Agreement on Internal Trade

Chapter Seventeen - Dispute Resolution Procedures

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Agreement on Internal Trade
September 1994

Page Index

  1. Article 1700: Cooperation
  2. Article 1701: Application
  3. Article 1702: Consultations
  4. Article 1703: Assistance of Committee
  5. Article 1704: Request for Panel
  6. Article 1705: Establishment of Panel
  7. Article 1706: Panel Rules of Procedure
  8. Article 1707: Report of Panel
  9. Article 1708: Implementation of Panel Report
  10. Article 1709: Non-Implementation — Publicity
  11. Article 1710: Non-Implementation — Retaliatory Action
  12. Article 1711: Initiation of Proceedings by Government on Behalf of Persons
  13. Article 1712: Initiation of Proceedings by Persons
  14. Article 1713: Screening
  15. Article 1714: Consultations
  16. Article 1715: Assistance of Committee
  17. Article 1716: Request for Panel
  18. Article 1717: Establishment of Panel
  19. Article 1718: Report of Panel
  20. Article 1719: Implementation of Panel Report
  21. Article 1720: Non-Implementation — Publicity
  22. Article 1721: Code of Conduct
  23. Article 1722: Limit on Jurisdiction
  24. Article 1723: Definitions
  25. Annex 1701.4: Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Processes in Sector Chapters
  26. Annex 1705.1: Roster
  27. Annex 1706.1 — Panel Rules of Procedure
  28. Annex 1718.3: Costs
  29. Annex 1721 — Code of Conduct For Panellists

Article 1700: Cooperation

  1. The Parties undertake to resolve disputes in a conciliatory, cooperative and harmonious manner.
  2. The Parties shall make every attempt through cooperation, consultations and other dispute avoidance and resolution processes available to them to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution of any matter that may affect the operation of this Agreement.

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Article 1701: Application

  1. Subject to paragraph 6, this Chapter applies to the avoidance and resolution of disputes between Parties, or persons and Parties, regarding the interpretation or application of this Agreement.
  2. select and proceed only under the one chapter in Part IV of this Agreement that it considers to be most applicable to the matter.
  3. A complaining Party shall deliver written notice to the Party complained against and the Secretariat of the selection of the applicable chapter and of the matter.
  4. On delivery of notice in accordance with paragraph 3, the complaining Party and the Party complained against shall attempt to resolve the matter using the dispute avoidance and resolution process provided in the applicable chapter. Such process must be exhausted before a complaining Party may proceed to dispute resolution under this Chapter. The dispute avoidance and resolution processes in each chapter and their completion dates are listed in Annex 1701.4.
  5. Where no dispute avoidance and resolution process is provided in the applicable chapter, a complaining Party may proceed directly to dispute resolution under this Chapter.
  6. articles 1702 through 1708 do not apply to bid protests initiated under Article 513 (Bid Protest Procedure — Provinces). Articles 1711 through 1720 do not apply to bid protests initiated under Article 514 (Bid Protest Procedure — Federal Government).

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Part A: Government-to-Government Dispute Resolution

Article 1702: Consultations

  1. If the disputing Parties fail to resolve the matter using the dispute avoidance and resolution process provided in the chapter selected under Article 1701(2), or if a complaining Party proceeds directly to dispute resolution under this Chapter by reason of Article 1701(5):
    1. either disputing Party may request consultations under this Article; or
    2. the disputing Parties may agree to proceed directly under Article 1703 or Article 1704.
  2. The Party requesting consultations under paragraph 1 shall deliver written notice of its request to all other Parties and the Secretariat. The request shall:
    1. specify the actual or proposed measure or other matter complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement; and
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint.
  3. Consultations shall begin within 10 days after the date of delivery of the request.
  4. Any Party that has a substantial interest in the matter, within the meaning of Article 1704(10), may participate in the consultations.
  5. Consultations shall be confidential and without prejudice to the rights of the consulting Parties in any further proceedings.
  6. The consulting Parties shall exchange all information necessary to enable a full examination to be made of how the actual or proposed measure or other matter may affect the operation of this Agreement. In so doing, the consulting Parties shall treat any confidential information exchanged on the same basis as the Party providing the information.

