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  19 June 2002

Eight months into its existence, the independent experts working with Nominet UK's Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) have called on complainants and their advisers to improve the quality of their submissions or risk having the case dismissed.

Of the 350 cases dealt with by May this year, most were submitted using Nominet's online forms, but a substantial number were deemed invalid because they did not comply with the procedure. Many complainants - a significant number of whom are represented by solicitors - fail to address the key points of the policy and procedure, or to provide any evidence to support their assertions.

"We are going to get tough with those submitting poor quality applications," said Tony Willoughby, chairman of the panel of independent experts. "Some complainants have benefited from experts plugging gaps in complaints by making common sense assumptions in their favour but complainants should not bank on that continuing. Everything necessary, including guidance on filling in the forms and decisions on cases to date, is published on the Nominet web site, so there is no excuse for sloppiness."

Initial figures show that over 50% of cases are successfully resolved by Nominet's mediation team at the first stage. Of those referred to an independent expert for decision, most (85%) have the complaint upheld.

"Far from demonstrating a bias in favour of complainants, this shows that only those with a strong case pursue matters beyond the first, free, stage," explained Willoughby. "We also believe that the broad consistency of the decisions, which are published, is giving a clear message as to what constitutes an abusive registration under Nominet's DRS."

For more information about the Nominet Dispute Resolution Service, see the web site at www.nominet.org.uk/ref/drs.html