The ICANN Ombuds
The ICANN Ombuds' job is to make sure that ICANN community members are treated fairly. Acting as an impartial mediator, the Ombuds helps resolve disputes on issues involving the ICANN Board, staff, or supporting organizations. The Ombuds is here to help you!Ask the Ombuds a Question
What the Ombuds Can Do For You
This is a page with practical directions as to how the Ombuds can help you with your problem, and to help you decide if the Ombuds can help you. The Ombuds is given some specific powers to look at problems. There are some things that the Ombuds cannot investigate, but sometimes the Ombuds can facilitate some resolution, by discussion or mediation.
The ICANN Ombuds is independent, impartial, and neutral. The Ombuds' function is to act as an informal dispute resolution office for the ICANN community, who may wish to lodge a complaint about ICANN staff, board, or problems in supporting organizations. The purpose of the office is to ensure that the members of the ICANN community have been treated fairly. The Ombuds is impartial and will attempt to resolve complaints about unfair treatment, using techniques like mediation, shuttle diplomacy and if needed, formal investigation. The Ombuds is not an advocate for you but will investigate without taking sides in a dispute. The process is informal, and flexible.
Complaints to the ombuds are completely confidential. The fact that you have made a complaint is never disclosed unless you expressly waive confidentiality. This is very important for those who are concerned about an imbalance of power and consequences if a complaint is made.
The ICANN Ombuds has jurisdiction over complaints which arise from things which happen in the community
The Ombuds cannot make, change, or set aside a policy, administrative or Board decision, act, or omission, but may investigate these events, and to use ADR technique to resolve them and make recommendations as to changes.
The Ombuds cannot investigate issues between a domain name registrar and a domain name holder, nor can the office help with website content, spam, or malware. However, the Ombuds will try to find the best place to help with these issues and refer the visitor.
Examples of Ways the Ombuds May Help
- Problems with diversity issue
- Delays within ICANN and the community
- Problems with unfair procedure in ICANN and the community
- Finding documents within ICANN
- Concerns about privacy
- New gTLD applications and process
Conditions to Participation in ICANN's Multistakeholder Model
ICANN is a unique multistakeholder environment. The ICANN community is comprised of participants from numerous and varied backgrounds, societal values, and cultural norms. A guiding goal of ICANN's requirements for participation is to emphasize, encourage, and promote the spirit of mutual respect expected within the ICANN community. As a condition of participation, those who take part in ICANN's multistakeholder model, are expected to understand and follow the ICANN's Expected Standards of Behavior and the ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy and Terms of Participation and Complaint Procedure.
ICANN's requirements for participation in the multistakeholder environment are not intended to impede or inhibit free speech.