DotConnectAfrica Update: IRP Panel Ruling Accepts DCA’s Position On Procedural Order

he Panel deciding DotConnectAfrica Trust’s IRP request has issued a ruling accepting DotConnectAfrica’s position on the procedural framework of the IRP proceedings. The Panel has ruled that its determination is binding on ICANN.

PRLogAug. 28, 2014Panel’s decision transmitted through the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), among other things declares that based on the foregoing and the language and content of the IRP Procedure, the Panel is of the view that it has the power to interpret and determine the IRP Procedure as it relates to the future conduct of these proceedings.

Based on the language and content of the IRP procedure, on 14 August 2014, the Panel issued the following procedural directions:  The Panel:

I.    Orders a reasonable documentary exchange in these proceedings with a view to maintaining efficacy and economy, and invites the Parties to agree by or before 29 August 2014, on a form, method and schedule of exchange of documents between them;

II.  Permits the Parties to benefit from additional filings and supplemental briefing going forward and invites the Parties to agree on a reasonable exchange timetable going forward;

III.   Allows a video hearing as per the agreement of the Parties, but reserves its decision to order an in-person hearing and live testimony pending a further examination of the representations that will be proffered by each side, including the filing of any additional evidence which this Decision permits; and

IV.   Permits both Parties at the hearing to challenge and test the veracity of statements made by witnesses.

The panel also concludes that this Declaration and its future Declaration on the Merits of this case are binding on the Parties.

The Declaration on the IRP Procedure has Thirty Three (33) Pages and can be accessed here: http://www.dotconnectafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/0…

On 12 May 2014, the Independent Review Panel has granted an Interim Relief for DotConnectAfrica by issuing a  decision that ICANN should hold off from further processing of ZA Central Registry’s (ZACR) application for the .AFRICA top-level domain (TLD) for the time being. http://www.dotconnectafrica.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/0…

The interim relief was granted after DCA Trust submitted an Amended Notice of Independent Review Process (“IRP”) on Jan. 10, 2014, to the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR).  DCA Trust sent its first Notice of IRP to ICANN on October 2013 as a process towards resolving of the dispute between ICANN and DCA Trust over ICANN discriminatory Board decisions and actions taken with regard to DCA Trust’s application for the .africa new gTLD.

The IRP is an accountability review process set out in the ICANN Bylaws. More about the ICANN’s accountability review processes work, is posted here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/bylaws-2012-02-25-e… .  The DCA Trust/ ICANN IRP is ongoing, and documents related to the IRP are available here at Independent Review Process DCA Vs. ICANN: http://www.dotconnectafrica.org/icann-related-2/independent-review-process-dca-vs-icann/

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