Procedural Regulations

  1. Chapters
    1. Membership Process
      1. Basic Requirements to Apply
        1. All participants must agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and all Regulations
        2. Characters must be in compliance with the Lost Chronicle Regulations; those that are not will need to be proposed as exceptions.
        3. Prospective Chapters must submit an application to the Membership Coordinator.
      2. Application Submission
        1. Complete all applicable sections of the appropriate Membership Application Forms and submit them to the Membership Coordinator.
        2. Provide a copy of their written disciplinary procedures with their application.
        3. Provide a copy of their house rules with their application.
      3. Review of Application
        1. The Membership Coordinator, or an appointed representative, will review the application, present it to the Genre Coordinators for their consideration, and work with the applying chapter to work out any questions or concerns from the Coordinators and member Chapters, including mediation of territorial disputes.
        2. The Membership Coordinator or appointed representative will then work with the applying Chapter to shift/adjust any plots that need to be modified to fit into the Lost Chronicles structure.
        3. The Membership Coordinator will propose the application of the applying Chapter to the Council for vote, when they have determined that all requirements have been met.
          1. Council will vote to admit the applying Chapter as a probationary Chapter, deny membership, or abstain from the vote.
      4. Probation Period
        1. During the probationary period, the Membership Coordinator or an appointed representative will assist the new Chapter’s integration into Lost Chronicles’ shared setting.
          1. Players and Storytellers will be invited to e­mail lists. E­mail addresses are to be filled out in a spreadsheet or form provided by the Membership Administrator. Online involvement by players is optional, but encouraged.
        2. The probationary period will last no less than six months and no longer than twelve months.
          1. The Membership Coordinator will determine when the applying Chapter has met all of the requirements enough to be presented to the Council for vote.
      5. Full Membership
        1. The Membership Coordinator or an appointed representative will propose the application of the probationary chapter to the Council for vote when they have determined that all parts of the requirements have been met.
          1. Council will vote to allow for full membership, extend the probationary period, deny membership or abstain from vote.
        2. If the probationary period of the applying Chapter is extended, the probationary period is started again and will need to be resubmitted to Council at the end of the period.
        3. Any applying Chapter who has been denied membership may reapply for membership after six months.
      6. Withdrawal
        1. A Chapter may always voluntarily withdraw from Lost Chronicles at any time.
          1. A final Chapter Report will need to be completed and submitted to the Archive Administrator within 30 days of their End Date.
          2. Voluntarily withdrawal from Lost Chronicles is effective immediately upon notification to the Membership Coordinator by the Head Storyteller.
          3. If a substantial group of players wish to continue to play in Lost Chronicles, a new Storytelling team may continue the Chapter.
          4. To retain the Chapter’s full membership status, the new Storytelling team must to submit a Chapter Report to the Membership Coordinator within 30 days of the chapter’s announcement of intent to leave the organization.
      7. Expulsion
        1. A full member Chapter can be expelled from Lost Chronicles by a majority vote of the Council.
          1. Once a Chapter is expelled from Lost Chronicles, any character transfers out of that Chapter must have the approval of the Council.
        2. A Chapter that has been expelled from Lost Chronicles can reapply for membership after one year.
          1. The Chapter will be required to submit a new Membership Application Form.
    2. Regulations and Responsibilities of Member Chapter
      1. Appointment of Head Storyteller of Member Chapter
        1. The Head Storyteller is considered to be the Chapter’s Council Member unless the Head Storyteller is already a Council Member for another Chapter, in which case another member of the Chapter shall be appointed Council Member by the Head Storyteller.
        2. This information must be updated on the Chapter Information Form then provided to the Membership Administrator and notified to Council.
      2. Codes of Conduct and Regulation Adherence
        1. All players, staff, characters, and story elements must adhere to Lost Chronicles’ Codes of Conduct and Regulations.
      3. Character Records
        1. All Characters must be recorded and maintained in a database by the Chapter’s Storytellers.
    3. Story Integration
      1. Territory
        1. A Chapter has control over the area that it claims and logs with the Membership Administrator and Historical Archivist. Actions in that territory require the approval of the Chapter which has ownership.
