Public Comment

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Initial Report on the ccNSO PDP Review Mechanism

CategoryPolicy
RequestersCountry Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)
ICANN org Contact(s)bart.boswinkel@icann.org

What We Received Input On

The ccNSO Policy Development Process Review Mechanism Working Group (ccPDP3WG-RM) has completed its initial draft for a recommended policy for a mechanism to review specific decisions pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Your input and comments, if any, are sought on the initial proposed policy. For ease of understanding, a summary is presented below:

  1. Objective of the Policy. The objective of the policy is to offer ccTLD managers, and applicants for new ccTLDs, as direct customers of the IANA Naming Function an independent review mechanism for specifically identified IANA Function Operator (IFO) decisions.
  2. Applicability of the Policy. The Review Mechanism for IFO decisions which apply to ccTLDs (CCRM) is available to ccTLD Managers, or applicants for a new ccTLD, who are directly impacted by an IFO decision (Decision) for a limited set of processes, which are detailed in the Initial Report.
  3. Possible findings. The CCRM will only report on whether:
  • There were significant issues with the IFO properly following its procedures and applying these fairly in arriving at its Decision; or
  • There were significant issues in how the IFO complied with RFC 1591, the CCNSO FOI for RFC1591 as adopted by the ICANN Board, and any other policies developed through a ccNSO policy development process.
  1. Parties involved
  • The CCRM Manager. The CCRM Manager must be a non-conflicted individual who is a Subject Matter Expert with respect to ccTLDs, the IFO and ICANN and who will be responsible for overseeing and managing the CCRM system.
  • Applicant and Claimant to the CCRM. The Applicant and Claimant must be a ccTLD Manager except in the case of the delegation of a new ccTLD where any applicant for that new ccTLD is eligible.
  • The reviewers. All Reviewers will be certified, managed, and supported by the CCRM Manager.
  • The IFO. Takes a decision that is subject to review under the proposed. After reaching a decision on a ccTLD request which can be Reviewed, the IFO will advise those parties who could apply for a CCRM of the Decision and of their options for Reviewing the Decision as well as the timeline for doing so.
  1. CCRM Proposed Process.
  • IFO takes a decision that is subject to review (as covered by the proposed policy).
  • The ccTLD Manager, or an applicant for a new ccTLD, applies for a Review.
  • The CCRM Manager accepts the application.
  • Reviewer(s) complete the review.
  • If no significant issues were found by the Reviewer(s) the review process is concluded and the IFO decision is confirmed.
  • If significant issues were found by the Reviewer(s) the IFO has three options:
    • The IFO accepts the results and adjusts its decision – this would conclude the review process.
    • The IFO accepts the results but opts to redo the process which resulted in the original decision. Once the IFO completes the redo of the process, the original applicant must decide to:
      • Accept the new results – this will conclude the Review process.
      • Apply for a Review of the new decision by the IFO (in such a case if the Reviewer(s) find significant issues the IFO will only have two options – Accept or Reject the findings).
    • The IFO rejects the results:
      • If the IFO decision requires Board approval - the IFO shall include the findings from the review in its recommendation to the Board for confirmation.
      • If the IFO decision does not require Board approval, the ICANN CEO and the ccNSO Council shall be advised of the situation.
  1. Oversight. This Policy is directed at ICANN and the IFO as the entity that performs the IANA Naming Functions with respect to ccTLDs. The proposed Policy is not intended and shall not be interpreted to amend the way in which ICANN interacts with the IFO and the delineation of their roles and responsibilities. The proposed policy will not change or amend the (limited) role that the ICANN Board of Directors has, with respect to individual cases of ccTLD Delegation, Transfer, Retirement, Revocation, or any other policy developed by the ccNSO and adopted by the ICANN Board which allows ccTLDs to review a decision by the IFO.
  2. Recommendations regarding ICANN Bylaws Sections 4.2 (d) (i) and 4.3 (c) (ii). The ccPDP3WG-RM recommends that all disputes and claims regarding the delegation, transfer, revocation and retirement of ccTLDs remain and are excluded from ICANN’s Reconsideration Request Process and the Independent Review Process (see ICANN Bylaws Sections 4.2 (d) (i) and 4.3 (c) (ii)), and recommends the amendment of the Bylaws accordingly.

Proposals For Your Input
Initial Report on the Proposed Policy for a Review Mechanism for IFO decisions which apply to ccTLDs (CCRM)

Background

In December 2015, the ccNSO Council discussed the launch of a formal ccNSO Policy Development Process to address the lack of policy with respect to retirement of ccTLDs and to introduce a Review Mechanism on issues pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs. This discussion was grounded in the need to ensure the predictability and legitimacy of decisions with respect to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs.

In March 2017, and in accordance with Annex B section 3 and 4 of the ICANN Bylaws, the ccNSO Council decided to initiate the third (3rd) ccNSO Policy Development Process with the initial focus on developing a policy for Retirement of ccTLDs (Part 1), and only after the substantive work on that topic would have been concluded, focus on a Review Mechanism pertaining to decisions on delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of ccTLDs (Part 2).

As it became apparent that the originally envisioned advantages of combining the two efforts into one (1) ccNSO Policy Development Process had become obsolete, the ccNSO Council decided on June 2021 to immediately split these two PDPs. Following this split, the ccNSO adopted the retirement policy in September 2021 and submitted it to the ICANN Board of Directors for its consideration. The Board adopted the proposed policy at the ICANN75 meeting in September 2022.  

According to its charter the ccPDP3WG-RM has the following goal:

"The goal of the working group (WG) is to report on and recommend a policy for a review mechanism with respect to decisions pertaining to the delegation, transfer, revocation, and retirement of the delegated Top-Level Domains associated with the country codes assigned to countries and territories listed in the ISO 3166-1 and within the framework of the ccNSO Policy Development Process."

The CCPDP3WG-RM charter also listed the following questions: 

  • Which decisions and/or actions should be subject to a review mechanism?
  • Whose decisions and/or actions should be subject to a review mechanism?
  • Should a Review Mechanism be open and applicable to all ccTLDs?
  • What will be the result / scope of the review decision?
  • What powers will be bestowed upon the review panel?
  • Who will have standing at a review?
  • What are the grounds (for a review)?

Finally, in July 2022, the ccNSO Council requested the Working Group specifically recommend and/or advise on the need for clarification of the scope of ICANN Bylaws Sections 4.2 (d) (i) and 4.3 (c) (ii).

Next Steps

Following the Public Comments, staff will summarize the input received and the WG will review the comments and take them into account in their ongoing deliberations.