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[rpd] Appeal Committee Terms of Reference (Version 1)

Owen DeLong owen at
Fri Jul 21 18:51:35 UTC 2017

> On Jul 20, 2017, at 03:31 , Douglas Onyango <ondouglas at> wrote:
> Hi Andrew,
> Comments inline
> On 20 July 2017 at 12:42, Andrew Alston <Andrew.Alston at> wrote:
>> Comments inline
>> Some few comments though:
>> 1. Section 2.2 needs to explicitly include the complainant as
>> ineligible to be on this committee. I believe this addition will make
>> 4.2 easier to implement.
>> Am not sure this makes sense in terms of a standing committee – since there
>> is no way to pre-determine who will make a complaint.  I believe that the
>> whole point of 4.2 was to negate this point – so I don’t agree with the
>> assertion made above.
> I am hoping for a future without a standing committee. This provision
> will mean one less thing to change.

Since that would require a substantial change to the PDP and the current situation
where a standing committee is required makes such a change to 2.2 impractical if not
impossible, I would say this change should be left until such time as it can be made
in accordance with updates to PDP section 3.5.

>> 2. The same section 3.5 of the PDP speaks of a Recall Committee. I
>> think it would be wise to make provisions for the two committees now,
>> rather than leaving the Recall Committee for later
>> Not sure I agree with you on this one Douglas – because the recall committee
>> specifically under section 3.5 excludes people calling for the recall – and
>> hence, the comments above apply.
> I don't understand what you are saying Andrew. Here is the extract
> from the 3.5:  "Anyone may request the recall of a Working Group Chair
> at any time, upon written request with justification to the AFRINIC
> Board of Directors".
> My point is that 3.5 call for a recall committee, and the Appeal
> Committee was a warning sign. Let us cater for 3.5 in its entirety at
> the earliest possible.

The recall of a working group chair is filed with the Board and therefore does
not require a standing committee. The appeal of a PDP Chair decision, OTOH,
must be filed with the committee and not the board (per 3.5), therefore it does
require a standing committee.

>> I also consider the need for a standing
>> recall committee to be extreme – because it pre-supposes that members of the
>> appeal committee may be regularly recalled.
> I am in no way proposing a standing committee. I am merely saying we
> need to provide for it. The rest of the discussion is up to the
> community to agree on. Also the committee is not to recall appeal
> committee members, but rather the PDWG co-chairs AFAIK.

The provision for it is that the board constitutes the committee as they see fit
upon filing of a recall with the board.

If you don’t like that process, then you are free to propose amendments to the
PDP in order to change it, but that is what is currently specified (effectively)
in PDP 3.5.

>> 3. I think the composition of the committee favours the co-chairs,
>> which might be at the expense of the complainant. I would propose
>> replacing seat 2 with a community member.
>> I don’t have an issue with this – though I would rather than a member of the
>> community add a further international person divorced from conflict on any
>> proposal affecting members in the AFRINIC region.  As I argued right at the
>> start of this process – members of the AFRINIC community who are normally
>> contributing towards policy development are in most cases directly
>> interested in the outcome of the proposal (since in most cases they have
>> direct ties to entities affected by said policies – and this would result in
>> a regular activation of clause 4.2)
> I have no objection to the said member coming from the international
> space. My view is that the current committee composition has more
> people who see things from the co-chairs perspective. I want this to
> be balanced by adding people who see things from the appellant's
> perspective as well.

The current composition is 2 who have served in the role of co-chair. This
does not necessarily mean that they see any particular policy from the same
perspective as the current co-chairs, but it does mean that they understand
the job being evaluated as they have walked in those shoes, so to speak.

The remaining members of the appellate committee are not, IMHO, any more likely
to see things from the co-chairs’ perspective than anyone else.

>> 6. Additionally, we need to address what happens to actions that are
>> predicated on decisions under appeal. For instance, if a member calls
>> into question the decision to send a policy for ratification, after
>> last call, I don’t see any provisions to halt the ratification process
>> pending the hearing, and how such a halt will affect the prescribed
>> PDP timelines.
>> This point we are in total agreement on – and I would say that any decision
>> pending appeal is automatically put on hold – the board cannot legitimately
>> ratify something that is under appeal for example, because that would risk a
>> situation where a ratification had to be reversed all over again should the
>> appeal go a certain way.
> Thanks

I would consider this to be inherent in the existing wording of the PDP. In order
to ratify a policy, the board must conclude that the policy proposal followed the PDP
to completion and that the co-chairs judgment of consensus is valid.

If an appeal is pending, then the PDProcess is not yet complete and therefore any
ratification would be premature by definition.

>> As a final comment – I would also like the ToR’s to specify that a decision
>> of the appeal committee is based on simple majority – otherwise we end up in
>> a real mess when the arguments about what constitutes an appeal committee
>> final decision come about.
> I like and support this. I meant to include it in my submission but
> skipped my mind. The TOR should prescribe the committee's decision
> making mechanism and its leadership. Who heads the committee??

I actually oppose this. I think that a supermajority of the appeal committee should be
required in order to reverse the chairs’ decision else the decision stands.


> Regards,
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