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Article 1703: Assistance of Committee

  1. Where the matter in dispute has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the disputing Parties within:
    1. 30 days after the completion date of the applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4, where the disputing Parties have agreed under Article 1702(1)(b) to proceed directly under this Article;
    2. 40 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Article 1702; or
    3. such other period of time as the disputing Parties may agree;
    either disputing Party may make a written request to the Committee for its assistance in resolving the matter.
  2. Where no dispute avoidance and resolution process is listed in Annex 1701.4 and the disputing Parties have agreed under Article 1702(1)(b) to proceed directly under this Article, a disputing Party may make a written request to the Committee for its assistance in resolving the matter.
  3. The request for assistance shall:
    1. specify the actual or proposed measure or other matter complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement; and
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint.
  4. The requesting Party shall deliver a copy of the request to the other Parties and the Secretariat.
  5. The Committee shall convene within 20 days after the date of delivery of the request and provide assistance to the disputing Parties. In doing so, it shall consult with the committee or council of Ministers or working group that provided assistance to the disputing Parties under a dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4, including:
    1. the Forum of Labour Market Ministers under Article 712 (Implementation, Administration and Assessment);
    2. the Working Group on Processing of Natural Resources under Annex 1103.2;
    3. the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety under Article 1413 (Assistance of Council); and
    4. the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment under Article 1510 (Consultations and Assistance of Council).
  6. In addition, the Committee may assist the disputing Parties by:
    1. seeking the advice of technical experts;
    2. establishing working groups or fact-finding bodies;
    3. facilitating the use of conciliation, mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms; and
    4. making recommendations.

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Article 1704: Request for Panel

  1. Where the matter in dispute has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the disputing Parties within:
    1. 30 days after the completion date of the applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4, where the disputing Parties have agreed under Article 1702(1)(b) to proceed directly under this Article;
    2. 40 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Article 1702, where the disputing Parties have agreed under Article 1702(1)(b) to proceed directly under this Article and not to request assistance under Article 1703;
    3. 50 days after the date of delivery of the request for assistance under Article 1703; or
    4. such other period of time as the disputing Parties may agree;
    any disputing Party may make a written request to the Committee for the establishment of a panel.
  2. Where no dispute avoidance and resolution process is listed in Annex 1701.4 and the disputing Parties have agreed under Article 1702(1)(b) to proceed directly under this Article, a disputing Party may make a written request to the Committee for the establishment of a panel.
  3. The request for the establishment of a panel shall:
    1. specify the actual or proposed measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement;
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint;
    4. explain how the measure has impaired or would impair internal trade; and
    5. identify the actual or potential injury or denial of benefit caused by the actual or proposed measure.
  4. The requesting Party shall deliver a copy of the request to the other Parties and the Secretariat.
  5. The panel shall be established in accordance with Article 1705 and shall be composed of five members.
  6. Where a complaining Party requests the establishment of a panel on behalf of a person, the complaining Party shall, at the beginning of the panel hearing, demonstrate to the satisfaction of the panel that it has a substantial and direct connection with that person, within the meaning of paragraph 7 or 8. If the complaining Party fails to do so, the panel shall immediately dismiss the complaint for lack of standing.
  7. Where the complaining Party is a Province, it shall be deemed to have a substantial and direct connection with a person if:
    1. the person resides or carries on business in the Province;
    2. the person has suffered an economic injury or denial of benefit; and
    3. the consequences of that economic injury or denial of benefit are being felt in the Province.
  8. Where the complaining Party is the Federal Government, it shall be deemed to have a substantial and direct connection with a person if the person has suffered an economic injury or denial of benefit as a result of being treated inconsistently with this Agreement by reason of:
    1. its status as a federally-constituted entity; or
    2. its carrying on business that is a work, undertaking, business or service that is under federal regulatory authority.
  9. Any Party that has a substantial interest in the matter in dispute, within the meaning of paragraph 10, is entitled to join the panel proceedings on delivery of written notice to the other Parties and the Secretariat within 15 days after the date of delivery of the request for establishment of a panel.
  10. A Party shall be deemed to have a substantial interest in the matter in dispute where:
    1. in the case of any Party, it maintains a measure that is analogous to the one at issue; or
    2. in the case of a Party that is a Province, it has a significant number of persons carrying on business in the Province who are or will be affected by the measure at issue.