        2. Coordinators may control limited areas, such as a castle or a landmark, important to the NPCs within their genre.
        3. Sovereignty
          1. House Rules
            1. A Chapter’s house rules must be posted on the Lost Chronicles website.
            2. House rules cannot be more permissive than the Lost Chronicles Code of Conduct or Regulations.
          2. Disciplinary Policy
            1. A Chapter’s disciplinary policy must be posted on the Lost Chronicles website.
            2. Problems involving more than one Chapter or individuals outside of a Chapter may be handled at an organizational level.
          3. Denial of Entry
            1. The staff of a Chapter may deny the entry of Players, Characters, and Items into their Chapter at their discretion.
        4. The Shared Universe
          1. Organizational Story
            1. Chapter must acknowledge the worldwide story put forward by Coordinators and the source material, as ratified by Council.
          2. Story elements from other Chapters
            1. Chapters may not ignore or rewrite story originating in other member Chapters, though they are not required to involve themselves beyond acknowledgement that it happened.
          3. Reporting
            1. The Head Storyteller of a member Chronicle must complete and k you submit a Chronicle Report to the Archive Administrator four times per year, due January 28, April 28, July 28, and October 28. This information will be made available to the Administrators and Coordinators.
            2. The Head Storyteller is responsible for updating the Chapter Information Form and E­mail Address Spreadsheet maintained by the Membership Administrator.
  2. Council
    1. Proposals
      1. Submission
        1. Only members of the Council and the Executive Administrator may submit proposals to the Council.
        2. The subject line of the e­mail should include [PROPOSAL] and a short description of the proposal.
        3. The email must include the name and e­mail address of the person making the proposal, the Chapter name, and Chapter location. The message body must contain the detailed proposal and how it should be integrated into existing bylaws, if passed.
      2. Discussion
        1. Discussion on said proposal shall begin immediately and last for at least a week. The proposal shall be posted on the voting page for record keeping. This week is considered the discussion period.
        2. Changes to the proposal may be requested during the discussion period, but for any changes to be made to the proposal, it must be withdrawn and proposed again, with the desired revisions.
      3. Second to the Proposal
        1. A Council Member or the Executive Administrator must second the proposal before it can proceed to a vote.
          1. To second a proposal, post with "[SECOND] [PROPOSAL] Proposal name" in the subject line of the message, where "Proposal name" is the title of the draft proposal. In the body of the message, include the statement, "I second this proposal."
          2. A proposal that fails to gain a second within one week of the end of the discussion period is considered to have failed and is removed from the voting system.
      4. Withdrawls
        1. A proposal may be withdrawn at any time during discussion or vote by the Council member who proposed it. Adding [WITHDRAWN] to the subject line and stating the intent to do so is sufficient for this./li>
    2. Voting Format
      1. A call for voting is posted to the Council with all options presented in the proposal included.
      2. All votes must include the options to abstain from or reject the proposal.
      3. If it is possible for multiple options to be selected, this must be stated in the proposal.
      4. For a vote to be considered, it must be made using the online voting system.
    3. Timeframe
      1. Proposals shall have a voting period of one week from the completion of the discussion period unless otherwise noted in subsequent bylaws.
      2. The Executive Administrator may extend any vote. Extensions may not exceed a total timeframe of fourteen (14) additional days without the approval from the Council.
      3. After the closing date for voting, the votes are counted and posted. The Executive Administrator is responsible for the incorporation of any changes into Lost Chronicles.
    4. Quorum Definition for Council
      1. Resolutions before the Council pass if they receive a majority of votes cast, unless otherwise noted in the regulations.
      2. 2. The Executive Administrator can change the Quorum definition for any vote on a case­by­case basis before the vote opens.
    5. Types
      1. Character Regulation
        1. See the Character Regulations.
      2. Changes to Lost Chronicles Regulations
        1. Proposals involving changes to the Process & Procedures or Character Regulations require a 2⁄3 Supermajority.
          1. This may be reduced to a simple majority if the change is proposed by the Executive Administrator.
      3. Codes of Ethics Changes
        1. A 2⁄3 Supermajority is required for proposals involving changes to Lost Chronicles’ Codes of Conduct.
      4. Charter Changes
        1. The Lost Chronicles Charter may only be changed by a unanimous vote, with at least 3⁄4 of Chapters voting.
      5. Exception Proposals
        1. A proposal for a specific exception to an established regulation may be made if it is noted as such. Such a proposal requires a 2⁄3 Supermajority to pass.
