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[council] gtld Statement on NC Election (fwd)

As nearly as I can tell, the gTLD statement on which Caroline has
commented was not distributed to the NC list. In order to avoid any
confusion as far as that goes, and with apologies for possible
duplicate distribution, here is a copy of the original posting.

 -----Original Message-----
From: Neuman, Jeff
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 3:14 PM
To: 'council@dnso.org'; 'touton@icann.org';
'philip.sheppard@aim.be'; 'owner-council@dnso.org'
Cc: 'gtld@gtldregistries.org'; 'maichael@palage.com'; 'ga@dnso.org';

Subject: gtld Statement on NC Election (Please Post)


The gTLD Constituency is concerned by the recent suggestion that the
NC Rules of Procedure should be amended to (a) extend the six-month
period that each NC Chair is in office, and (b) allow the Chair in
office to continue to serve until a successor is appointed --
apparently only to be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Council.
This motion mandates that more comprehensive consideration be given
to its potentially long-ranging impact as well as the new policy's
inconsistency with previous discussions by the Names Council on this
issue.  Therefore, the Names Council should not proceed at this time
on this expeditious timeframe.

The motion is being presented at the very moment that an election
should be held for a new NC Chair under the current rules.  The
current election should and must proceed, regardless of the action
the NC decides to take in connection with the motion.  Changes to
the election rules can be contemplated at some other time (and, in
any event, with enough time for stakeholders to provide comments
after more complete consideration.  Even "Legislatures" do not
generally create term limit (or term extension) initiatives that
have retroactive effect.

As just one illustration of the importance of non-retroactivity
(albeit, not related to term limits), the United States
Constitution, a document only amended 27 times in the last 215
years, was amended in the 1990s to state the following:

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators
and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of
Representatives shall have intervened.

In addition, while the motion's author feels that a six month term
is too short and that she "is not aware of any elected position at
least in the U.S. which carries such a short term," we believe the
NC's role as facilitator of consensus-building may, in fact, be best
served by having a short-term NC Chair from rotating constituencies.
This allows different constituencies to lead the process.  This was
acknowledged during the last Names Council call by those members
that were in place when the NC originally passed its procedural rule
allowing for only one six month term and one six month renewal.

The issue of ICANN's restructuring is very much on the minds of the
ICANN board, staff and the Internet community as a whole.  The
primary role of the Names Council is to facilitate the
consensus-generating process within the DNSO.  However, it has been
criticized by many as being more of a representative legislature,
empowered to make rules, than a consensus facilitator.  Although we
believe that the Names Council is doing the best job that it can
given the diversity of its membership, we believe that passing this
motion would lend further support for the criticisms the DNSO has
received in the past.  At a time when some are calling into question
procedural and substantive actions by the NC, and even suggesting
that the NC should not be part of a restructured ICANN, we fear that
taking such an action, with no notice to or discussion by the GA and
larger ICANN community, would play right into the hands of NC
critics and hasten the demise of the NC.

This is in not a comment on the current chair. We recognize that the
current chair has worked very hard to organize and focus the work of
the NC.  However, at a time when many in the Internet community
question the credibility of the DNSO, no action should be taken by
the DNSO which could signal to the rest of the world that the DNSO
is not interested in consensus and diversity.

We urge the NC to reject the motion and hold an immediate election
for its chair in accordance with the Rules of Procedure that are
currently in effect.  If it turns out that this motion is desirable
by the Internet community, the motion can be voted on at some point
in the future (after enough time for feedback from the ICANN
community) and apply to subsequent elections.

Jeffrey J. Neuman, Esq.
Chair, gTLD Registry Constituency
e-mail: Jeff.Neuman@NeuLevel.biz

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