[discuss] governments and rule of law (was: Possible approaches to solving...)

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Feb 24 14:28:49 UTC 2014

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf Of Steve Crocker

> There is work underway to bring the GAC earlier into the policy 
>development process so their input is available during and not just after the PDP concludes.

People have  been saying that since the release of the first Accountability and Transparency Review Team report, two years ago. 
I myself have seen zero change since then. The absence of change is not for lack of trying: the problem is structural. Until and unless GAC dissolves and governmental participants involve themselves directly in the policy development process on equal terms with all other stakeholders, this problem will not be solved. Put differently, as long as GAC meets in a room in isolation from all other stakeholder groups and runs a parallel, separate process, and has the bylaw-granted authority to intervene at the end, the current problems will remain. 

John Curran made an important point, however, that is being obscured in this discussion. It was not just that GAC is culpable for intervening in the final stage, but also that the ICANN board is culpable for turning itself into the final negotiator of policy rather than ratifier of what the bottom up process does. In other words, the board has a tendency to position itself as the "DNS policy board" rather than the board that just runs the organization that supports the policy process. The policy process should be driven by stakeholder groups.

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