      6. Administrator and Coordinator Elections
        1. Executive Administrator Elections
          1. The Executive Administrator shall be elected every June and shall serve until the end of elections the following year.
          2. Nominations for the position shall open on the first Tuesday of June and close at the same time on the second Tuesday of June.
          3. Discussions for the Executive Administrator position shall open on the second Wednesday of June, and close the following Wednesday, at which point, voting will occur and remain open for seven (7) days.
          4. In case of a tie, a run off election will be held.
            1. For a runoff election, only the candidates who were tied will be on the ballot. The option to reject all candidates will be removed. The option to abstain will remain.
          5. No proposals relating to this election, election process, or the voting procedure may be proposed nor ratified within fourteen (14) days of the beginning of the voting period until the end of the election(s).
        2. Other Coordinator Elections
          1. The Executive Administrator will call for applications no later than one (1) week after being elected.
          2. The Executive Administrator will nominate all other Coordinators.
          3. The Executive Administrator will accept applications for nominations for one (1) week from the time the application procedure opens, which must be publicly posted to the website, email lists and other social media outlets.
          4. The Ballot will be presented to Council seven (7) days before the voting period begins for discussion.
          5. The discussion period will last seven (7) days before the vote opens
          6. The voting period will last for seven (7) days
          7. The Ballot must be publicly posted to the website and out­of­character e­mail list.
          8. All candidates for Coordinator positions will be put on Council during the seven day discussion period, and election week, to defend and explain their platforms. Those not elected shall be removed from the Council list once the voting period is done.
          9. The nominee carrying the most votes on Council shall become Coordinator.
            1. In case of a tie, the Executive Administrator may either break the tie or hold a runoff election between all tied parties.
            2. For a run­off election, only the candidates who were tied will be on the ballot. The option to reject all candidates will be removed. The option to abstain will remain.
              1. If the election is still tied after the run­off vote, the HC will break the tie.
          10. Coordinators will serve beginning two weeks after the election vote for their election closes, including any runoff election that may have taken place. The current Coordinator will be expected to brief the Coordinator-elect during these two weeks on issues and events relating to the particular Coordinator position being assumed by the Coordinator­elect.
          11. No proposals relating to elections, election process, or the voting procedure may be proposed or ratified from the time the Council discussion of the ballot begins until the time all elections end.
    6. Player Base Notification
      1. Rules, organizational, and/or game mechanics proposals shall be posted on the Lost Chronicles website for review by the Lost Chronicles player base.
        1. The Executive Administrator has final call on whether a proposal is appropriate for public viewing or not.
  3. Coordinators
    1. Elected Coordinator Positions
      1. Administrators
        1. Executive Administrator
          1. Finance Administrator
          2. Web Administrator
        2. Membership Administrator
        3. Archive Administrator
      2. Coordinators
        1. Vampire Coordinator
        2. Changing Breeds Coordinator
        3. Wraith Coordinator
        4. Mage Coordinator
        5. Changeling Coordinator
    2. Coordinator Duties
      1. General Duties
        1. Coordinators shall be responsible, to the best of their ability, for duties assigned to their position as outlined within the regulations of the network
          1. The coordinator may remove or replace any of their sub-coordinators at will. Council may remove these sub­coordinator with a majority vote.
          2. Coordinators must complete and submit a Coordinator Report to the Archive Administrator and Executive Administrator four times per year, due January 28, April 28, July 28, and October 28.
        2. Coordinators may delegate any of their responsibilities to a duly appointed sub­coordinator who they hold responsibility over.
        3. Coordinators must complete and submit a Coordinator Report to the Archive Administrator and Executive Administrator four times per year, due January 28, April 28, July 28, and October 28.
          1. This information will be made available to incoming Coordinators.
      2. Administrative Coordinators
        1. Executive Administrator
          1. The Executive Administrator may be sought as a binding arbiter in a dispute between parties with the consent of all involved, instead of taking the matter directly to council.
          2. The Executive Administrator may appoint an Interim Coordinator to temporarily fill the position of an elected coordinator until said coordinator can return to their duties. The appointee will be treated as an official coordinator.
