[gnso-improvem-impl-sc] RE: For Discussion: Amendments to Motions

Aikman-Scalese, Anne AAikman at lrrlaw.com
Wed Aug 12 23:28:59 UTC 2015

Dear SCI members,
Based on Rudi’s suggestion that we explore the topic of amendments to motions on the list,  I am offering a few thoughts:

1.       When addressing a proposed amendment to a motion, it may be that the first question should be whether Councilors feel they can vote on the amendment at the meeting where the motion is being considered, or must table the motion until Councilors are able to consult with their constituencies and stakeholder groups.  There is a custom for being able to delay a motion by one meeting and this may be a good place to use it – at the discretion of the Chair of the Council.  Could this sort of discussion occur without the need for a vote?  In other words, could the amended Operating Procedure call for  discussion and then the Chair would have discretion as to whether or not to delay the voting on the amendment?

2.       My view is that the maker of the motion should have some say as to  whether or not the  motion will be amended before voting.  If he or she says “no” to the proposed amendment, then it seems to me it is up to the person requesting the amendment  to request that the motion be delayed to the next meeting – for purposes of further discussion and working out differences of opinion.  Then the Chair has discretion to delay or not delay, based on custom and practice.  Delaying the vote would allow for discussion among Councilors as to the desirability of the amendment, but of course may not always be possible given time constraints.  It also seems, however, that if the Chair elects not to delay voting on the motion, then there should be a vote as to whether the motion should be amended or not prior to bringing it to a vote.

3.       I believe that the current practice is that if the amendment is accepted by the motion maker, Council Chair checks with the seconder.  If the seconder agrees, the motion goes forward to a vote as amended. If the seconder opposes the amendment, then Council votes on whether or not the amendment will be added to the motion.  The question here is whether an amendment should in fact move forward based on a simple majority vote even if the seconder opposes.  Thus, the alternatives seem to be

(A) vote on the motion with amendment if simple majority carries amendment  (current practice – will Councilors and staff please confirm?)

(B) vote on the motion without the amendment  (party suggesting amendment may ask for delay in voting to next meeting)

(C ) Chair delays the vote to give more time for resolution of disagreement and possible withdrawal of original motion with submission of amended motion prior to next meeting.

(D) If Chair does not delay the vote, vote on whether or not the amendment should be made prior to bringing the motion to a vote.  (But is this the same as A?)

4.       Some of the considerations:

a.       Time to consult constituencies and stakeholders if needed.

b.      Efficiency  of Council business getting done.

c.       Whether or not the amendment should be allowed at the same meeting.

d.      Whether a party may choose to withhold a proposed amendment until the time of the Council meeting if Council Operating Procedures favor introducing it late.  (“gaming” concerns)

As usual, it’s a balancing act.  In this regard, it may be useful in our next meeting in September to take up the example of the proposed Issues Report for the next round which was the subject of an amendment in the meeting in Argentina and run it through a hypothetical procedure that should apply to amendments to motions.

This is simply “food for thought” in August.  Sorry if the above is confusing.  Hopefully we will get some further discussion before our September call.

Best wishes to all,

[cid:image001.gif at 01D0CA0D.79342330]

Anne E. Aikman-Scalese, Of Counsel

Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP |

One South Church Avenue Suite 700 | Tucson, Arizona 85701-1611

(T) 520.629.4428 | (F) 520.879.4725

AAikman at LRRLaw.com<mailto:AAikman at LRRLaw.com> | www.LRRLaw.com<http://www.lrrlaw.com/>

From: owner-gnso-improvem-impl-sc at icann.org<mailto:owner-gnso-improvem-impl-sc at icann.org> [mailto:owner-gnso-improvem-impl-sc at icann.org] On Behalf Of Julie Hedlund
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2015 1:26 PM
To: gnso-improvem-impl-sc at icann.org<mailto:gnso-improvem-impl-sc at icann.org>
Subject: [gnso-improvem-impl-sc] For Discussion: Amendments to Motions

Dear SCI members,

On today's call the SCI began a discussion concerning whether the informal GNSO Council customs relating to amendments to motions should be incorporated in the GNSO Operating Procedures and, if so, in what form.  For background on the issue, please see the attached Review Request. Here is a brief summary of the points raised in the discussion.  I've included the relevant discussion from the Chat Room below and the transcript will be circulated separately.  I would be grateful to those who were in the meeting to let me know whether there were any points I missed and whether there is additional information to inform this discussion.

