ATLAS II Thematic Group 4: ICANN Transparency and Accountability - Session 1
ATRT Final Recommendation #9 generally reflects the community feedback on existing appeals mechanisms and includes a set of necessary improvements. Rec.9.2 is particularly important for accountability of decision-making process and reform of appeal mechanism. It's suggested to form a Stakeholder Group Committee to examine the options to restructure the current Board reconsideration process and the Independent Review Process (IRP).
However, it is unclear whether Board reconsideration process and the IRP will remain the only or the "final" appeal channel available for reviewing other appeals decisions, either from internal bodies or outside service providers, especially in the various gTLDs and ccTLDs processes. For example, will improved appeals mechanisms take into account the processing of reconsideration requests and objections on decisions made in the new gTLD program by ICANN or its dispute resolution providers, or will it apply to a review procedure for decisions made in IDN ccTLD program, for issues such as string similarity.
In the long run, enhancement of accountability depends on the improvement and development of mechanisms in three correlated areas, namely (1) institutional transparency, particularly in the decision-making process; (2) check and balance through duly separation of powers, especially after the transition of stewardship of IANA function; and (3) effective and efficient appeal system, within or outside ICANN, including the external final appeal system to "judicially" supervise the decision of ICANN Board and its members, like the constitutional court.