          3. The interim coordinator may fill the position as appointed by the Executive Administrator for up to thirty days. Any extension beyond those thirty days must be approved by Council
            1. If the extension is not approved by Council, special elections will begin
            2. The appointment of an interim coordinator will be announced to the Council and Storyteller lists.
            3. The appointed interim coordinator must fill out a coordinator report upon leaving office
          4. Assistant Administrators
            1. Finance Administrator
              1. The Finance Administrator shall maintain financial records of all transactions on behalf of the organization.
              2. The Finance Administrator shall provide consultation and research for the disbursement of all funds donated to the organization.
              3. At any time there is not a Finance Administrator, all expenses and financial record keeping will be handled by the Executive Administrator.
            2. Web Administrator
              1. The Web Administrator shall maintain and post new content on lostchronicles.org and pages on social media sites, such as Facebook.
      3. Archive Administrator
        1. The Archivist shall catalogue and report disciplinary action.
        2. The Archivist shall archive coordinator and Chapter reports
        3. The Archivist is responsible for tracking all territory claimed by Chapters and Coordinators for organizational level plots.
        4. The Archivist shall maintain a database listing of all the approved regulated characters as outlined in the Character Regulations.
        5. The Archivist shall report to the Council list an overview of existing characters within the organization that fall within the Character Regulations at least once per term.
        6. The Archivist shall create and maintain a publicly accessible archive of the organization’s in­character history for the entire organization.
          1. The Archivist shall review the chapter reports for significant in-character events to be added to the historical documents.
      4. Membership Administrator
        1. The Membership Administrator shall oversee the membership process.
        2. The Membership Administrator is responsible for tracking all territory claimed by incoming Chapters.
          1. The Membership Administrator will act as a mediator in all territory disputes.
            1. The decision of the Membership Administrator regarding territory disputes shall be considered final unless overturned through council vote.
            2. If a party objects to the ruling of the Membership Administrator, the Membership Administrator will propose the dispute to council for a vote.
        3. The Membership Administrator controls and maintains all of Lost Chronicles’ organizational­level e­mail lists, and is responsible for the addition and removal of members.
        4. The Membership Administrator assists Chapters:
          1. In attracting and maintaining players
          2. In connecting with the rest of the organization.
        5. Advertising and Promotional Materials
          1. The Membership Administrator shall work with Chapters, the Web Administrator, and the Finance Administrator to provide advertisements and promotional materials for the organization as a whole, as well as special events.
      5. Genre Coordinators
        1. The Genre Coordinators of Lost Chronicles are:
          1. Vampire Coordinator
          2. Changing Breeds Coordinator
          3. Wraith Coordinator
          4. Mage Coordinator
          5. Changeling Coordinator
        2. Coordination of Story
          1. Genre Coordinators shall work with chapters to help maintain global story as passed by Council. In addition, they are responsible for working with Chapters to try to foster and maintain a consistent genre baseline for the shared universe of Lost Chronicles.
          2. Genre Coordinators are responsible for the creation, direction, and orchestration of organization­level plots, and the events within their respective genre in the larger world.
            1. All organization­level plots must be recorded for the use of future Coordinators, and must be logged with the Archivist, though this can be done after the plot’s completion.
          3. Genre coordinators are required to keep records of all interactions with Chapters.
        3. Depictions of Canon and Original Characters on lists and in Chapters
          1. Coordinators are responsible for maintaining the consistent portrayal of both canon and LC created major NPCs within their genre. This includes portrayal on approved Lost Chronicles lists, private interactions, and direct appearances at game.
          2. All interactions between a coordinator level NPC and local chapter characters must include oversight of the local Chapter's HST. A coordinator level NPC may not take an action affecting a chapter level character without the HST's consent, save when authorized by a council vote.
            1. The exception to this is interaction on Lost Chronicles’ in­character lists, though the player character’s HST should be copied on all private interactions with Coordinator NPCs.
          3. Genre coordinators are responsible for logging all interactions with Chapter level characters, including appropriate notes of the NPC's reasons and motivations.
        4. Genre Coordinators are responsible for the creation and maintenance of Genre Documents, as appropriate.
          1. New Genre Documents, that do not have a previously approved version, shall be presented to the Council and Storyteller lists for consideration and commentary for discussion and review for seven (7) days before it is added to Lost Chronicles’ website and posted to the out­of­character list.
          2. Coordinators should update the documents under their control with new information, such as developments in in­character history, changes in e­mail list policy, and the addition of newly published material to their indices, as the changes happen.