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Article 1705: Establishment of Panel

  1. The Parties shall maintain a roster of panellists in accordance with Annex 1705.1.
  2. Within 30 days after the date of delivery of the request for establishment of a panel, each disputing Party shall appoint two panellists from the roster who were not nominated to the roster by that Party.
  3. The appointed panellists shall, within 10 days after their appointment, select the chairperson of the panel from the roster. If they are unable to agree within that period, the Secretariat shall select the chairperson by lot from that roster.
  4. Unless the disputing Parties otherwise agree, the terms of reference for a panel shall be to examine whether the actual or proposed measure or other matter at issue is or would be inconsistent with this Agreement.

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Article 1706: Panel Rules of Procedure

  1. The Committee shall, before the date of entry into force of this Agreement, establish Model Rules of Procedure to deal with all aspects of the panel process. The Rules shall apply to all panel proceedings unless modified, where appropriate, by a panel. The Rules shall accord with the following principles:
    1. disputing Parties shall be assured the right to at least one hearing before a panel and the opportunity to file and make written and oral submissions;
    2. all proceedings before a panel shall be public and all documents filed with a panel shall be accessible to the disputing Parties or their agents, except as otherwise provided in the Rules;
    3. majority and dissenting opinions of panel members shall be anonymous;
    4. disputing Parties shall be afforded the opportunity to ensure the confidentiality of documents that are commercially sensitive or otherwise protected by law and to protect documents the disclosure of which could impair international relations or obligations; and
    5. a Party that has joined the panel proceedings under Article 1704(9) shall be entitled to attend all hearings, to make written and oral submissions to the panel and to receive copies of submissions from the disputing Parties.
  2. A panel may seek information and expert advice from any person or body that it considers appropriate, provided that the disputing Parties so agree and subject to such terms and conditions as the disputing Parties may agree.
  3. All proceedings before a panel shall be dealt with as informally and expeditiously as the circumstances and considerations of fairness permit.
  4. The Parties shall make every effort to avoid parallel proceedings regarding the same measure. Should multiplicity of proceedings become an issue, any Party may refer the matter to the Committee for consideration and action which could include amendment of the Rules.

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Article 1707: Report of Panel

  1. The panel shall, within 45 days after the date when the hearing was completed or such other period of time as the disputing Parties may agree, issue a report based on the submissions of the disputing Parties and any other information received during the course of the proceeding.
  2. The report shall contain:
    1. findings of fact;
    2. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the measure in question is or would be inconsistent with this Agreement;
    3. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the measure has impaired or would impair internal trade and has caused or would cause injury; and
    4. recommendations, if requested by a disputing Party, to assist in resolving the dispute.
  3. Where a Party with a substantial interest in the matter in dispute, within the meaning of Article 1704(10), has participated in the panel hearing, any recommendation that the panel may make with regard to making a measure consistent with this Agreement shall apply in relation to that Party.

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Article 1708: Implementation of Panel Report

  1. The Parties agree that the prompt resolution of disputes is for the benefit of all Parties. Accordingly, the disputing Parties shall, within 60 days after the issuance of the panel report, comply with the recommendations set out in the panel report or agree on a mutually satisfactory resolution of the dispute.
  2. Wherever possible, the resolution of the dispute shall be the non-implementation, removal or amendment of the measure that is inconsistent with this Agreement.
  3. If the disputing Parties resolve the dispute at any stage of the dispute resolution process, written notice of such resolution shall be delivered to the other Parties and the Secretariat.

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Article 1709: Non-Implementation — Publicity

  1. Where the Party complained against has not complied with the recommendations set out in the panel report or has failed to agree with the complaining Party on a mutually satisfactory resolution of the dispute, within the time period set out in Article 1708(1), the Secretariat shall make the panel report public and the matter shall be added to the Committee's agenda for its annual meetings, where it shall remain until the matter is resolved.
  2. The disputing Parties may agree to extend the time period set out in Article 1708(1), but in no case shall such extension exceed an additional 60 days.
  3. The Party complained against shall, at least 10 days before each subsequent annual Committee meeting, provide the Committee with a written status report on its progress in implementing the panel's recommendations or in arriving at a resolution of the dispute.

