ICANN Resolutions » Independent Review Process Implementation Oversight Team Recomposition

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Independent Review Process Implementation Oversight Team Recomposition


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sun, 3 Nov 2019
Resolution Number: 
2019.11.03.03 – 2019.11.03.05
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, the Independent Review Process (IRP) is an accountability mechanism established by the ICANN Bylaws that allows for third party review of ICANN Board or staff actions (or inactions) alleged by an affected party to be inconsistent with ICANN's Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws.

Whereas, the Bylaws specify that IRP Implementation Oversight Team (IRP-IOT) is responsible for, among other things, updating the IRP supplementary rules of procedure for Board consideration and approval, and developing rules for the Cooperative Engagement Process.

Whereas, the Bylaws further specify that an IRP-IOT shall be "established in consultation with the Supporting Organizations [SOs] and Advisory Committees [ACs]" and that the IRP-IOT shall be "comprised of members of the global Internet community." (See Bylaws, Art. 4, § 4.3(n).)

Whereas, the IRP-IOT was formed during CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 1 (WS1) as a group envisioned to include seven volunteers of experts in IRPs, arbitration or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

Whereas, the IRP-IOT had difficulties in achieving active participation or quorum with its current membership at regularly scheduled meetings.

Whereas, the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC), in its oversight role of ICANN's accountability mechanisms, has undertaken to repopulate the IRP-IOT with members who have the substantive qualifications and time availability to help the IOT conclude its work in a timely fashion.

Whereas, at the request of the BAMC, ICANN organization issued a Call for Expressions of Interest and conducted community outreach seeking new volunteers to join the IRP-IOT.

Whereas, the BAMC specified that volunteers should have the necessary legal or judicial skills and experience in IRPs, arbitrations, or other alternate dispute resolution mechanisms, specific familiarity with ICANN's accountability mechanisms, the time and availability to attend at least a one hour call each week to participate on IRP-IOT telephonic meetings, and sufficient availability to contribute to the work online.

Whereas, the BAMC has confirmed with the current members of the IRP-IOT who have actively participated in the IRP-IOT since January 2018 that they would like to continue serving on the IRP-IOT and that they have the time and availability to attend at least a one hour call each week to participate on IRP-IOT telephonic meetings, as well as sufficient availability to contribute to the work online.

Resolved (2019.11.03.03), the Board delegates to the BAMC the authority in this instance to select the members according to the documentation submitted to the Board, and the Board directs the BAMC to provide a proposal to the Board for the future process of finalizing changes to the composition of the IRP-IOT, if needed.

Resolved (2019.11.03.04), the Board acknowledges the work of the BAMC in recomposing the IRP-IOT and directs the BAMC to provide regular updates to the Board on the status of the work of the recomposed IRP-IOT.

Resolved (2019.11.03.05), the Board thanks the SOs and ACs for their work in consulting with the BAMC on the recomposition of the IRP-IOT and hopes that the SOs and ACs will remain engaged with the effort. The Board further thanks all candidates who submitted expressions of interest to join the IRP-IOT. The Board further thanks all members of the IRP-IOT for their efforts to date.

Rationale for Resolution: 

The Independent Review Process (IRP) is an accountability mechanism provided by the ICANN Bylaws that allows for third party review of ICANN Board or staff actions (or inactions) alleged by an affected party to be inconsistent with ICANN's Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws. Per the Bylaws, an IRP Implementation Oversight Team (IRP-IOT) is responsible for, among other things, updating the IRP Supplementary Procedures for Board approval, and developing rules for the Cooperative Engagement Process (CEP). The Board is taking this action today because it is committed to ensuring that the work of the IRP-IOT is completed in a timely and efficient manner to bring the IRP in line with the updated Bylaws.

The IRP-IOT's scope of work involves drafting the Updated Supplementary Procedures for Board consideration and approval, developing rules for the CEP, making recommendations of trainings for the IRP standing panel, and developing the rules governing appeals from IRP panel decisions.14 The current IRP-IOT was formed in late 2015 within CCWG-ACCT WS1 as a group envisioned to include seven volunteers of experts in the IRPs, arbitration or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as participants from ICANN's legal department.15 Over the past several years, the IRP-IOT has experienced difficulties in achieving active participation and quorum from the current membership at regularly scheduled meetings.

