This Independent Review Policy carries out the provisions of Article
III, Section 4(b) of the ICANN Bylaws.
The mission of the Independent Review Panel ("IRP") is to
compare contested actions of the ICANN Board to the Bylaws and Articles
of Incorporation and to declare whether the ICANN Board has acted consistent
with the provisions of those documents. The IRP is also responsible
for reviewing determinations regarding the presence of a consensus on
which an adopted policy is based, to the extent provided in agreements
between ICANN and third parties. The IRP should act in an open and efficient
3. Independent Review Panel
3.1. Requests for independent review are referred
to the IRP, which will consist of nine (9) members.
3.2 Subject to the approval of the ICANN Board, the
IRP will draft and implement its own operating procedures.
3.3 Each request for independent review is adjudicated
by a three-member panel of the IRP.
3.3.1 The IRP will determine a procedure for
assigning IRP members to individual panels. The procedure should be
primarily random, but may take into account the availability of IRP
members at any given time.
3.4 The IRP has the authority to: (i) request additional
written submissions from the party seeking review, the Board, the Supporting
Organizations, or from other parties; (ii) declare whether an action
or inaction of the ICANN Board was contrary to the Corporation's Articles
of Incorporation and/or Bylaws; (iii) recommend that the ICANN Board
stay any action or decision until such time as the Board reviews and
acts upon the opinion of the IRP; and (iv) require the Board to act
on the IRP's declaration at its next meeting or within 30 days, whichever
3.5 The members of the IRP are appointed for terms
of four years.
3.5.1 The initial members of the IRP will have
terms of staggered length: three initial members shall be appointed
for a 4-year term; three for a 3-year term; and three for a 2-year
3.6. Individuals holding an official position or
office within the ICANN structure are not eligible to serve on the IRP.
3.6.1 For purposes of this Policy, the group
of individuals ineligible to serve on the IRP includes: ICANN Directors;
ICANN staff and advisors; members of Advisory Committees (including
the RSSAC and GAC); members of the Supporting Organization councils;
the chair of the DNSO General Assembly; members of DNSO constituencies
councils and administrative committees; and elected officers of the
3.7 In order to keep the costs and burdens of independent
review as low as possible, the IRP will conduct its proceedings by email
and otherwise via the Internet. Where necessary, the IRP may hold meetings
3.7.1 Members of the IRP are eligible for reimbursement
of out-of-pocket expenses directly relating to the work of the IRP,
including necessary telephone expenses.
3.8 The IRP will adopt, make public, and adhere to
a conflicts of interest policy to ensure that IRP decisions are free
from the influence of financial or other conflicts of interest.
4. Nominations for the IRP
4.1. The members of the IRP are nominated by the
IRP Nominating Committee, and must be confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the
4.2 When more than one IRP vacancy is to be filled
at the same time, the ICANN Board will take a single vote on the group
of nominees selected by the IRP Nominating Committee.
4.3 When a vote to confirm a nominee or group of
nominees wins the support of fewer than two-thirds of the ICANN Board,
the IRP Nominating Committee must, within 14 days, present a new nominee
or group of nominees, at least one member of which must be different
from the group of nominees previously presented to the Board.
5. IRP Nominating Committee
5.1 The IRP Nominating Committee consists of two
individuals appointed by each of the ICANN Supporting Organization councils,
as defined in the ICANN Bylaws.
5.2 The Supporting Organization councils should select
as members of the IRP Nominating Committee individuals who are likely
to be able to find, evaluate, and recruit IRP nominees who meet the
criteria set forth in this Policy.
5.3. Individuals holding an official position or
office within the ICANN structure are not eligible to serve on the IRP
5.3.1 For purposes of this Policy, the group
of individuals ineligible to serve on the IRP Nominating Committee
includes: ICANN Directors; ICANN staff and advisors; members of Advisory
Committees (including the RSSAC and GAC); members of the Supporting
Organization councils; the chair of the DNSO General Assembly; members
of DNSO constituencies councils and administrative committees; and
elected officers of the DNSO constituencies.
5.4 The members of the IRP Nominating Committee will
be appointed for three-year terms, except that half of the members initially
appointed will be appointed for two-year terms.
