February 21, 2024

DNS Africa Resource Center

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Potential Improvements to 2012 Dispute-Resolution Processes.

The Public Interest Commitments Dispute-Resolution Procedure (PICDRP) and the Registry Restrictions Dispute Resolution Procedure (RRDRP) implemented in 2012 have provided valuable mechanisms for resolving disputes concerning relevant commitments.

However, there are some areas where improvements could be made to enhance their effectiveness:

1. Transparency and Accessibility:

  • Increase transparency: Publicly available information about the proceedings, including case summaries, decisions, and rationale, could enhance understanding and accountability.
  • Improve accessibility: Simplify the language and procedures used in the processes to make them more accessible to non-legal professionals involved in disputes.
  • Consider online platforms: Utilizing online platforms for submitting complaints, sharing documents, and conducting hearings could improve efficiency and access for geographically dispersed parties.

2. Efficiency and Timeliness:

  • Streamline procedures: Review and revise the procedures to identify and eliminate unnecessary steps or delays. This could involve setting time limits for different stages of the process and establishing clear deadlines for decisions.
  • Consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR): Encourage the use of mediation or other ADR methods early in the process to facilitate faster and potentially less adversarial resolution of disputes.
  • Invest in resources: Allocate adequate resources to the dispute resolution bodies to ensure timely handling of cases.

3. Expertise and Fairness:

  • Composition of panels: Ensure that the panels responsible for resolving disputes possess relevant expertise in the subject matter of the commitments and the specific dispute at hand.
  • Conflict of interest: Implement clear conflict of interest guidelines and procedures to ensure impartiality and fairness in the proceedings.
  • Appeals process: Establish a clear and accessible appeals process for parties who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the initial dispute resolution process.

4. Effectiveness in Addressing Complex Issues:

  • Consider specialized panels: For complex disputes involving technical or scientific issues, consider establishing specialized panels with relevant expertise to ensure accurate and informed decision-making.
  • Facilitation of evidence gathering: Provide mechanisms to facilitate the gathering of evidence and information needed to resolve complex disputes, such as allowing for expert witness testimony or site visits.
  • Enforcement of decisions: Strengthen the mechanisms for enforcing the decisions reached through the dispute resolution processes to ensure compliance with the relevant commitments.

Other area of intrest that should be considered are the:

  • Reviewing of existing practices: Regularly reviewing and updating the rules and procedures of the PICDRP and RRDRP based on experience and feedback from stakeholders.
  • Data analysis: Collecting and analyzing data on the use of the dispute resolution processes can help identify areas for improvement and inform future revisions.
  • Open to feedback: Establishing mechanisms for receiving and considering feedback from stakeholders on the effectiveness of the dispute resolution processes.

By implementing these potential improvements, the PICDRP and RRDRP can continue to be effective mechanisms for resolving disputes concerning public interest commitments and registry restrictions, promoting transparency, fairness, and efficient resolution of issues.

It’s important to note that the specific improvements needed will depend on the context and challenges of the particular dispute resolution processes. Careful consideration of the needs of stakeholders and the specific nature of the commitments involved is crucial for making effective improvements.

We can also share perspectives for improving dispute-resolution processes:

  • Early intervention and mediation: Encouraging early engagement and mediation can help resolve disputes quickly and amicably, avoiding costly litigation.
  • Impartial and neutral dispute resolution bodies: Ensuring the neutrality and expertise of the individuals or bodies handling the disputes is crucial for building trust and confidence in the process.
  • Flexible and adaptable procedures: The procedures should be designed to accommodate the specific needs of each dispute and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Clear and transparent communication: Keeping both parties informed throughout the process and providing clear explanations of decisions fosters trust and acceptance of the outcome.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Minimizing the costs associated with dispute resolution, such as legal fees and administrative expenses, makes the process more accessible and efficient.

At the moment, ICANN and its Stakeholder Ecosystem is studying and improving the process and procedures to best sooth the system and the ever dynamic state of the internet and human interactions, craving for one world, one internet.

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