The participation level of the IRP-IOT needs to improve dramatically in order to complete the remaining work in the estimated time frame. The Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC), as the Board Committee with oversight responsibility of ICANN's accountability mechanisms, identified that as part of re-composing the IRP-IOT and supporting the important role that the IRP has within ICANN's overall accountability, it is important to focus on bringing the correct mix of skills to the group to complete the work. The BAMC identified those as specific legal or judicial skills and experience in disputes such as IRPs, arbitrations, or other alternate dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as specific familiarity with ICANN's accountability mechanisms. In terms of time commitment, the BAMC asked for volunteers who have the time and availability to attend at least a one hour call each week to participate on IRP-IOT telephonic meetings, as well as sufficient availability to contribute to the work online.

Pursuant to the Bylaws requirement that an IRP-IOT be "established in consultation with the Supporting Organizations [SOs] and Advisory Committees [ACs]", the process to recompose the IRP-IOT was done in consultation with the SOs and ACs. The BAMC and ICANN org conducted several community outreach efforts, including an issuance of a Call for Expressions of Interest through the Community Leadership Digest in April 2019 and a letter from the BAMC Chair to the SO/AC leadership in which the BAMC Chair asked for the help of the SO/AC leadership in the recomposition process. (See Letter from León Sanchez to SO/AC leadership dated 26 June 2019). The BAMC encouraged the SO/ACs, if interested, to use their own selection processes to provide inputs to the BAMC on candidates. If invited, representatives of ICANN org were available for discussion on the issue.

Following community outreach and a Call for Expressions of Interest, the BAMC then considered whether each of the volunteers that responded to the call for expressions of interest satisfied the substantive qualifications and time requirements sufficient to serve on the IRP-IOT. Some of the volunteers were presented to the BAMC with endorsement from the Generic Names Supporting Organization Council.

With respect to those IRP-IOT members that have actively participated in the IRP-IOT since January 2018, the BAMC, through ICANN org, sought confirmation from each as to whether they wished to continue serving on the IRP-IOT and that they have the time and availability to attend at least a one hour call each week to participate on IRP-IOT telephonic meetings, as well as sufficient availability to contribute to the work online. The full composition from the BAMC also continues the participation from ICANN org's legal department, which brings a practical and important view of how the proposals out of the IRP align in practice as well as potential implications on the ICANN Bylaws and resourcing issues. As the ICANN Board has responsibility to make sure that the IRP, envisioned as the "constitutional court" of ICANN, operates properly under the Bylaws, the BAMC also recommends that two ICANN Board members are formally identified as members of the IRP-IOT and actively participate in this work. The Board notes that other members of the reconstituted IRP-IOT have been, or anticipate to be, involved as claimants against ICANN in IRPs, and the Board notes that their experience is also extremely valuable when finalizing the procedures and other aspects of an IRP that is fit for purpose. The Board further notes that the BAMC may add new members to the IRP-IOT as appropriate should the need to do so arise, and provided that the new members meet the substantive and time requirements for IRP-IOT membership. The Board affirms the BAMC's work in recomposing the IRP-IOT and directs the BAMC to provide regular updates to the Board on the status of the work of the recomposed IRP-IOT.

The BAMC has also recommended that the recomposed IRP-IOT include a leadership refresh as part of reinvigorating and renewing the cadence of the work of the IRP-IOT. The Board agrees with BAMC's recommendation and thanks the IRP-IOT leadership for the work to date.

The Board thanks the SOs and ACs for their work in identifying additional members the IRP-IOT and hopes that the SOs and ACs will remain engaged with the effort. The Board further thanks all candidates who submitted expressions of interest to join the IRP-IOT. The Board further thanks all members of the IRP-IOT for their efforts to date.

This action is within ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest as part of implementing and achieving the enhanced outcomes of the IRP in accordance with the recommendations of the community. This action is also within ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest as it is important to ensure that, in carrying out its Mission, ICANN is accountable to the community for operating within the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and other established procedures, by having a process in place by which a person or entity materially affected by an action of the ICANN Board or Staff may request third-party review of that action or inaction by the Board.

Adopting the BAMC's Recommendation has no financial impact on ICANN and will not negatively impact the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.