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Public Comment: GNSO Council Member Term Limits

13 October 2008

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Public comments are invited on a proposed change to the ICANN bylaws that would implement term limits for GNSO Council members. Currently there is no limit to the number of consecutive terms in which a GNSO Council member may serve. In November 2006, the GNSO Council passed a resolution endorsing term limits, wherein a council member could serve no more than two consecutive terms (http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/#200611).  Moreover, a former council member must remain off the GNSO Council for one full term prior to serving any subsequent term. In light of the pending GNSO review which was underway at the time, the ICANN Board postponed action on term limits. The ICANN Board Governance Committee subsequently included term limits as a recommendation in the GNSO Improvements Report (http://www.icann.org/en/topics/gnso-improvements/gnso-improvements-report-03feb08.pdf, see Sec. 5.1, p. 28) The Report recommends that the preferred limit be two 2-year terms, in order to enhance inclusiveness and enable more people to become involved in Council activities. The GNSO Improvements package was approved by the Board on 26 June 2008 http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-26jun08.htm#_Toc76113182. The draft bylaws change also creates an exception, as recommended by the GNSO Council and the Board Governance Committee, in a “special circumstance,” such as geographic diversity requirements, where no alternative representative is available to serve.

Currently, the GNSO Council, constituencies and ICANN staff are working to implement a new structure for constituency representation and voting for the GNSO Council. In considering the imposition of term limits for GNSO Council members, comments are particularly invited on whether the pending reorganization presents issues for the implementation of term limits that should be considered before term limits are adopted, including any other aspects of the new structure, such as the creation of stakeholder groups or the formation of new constituencies. ICANN also invites comments on when term limits should go into effect.

The proposed revised bylaws text can be found at: http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws-gnso-term-limits-draft-amendment-13oct08.pdf [PDF, 45K]

The public is invited to comment on this proposed bylaws change before consideration by the Board. Staff Member responsible: Liz Gasster

To submit comments: gnso-bylaw-revision@icann.org

To view comments: http://forum.icann.org/lists/gnso-bylaw-revision/