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True Accountability

  • To: iic-proposed-bylaws@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: True Accountability
  • From: Becky Burr <becky.burr@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 16:50:16 -0400

Although I have been a vocal proponent of improving ICANN accountability
through independent review of Board/staff actions and inactions, I believe
that the current staff proposal is a step backwards and should be set aside
on two grounds:

   - First, the staff proposal does not address the known deficiencies in
   ICANN's current independent review process - which are (1) it is simply too
   expensive and too slow to be practicable except in the context of a high
   stakes commercial dispute, and (2) it does not create precedent to inform
   and constrain future actions of the corporation or to establish community
   expectations.
   - The process by which the staff draft was produced is completely
   non-transparent.  We know that staff consulted experts - but which ones?
   What were the goals and objectives these experts were given?

ICANN should appoint a truly independent commission to study the independent
tribunal concept, and to report its findings and recommendations to the
community as a whole.  The commission should be answerable to the community,
and neither the Board nor staff should have the ability to dictate the
contents or prevent publication of its recommendations.  It should be
composed of constitutional law experts and experienced judges from around
the world, supplemented by a small number of well respected members of the
ICANN community.

In addition, in the course of this week a three judge tribunal conducted
ICANN's first Independent Review hearing in connection with ICM's
application for a sponsored top level domain.  There is much that can be
learned from that process.  Any alternative independent review process
should be informed by the record created in the hearing, and by the
experience of the participants.

Becky Burr


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