ICANN Announcements

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.WEB Independent Review Process Update

25 May 2021

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has received the Final Declaration of the Independent Review Process (IRP) regarding .WEB. ICANN's IRP is a formal dispute resolution mechanism created under the ICANN Bylaws to hold ICANN accountable.

The Final Declaration in the Afilias Domains No. 3 (Afilias) v. ICANN IRP regarding .WEB was issued on Thursday, 20 May 2021, by a three-member panel of neutral arbitrators, following a formal and lengthy process administered by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. ICANN's IRP is one of the three main accountability mechanisms included under ICANN's Bylaws, along with the Reconsideration Requests and ICANN's Ombudsman.

"We are grateful for the work of the panel," said Göran Marby, ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is the first test of a key ICANN accountability mechanism since it was strengthened under the post-IANA stewardship transition Bylaws, and I thank the IRP panel for the seriousness and careful attention it gave to this matter."

In its Final Declaration, the IRP panel ruled that the ICANN Board, and not an IRP panel, should decide which applicant should become the registry operator for .WEB.

The panel did declare that ICANN did not act consistently with two provisions of its Bylaws and made some nonbinding recommendations for ICANN to consider.

ICANN is reviewing the Final Declaration, including the recommendations, in depth to understand the details and perhaps identify potential areas for growth and process improvement.

The ICANN Board will consider the Final Declaration as soon as feasible, within the timeframe prescribed in the Bylaws, and remains hopeful that the relevant .WEB applicants will continue to seek alternatives to resolve the dispute between them raised during the IRP.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.