IRP Summary

On July 11, 2017, an independent panel unanimously declared that ICANN’s Board had acted in a manner inconsistent with ICANN’s Bylaws when it denied the .AMAZON applications without independent review or analysis. Here is a concise summary of important holdings from that Declaration. You can read the full IRP Declaration here.

  • The IRP Panel unanimously declared that the Board violated ICANN’s Articles, Bylaws, and Guidebook by deferring to GAC Advice opposing the .AMAZON Applications. ¶¶ 1, 124.
  • The Panel reached its decision after a two-day in-person hearing. It reviewed thousands of pages of briefing material and documentary evidence. ¶ 2.
  • The presumption arising from GAC Advice alone is not enough to fulfill the Board’s obligations under its Articles, Bylaws, and Guidebook. ¶ 106.
  • A well-founded public policy interest established in the record must support the Board’s decision to deny Amazon’s applications based on GAC Advice. The current record does not contain support for any well-founded public policy interest. ¶¶ 100-01, 103.
  • The reasons for opposing the .AMAZON Applications advanced by Brazil and Peru were not based on well-founded public policy concerns and were not supported by the record. ¶¶ 107-111.
  • After conducting its own review of the record, the Panel found that:
    • As ICANN conceded, Peru’s contention that .AMAZON is a listed geographical name under the Guidebook, which was “made at [the] GAC’s Durban meeting to rally support for GAC advice opposing Amazon’s application, was erroneous.” ¶ 108.a.
    • While Brazil and Peru asserted legal rights to the name “.AMAZON” under international law, “the legal claim of Brazil and Peru is without merit,” and there appears “to be no inherent governmental rights to geographic terms.” ¶ 108.b.
    • A partial, one-word match between .AMAZON and the English translation of the name of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, commonly known as OTCA, was not a “plausible public policy reason for an objection.” ¶¶ 52 n.13, 108.d.
    • “[U]ncontroverted” record evidence, including two expert reports established “quite clearly that there is no prejudice or material harm” to members of the Amazonas community from the .AMAZON Applications. ¶¶ 102, 108.c, 109-10.
  • The panel majority also declared that the GAC violated ICANN’s duty of procedural fairness (and that of its constituent bodies) when it denied Amazon the opportunity to make a written statement to the GAC. That failure “undermines the strength of the presumption” accorded GAC Advice. ¶¶ 94, 96.
  • The Board should “promptly” re-evaluate Amazon’s applications in light of the Panel’s findings. GAC advice alone cannot form the basis for a decision to deny the applications. ¶ 125.
  • The Board, if it finds that Amazon’s applications should proceed, should meet and confer with the GAC within 60 days of the panel’s Final Declaration on July 10, 2017. The Board can cite the Declaration as the reason it has not followed GAC Advice. ¶ 125.