[Linux-aus] Linux Australia Code of Conduct - revised draft

Tim Ansell mithro at mithis.com
Mon Nov 28 13:06:55 EST 2011

Having a lawyer vetted CoC seems something that LA can do.

A more point that Chris made that I want to reiterate is the following;
      ***** All Linux Australia conferences/events should have the same CoC ****

This allows people to go "Oh look a LA conference, it'll be great (IE
meet a certain standard)".

It also means there is one less thing to worry about as a conference
organiser and that makes it *easier* to organise conferences.


On 27 November 2011 22:30, Susanne Ruthven <susanne at etc.gen.nz> wrote:
> Hi
> Unfortunately I'm not a member of this mailing list, so I haven't seen
> the rest of this thread so I'm only going to respond to Chris and
> Donna's messages.
> Chris, you're right. My expertise is based in New Zealand law, which is
> why I haven't given any legal advice on any CoC, or anti-harassment
> policies for any Australian LCA, or LA event (other than LCA2010).
> After LCA2011, when I was asked about how they could improve their
> Anti-Harassment Policy, I recommended they get legal advice, obviously
> from a lawyer with relevant experience in the Australian jurisdiction.
> Donna is right, for LCA2010 we purposely used broad language so that we
> could resolve discriminatory or abusive matters on a case-by-case basis
> in a way that was appropriate to the circumstances. However, whether or
> not that is suitable for the CoC being discussed on this thread, I
> obviously cannot say.
> Deciding issues like, whether or not to use broad language or a
> descriptive list, illustrates my point: That it is harder than people
> think to draft a document of this sort so that it fully achieves what
> the authors want it to achieve, which is why I recommended consulting a
> lawyer.
> I'm in a bit of a tricky position because, as a previous organiser of
> LCA, particularly when I drafted the LCA2010 terms & conditions, I have
> a vested interest in this. However, given my profession, I'm reluctant
> to make comments on things like this, in case my comments are
> misconstrued as legal advice.
> And just to make sure this email isn't misconstrued, these comments
> obviously cannot be considered legal advice. :-)
> Cheers!
> Susanne
> On Sun, 2011-11-27 at 20:45 +1100, Chris Neugebauer wrote:
> > On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 20:18, Donna Benjamin <donna at cc.com.au> wrote:
> > >
> > > Discussion with Susanne Ruthven, Human Rights lawyer and conference
> > > director of LCA2010, suggested that less is more when it comes to these
> > > things.
> > >
> > > Broad brush strokes give the organisers more power to act in the grey
> > > areas necessary than explicit descriptions of what is and isn't
> > > acceptable would.
> > >
> > > At least, that is my understanding of the conversation I had with her,
> > > and her arguments against the code that was adopted for LCA 2011.
> > >
> >
> >
> > Not meaning to cast any doubt about Susanne's qualifications here, but
> > I'd very much like to see a summary of the advice and the criticism
> > against the LCA2011 CoC posted to the list and reviewed by someone
> > based in Australia with direct experience of dealing with these issues
> > in Australia (as I understand it, Susanne is NZ-Based).
> >
> > --Chris
> >
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