Subject: IPC Position on WIPO IGO Recommendation
Date: Thursday, 15 May 2003
From: Michael Heltzer
To: Louis Touton
Given that we only just recently returned from Amsterdam, the IPC was unable until now to develop a written position on the above topic. Please accept our apologies for the lateness of the submission.
At the IPC Meeting on May 7 in Amsterdam, it was the consensus of the members present that the IPC oppose amending the UDRP to accommodate the recommendation that disputes relating to International Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) should not be required to submit to the jurisdiction of national courts. This recommendation is contained in the February 21, 2003 letter from WIPO Assistant Director General Francis Gurry to ICANN Board Chairman Dr. Vint Cerf and then-ICANN President Dr. Stuart Lynn.
When the UDRP was in its initial drafting stages, the ICANN Board pointed out several areas of concern, including the need for general parity between the appeal rights of complainants and domain name holders. (ICANN Resolution No. 99.83, paragraph 4-Santiago, Chile August 26, 1999). In particular, it was noted that as drafted at that time, there would be some cases in which the domain-name holder would have no clear mechanism for seeking judicial review of a decision of an administrative panel canceling or transferring the domain name. As a result, the initial documents were revised to require that the complainant include in its complaint a statement submitting to jurisdiction for purposes of court review of administrative panel decisions in its favor.
Like ICANN, the IPC views the accessibility to a national court as one of the UDRP's basic underpinnings and a reason for its acceptance as a fair and reasonable dispute resolution procedure. The fact that parties can turn to a court of law serves as a safety valve on the authority of dispute resolution panelists, provides equity, safeguards essential rights of both parties, and properly ensures that the courts are the ones who are ultimately responsible for interpreting the law – both national and international alike.
The IPC appreciates consideration of its views.