[council] On the use of 'fairness'

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Thu Aug 25 21:02:43 UTC 2005


To reiterate, and go further, on my comment about not exorcising the  
word 'fairness' from the frames of reference.

I believe that the importance of the concept and term fairness stems   
from the relative notion of fairness, i.e. something is not fair  
unless both sides see something as fair from their subjective  
viewpoint. Nothing can automatically be called fair from one side of  
an issue.  The importance of this is that it keeps every actor aware  
that they must take the perspective of the other into account.  I  
think that this is also something that falls on the ombus-process if  
the actors cannot agree on the fairness of something, i.e. it goes to  
an impartial venue that can take all pints of view into account.

Additionally the notion of fairness is set in the core values of  
ICANN which is supposed to motivate our actions within the  
organization and the council.  To indicate that this notion does not  
apply to the council or to a review of the council's work may give  
the appearance of setting ourselves outside the core values.  this is  
probably an appearance we should try to avoid.

I also think that item 4(a) under H

> Interpretation and examination of the use of concepts used in the  
> By Laws such as “open and transparent manner”, “fairness”,  
> “consensus”, “bottom-up policy development” is required.

indicates that the concepts involved in determining fairness should  
be explicit and examined.  I think this is important as it not only  
serves to make the word understandable, but then gives the ombus- 
office criteria it can use when having to determine whether a claim  
of unfairness is justified.

Bascially I think that the requirement is such that in every  
situation the precise content of what makes something fair or not  
cannot be defined before hand.  the requirement for fairness, forces  
the council to due diligence in terms of inspecting all sides of  
every issue.


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