Landmark Step in ICANN’s Use of Accountability Mechanisms

by Rod Beckstrom on February 21, 2010


On Friday (19 February), we received the Declaration of the Panel from the first ICANN Independent Review Process (IRP), which is posted here:

This is a landmark step in ICANN’s use of the accountability mechanisms built into our bylaws. ICM’s initiation of the Independent Review process marks the first time the process has been used since its creation about six years ago.

The Declaration will now be reviewed and considered by the ICANN Board of Directors during its next meeting, pursuant to the ICANN Bylaws, Article IV, section 3.  The Board’s next meeting is scheduled to be held in Nairobi on March 12.

Here are some key points arising from Declaration:

  • The panel’s decision is not binding. It advised the ICANN Board to reconsider the .XXX gTLD at its next meeting.
  • This rejection of the .XXX gTLD, which generated the Declaration, is an extremely complex issue.
  • ICANN’s board voted down the .XXX gTLD on multiple grounds.
  • There was considerable public concern expressed against this particular gTLD, which can be found here:
  • After this long history with the .XXX application, it will again land in the hands of the ICANN Board of Directors.

The IRP process was designed to enhance ICANN accountability and was approved by the ICANN board in 2003.  This first use is a testament to the enhanced accountability.  As a result of the IRP, the ICANN board will again consider the proposed .XXX top-level domain, despite the previous considerable stakeholder and public opposition to its approval.

Chronological History of ICM’s Involvement with ICANN [PDF, 93K]

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