Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

New Consumers Constituency Petition and Charter

Open: 22 January 2010
Closed: 13 February 2010

Explanation/Background: The ongoing GNSO Improvements process has created significant community interest in the formation of new GNSO constituencies. One of those proposals is for a new Consumers Constituency. Proponents of the Consumers Constituency originally submitted a New Constituency Petition and Charter to the ICANN Board on 14 April 2009. A revised version of the proposal, responding to several Board inquiries was submitted to the Board on 15 September 2009.

All members of the ICANN community and the public are now invited to review the revised petition and charter of the Consumers Constituency and share comments with the Board through 13 February 2009.

Background and Explanation:

In June 2008, the Board of Directors endorsed a series of recommendations on how to improve the GNSO's structures and operations. One of the significant drivers of those recommendations was an interest in maximizing participation in the GNSO and its policy development processes. Among the various recommendations endorsed by the Board was that ICANN take steps to clarify and promote the option to self-form new constituencies.

The ICANN Bylaws provide that any group of individuals or entities may petition the Board for recognition as a new or separate constituency, in accordance with Section 5(4) of Article X. Such a petition must explain (1) why "the addition of such a Constituency will improve the ability of the GNSO to carry out its policy-development responsibilities" and (2) why "the proposed new Constituency would adequately represent, on a global basis, the stakeholders it seeks to represent." Despite those Bylaw provisions, it has been many years since the organization has had formal requests for any new GNSO constituencies. Since the Board action last June, however, the Board has received four petitions for potential new GNSO Constituencies. In December, the Board chose not to approve three of those proposals (see and the Consumers proposal is still under consideration.

The ICANN bylaws do not provide specific procedural guidance for how interested parties should submit the petitions contemplated in Article X. Mindful that explicit steps, formats, and/or processes for expansion would take some time for the community to develop in the implementation of the improvements recommendations, the Board directed ICANN Staff to provide the community with some initial guidance, a structure and a specific procedural path for potential new constituencies to follow. At its 1 October 2008 meeting, the Board acknowledged Staff's development of a "Notice of Intent" document for potential new constituencies and directed Staff to develop a formal petition and charter template to assist new constituency applicants in satisfying the formative criteria (consistent with the ICANN Bylaws) to facilitate the Board's evaluation of petitions to form new constituencies.

At the direction of the Board, the ICANN Staff developed a two-step process for potential new constituencies to follow. The proponent of the Consumers Constituency completed the first step of the process on 28 February 2009 by filing a Notice of Intent to Form a New Constituency – (see The proponents of the Consumers Constituency completed the second step of the process- submission of a New Constituency Petition and Charter on 14 April 2009 – (see and

In August 2009 the members of the ICANN Board developed a number of questions regarding the proposal. As a result of those proposals the Consumer Constituency Proponents revised their original NOIF and updated their proposed charter document on 15 September 2009 (see the revised NOIF and the revised charter

 Relevant Board Resolution, Bylaws and Constituency Submissions:

To facilitate community review, the staff has prepared comparison documents of the NOIF and Charter documents that highlight the changes between the original submissions and the 15 September revised versions.

Staff Responsible: Robert Hoggarth

Deadline and How to Submit Comments:

The Staff is opening a 21-day public consultation forum, from 22 January 2010 through 13 February 2010, and invites community comments on this matter.

To submit comments: Comments on the document are welcome via email at This public forum will be open through 13 February 2010.

To view comments: An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at

For a copy of the public announcement of this forum please see

Staff member responsible: Robert Hoggarth

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments