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

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Tue Feb 25 16:27:28 UTC 2014

On Feb 25, 2014, at 7:55 AM, David Cake <dave at difference.com.au> wrote:

> Many of the issues with the GAC come down to the issue that the GAC is constructed (as is usual within multi-lateral bodies) based on the principle that governments have a unitary policy position that can be represented by a single official representative. Governments are frequently not unified in their policy positions, and this is frequently apparent within ICANN and other IG processes.

That situation is actually not unique to governments; it occurs on occasion in 
large corporations/institutions as well (e.g.  I experienced it firsthand when 
working on policy issues in a US telecommunications firm that was at one time 
an incumbent local exchange operator, a competitive local exchange operator, and 
an Internet service provider, depending on the specific service area and product)

To the extent that a government can find a single policy position, it is more 
useful to policy discussions. Given the global scope of the Internet, the same
principle applies among governments, i.e. to the extent that multiple governments
can actually agree on specific policy principles, I believe that the result is
much more useful as input to Internet policy discussions (and in particular when 
it comes to development of policies for coordination of Internet identifiers.)

> I don't think this issue can be addressed with the current GAC structure. A But we can create a process in which policy divisions between the GAC and other bodies are identified, and hopefully at least somewhat resolved, much earlier in the process, and so the Board is forced into the role of policy adjudicator/negotiatior less often. 

That would appear to be a very worthwhile goal - Thanks!

Disclaimer:  My views alone.

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