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

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Wed Sep 10 20:37:38 UTC 2014

I was thinking of something that merely strengthens ICANN's existing Independent Review Process (IRP). 

Milton L Mueller
Laura J and L. Douglas Meredith Professor 
Syracuse University School of Information Studies

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On
> Behalf Of Andrew Sullivan
> Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 4:28 PM
> To: discuss at 1net.org
> Subject: Re: [discuss] [IANAxfer] [ccnso-igrg] Two accountability questions -
> help pls- Workshop 23 - ICANN accountability
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 07:53:14PM +0000, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> >
> > A good way to reconcile those two requirements is to have an
> "independent judiciary" with the authority to enforce binding, constitutional
> limitations on what the policy process can do. This appeals process could be
> used to challenge ultra vires policies, to challenge major process failures, or
> to challenge implementations that do not reflect agreed policies. All of these
> challenges should take place BEFORE anything hits the IANA, of course. If
> policy (ICANN) and IANA are integrated in the same organization, it becomes
> harder to enforce that kind of accountability, imho.
> >
> Given the "BEFORE" in that, am I to understand that you intend this
> "independent judiciary" to be inside each community function, or do you
> intend it to be another community/entity/organization outside all the
> existing ones?
> I think the former might be ok -- indeed, it's really just an effective
> appeal/redress mechanism, and is consistent with the idea of minimal
> change to the systems.
> The latter interpretation is rather more problematic to me.  To begin with, I
> don't really see how we're going to get such an organization spun up in
> anything like reasonable time.  There's also the issue of how to balance _its_
> power: the ability of various countries' supreme courts have made them
> ideal targets for politicised appointments, with the very goal of imposing over
> the long term policies which cannot be sustained by the ballot box.  (If you
> can water down election spending limits in the legislature, you can win a
> victory for a while; if you can get them ruled unconsistitutional, you've
> _really_ won.)  The obvious answer, of course, is an appeal mechanism which
> then itself needs the same appeal mechanism, and so on.
> Moreover, I'm reasonably confident that at least one community thinks that
> its existing accountability mechanisms are an internal matter, and that it
> would be at least uncomfortable with the idea of an external party imposing
> oversight.
> Best regards,
> A
> --
> Andrew Sullivan
> ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
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