[CRISP-TEAM] Fwd: Re: [NRO-IANAXFER] Contract details

Izumi Okutani izumi at nic.ad.jp
Wed Jan 7 09:52:50 CET 2015

Sent to IANAXFER list.
Thanks Nurani and Alan for your feedback.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Re: [NRO-IANAXFER] Contract details
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 17:45:05 +0900
From: Izumi Okutani <izumi at nic.ad.jp>
To: ianaxfer at nro.net

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to once again share the considerations made by CRISP Team
about the term of the contract.

Going back to the initial point where this discussions started about the
contract, we discussed Seun's comment that having no fixed term may
reduce resources for updating the contract. It was observed that this is
not likely to be a major concern.

The statement below well reflects the general discussions by the CRISP Team.

A fixed contract is good because it gives us a point in time to reflect
and access the performance of the IANA operator, and if the RIR
community have any issues with the IANA operator and the SLA is not
sufficiently met, we can have options to either continue with this
operator or look for a new operator.

Weighing between not to consume additional resources (where it was
observed it is not a concern including by members with legal
background), and to have the more clear option of not renewing under a
regular interval if we're not happy with the service or wish to explore
different providers as described above, it was agreed that we consider
the latter element as higher priority.

I hope this clarifies the considerations made by CRISP Team.

Best Regards,

Izumi Okutani

On 2015/01/07 4:49, Gordon Lennox wrote:
> I have been involved in dealing with various forms of agreements over the years - contracts, MoUs and treaties - and almost always in international setting. So maybe I can add a little.
> Agreements can be legally binding without all the paraphernalia that many people presume is necessary. A contract after all is just an offer and an acceptance of that offer. What constitutes an "offer" and what constitutes "acceptance" can though vary enormously between cultures and jurisdictions.
> It has also been said though that it is the content that matters. I very much agree with that, particularly in an international setting. Certain terms  - agreement, MoU, contract? - can be useful of course. But it is particular content that really matters. and that content concerns what happens when the parties disagree.
> Drafting an agreement is a bit like writing software. You needed to have a clear objective, an intent. You need to define certain terms. You need to define  a process. You need to define what happens with problem cases and errors. Nobody though can take care of all the problem cases or errors and so there has to be an understanding on what happens then.
> So an MoU says something like: this document is not legally binding; the parties cannot be held responsible for the actions of other parties; the parties cannot be held responsible for costs of any kind incurred by other parties; parties can simply disassociate themselves from this agreement by <define process>.
> A contract then says something like: this document is legally binding; the parties are individually and collectively responsible towards other parties <up to a certain amount? >; in the event of a disagreement between the parties the following (binding?) arbitration procedure <here defined> will be used; in the event of continued disagreement then the following (identified) courts in a particular jurisdiction will be competent.
> Given the oft stated aim to internationalise this area and the frequent concerns expressed about US dominance it would be bizarre if it was a US court  - in California? - that was now identified.
> Then the question of a renewable agreement. I think having an agreement that is renewable or having functions that are somehow transferable would make much of this more palatable to many people. However hard experience has shown that the process to renew or transfer has to be very clearly built in from the beginning. I would go as far as to say that an agreement ought not be signed until it is clearly understood how the required functions could be transferred. So the process for negotiating a new agreement with the same party or another party, either because of a date defined in the original agreement or because of a  disagreement, or the process for the possible transfer of functions to a new party has to be thought about now and defined in some detail.
> Gordon
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