Key Points:

  *   The GNSO Operating Procedures do not contain any guidance concerning amendments of any sort, or define "friendly" and "unfriendly".  There also is no guidance on seconding motions.
  *   The current informal custom is that the person who proposes a motion decides whether an amendment is friendly or not. (See the attached Review Request for a full description of the current practice.)
  *   Roberts Rules of Order treat amendments as neutral (neither friendly or unfriendly).
  *   The current informal custom in the Council is that if an amendment is deemed unfriendly then a vote is held on the motion (threshold: simply majority).
  *   Voting on amendments is standard outside of the GNSO/ICANN community.
  *   Timing of the submission of amendments has been problematic, sometimes not allowing time for consultation with constituencies and stakeholder groups.
The SCI members on the call today decided that discussion on this issue should continue on the list and at the next meeting.  In particular, members should consider whether the GNSO Operating Procedures should be revised to include specific procedures on amendments.  Possible procedures to include could be:

     *   Timing of submission of amendments;
     *   Defining "friendly" and "unfriendly";
     *   When and how votes on amendments are conducted; and
     *   When and how amendments are seconded.
Please send any comments in response to this message as the start of the discussion thread.

Best regards,

Julie Hedlund, Policy Director

Chat Room:

Lori Schulman:Are "friendly" and "unfriendly" defined in the GNSO procedures.
  Julie Hedlund:@Lori: No, there is nothing in the Procedures addressing amendments of either kind.
  Lori Schulman:Without a definition, how do we delineate a procdure?
  Julie Hedlund:@Lori: We would have to consider whether to incorporate a definition in the addition to the procedures.  We could probably use Roberts Rules of Order as a guide.
  ken stubbs - afilias:15 years ago for me (joined council)
  ken stubbs - afilias:+1 avri
  Amr Elsadr:@Avri: In BA, council also voted on whether to accept the amended language before voting on the motion.
  Avri Doria:under the tradion on the maker of the motion and seconder get to decide if it is friendly.  rudi issue is the crix of the issue on friendly motions. who owns changing it?
  Lori Schulman:I tend to agree with Roberts.  Amendments should be agnostic.
  Lori Schulman:neither friendly nor unfriendly.
  Mary Wong:The consequence of characterizing a proposed amendment as friendly or not is whether or not the Council will then first need to vote on the proposed amendment (whether to accept it)
  Mary Wong:Again, it's Council custom - first vote on amendment if considered unfriendly
  Mary Wong:Needs majority to add the amendment to the original motion
  Avri Doria:voting on amendments is the standard even in the real world.
  Lori Schulman:yup
  Julie Hedlund:@Avri: You mean we aren't in the real world ;-)
  Mary Wong:Yup just pointing out the consequence
  Lori Schulman:+1 to Avri's comment about the "real" world.
  Avri Doria:Julie, you tell me.  I can't ever tell for sure.
  Julie Hedlund:@Avri: Then we are both lost since I'm not sure either :-)
  Rudi Vansnick:"friendly" is to me a personal (human) perception not procedural
  Amr Elsadr:@Rudi: Yes..., which is why it is highly subjective.
  Avri Doria:i have to chair a IGF type meeting on the hour so will drop off at around  xx58
  Angie Graves:I agree with Amr.  Are we working against an agreed-upon definition of "friendly"?
  Avri Doria:for a bit of history, when i first becasme GNSO chair in antiquity, i tried to get rid of the whole friendly ammendment thing.  at that time i was told to leave it alone.  now, after all these years i have grown accustomed to it.
  Amr Elsadr:I wouldn't try to define friendly here.
  Amr Elsadr:Seems unnecessary to me.
  Angie Graves:Me neither.  Just wondering if one exists.
  ken stubbs:sorry.. wifi wnt down for a few min
  Amr Elsadr:@Angie: I think you're friendly. Does that count? ;-)
  Angie Graves:hehe
  Angie Graves:me too you!
  Avri Doria:continue to discuss on list?
  Lori Schulman:I think that if you want to codify rules around friendly amendments then you need to define them
  Amr Elsadr:@Avri: +1
  Angie Graves:Thanks, Avri
  ken stubbs:awareness needs to be made at council level before we move much further
  Avri Doria:some mornig i wake up and know i am not going to be all that friendly that day.
  Amr Elsadr:@Lori: I only meant that if we work out and suggest codified rules, those will determine how friendly amendments may be submitted and accepted without us having to define it now. That's all.
  Lori Schulman:Amr: got it.


This message and any attachments are intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If the reader of this message or an attachment is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message or attachment to the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message or any attachment is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the sender. The information transmitted in this message and any attachments may be privileged, is intended only for the personal and confidential use of the intended recipients, and is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-improvem-impl-sc/attachments/20150812/8fd56017/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.gif
Type: image/gif
Size: 3765 bytes
Desc: image001.gif
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-improvem-impl-sc/attachments/20150812/8fd56017/image001.gif>

More information about the Gnso-improvem-impl-sc mailing list