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Summary and Analysis of public comments for: BYLAWS AMENDMENTS RELATED TO GNSO RESTRUCTURING

  • To: "gnso-council-draft@xxxxxxxxx" <gnso-council-draft@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Summary and Analysis of public comments for: BYLAWS AMENDMENTS RELATED TO GNSO RESTRUCTURING
  • From: Robert Hoggarth <robert.hoggarth@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2009 21:51:19 -0700

Summary and Analysis of public comments for:


Comment period ended: 29 July 2009

Summary published:  2 August 2009

Prepared by:  Robert Hoggarth, Senior Policy Director


Implementation of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) 
Review/Improvements process requires the amendment of a substantial number of 
the ICANN Bylaws to reflect new GNSO structures, processes and mechanisms. A 
compilation of draft Bylaws and additional Staff recommendations was developed 
for public review and comment so that the ICANN Board could move forward with 
Bylaw amendments to allow the new GNSO Council to be seated at the annual ICANN 
meeting in Seoul, South Korea. Approving the Bylaws amendments is a key step 
toward seating a newly structured GNSO Council.

The package posted for community review and comment consisted of three 
documents. First, a comparison document showing the existing Bylaws and 
comparing them to the amendments proposed (but not yet approved) by the GNSO 
Council. Second, a "clean" version of what the Bylaws would look like if those 
amendments were approved. And, third, a Staff list of additional amendment 
components that had been necessitated by community discussion at the ICANN 
Sydney meeting and suggestions from the Board's Structural Improvements 

Community feedback on the proposed Bylaws amendments is an important component 
of the Board's evaluation process.


As of the 29 July deadline, four (4) community submissions had been made to 
this comment forum. The contributors are listed below in alphabetical order 
(with relevant initials noted in parentheses) :

AIM - European Brands Association, by Philip Sheppard (AIM);
GNSO Council, by Avri Doria, Chair  (GNSO);
Alan Greenberg; and
Wolf-Ulrich Knoben


With the exception of the Comments submitted by the Chair of the GNSO Council, 
the comments submitted to this public forum each focused on specific aspects of 
the Bylaws amendments package.  They addressed the following issues:

Allocation of Board Seats #13 and #14;
Non Commercial Stakeholder Group Seats on the GNSO Council;
Meeting Quorum Requirements;
Nominating Committee Delegate Assignments; and
GNSO Council Absentee Voting Standards and Voting Thresholds

A.   GNSO Council Report

The Chair of the GNSO Council reported that on 9 July 2009, by a vote of twelve 
to one (with three abstentions), the GNSO Council had approved the following 

"The GNSO recommends to the ICANN Board of Directors that the By-laws related 
to the GNSO council be amended to read as documented in: 

The report identified the specific votes cast, the reasons given for the three 
abstentions recorded and the GNSO councilors absent from the vote. The report 
concluded by noting a request from the Commercial and Business Users 
Constituency (endorsed by the Intellectual Property Constituency and the 
Internet Service and Connectivity Providers Constituency) that it be reported 
that of the 21 members of Council, 7 members voted in favor of the resolution 
and that of the 6 GNSO Constituencies, only 2 voted in favor of the resolution.

B.   Allocation of Board Seats #13 and #14

AIM said the allocation of Board seats and the order of the Houses to select 
those seats is a threshold issue for consideration of the Bylaws amendments.  
AIM said it was not appropriate to support the proposed Bylaws amendments until 
that issue is resolved and embedded in proposed new text.

Mr. Knoben said that any NCSG council members delegated from the At-Large/ALAC 
should not be eligible to fill either Board Seat from the GNSO. He noted that 
the Working Group on ALAC Review has concluded that At-Large/ALAC should be 
allocated 2 Board voting seats. Mr. Knoben indicated that if the Board were to 
accept that recommendation, then the At-Large/ALAC community should not be 
given an additional chance to fill another Board Seat.

C.   Non Commercial Stakeholder Group Seats On the GNSO Council

AIM's comment asserted that the version of the By-laws amendments package did 
not resolve the issue of the additional 3 Council seats allocated to the NCSG. 
AIM said it supported the placeholder concept for these seats to be nominated 
by the ICANN Board for the first 2-year term. AIM said within this term one or 
more seats could be elected "if the NCSG can demonstrate evidence of 
substantial representational change."  AIM said, "Lack of such evidence should 
mean these seats remain unfilled after the initial two-year term."

D.   Meeting Quorum Requirements

AIM noted, "the proposed language on quorum inherits the older language 
('entitled to cast the majority of votes') which was based on the weighted-vote 
system." AIM said, "Given the welcome abolition of this system in the new 
by-laws, a simpler wording based on the number of people present would be 
easier to understand."

E.   Nominating Committee Delegate Assignments:

Mr. Greenberg pointed out that Article VII, Section 2, paragraphs 7 and 8 
describe how the old GNSO selects delegates for the Nominating Committee - 2 
from the Business Constituency and 1 from each of the other 5 Constituencies.

He said, "There has been little substantive discussion as to how this will 
change under the new GNSO structure."  He noted that (1) "in some cases, 
Constituencies may no longer exist"; (2) "where they exist, it is unclear if 
newly formed Constituencies will either automatically get their own NomCom 
delegate or perhaps not have the same rights as the older Constituencies"; (3) 
"whether each SG should select an identical number of delegates, and if so, 
what should that number be"; and (4) "whether there needs to be any regional 
balance among the GNSO delegates." Mr. Greenberg said, "these decisions should 
be an integral part of approving the Bylaws associated with the restructured 

F.   GNSO Council Absentee Voting Standards and Voting Thresholds

Mr. Knoben noted, "Subjects that influence the GNSO in its organizational 
structure are not yet included in the bylaws. But they are of basic interest 
for the GNSO."  He said, "In my understanding absentee voting and voting 
thresholds are measures to ensure broad participation and/or broad consensus 
for specific subjects at the time of a vote.

He suggested that the absentee voting thresholds (Article X, Sect. 3, 7c) or 
the voting thresholds (Article X, Sect. 3, 9) set forth in the Bylaws be 

He proposed that Article X, Sect. 3, 7c could read "Members that are absent 
from a meeting at the time of a vote on whether to initiate a PDP, forward a 
policy recommendation to the Board, amend Article X of the Bylaws or fill a 
position open for election may vote by absentee ballot."

He suggested that Article X, Sect. 3, 9 could include the text, "Amendment of 
Article X of the Bylaws requires a majority of both houses and further requires 
that one representative of at least 3 of the 4 Stakeholder Groups supports."


Based on the comments in this forum and from other sources, the Staff will 
produce a subsequent Bylaws amendments package for community review and 
comment.  The Board is likely to consider all the relevant community input and 
move forward with decisions regarding the proposed amendments as soon as 
practicably possible.


Attachment: Summary-Analysis of Community Comments On Bylaws Amendments Related To GNSO Restructuring - 2009 JUly FINAL.doc
Description: Summary-Analysis of Community Comments On Bylaws Amendments Related To GNSO Restructuring - 2009 JUly FINAL.doc

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