[CCWG-ACCT] What are the WS2 activities that ensue from a WS1 bylaws commitment to human rights?

Nigel Roberts nigel at channelisles.net
Fri Jul 31 10:11:37 UTC 2015

On 31/07/15 10:05, Malcolm Hutty wrote:
> On 31/07/2015 09:11, Avri Doria wrote:
>> Hi,
>> In order to outline some of the work that would need to be done in WS2,
>> given a WS1 bylaws commitment to human rights, e.g.  Drazek as ammended
>> by Lisse
>> /Within its mission and in its operations, ICANN will be committed to respect the fundamental human rights, inter alia, the exercise of free expression and the free flow of information./
>> I have extracted the following text from
>> * Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
>>     <http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf>
>> <http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf>*
> That doesn't look like a multistakeholder document to me. It seems to
> have set out responsibilities for businesses without involving
> businesses in its formulation. So, valuable input as a reference point,
> but is it something we would simply accept as an unimpeachable statement
> applicable to this community?

Yes, given its origin.

>> 13. The responsibility to respect human rights requires that business
>> enterprises:
> [...]
>>      (b) Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that
>>      are directly linked to their operations, products or services by
>>      their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to
>>      those impacts.
> As this applies to ICANN, do you think this creates a duty to use its
> business relationships with Registries and Registrars seek to prevent
> human rights abuses by domain registrants?

There are two extremely important aspects of human rights law comes in 
to play here, called the "margin of appreciation", and, more 
importantly, "proportionality".

So if you ask me, literally, does this create a *duty* upon ICANN to use 
business relationships to seek to prevent human rights abuses by 
registrants, the answer, is, precisely, "No".

Dissection and analysis of this further, is a detailed matter, on which 
I'm happy to expound at the right time, in the right place.

But I would suggest it's entirely appropriate that ICANN's business and 
policy decisions be informed by a culture of respect for, and 
advancement of, fundamental rights.

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