Transparency, Accountability and Participation in Internet Governance Institutions: Challenges and Opportunities

Date: Feb 10, 2015 (Tuesday)

Time: 6:00pm-7:15pm

Venue: Room 7.23, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU

Speaker: Prof. Rolf H. Weber, Chair for International Business Law, Faculty of Law, University of Zurich


Being developed beyond a traditional regulatory framework, the Internet was originally based on self-regulation by its users. Since a decade different stakeholders initiated efforts to implement a broader design for the governance of Internet institutions through the realization of basic principles of legitimacy, namely transparency, accountability and participation. Even though ICANN is still dominating the Internet Governance discussions other Internet players like the ITU, the IETF, the WSIS+10/WGEC and the IGf are also executing a significant role by supporting or even enforcing governance principles. The further improvement of transparency, accountability and participation standards should equally encompass other aspects such as values and ethics in order to overcome a piece-meal approach. Stronger procedural rules (due process) could lead to better legal predictability. 2015 is a crucial year for all these activities due to the UN decision on the continuation of multistakeholder processes.


Professor Rolf H. Weber holds a Chair for International Business Law at the University of Zurich since 1995 and has been a practising attorney admitted to the bar in Switzerland since 1978. He is a founder and director ot the European Law Institute (since 1992) as well as the Center for Information and Communication Law at the University of Zurich (ZIK) and the publisher of the ZIK-book series (since 1998). Rolf H. Weber serves as member in many international organisations in the Internet Governance field (Vice-Chairman of Steering Committee of GigaNet, Global Alliance for ICT and Development, EuroDig). He is also a member of the editorial board of several Swiss and international legal periodicals.