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[ga] At Large Board Seat

  • To: GA <ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [ga] At Large Board Seat
  • From: Hugh Dierker <hdierker2204@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 19:15:59 -0700 (PDT)

Here is an email sent publicly to a Governance list of some note;
(Willie Currie is the 
Author   http://mediaresearchhub.ssrc.org/willie-currie/person_view    ; )
"""""Good point, Danny. It would be worth pointing that out in submissions to 

APC is planning to make a submission and it would be good if the IGC could say 
something about the two amendments as well. There are  two inter-related 
problems with the proposed amendments:

1. While the provision for the ICANN community to request for the Board to 
re-examine a decision is a step forward, there is still no democratic sanction 
for the Board if the community fundamentally disagrees with a Board decision 
even after it is re-examined by the Board. The community still does not have 
the power to dismiss the Board. 

2. While the Independent Review Body and the expansion of its functions is a 
step forward, it still does not address the problem that the Board can ignore 
its findings and recommendations if the Board determines that the 
recommendations 'are not in the best interests of ICANN'. 

Both amendments ultimately depend on the disposition of the Board towards the 
issue under re-examination or review. Certainly it would be an unwise Board 
that completely ignores the expressed views of two-thirds of the ICANN 
community or the reasoned recommendations of senior jurists, but bylaws are not 
about dispositions, they are to do with fair and reasonable conduct by those in 
authority. In the event that that is lacking, there needs to be some ultimate 
sanction such as a power for the ICANN community to dismiss the Board. The 
ICANN President's Strategy Committee recognised this in its recommendations on 
accountability when it proposed the establishment of 'an extraordinary 
mechanism for the community to remove and replace the Board in special 
circumstances'. This is simple democracy and is a basic feature of all 
democratic organisations. That it is missing from ICANN's bylaws is a signifier 
of a lack of accountability and democratic procedure that
 can not be cured by the current proposed amendments.

It is also interesting to note that the EU in its communication on internet 
governance of 18 June, was of the view that  'one element of an evolution of 
the current governance system  could be the completion of an internal  ICANN 
reform leading to full accontability and transparency'. Unfortunately, inasmuch 
as these two bylaw amendments are intended to achieve 'full accountability', 
they fall short. 

Willie """""""


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