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auDA Goes to Court to Delay SGM, Wastes Tens of Thousands of Dollars and Achieves Nothing

In a disgraceful waste of tens of thousands of dollars of .au domain name registrant’s money, auDA took Josh Rowe, one of the 3 and a former auDA Director, to the Federal Court Thursday, and in effect lost.

With a legal team that, including preparation, probably would have cost around $30,000, including lawyers from their law firm Ashurst, counsel and barrister as well as having auDA directors, the auDA chair and staff in attendance.

auDA was seeking to delay a Special General Meeting that has been proposed to oust the 3 Independent Directors including Chair Chris Leptos as well as a vote of no-confidence in CEO Cameron Boardman. The .au policy and regulatory body had sought to delay the SGM until the Annual General Meeting, which has been proposed to be held in September, but is usually held in November.

However auDA spectacularly failed achieving in effect nothing as all they got was a delay of around one month to 28 July to hold the SGM. The Federal Court Judge, Justice Middleton, said that the costs auDA had mooted ($70,000) for holding the SGM were irrelevant, but there was some merit in having to reply to the Australian government’s review released last week whose central finding was “that auDA’s current management framework is no longer fit-for-purpose and reform is necessary if the company is to perform effectively and meet the needs of Australia’s internet community.”

Domain Pulse informants have said that a letter was read out from Rowe, who wasn’t in attendance, by the judge as a submission and that auDA fought hard to get an extension. The judge took it all into consideration before giving his judgement. See here or here [pdfs] for the orders by Justice Middleton.

The case was filed on 24 April. 25 April in Australia was a public/bank holiday. And the hearing was on 26 April. auDA bizarrely deemed the case to be so urgent they gave only one business day for the respondents to prepare.