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Update on the ICANN Independent Review Process Standing Panel Composition

27 October 2022
By The Independent Review Process Community Representatives Group

Kavouss Arasteh (Appointed by Governmental Advisory Committee)
Donna Austin (Appointed by Generic Names Supporting Organization)
Heather Forrest (Appointed by Generic Names Supporting Organization)
Cheryl Langdon-Orr (Appointed by At-Large Advisory Committee)
Edowaye Makanjuola (Appointed by Governmental Advisory Committee)
David McAuley (Appointed by Country Code Names Supporting Organization) (Chair)
Greg Shatan (Appointed by At-Large Advisory Committee)

Back in February of this year, ICANN announced our names, in consultation with the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, as seven members of the Independent Review Process (IRP) Community Representatives Group (CRG). Our task is to propose a slate of nominees, for confirmation by the ICANN Board of Directors, to constitute an omnibus standing panel that will hear and resolve disputes filed under ICANN's IRP. As members of the CRG, we view our work as similar to the work of ICANN's Nominating Committee (NomCom), although this comparison has limitations.

In our role, we are acting in accordance with the mandate established in Article 4, Section 4.3(j) of the ICANN Bylaws, which defines that there will be standing panel of at least seven members and describes how the ICANN community will participate in the standing panel nomination process. ICANN organization received 99 expressions of interest from candidates to serve on the panel.

Since March, we have been meeting regularly. You can follow our progress on this wiki, although much of the substance of our work will remain confidential in light of the personal details and backgrounds that we are reviewing. On the wiki, you can also see the terms of engagement of the various participants in this process, as well as the terms of reference for our work.

Our initial phase of work was organizational and administrative such as choosing an administrative chair and deciding the meeting times and format. More substantively, after ICANN org presented a short list of potential firms, we selected an external expert consultant, Odgers Berndtson, to help us in our work. Odgers Berndtson is an executive search consulting firm based in Brussels and has experience in rendering such services to the ICANN NomCom.

We recently moved into a new phase of analyzing the backgrounds of applicants for membership to the standing panel in a largely anonymized fashion. While we only see information about various applicants' qualifications, gender and ICANN regional residency, we do not at this point know the identity of the candidates. These are data points to assist our winnowing process and our endeavor to achieve cultural, linguistic, gender and legal diversity. Diversity by geographic region is indicated in ICANN's Bylaws.

While we have not yet completed the initial phase of background analysis, it is clear that among the applicants there is a sizeable group of individuals with impressive and suitable backgrounds for the standing committee – this makes our work difficult in selecting potential candidates from among them.

We expect to complete our work this year, recognizing that achieving this will be a challenge. We met in closed session at ICANN75 to discuss the challenging schedule ahead, as well as other CRG business. After ICANN75 we will begin a more detailed examination of candidates, which will include interviews with a subset of the candidates.

While challenging, this is a good step in finishing an important achievement of the accountability enhancements which accompanied the IANA Stewardship Transition – to establish a well-qualified standing panel to hear cases in ICANN's highest and most consequential dispute resolution mechanism.

Authors

The Independent Review Process Community Representatives Group