Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Michael StJohns <> Tue, 31 January 2017 16:53 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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From: Michael StJohns <>
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Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2017 11:53:57 -0500
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On 1/31/2017 8:20 AM, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ wrote:
> I’m not a lawyer, however, I checked this with an American lawyer a few years ago, when I suggested the first time for the need to the insurance, and I was working in the first version of the venue-selection-criteria ID. I don’t think laws changed in those years about this.

Jordi - first thing to do is fire your lawyer.  Or at least make sure 
his card doesn't say "I just play one on TV".

> Even if it is a refundable ticket, the expenses to change or refund that, will be also responsibility of the IETF, unless there is what laws call “overwhelming force”, which it most of the cases will be only accepted by courts if there is no chance for 99% of the participants to held the meeting (venue collapsed because a fire, earthquake, or something similar)

Taken to an extreme, I can see you trying to claim to some expo like RSA 
that they have to refund your airline ticket if a session you really, 
really wanted to see was cancelled because the presenter was sick.

And the term you're looking for is "force-majeure".   In the instant 
case it *might* apply between the IETF and a banned attendee as the ban 
was unforeseeable (at the times the contracts were signed), external to 
the parties involved (the US government in the form of an executive 
order from the US President), and unavoidable (a greater force - in this 
case enforcement by law and border officials of a sovereign nation).  In 
that case, it's like the agreement was never made.  In any event, I 
would assume the secretariat will work with the banned attendee(s) to 
refund their registration fees and to help them cancel their hotel 
reservations without cost.

The banned attendee can probably also argue the same with the airline 
involved - I would be surprised if any airline or contract of carriage 
would refuse to refund their ticket prices of someone who is prohibited 
from entering the country. [And yes, I know about the folks that had to 
buy their own tickets home - different matter and one I expect will be 
litigated or resolved or put down to sovereign immunity.]

In any event, the law is complex, and trying to make the claim that the 
IETF is a party to contracts that it is not, or that the IETF is 
responsible for making you whole for actions it has no control over will 
not win you friends.  Please avoid doing so in the future.