Having stuck my oar in during a previous consultation, I was emailed a copy of the draft recommendations and asked for feedback. Here's the response I sent to Nominet.
Thank you for circulating this draft. I'm disappointed to find that Nominet is still considering adopting a policy that effectively grants the police new powers. In a democratic society, the only acceptable way for police powers to be extended is through legislation. If there is a genuine need for the police to be able to take down websites without judicial supervision, Parliament should grant the police that power. If Parliament does not do so, no other organisation should arrogate the right to do so - particularly when, as the draft notes, the Government is currently considering such legislation.
It may be inconvenient for the police, and perhaps even "harmful to consumers", that judicial oversight sometimes imposes delays on police work. Nevertheless, that oversight exists for good reasons, and attempts by the police to circumvent it are misguided and dangerous.
Court orders are available at very short notice for other kinds of urgent police work; if the courts have not seen fit to make orders for taking down websites available to the police as quickly as the police would like then it is worth asking why not. Nominet should not allow itself to be manipulated by the police into short-circuiting the judicial process.
As a piece of quasi-legislation, the draft is seriously lacking. It does not define key terms such as "consumer harm" or "UK law enforcement agencies with which Nominet has a trusted relationship". No process is defined for deciding which cases "involve disputes between private parties, freedom of expression or political speech", or for challenging such decisions.
The vague language in the final paragraph about an "appeal mechanism" and an "independent panel" makes no concrete commitments to meaningful oversight. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how it could do so, since Nominet does not have any legal powers to punish wrong decisions or make reparations. The courts do - they are the proper venue for such decisions.