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    ICANN Meetings Going to Shanghai
    posted by DavidP on Thursday October 24 2002, @06:54AM

    Your intrepid ICW co-editor is about to launch himself into the maws of the ICANN meeting in Shanghai next week. Never having been to one of these affairs, I don't really know what to expect, to be honest, but my assumption is that the ICANN meetings will bear a strong resemblance to ICANN itself, and to the various discussions about ICANN that go on here and elsewhere on the net - viz., that there will be too many things going on, too many battles being fought on too many fronts, for any one observer to take it all (or even a significant portion of it all) in.

    I'll try -- and I'll try to report back on what I find. But I can tell you what I'm going to be looking at most closely: discussion of the latest report of the Committee on Evolution and Reform.





    I note that the Committee is now recommending that ICANN set up a true Independent Review Board, with the power to hear claims that the ICANN Board has acted in a manner inconsistent with the governing By-Laws.

    That's good news. I have been pressing for such a body for a long time, and continue to think that it is a crucial part of the solution to the overall ICANN governance problem.

    But there's bad news, as well. As set forth in the proposed by laws, this Review Board will be "operated by an international arbitration provider appointed from time to time by ICANN using arbitrators under contract with or nominated by that provider." A bad idea - no, a terrible idea. If the ICANN Board, let us say, gives to WIPO, or the International Chamber of Commerce, the contract to provide Review Board services, the incentives are all lined up - the wrong way. This body will know precisely where its bread is buttered, and will take pains, I assure you, to make sure that the Review Board acts in harmony with the Board of Directors - if for no other reason than to insure that the contract is renewed.

    That's exactly the opposite of how this should be structured. To check any possible excesses by the Board of the Directors, as James Madison said a long time ago, "ambition must be made to check ambition." The Review Board has to have an institutional interest, and its members have to have a personal interest, in making sure that the Board of Directors doesn't overstep its bounds. Without that - and this proposal has nothing of the kind - we're actually worse off than with no Review Board at all, for without out that we will just be presented with a Board of Directors that can act outside the by-laws with impunity and know that they will obtain the requisite "cover" from a rubber-stamp Review Board.


     
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Going to Shanghai | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 8 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Going to Shanghai
    by Hendrik on Thursday October 24 2002, @08:14AM (#9826)
    User #2856 Info
    David,

    My prime experience at the limited number of IFWP and ICANN meetings I attended in person during the past years, is that most people tend to tone down and be more polite to eachother in the face-to-face exchange of their opinions and idea's, than they are online and on e-mail lists.
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