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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)


     
    Unclassifiable (rare) ICANN and consensus
    posted by jon on Sunday August 26 2001, @02:28PM

    ChuckGomes writes "The ICANN board ultimately has to evaluate whether community consensus has been reached, so they have the responsibility of making a judgment of the evidence that is presented. I am not sure that it is the board's task to do the outreach (although that is okay), rather it is the boards responsibility to make sure the SO's have done sufficient outreach. This is an area though where they can have great influence. If the evidence supporting consensus is weak and/or incomplete, the board should send the proposed policy back to the applicable SO for more work. If they respond in this way, that will more quickly motivate the SO's to improve their consensus processes."



    One of the trends going on now in the DNSO is to form small task forces or committees instead of full fledged working groups. Considering the problems experienced with working groups to date, this is not surprising, but in my opinion it is a very bad trend, especially if this is intended to be a community-wide consensus development process unless the task forces and committees can demonstrate that they have reached out and included the broader community of stake holders.

    There appear to be some who think that if the NC has a two-thirds vote it is consensus. This is bogus in my opinion if a full consensus process has not preceded the NC vote. According to the ICANN Bylaws it is the NC's role to determine whether or not a consensus was reached, not to vote on what they think consensus is with only minimal involvement from the larger community. This kind of approach might work if the NC could truly be representative of the total community but I do not think it is and it seems highly unlikely that it could ever be representative of the global community. Therefore, it follows in my mind that the NC should function as the Bylaws say, as a consensus management organization.

     
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    ICANN and consensus | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: ICANN and consensus
    by lextext on Sunday August 26 2001, @06:37PM (#2031)
    User #6 Info | http://www.lextext.com
    Chuck has this just right. In fact, in presenting the WG-D report to the Names Council, I made a similar point:

    Second, in some instances, a Working Group process may be preferable to a task force or some other small group. One of the primary goals of the ICANN consensus policy-making process is to bind a recalcitrant participant to a consensus policy on which it does not agree. For example, the ICANN-accredited registries and registrars are only bound to consensus policies that are supported by:

    a written report and supporting materials (which must include all substantive submissions to the Supporting Organization relating to the proposal) that (i) documents the extent of agreement and disagreement among impacted groups, (ii) documents the outreach process used to seek to achieve adequate representation of the views of groups that are likely to be impacted, and (iii) documents the nature and intensity of reasoned support and opposition to the proposed policy.
    While open Working Groups are not the only means for the "outreach process" described in the contracts, they are the most open, broad-based mechanism available for bottom-up decision-making. The risk of implementing a policy process that involves fewer participants or that lacks a meaningful opportunity for participation is that it will not stand up to a legal challenge by a party who wishes to contest the legitimacy of an ICANN consensus policy. The Working Group process potentially provides one of the best mechanisms for meeting the consensus requirements in many of the ICANN contracts, and the reports specified in the Working Group D report are designed to meet the rigors of the definition above.

    The current Names Council has certainly streamlined the processes, but it may well find that the work product it produces is inadequate to have a binding result.

    -- Bret

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