          3. These changes must follow the restrictions placed upon Genre Documents, as listed under the Genre section.
  4. Genre
    1. Source Materials
      1. The base rules to be used are Mind’s Eye Theater, Revised edition and World of Darkness, third edition (or ‘classic’ World of Darkness) lines by White Wolf Publishing, and the Classic World of Darkness line published by Onyx Path Publishing.
      2. Material from older editions may be used, with discretion, notably in cases in which elements were not reprinted in the latest edition.
      3. New Material
        1. Mechanics from the Classic WoD books published by Onyx Path will be considered available for use 90 days after publication. Plots and alterations to the setting will be considered and voted upon by Council after 90 days.
        2. Lost Chronicles will not be making use of the mechanics or metaplot published by By Night Studios.
    2. Genre Documents
      1. The purpose of Lost Chronicles’ Genre Documents will be to document the developments and deviations from the base source material, and to provide indexes and bibliographies related to the respective genre.
        1. These documents will be maintained by the Coordinator responsible for that genre.
        2. Genre Documents are to contain:
          1. Descriptions of the differences in Lost Chronicles’ genre from canon, and outline our history,
          2. A list of bloodlines or sub­groups,
          3. The address and location of the associated in­character list, and a description of the in­character mechanisms surrounding it,
          4. An index of combination powers, and clan or group specific powers, listing only name, level, and source.
          5. A complete list of sources,
          6. A legal disclaimer,
          7. The name of the authors.
        3. Genre Documents are not to contain:
          1. Images,
          2. Out­of­Character Rules or Regulations,
          3. Quotes or Mechanics for or from published material.
    3. Story Coordination
      1. Global Plots
        1. The Executive Administrator may appoint a Meta­plot Coordinator position to assist in the orchestration of large scale or long running plots.
      2. Conclaves
        1. The Vampire Coordinator has control over the occurrence and outcome of Conclaves.
        2. A Chapter may petition the Vampire Coordinator and write a proposal to Council for the opportunity to hold a Conclave at their event game.
  5. Marketing
    1. Finances
      1. The Executive Administrator is ultimately responsible for the expenses incurred by the website, servers, etc.
        1. Donations to cover this may be collected and recorded by the Executive Administrator, or the Executive Administrator may supply the funds himself or herself.
          1. The collection of donations and associated record keeping maybe delegated to the Finance Administrator, if one has been appointed.
      2. The Membership Administrator is responsible for the costs of promotional items.
        1. The Membership Administrator may seek reimbursement for items from the Executive Administrator or from the individuals receiving the materials.
    2. Internet Presence
      1. All official sites shall be maintained and monitored by the Web Administrator.
        1. www.LostChronicles.org shall be the official website of the organization.
        2. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost­Chronicles/784132864962273 shall be the offical Facebook site of the organization.
        3. https://plus.google.com/102640013279775442165/posts shall be the recognized Google Plus site of the organization
        4. http://lostchroniclesart.deviantart.com/ hall be the official DeviantArt site for the organization.
      2. All interactions within Lost Chronicles internet presence, including but not limited to websites, e­mail lists and social media sites is bound by the Code of Ethics and Regulations of the organization.
        1. Any violations will be determined by the Executive Administrator.
    3. E-mail Lists
      1. The Membership Administrator is responsible for the maintenance and addition and removal of members to and from Lost Chronicles’ e­mail lists.
        1. Other Coordinators shall be added as Moderators of lists related to their genres or duties.
      2. Due to the mature themes portrayed in Lost Chronicles, all organizational lists not specifically designated by their moderators as "safe for children" are restricted to those members of the organization who are no longer minors as legally defined by their governments.
        1. Minors of 13 years of age or older may be allowed to join Lost Chronicles’ lists with parental consent.
      3. Any mailing list, forum, newsgroup, or other form of in­character communication must allow membership for the Head Storytellers of any character who is a member of the list/group. Such access may be designated 'read only' at the discretion of the moderator of the list/group. Information and communications from any group that does not meet these criteria shall be considered invalid for use in Lost Chronicles
    4. Promotional Activities
      1. Promotional items, activities, and advertisements for Lost Chronicles shall be the responsibility of the Membership and Web Administrators, as detailed in the Coordinator section.
