The DRS is based on the NominetUK dispute resolution process and incorporates a mediation step, at no cost to the parties, in the process before any payment is required to refer the dispute for an Expert determination. With 89 valid complaints received in the first 18 months, and with around 40% of those resolved at mediation, it would appear that the DRS is meeting a need.
Generally the policy appears to be operating well. The Domain Name Commission intends to add an additional clause enabling a term of settlement, that is within the power of the DNC, to be enforced by the DNC if the parties fail to do so. For example, when the parties agree to transfer a domain name to a different registrant but one party doesn't sign the forms required by the registrar, the DNC will be able to direct the registrar to make the required change.
One issue raised by the Experts relates to the quality of the complaints received, in that the information required to prove the two elements (rights in the name, and that the registration in the hands of the respondent is unfair) is often lacking in sufficient detail to make the case. This issue is one of education, though any ideas that people may have on how the quality might be improved would be welcomed.
At the time the DRS was implemented, it was agreed that there would be a review sometime after its first year of operation. This consultation has now closed, however submissions are available below.
Rick Shera - .pdf