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Critical Internet Resources: Internet Governance as Corporate Governance of ICANN

Date & Time:
16:00 - 17:30,
Tuesday 29 September, 2009


External oversight of ICANN by the US Department of Commerce may end on 30 September 2009 with the expiration of the Joint Project Agreement (JPA). At present it is unclear what, if any, instrument will replace the JPA. Yet ICANN will still be responsible for the management of key critical Internet resources (CIR). ICANN performs most of its functions through outsourcing, including to entities not parties to the JPA.

A draft paper that examines the options for future management of ICANN’s CIR functions will be presented at this seminar. The paper proposes that, notwithstanding the disposition of the JPA:

  • there will likely be no essential structural or organizational change to ICANN (ICANN will remain a non-for-profit public benefit corporation chartered under the laws of the State of California)
  • any re-orientation of the management of ICANN’s CIR operations will be accomplished largely through changes to its constituent legal instruments, especially its corporate bylaws.

The discussion addresses the theoretical underpinnings for focusing on ICANN’s constituent legal instruments, including ICANN’s operating to a large extent as a virtual corporation with mainly outsourced and ‘in-sourced’ functions, as well as the reasons for ICANN’s operating largely in a virtual mode. Among the issues to be considered are the flexibility of Anglo-American corporate law in creating one-off entities (and the resulting cultural disconnects elsewhere), ICANN’s need to be regarded a ‘rule of law’ actor, and the history of ICANN’s bylaw amendment debates.

The discussion hopes to be able to address, by way of illustration of the theoretical points, ICANN’s recent actions concerning Bylaw Amendments Related to Restructuring of the GNSO Council, Proposed Bylaw Changes to Improve Accountability, and Bylaw Amendment Related to Organizational Review Cycles.

The draft paper will be presented at the Internet Governance Forum meeting in Egypt in November 2009.


Henry L. Judy

Of Counsel, K&L Gates LLP

Henry L. (Hank) Judy is Of Counsel in the Washington DC Office of K and L Gates LLP, global law firm comprising 1,800 lawyers who practice in 33 offices located on three continents. He advises clients on a wide range of corporate, commercial and financial law matters, including technology and electronic commerce law and federal, state and global privacy and information security law. He is a member of the District of Columbia and Maryland Bars. His education includes A.B (Classical), Georgetown University (Woodrow Wilson Fellow) and J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, and graduate work in History and Economics, Cornell and George Washington Universities and Program for Management Development, Harvard Business School. Prior to joining a predecessor to K&L Gates he served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and Deputy General Counsel, Associate General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. He is active in various professional organizations, especially the American Bar Association (ABA). Currently he is Co-Chair of the Internet Governance Task Force, ABA Cyberspace Law Committee. In the past he has been Co-chair, Internet Law Subcommittee, ABA Cyberspace Law Committee, Co-chair, ABA Cyberspace Law Committee Task Force on Online Alternative Dispute Resolution and Co-chair, Working Group on Financial Services, ABA Report on the Global Jurisdiction Issues of the Internet – ‘Achieving Legal and Business Order in Cyberspace.’ He is a past chairman, Savings Institutions and Mortgage Lending Committee – Section of Business Law – International Bar Association. He serves on the Advisory Board, Shidler eJournal of Law, Commerce and Technology, Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology, University of Washington Law School and Editorial Advisory Board, Electronic Banking Law and Commerce Report.

David Satola

Senior Counsel, World Bank Legal Department

David Satola is Senior Counsel in the World Bank Legal Department where he has global responsibility for legal aspects of reforms in information and communications technologies, including telecommunications, the Internet and e-Commerce. His work focuses on advising governments on the legal aspects of the enabling environment for ICT infrastructure and services, Internet governance, new technologies, competition regulation involving ICTs, Critical Infrastructure/Network Security and Alternative Dispute Resolution. His project work at the Bank spans more than 80 countries. He was seconded from the Bank to the UN’s Working Group on Internet Governance and acts as the Bank’s representative to the Internet Governance Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group of the UN’s Internet Governance Forum secretariat as well as to UNCITRAL’s Working Group on e-Commerce. He is the co-Chair of the Internet Governance Task Force of the Cyberspace Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. He received his BA and MA from The Johns Hopkins University, his JD from the University of Wisconsin and also studied at the London School of Economics and the Hague Academy of International Law. Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Satola was in-house counsel for a major global telecommunications company responsible for investments in Latin America and Europe, was in private legal practice in both North America and Europe principally advising on telecommunications joint ventures and was the legal advisor to a human rights NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland. He has published articles, chapters and books on legal aspects of ICT reforms.

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