  6. Disciplinary Procedure
    1. In situations involving multiple Chronicles, Coordinators, Administrators, or violations of Lost Chronicles’ Codes of Ethics or Regulations, punitive measures
    2. Process
      1. Accusations are to be brought forward to the Executive Administrator.
      2. A board of inquiry will then be assembled for the purposes of considering and judging the accusations and evidence brought forward.
        1. Each side will nominate a representative, who may not be directly involved as a coordinator, storyteller or player character in the matter being reviewed, and the Executive Administrator assigns a neutral mediator.
      3. The board reviews the case and suggests a punishment, if applicable.
    3. Punishments
      1. Condemnations
        1. This action is to allow Council to condemn an action that does not deserve other punishment. A Condemnation action will stay on the Archivist's records unless it is successfully appealed.
      2. Strikes
        1. No member holding any Strikes shall be permitted to hold any position within the organizational level. Organizational Level positions are: Coordinators, Sub­Coordinators, Council Members, and Portraying NPCs for Coordinators or Sub­Coordinators.
        2. No member holding two Strikes shall be permitted to hold the position of Storyteller, Assistant Storyteller, narrator, or similar within a Chapter. This includes full member and probationary chapters.
        3. Should any member receive three Strikes, that player will no longer be eligible to play in any Chapter, hold any position within Lost Chronicles or be allowed on any official lists or sites.
      3. Removal from Office
        1. Removal of an Coordinator or Subcoordinator
          1. This action may be combined with any other action or combination of actions.
          2. This action may only be taken against a Coordinator or a sub-coordinator of one of those positions.
          3. The proposal containing this action against an elected Coordinator must pass with the most votes to remove them. The Executive Administrator is obligated to use his or her vote to break the tie, if necessary.
          4. Upon ratification of the removal the member will no longer serve in the position previously held. This action may not be reversed.
        2. Removal of a Storyteller or Council Member
          1. A proposal to remove a Storyteller or Council Member requires a 2⁄3 supermajority, if no disciplinary actions are being rendered or proposed that would prohibit an Storyteller or Council Member from holding a position.
          2. The proposal should include a length of time that the individual is not permitted to hold positions­ 6 months, one year, or indefinitely.
          3. Overturning the removal of a Storyteller or Council Member requires a simple majority to pass.
      4. Bans
        1. Temporary Ban
          1. A temporary ban action lasts for six months, after which a six month Probation occurs. During that probation the member may serve in no position, at either the chapter or national level.
          2. During the six month ban, the member may not interact with Lost Chronicles in any capacity.
        2. Indefinite Ban
          1. An indefinite ban grants three Strikes in one action which will be treated as separate actions for reversal.
        3. Permanent Ban
          1. A permanent ban permanently bans the person from interaction with Lost Chronicles in any capacity unless specifically overturned by council proposal. No proposal to reduce or change this action may be made until one year after the ban has been enacted.
    4. Notifications
      1. It is the duty of the Executive Administrator to make the best effort to notify the individual on the receiving end of a disciplinary proposal and ensure that they have a representative.
    5. Appeal and Reversal
      1. Appeals may be made to the Executive Administrator, who, at his or her discretion may appoint a new mediation board, and begin the process anew, or present the case before Council.
        1. This may only be done once immediately following the initial decision, after which it may not be brought forward for a period of six months from the most recent time of judgment.
  7. Legal
    1. Genre Documents shall adhere to accepted practices of fair use and attribution.
      1. All published source material is (c) CCP, hf, and all rights are reserved.
      2. No claims are made over any derivative works created by Lost Chronicles or its players, nor will these works be used for profit.
    2. Lost Chronicles will not be held legally responsible for the activities of its individual members.
      1. Lost Chronicles will not become involved in any case that is brought before a court of law in any country, other than as a witness to an alleged crime. In such a case, the Executive Administrator may allow release, as specifically requested by the courts, of any evidence that may be held by Lost Chronicles (such as archived e­mails).
      2. Lost Chronicles will make available such disciplinary measures as are required to deal with individual complaints, either to direct them to the appropriate solution (which may include directing them back to a chapter) or dealing with the issue itself if deemed necessary.
      3. Lost Chronicles will not become embroiled in personal disputes unrelated to Lost Chronicles, nor should Lost Chronicles be used as a vehicle for such disputes.