[discuss] [IANAxfer] Two accountability questions - help pls- Workshop 23 - ICANN accountability

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Thu Sep 4 16:30:29 UTC 2014

On Sep 4, 2014, at 7:14 PM, Seth Johnson <seth.p.johnson at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On 31/08/2014, at 7:09 pm, John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org> wrote:
>>> ...
>>> By "internal", are you asking wether such could be adequate based on
>>> ICANN's current specific governance structures, or asking more generically
>>> the question of "can any organization be accountable to an external
>>> community for performance of a task", and have the accountability
>>> anchored solely via internal mechanisms?"
> Yes, an organization can be accountable to an external community for
> performance of a task and have have the accountability anchored (nto
> solely) via internal mechanisms.
> The paradigm case is democracy itself.
> ...
> You have an internal system, which is the business of regular
> elections, with representatives and participation, and also an external
> system, in a relationship to the people who set up the system.
> The biggest problem with the transition is in fact the tendency to
> overlook the fact that the moorings of the stewardship we have had are
> being removed.  Contracts and internal organizational structures (and
> international treaties about rights signed onto and interpreted by
> governments) don't really compensate for the loss of a relationship to
> the solid basis of a constitutional act.

That may be true with respect to governments, but whether it is applicable
to the present situation with ICANN remains to be seen...

> Just for you to take into account.  There are some ways to establish
> something approximating this relationship to what's really the
> strongest basis for accountability to a context that holds fundamental
> liberties paramount.

Okay, presuming everyone accepts the premise, what exactly would you suggest 
for ICANN's accountability mechanisms?  Would these be internal in nature, and 
if so, what is the "context" to which these mechanisms would be anchored?


Disclaimer: my views alone.

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