Code of Conduct - Enforcement Policy

Ruby Australia's Code of Conduct - Enforcement Policy

Version: 0.3 (2018-05-17)

This is the enforcement manual followed by Ruby Australia's Disciplinary Subcommittee. It's used when we respond to an issue to make sure we're consistent and fair. It should be considered an internal document.

The disciplinary subcommittee

All responses to reports of conduct violations will be managed by a Disciplinary Subcommittee ("the subcommittee").

The Ruby Australia Committee ("the committee") will establish this subcommittee, comprised of at least three members. One member will be designated chair of the subcommittee and will be responsible for all reports back to the committee. The committee will review membership on a regular basis.

How the subcommittee will respond to reports

When a report is sent to the subcommittee they will immediately reply to the report to confirm receipt. This reply must be sent within 24 hours, and the subcommittee should strive to respond much quicker than that.

See the reporting guidelines for details of what reports should contain. If a report doesn't contain enough information, the subcommittee will obtain all relevant data before acting. The subcommittee is empowered to act on Ruby Australia's behalf in contacting any individuals involved to get a more complete account of events.

The subcommittee will then review the incident and determine, to the best of their ability:

  • what happened,
  • whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation,
  • who, if anyone, was the bad actor, and
  • whether this is an ongoing situation, and there is a threat to anyone's physical safety.

This information will be collected in writing, and whenever possible the subcommittee’s deliberations will be recorded and retained (i.e. IRC transcripts, email discussions, recorded voice conversations, etc).

The subcommittee should aim to have a resolution agreed upon within one week. In the event that a resolution can't be determined in that time, the subcommittee will respond to the reporter(s) with an update and projected timeline for resolution.

Acting unilaterally

If the act occurs at a Ruby AU event, the event organiser(s) may act unilaterally to protect the safety of a community member. Event organisers may take any necessary steps, up to and including expulsion from the event.

If the act is ongoing (such as someone engaging in harassment in an online forum or discussion), or involves a threat to anyone's safety (e.g. threats of violence), any subcommittee member may act immediately (before reaching consensus) to end the situation. In ongoing situations, any member of the subcommittee may at their discretion employ any of the tools available to the subcommittee, including bans and blocks.

If the incident involves physical danger, any member of the subcommittee may -- and should -- act unilaterally to protect safety. This can include contacting law enforcement (or other local personnel) and speaking on behalf of Ruby Australia.

In situations where an event organiser or individual subcommittee member acts unilaterally, they must report their actions to the subcommittee for review within 24 hours.


The subcommittee must agree on a resolution by consensus. If the subcommittee cannot reach consensus and deadlocks for over a week, the subcommittee will turn the matter over to the committee for resolution.

Possible responses may include:

  • Taking no further action (if it is determined that no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand from the subcommittee to the individual(s) involved. In this case, the subcommittee chair will deliver that reprimand to the individual(s) over email, cc'ing the subcommittee.
  • A public reprimand. In this case, the subcommittee chair will deliver that reprimand in the same venue that the violation occurred (i.e. in Slack for a Slack violation; email for an email violation, etc.). The committee may choose to publish this message elsewhere for posterity.
  • An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to "take a week off" from Ruby Down Under or the Ruby AU Slack). The subcommittee chair will communicate this "vacation" to the individual(s). They'll be asked to take this vacation voluntarily, but if they don't agree then a temporary ban may be imposed to enforce this vacation.
  • A permanent or temporary ban from some or all Ruby Australia spaces (Slack, forums, meetups, camps & conferences, etc.). The subcommittee will maintain records of all such bans so that they may be reviewed in the future, extended to new Ruby Australia spaces, or otherwise maintained.
  • A request for a public or private apology. The chair will deliver this request. The subcommittee may, if it chooses, attach "strings" to this request: for example, the subcommittee may ask a violator to apologise in order to retain their membership on the Ruby Down Under forum.
  • Expulsion from Ruby Australia and revocation of voting rights.

Once a resolution is agreed upon, but before it is enacted, the subcommittee will contact the original reporter and any other affected parties and explain the proposed resolution. The subcommittee will ask if this resolution is acceptable, and must note feedback for the record. However, the subcommittee is not required to act on this feedback.

Finally, the subcommittee will make a report for the Ruby Australia committee.

The subcommittee will never publicly discuss the issue; all public statements will be made by the Ruby Australia committee.

Conflicts of interest

In the event of any conflict of interest a subcommittee member must immediately notify the other members, and recuse themselves if necessary.

License and attribution

This enforcement manual is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Portions of text derived from the Django Enforcement Manual.