[council] Chair/Vice Chair Terms

Mary Wong Mary.Wong at law.unh.edu
Sun Nov 28 16:00:38 UTC 2010

I agree with Stephane's suggestion, for the reason he mentions. It seems
to me that one common thread running through the Op Procedures language
is the assumption that the Chair and Vice-Chairs should be Council
members for at least the duration of their respective terms, so
Stephane's suggestion makes a great deal of sense.
One other potential wrinkle occurred to me as I was going through the
relevant sections, however, although I would add that this is not a
scenario that can arise in our current election. The wrinkle is this:
the Op Procedures state that if a Chair is NOT elected by the end of an
annual meeting, the Vice-Chairs act as interim Chairs until a successful
election is held. There's a possibility, however, that at some future
election, one or both of the then-Vice-Chairs will themselves have to
leave the Council at the end of the same annual meeting where the
then-Chair steps down (e.g. due to term limits). In that scenario, would
the affected House(s) then have to nominate interim Vice-Chair(s) who
would serve as the interim Chair(s)?
I ask because the Op Procedures specify that the Chair and Vice-Chairs
cannot be from the same Stakeholder Group; thus, it would not be
possible to nominate more "permanent" Vice-Chairs - other than interim
ones - prior to knowing who the Chair ultimately will be.
Another question/issue/topic for the GCOT and OSC, perhaps.

Mary W S Wong
Professor of Law
Chair, Graduate IP Programs
03301USAEmail: mary.wong at law.unh.eduPhone: 1-603-513-5143Webpage:
http://www.law.unh.edu/marywong/index.phpSelected writings available on
the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) at:

From: Stéphane Van Gelder<stephane.vangelder at indom.com>
To:"Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes at verisign.com>
CC:<council at gnso.icann.org>, "Philip Sheppard"
<philip.sheppard at aim.be>, <ray at goto.jobs>
Date: 11/26/2010 7:45 PM
Subject: Re: [council] Chair/Vice Chair Terms
Thanks Chuck.

I'd like to propose an initial suggestion that as each Councillor's
term starts at the end of the AGM, it may make sense to link the Council
Leaders' terms to that.

In this instance, it would mean that you would serve until the end of
the Cartagena meeting and then hand over to the Chair or VCs, depending
upon the election results.

This is just a first step proposal to get us through this upcoming
meeting. But I think that going forward, the procedures need to be
refined so that there are clear guidelines in place.

For example, last year we made the switch to the new Council Leadership
team during the Council Open meeting. In some ways that is a good
solution because it means that those in the community attending the AGM
can put a face behind the names of the new leaders. Bearing in mind that
we could have instances when the new Chairs and VCs are also new to the
Council, this may be helpful. On the other hand, if they are new, and
therefore relatively inexperienced in the way the Council works, they
may feel uncomfortable at being "thrown in the deep end" in this way...

So it's clear that there are a lot of aspects of these procedures that
need to be looked at. It seems like we need to agree on a way forward
for Cartagena, and then ask the OSC and the GCOT to work on them in
detail so that come next year, these issues do not reappear.


Le 26 nov. 2010 à 20:24, Gomes, Chuck a écrit :

In our ongoing saga of applying the new GNSO Operating Procedures (GOP)
we have identified another missing ingredient:  Neither the Bylaws nor
the GOP define the exact terms for Council chair and vice chairs.  The
Bylaws define the terms for Councilors as beginning and ending at the
end of the ICANN Annual General Meeting, but no such clarification is
given for the chair and vice chairs. So we have another task for the
In the meantime, we have a decision in front of us as to when we should
transition to the newly elected chair.  With the lack of detail in the
Bylaws and GOP, I am assuming that this is a decision that the Council
should make for Cartagena.  I want to state right up front that I am
comfortable with whatever is decided and will fully cooperate to make it
Following is some information that may be helpful.
As far as I can tell the only direction that may be even indirectly
applicable in  the Bylaws from Article X is this:
·       “. . . the regular term of each GNSO Council member shall begin
at the conclusion of an ICANN annual meeting and shall end at the
conclusion of the second ICANN annual meeting thereafter” (paragraph 2)
·       “The GNSO Council shall select the GNSO Chair for a term the
GNSO Council specifies, but not longer than one year.” (paragraph 7)
·       “The procedures for selecting the Chair and any other officers
are contained in the GNSO Operating Procedures. In the event that the
GNSO Council has not elected a GNSO Chair by the end of the previous
Chair's term, the Vice-Chairs will serve as Interim GNSO Co-Chairs until
a successful election can be held.” (paragraph 7)

Assuming that the procedures will be fixed in the next few months, I
believe our only concern at this time is what we should do in Cartagena.
 Focusing on the round of voting that is now underway, we have several
scenarios that are possible (see GOP Section 2.2):
1.      If at least 60% of each house selects ‘none of the above’, then
each house initiates a new nomination period and a new election will be
held no sooner than 30 days after the unsuccessful vote.
2.      If both Olga and Stéphane receive the same total percentage of
votes from both houses or if one of them a higher total percentage than
the other but ties with ‘none of the above’, a second election will be
held no sooner than 30 days with the candidates remaining the same.
3.      If either Olga or Stéphane is elected chair in the first round
of voting (i.e., receives at least 60% support from each house), we will
have elected a new chair prior to the Cartagena meeting.
4.      If neither candidate receives 60% support from both houses and
one of them receives a higher score than the other (score = % of votes
in CPH + % of votes in the NCPH), a second round of voting will be held
between the one with the highest score and ‘none of the above’:
a.      If the remaining candidate receives 60% support from both
houses, we have a successful election.
b.      If the remaining candidate does not reach the 60% threshold of
each house, then each house initiates a new nomination period and a new
election will be held no sooner than 30 days after the unsuccessful

In scenarios 1, 2 and 4.b, we will not know who the new chair is in
Cartagena and the vice chairs will assume the leadership of the Council
until such time as we have a new chair.  But note that the new vice
chairs cannot take over their vice chair roles if they are not yet on
the Council because the vice chairs have to be Councilors.  It looks
very much like this will actually be the case for the CPH.
In scenario 3, it would be feasible to transfer the chair position to
the new chair at whatever point the Council decides.  In scenario 4.a,
if the second round of voting results in the election of the chair
before or in Cartagena, it would be possible to transfer the chair
position to the new chair at whatever point the Council decides after we
have a successful election; if not, then we will not know who the new
chair is in Cartagena.
I think it is best for me to stay on the sidelines on this issue except
for trying to help from a procedural point of view.  But I would like to
ask Olga and Stéphane to propose a way forward on this for Council
consideration and want to strongly encourage them to not worry the least
about my feelings.  Like I said above, I am comfortable with whatever is
decided as long as we have a defined plan that complies with the Bylaws
and provides a smooth transition.

Olga & Stéphane – Are willing to work together to do this and submit a
proposed plan to the Council for consideration?

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