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Comment ccNSOAG6:
  • To: reform-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comment ccNSOAG6:
  • From: "Stephan Welzel/Denic" <welzel@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 13:57:04 +0100

On behalf of DENIC, the registry for .de, I submit the following comments on the ccSO Assistance Group's Preliminary Recommendation
on the ccSO Council:

The Recommendation's note that the Recommendation on Policy Development Process "is being amended so that a final recommendation
goes to member vote" appears to indicate that the ccSO Council's function is now being envisaged as merely administrative. Whether
such a change of view is desirable or not obviously depends on how the procedures and the quora for a member vote will be defined.
Regardless of this, if the Council takes on a purely administrative role, it is hardly comprehensible why it then would have to
comprise such a large number of members as suggested by the Recommendation. As administrative body, the Council in fact would be
sufficiently manned (and probably better workable) with two or even just one representative for each geographical region.

Besides, the now announced amendment to the PDP Recommendation underlines that all comments on the different parts of the Assistance
Group's work can, for the time being, only be tentative. Hence, it will be necessary to scrutinize the group's final recommendation
as a whole before any definitive commitment is possible. It is expected that sufficient opportunity for such thorough, ultimate
scrutiny will be given.

Having said this, it is in any case highly objectionable to let members of the Council be "put forward" by the ICANN Nominating
Committee. There is no reason detectable why such NomCom appointees and via them ICANN itself should have a say in the ccSO's
decisions. Rather, the other way around, there are numerous arguments against this notion:

Firstly, NomCom appointees will not necessarily have their origins in the ccTLD environment and therefore will often not be familiar
with the ccTLDs' situation and needs.

Secondly, it seems to be particularly problematic to mix up the ccTLD driven process within the ccSO and the final adoption (or
non-adoption) of its outcome by the ICANN Board. However, exactly this would be the result if ICANN representatives, as which NomCom
appointees would clearly have to be seen, occupied seats on the ccSO Council.

Thirdly, NomCom appointees would not be elected directly (let alone by the ccTLDs) and therefore lack the democratic legitimation
that the other Council members are going to have. It is incomprehensible why they nevertheless should have the same voting power.

Fourthly, NomCom appointees would not be tied to certain geographic regions and thus impair the geographical balance within the

Fifthly and finally, to add three NomCom appointees to a Council otherwise consisting of 15 ccTLD representatives would
significantly shift the voting weights within the Council. One example may demonstrate this: the super majority (66 per cent) in a
15 members Council without NomCom appointees would be 10 votes, whereas it would be 12 in an 18 members Council with NomCom
appointees. Assuming that all representatives of one region vote in the same way, this means that in a Council without NomCom
appointees four regions would be needed to reach a super majority, whereas in a Council with NomCom appointees already three
regions, if backed by the NomCom appointees, would be enough.

In light of all of this, it is highly recommendable to abolish the notion of having NomCom appointees on the ccSO Council at all.
Without this consequence being taken it will, however, at least be inevitable to define the majorities in a way so that it is
impossible to outvote more than one region.

Stephan Welzel
Head of Legal Department

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