[atrt2] Interesting academic paper on accountability at ICANN

Carlos Raul Gutierrez crg at isoc-cr.org
Wed Mar 20 13:27:10 UTC 2013

Dear Avri,

I just don´t believe in "one size fits all" solutions. Even less for highly
technical and fast evolving organizations/responsibilites like ICANN´s.

The european concept of consitutional law, or "Vefassungsrecht" is not only
very rigid and for that reason foreign to anglosaxon tradition, but its
implciations can be very varied indeed. Hugo Chavez did "democratically"
change Venezuelas Constitution in 1999 and regined without any
accountability during 14 years of corruption and mismagement.

The Berkman Study speaks of ICANNs "hybrid institutional character"...I
believe we should elucidate first the different elements of this hybrid
structure, and then look for the appropriate accountability framework for
each of them. Legitimacy can be won trough elections (and constitucional
conventions), but it might neither be efficient nor effective for the
management of the DNS.

Have a great day.

Carlos Raul

2013/3/20 Avri Doria <avri at acm.org>

> Hi,
> I would say the NCSG is very involved in their concerns over A&T at ICANN.
> They  also send me many issues they think we should discuss, which I try
> to bring to our discussions.
> As for the paper, I thought it was interesting and had a fair amount of
> content, including offering a good perspective on ATRT1.  I am not saying
> that I have bought into the analysis completely and I do find the solution
> offered in the paper somewhat less than a fully well formed solution.   But
> I also do find a lot of it worth thinking about further.
> And it did make me think that one topic we should add to our discussion is:
> - Provide a working definition of "accountability" that makes sense for
> I probably need to go back and read all of ATRT1 WG4 backup materials at
> this point.
> avri
> On 19 Mar 2013, at 19:02, Carlos Raúl Gutierrez wrote:
> > What a though stakeholder group you are in!
> >
> > cheers
> >
> > Carlos Raúl Gutierrez
> > --
> > crg at isoc-cr.org
> > Skype carlos.raulg
> > +506 7070 7176
> >
> > El 19/03/2013, a las 16:08, Avri Doria <avri at acm.org> escribió:
> >
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> This reference was passed to me one of the members of my Stakeholder
> Group.
> >>
> >>
> >> https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2076780
> >>
> >> June 4, 2012
> >>
> >> Abstract:
> >> Internet governance has long been troubled by an unresolved problem.
> Its dominant organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers
> (“ICANN”), suffers from inadequate accountability. ICANN holds the
> exclusive authority to manage the Domain Name System (“DNS”) that enables
> the Internet to function as a global network, and that authority is
> exercised by a Board of Directors whose powers are virtually unconstrained.
> ICANN’s exercise of unconstrained power over the Internet DNS is associated
> with a conspicuous gap between the accountability ICANN needs and the
> accountability it delivers. ICANN needs sufficient accountability, at
> least, to honor its written commitments and to satisfy its stakeholders’
> expectations. Unfortunately, ICANN’s performance falls short in both
> regards.
> >>
> >> This article proposes to resolve ICANN’s longstanding predicament by
> describing a strategy to strengthen its accountability from within. Because
> its accountability gap arises from the absence of any mechanism binding the
> ICANN Board to act within its authority and consistent with its
> commitments, ICANN should adopt a standard of accountability that holds its
> Board answerable through procedures independent of it and binding on it.
> The Board’s unconstrained powers present the issue of power beyond right,
> the quintessential problem for constitutional law. For that reason,
> traditional principles of constitutional government offer a promising means
> of placing the Board’s powers under effective control. The article
> concludes that a written charter enumerating and separating the Board’s
> powers, a declaration of stakeholder rights, and an independent tribunal
> with the authority to issue decisions binding on the ICANN Board should be
> adopted through a ratification process that includes representatives from
> every sector of ICANN’s global stakeholder community.
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >
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*Carlos Raúl Gutiérrez*
skype carlos.raulg
Apartado 1571-1000

Mobile +506 6060 7176
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