appeal mechanisms was Re: Ombuds-process

John C Klensin john-ietf at
Mon Jun 30 20:20:29 CEST 2003

--On Monday, 30 June, 2003 10:42 +0900 avri 
<avri at> wrote:

>> I agree with the sentiment, but we've had at least a couple
>> of people who've posted references to appeals that were
>> filed, including appeals that resulted in overturned
>> decisions.
> i think looking at the counter-examples will show that the
> folks brave enough and process savvy enough to file these
> appeals where not our average participants.
> yes, there is a process but it takes a lot of energy and savvy
> to use that process.
> there is a process which i would argue is not a mechanism.
> and certainly not a mechanism intended to aid.
> i think it is as much a barrier to appeal as anything else.
> i certainly do not believe the existing process is a mechanism
> that aids people in making appeals.

Mumble.  Ok, I have filed an appeal, and it was successful in 
getting an action changed.  I've also been in the middle of the 
IAB review process for several of them.  So, with your 
indulgence (I don't think this is a problem, and what I'm about 
to say isn't a solution), let me explain how to mount a 
successful appeal so it isn't a secret any more.

	Step 1: Produce a coherent and focused statement about
	what is being appealed, what the issues are, and why the
	action that was taken was wrong.  Leave out any random
	musings or accusations about, e.g., the eating habits or
	parentage of IESG members and assumptions about their
	evil motivations.  This is often not an easy writing
	job, but it is necessary.  For better or worse, if the
	IESG and IAB can't figure out what you are complaining
	about, or if the appeal seems to be an excuse for a
	personal attack, the appeal won't go anywhere unless the
	problem is really, obviously, an abuse of judgment or
	Step 2: Be absolutely clear about what remedy is desired
	and expected, and be sure that it is within the
	authority of the AD or IESG to grant and execute.
	Leaving the IAB or IESG sitting around and saying to
	each other "well, she is probably right, but what on
	earth does she want us to do about it?" is not likely to
	produce a useful and positive outcome.

That is really all there is to it.  Most, if not all, of the 
appeals that have dragged out for a long time and then produced 
results that either upheld the IESG in some lukewarm way or were 
satisfactory to no one showed symptoms consequent of omitting 
one of the steps above.    If the IAB (or even the IESG) get an 
appeal that says "the problem is obvious, you can read all about 
it on the following 400 web pages and many megabytes of logs, AD 
Jones is a fool and has it in for me, and I'd like you to 
un-invent the wheel so I can patent it", that appeal probably 
isn't going anywhere even if the underlying issue is a problem 
that really does need fixing.

This isn't either a complex procedure or rocket science... it is 
just recognizing that presenting a clear case to the IESG and 
IAB is much more likely to get careful attention and reasonable 


More information about the Problem-statement mailing list