5.4.1 In the initial round of appointments, each
Supporting Organization council will appoint one IRP Nominating Committee
member to a three-year term, and one member to a two-year term.
5.5 The Supporting Organization councils may re-appoint
members of the IRP Nominating Committee.
5.6 The IRP Nominating Committee will be convened
only upon notification from the ICANN Board that a vacancy exists on
5.7 The IRP Nominating Committee will conduct an
open call to the Internet community for potential nominees, but will
not be restricted to those potential nominees in making its nominations.
5.8 The IRP Nominating Committee should undertake
an active search and affirmatively recruit appropriate candidates to
serve on the IRP.
5.9 The IRP Nominating Committee must forward its
nomination(s) to the ICANN Board of Directors within 45 days of receiving
notice that a vacancy has arisen.
5.10. The IRP Nominating Committee will conduct
its proceedings by email and otherwise via the Internet. When necessary,
the IRP Nominating Committee may hold meetings by telephone.
5.11 The members of the IRP Nominating Committee
will serve as volunteers and will not be compensated.
5.12 The IRP Nominating Committee must nominate
individuals who meet the following criteria:
5.12.1 A nominee to the IRP should be a person
of high professional standing and accomplishment.
5.12.2 A nominee to the IRP should be (i) a
current or former judge, and/or (ii) an individual with legal training
who would qualify for judicial appointment and who has experience
conducting arbitration or a similar dispute resolution proceeding.
5.12.3 A nominee to the IRP must hold no other
office or position within the ICANN structure.
5.13 The IRP Nominating Committee will make nominations
primarily on grounds of competence, experience, and accomplishment,
and without reference to strict geographic or other quotas. At the same
time, the IRP Nominating Committee will take account of various diversity
factors, including diversity in geographic representation and diversity
in legal systems, in making its choices.
5.14 No later than two years after the IRP Nominating
Committee begins operation, the ICANN Board of Directors will review
and evaluate the IRP nomination and selection process, providing opportunities
for public notice and comment by the Internet community.
6. Requests for Independent Review Under Articles
6.1 A request for independent review may be filed
on the ground that the Board has acted or failed to act in a manner
contrary to the Corporation's Articles of Incorporation and/or Bylaws.
6.2 Any individual or entity may file a claim if
that individual or entity has been materially affected by the contested
action or failure to act by the ICANN Board.
6.3 Individuals and entities must first exhaust ICANN's
internal reconsideration process before submitting a request for independent
review by the IRP.
6.3.1 If ICANN's internal reconsideration process
has not been completed within 45 days after the filing of a request
for reconsideration, the complaining individual or entity may proceed
directly to file a request for independent review.
7. Requests for Independent Review of the Presence
of a Consensus
7.1 The IRP will also consider requests for independent
review submitted under written agreements entered by ICANN which provide
for review of the issue of the presence of a consensus by an Independent
Review Panel established under ICANN's bylaws. These agreements include
the Registry Agreement entered between ICANN and Network Solutions and
Registrar Accreditation Agreements entered between ICANN and registrars
after November 4, 1999.
7.2 Requests for independent review on the issue
of the presence of a consensus may be submitted by any party to one
of the agreements providing for for such review, provided the party
is required by the agreement to comply with a policy based on the consensus.
Requests must be submitted within the time allowed in the agreement
to which the requestor is a party.
7.3 The IRP will base its decision on the written
report and supporting materials (including all substantive submissions
to the Supporting Organization relating to the proposal) that (i) document
the extent of agreement and disagreement among impacted groups, (ii)
document the outreach process used to seek to achieve adequate representation
of the views of groups that are likely to be impacted, and (iii) document
the nature and intensity of reasoned support and opposition to the proposed
8. Openness and Transparency
8.1 The IRP operating procedures, and all claims,
decisions on claims, and the rationale for each decision made by the
IRP will be made public via the Internet.
8.2 The IRP may, in its discretion, grant a party's
request to keep certain information confidential, such as trade secrets.
8.2.1 For any matters that the IRP determines
not to disclose, the IRP's decision will describe in general terms
the nature of the information and the reason for nondisclosure.
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