Yesterday, I decided to withdraw my application to the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) in the matter concerning AIF.com.au and The Minister of Defence.
I did so for two reasons. First and foremost my ongoing health situation – and secondly, I had achieved almost everything I set out to do (apart from getting the domain name!).
Over many years, I have always fought for the rights of domain investors and auDA members. This blog I founded is a testament to that. When Robert Kaay purchased it from me a couple of years ago, he assured me that he would keep up the fight – and he has certainly done that! Whilst we do have detractors (particularly auDA), someone has to try and keep them transparent and accountable.
I reluctantly got involved in this action against the Minister of Defence solely because a decision made to grant my company permission to use a domain name was overturned, and it was obvious to me that there were external factors at play. i.e. auDA. This didn’t just affect me – it potentially endangered other domain investors and entrepreneurs.
I’m not going to specifically comment further on this because I gave an undertaking yesterday to the AAT that I would not (further) reveal information obtained by means of the “T Documents” I received from Defence via their solicitors. This was because auDA – through their solicitor – applied for a (non-party) confidentiality order via an interlocutory hearing yesterday. This is a matter of public record. As per the AAT website, it is unusual for the Tribunal to suppress information in the General Divison. So after I gave my undertaking, the Tribunal offered auDA’s solicitor the choice of having their application refused – or withdrawing it. They chose the latter.
As the Tribunal Member noted previously (and again yesterday) – and auDA’s solicitor reluctantly agreed – what has already been said and written cannot be unsaid and unspoken. But I will not be commenting further.
For the record, as a self-represented person before the AAT, until recently, I was not aware that information received as part of this process was not supposed to be used. And I did check their website originally, and found nothing in this regard.
auDA needs to have an Ombudsman
If any affected person in Australia feels aggrieved by a decision of auDA, who can they turn to for an independent assessment and adjudication?
As I wrote back in 2017, the big daddy of regulators (ICANN) has their own Ombudsman. Why not auDA? What better way to offer transparency and accountability? Beats self-assessment hands down!
What do you think?