[Gnso-igo-ingo-crp] FW: Proposed Revision of Consensus Levels

Corwin, Philip pcorwin at verisign.com
Tue Jun 12 19:54:25 UTC 2018

Resending as I apparently used an incorrect email address

From: Corwin, Philip
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 2:54 PM
To: 'Gnso-igo-ingo-crp' <gnso-igo-ingo-crp-bounces at icann.org>
Subject: Proposed Revision of Consensus Levels

Following up on the statement I made during our WG call earlier today, I believe that the initial designations of support for Options 1 and 4 are incorrect and that they should be changed from "Consensus" to "Strong support but significant opposition".

Section 3.6 (Standard Methodology for Making Decisions) of the GNSO WG Guidelines (https://gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/file/field-file-attach/annex-1-gnso-wg-guidelines-30jan18-en.pdf) describes those designations as follows:

                Consensus - a position where only a small minority disagrees, but most agree.

Strong support but significant opposition - a position where, while most of the group supports a recommendation, there are a significant number of those who do not support it. (Emphasis added)

So the relevant question is whether the opposition to Options 1 and 4 constitutes a "small minority" or "a significant number".

Option 1 for Recommendation 5 received support from 11 WG members and opposition from 3; those opposed constituted 21.5% of all members expressing a view.

Option 4 for Recommendation 5 received support from 10 members and opposition from 3; those opposed constituted 23% of all members expressing a view. That is just shy of one-quarter of all responses.

There is no bright line test in the Guidelines for discerning the dividing line between a small minority and a significant number, and  reviews of dictionary definitions of "significant" are not of much value in this context. While there can be no doubt that results above 20% are statistically significant, the most common definitions of the term are "important" or noteworthy". My personal view is that a "small minority" would be 10% or less, but that when more than a fifth and nearly one-quarter of those expressing a view are in opposition to a given position it should be regarded as a "significant number".  The fact that just three members are in opposition cannot be used alone to designate them as a "small minority" given the very small size of the total group expressing a view - if the responses were multiplied by 10 there would be 110 in favor of Option 1 and 30 opposed, and 100 on favor of Option 4 and 30 opposed, and in both instances the opposition should be viewed as significant.

If the Chair does not alter the initial designations I will include this statement in my Minority Report.

Philip S. Corwin

Policy Counsel

VeriSign, Inc.

12061 Bluemont Way
Reston, VA 20190



"Luck is the residue of design" -- Branch Rickey

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