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Icann appoints independent objector to review gTLDs

Icann has selected Alain Pellet as the independent objector for the global top level domain (gTLD) selection program

Pellet is professor of law at the University Paris Ouest, Nanterre La Défense. He is a former chairperson of the International Law Commission of the United Nations.

According to the gTLD Applicant Guidebook, the independent objector is charged with representing the public interest during the evaluation of the applied-for gTLDs. Once the list of applied-for top-level domains has been released, the independent objector may file either a “limited public interest objection” or “community interest objection” to an applied-for domain.

A limited public interest objection may be filed where an applied-for string “is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law.”

The independent objector may file a community interest objection if he believes that there “is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted”.

The gTLD application system has been down since April and has been beset with technical problems. ICANN aims to have the system reopened for at least five working days from May 22 but has not yet confirmed that timing.

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