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About the Ombudsman

The first ICANN ombudsman was Dr Frank Fowlie.

A native of Canada, Dr. Fowlie brought 20 years of experience to the position as an Ombudsman and conflict resolution specialist, having operated in various agencies of the Canadian government and the United Nations. Dr Fowlie established the office and set up the operating procedures, the case management system and worked with the board to establish the framework under which the ombudsman now operates. He was a pioneer in many ways because of the ICANN ombudsman role is unique. It is not an organisational ombudsman role, but an executive ombudsman role closer to that of a classical ombudsman. He stamped his mark on the office and his study of the operation of the ICANN ombudsman office earned him a doctorate with a dissertation on the evaluation of Ombudsman programs at La Trobe University ­Melbourne. Dr Fowlie concluded his term of office in 2011.

Chris LaHatte was appointed as the second ombudsman In July 2011.

Chris has been a lawyer for more than 34 years. He qualified at the University of Auckland, and was admitted to the Bar in 1978. He later obtained a Masters degree in Dispute Resolution from Massey University. He has practiced as a barrister in New Zealand and other countries.

Chris has a diverse legal background and has appeared in all levels of courts and tribunals in New Zealand. He has had cases reported in official law reports and published many articles in legal journals. He has also acted as a lawyer for clients in many mediations, and acted as a mediator.

As well as internet issues, he has a particular interest in construction and building law and is a member of the panel of Construction Adjudicators and he is also on the Panel of Mediators held by the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the Institute in Mediation and Arbitration. Chris has presented seminars for the New Zealand and Auckland Law Societies, AMINZ and for publishers such as LexisNexis. He is an editor for Brookers District Court Procedure in New Zealand. Chris is also a Costs Assessor and Mediator for the New Zealand Law Society.

Chris is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and an individual member of the International Ombudsman Institute. He has published papers on Ombudsman issues in New Zealand Lawyer and in the International Ombudsman Association Journal.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."