DCA Trust sends a warning Letter to ICANN Board on GAC consultation over .Africa



Days just before the ICANN Dublin meeting, DCA Trust has sent a warning to ICANN Board, through a letter posted on 14th October 2015.

This letter responds to the Chair of ICANN Board, who wrote a letter to Chair of ICANN GAC to request the GAC to clarify, or refine the earlier GAC Objection Advice that had been previously issued in April 2013 against DCA Trust’s .Africa application.”

DCA Trust which has been embroiled in a battle over .africa for nearly 4 years and another 2 years in a legal battle with ICANN, won in an independent review panel decision to its favor on July 12015,  has asked ICANN not to shift blame to GAC for its own errors and omissions in making decisions over the .africa gTLD, noting that the IRP was against ICANN’s actions and not against the GAC.

“Your letter to the GAC seems to convey the notion that the failures of the ICANN GAC necessarily caused the ICANN Board to lose the IRP against DCA Trust. We wish to disagree with such assumptions. DCA Trust instituted an IRP against ICANN in order to challenge the wrongful decisions that had been taken by the ICANN Board against DCA Trust’s .Africa application. We did not institute an IRP against the ICANN GAC.”

DCA Trust is also worried that the new gTLD process to resolve the .africa deadlock is not independent and thus will not be the preferable channel saying

“We think that the entire process is highly prejudiced and will not resolve this matter, but would rather create further complications over .Africa new gTLD…..We therefore request you to use your good offices to stop any further engagements that you have started with the ICANN GAC regarding our .Africa new gTLD application.

The GAC  is scheduled to discuss the ICANN board’s request, but this DCA Trust pre-warned that would not be the best way to bring a lasting solution on the .Africa and thus suggested that:

“if the ICANN Board accepts its responsibility in this matter, then it can rightfully provide the type of adequate redress that DCA Trust believes it is entitled to as the prevailing party in the IRP.  We believe that the ICANN Board can act without involving the ICANN GAC in this process”

ICANN board appears to be in avoidance of taking responsibility over its actions yet the independent IRP panel  on .africa did rule that

“that both the actions and inactions of the Board with respect to the application of DCA Trust relating to the .AFRICA gTLD were inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of ICANN”

It is yet to be known what other steps DCA intends to take to seek redress over the .africa application having won the IRP.