party. An advisory opinion shall be deemed adopted by the DAO Court upon a majority vote and the same shall be issued and published in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums.
Section 4. Non-Binding Effect. An advisory opinion shall have no binding effect to any relevant party. However, it may be persuasive in the resolution of future disputes in cases brought through a complaint or petition.
Article V - Interpretative Guidelines
Section 1. Motion for an Interpretative Guideline. Any court member, at his/her own initiative, may move the DAO Court to issue and publish an interpretative guideline on any subject matter within its jurisdiction.
Section 2. Form; Drafting and Review. Upon a majority vote of approval of the DAO Court, the court member who proposed the guideline may start preparing and writing the initial draft of the interpretative guideline for peer review, further edits and final approval. The interpretative guideline shall
Section 3. Voting; Issuance and Publication. Once the initial draft of the interpretative guideline is reviewed and approved, the DAO Court shall vote on whether to approve the final draft or not. If approved, the interpretative guideline shall be issued and published in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums. If the vote fails, the initial draft shall undergo the same review process again and a second vote on the revised draft. If approved, it shall be issued and published. However, if the vote once again fails, the unapproved draft of the interpretative guideline shall be junked and archived in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums.
Section 4. Non-Binding Effect. An interpretative shall have no binding effect but it may be relied upon by any relevant party to guide any future course of action. Any act or omission made in reliance of an interpretative guideline shall be presumed to be done in good faith notwithstanding the fact that a ruling is made to the contrary in a binding decision or order.
Article VI - Modifications to the IRG and Supplemental Internal Rules
Section 1. Amendments. Any amendment to the IRG may be proposed by a court member by sending a formal communication to the other court members of the suggested changes. Thereafter, the DAO Court shall have five (5) days to approve or reject the suggested amendment. If approved, the DAO Court IRG with the amendments already incorporated shall be published in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums and shall be deemed effective from the date of such publication.
Section 2. Revisions. Any revision to the IRG may be proposed by a court member by posting a thread in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums. Once posted, the DAO Court shall have five (5) days to approve or reject the suggested revision. If approved, the DAO Court IRG with the amendments already incorporated shall be published in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums and shall be deemed effective from the date of such publication.
Section 3. Repeal. The DAO Court’s IRG cannot be repealed or overhauled in its entirety except through a formal proposal under the DAO’s Governance Proposal System.
Section 4. Rejection. Any amendment or revision implemented to the DAO Court IRG may be rejected overruled by the DAO membership or community through a formal proposal under the DAO’s Governance Proposal System. In which case, the DAO Court IRG shall revert to a version as if the amendment or revision was never made.
Section 5. Supplemental Rules. The DAO Court, upon a majority vote, may also issue supplemental rules concerning its internal procedures and processes especially those that pertain to matters not specifically covered by this IRG. The supplemental rule shall be published in the appropriate section of the DAO Forums and shall be deemed effective from the date of such publication.