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Article 1710: Non-Implementation — Retaliatory Action

  1. If, in its report, a panel has determined that an actual measure is inconsistent with this Agreement and the matter has not been resolved within one year after the issuance of the panel report, the complaining Party may then make a written request for a meeting of the Committee.
  2. The Committee or a subcommittee thereof shall, within 30 days after the date of delivery of the request for a meeting, convene to discuss with the complaining Party the option of taking retaliatory action in respect of the Party complained against.
  3. Subject to having discussed the matter with the Committee under paragraph 2, the complaining Party may suspend benefits of equivalent effect or, where this is impracticable, impose retaliatory measures of equivalent effect against the Party complained against until such time as a mutually satisfactory resolution of the dispute is achieved.
  4. In considering what benefits to suspend or retaliatory measures to impose, the complaining Party shall:
    1. suspend benefits or impose retaliatory measures in the same sector as the measure found to be inconsistent with this Agreement; and
    2. only if such suspension or imposition would be impracticable or ineffective, suspend benefits or impose retaliatory measures in other sectors covered by this Agreement.
  5. On the written request of either disputing Party delivered to the other Parties and the Secretariat, the Committee shall convene a panel, composed of the original panellists, where possible, within 30 days after the date of delivery of the request, to determine whether the suspension of benefits or the imposition of retaliatory measures by a complaining Party under paragraph 3 is manifestly excessive. The panel shall issue its decision within 30 days after the matter is referred to it.
  6. The Parties recognize that any suspension of benefits or imposition of retaliatory measures under paragraph 3 will be temporary and shall only be applied until the Party complained against has amended or removed the inconsistent measure or has otherwise taken action to resolve the dispute.
  7. On the written request of either disputing Party delivered to the other Parties and the Secretariat, the Committee shall convene a panel, composed of the original panellists, where possible, within 30 days after the date of delivery of the request, to determine whether any action taken by the Party complained against to resolve the dispute is sufficient or satisfactory. The panel shall issue its decision within 30 days after the matter is referred to it.
  8. Where the panel determines that the action taken by the Party complained against to resolve the dispute is sufficient or satisfactory, the complaining Party shall terminate the suspension of benefits or remove the retaliatory measures.
  9. Paragraphs 1 through 8 apply with respect to a Party with a substantial interest in the matter in dispute, within the meaning of Article 1704(10), that has participated in the panel hearing and has been found by the original panel to be adversely affected by the inconsistent measure.
  10. For greater certainty, and in view of Article 300 (Reaffirmation of Constitutional Powers and Responsibilities), the Parties agree that:
    1. this Article does not allow a Party to take retaliatory action that is inconsistent with the Constitution of Canada; and
    2. no Party shall be prevented from challenging in a court of competent jurisdiction any retaliatory action on the ground that the action is inconsistent with the Constitution of Canada.

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Part B: Person-to-Government Dispute Resolution

Article 1711: Initiation of Proceedings by Government on Behalf of Persons

  1. A person of a Party may request that a Party with which the person has a substantial connection, within the meaning of Article 1704(7) or (8), initiate on the person's behalf dispute resolution proceedings under Part A with another Party.
  2. The request shall be in writing and shall:
    1. specify the actual measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement; and
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint.
  3. Prior to initiating such proceedings on behalf of the person, the Party:
    1. may require the person to exhaust all administrative remedies available to the person; and
    2. shall require the person to exhaust any applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4 which may be invoked by the person.
  4. The Party shall decide whether to initiate proceedings on behalf of the person within 30 days after the date of delivery of the person's request and shall, within that period, provide written notice to the person of the decision. If the Party chooses to initiate proceedings, it shall do so within 10 days after it has provided notice to the person. If the Party chooses not to initiate proceedings, the notice shall include reasons for the decision. Failure to provide such notice to the person within the 30 day period is deemed to be notice for the purposes of Article 1712(1)(a).
  5. Where a complaining Party initiating proceedings on behalf of a person chooses not to request the establishment of a panel under Article 1704(1), it shall provide written notice to the person within the relevant period specified in that Article, setting out reasons for the decision. Failure to provide such notice to the person within that period is deemed to be notice for purposes of Article 1712(1)(b).
  6. For the purposes of this Part, "person", as defined in Article 200 (Definitions of General Application), includes a trade union as recognized by the applicable legislation of a Party.

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Article 1712: Initiation of Proceedings by Persons

  1. A person of a Party may commence dispute resolution proceedings in respect of all matters, other than those covered by Chapter Five (Procurement), where the person has received:
    1. notice under Article 1711(4) that a Party will not initiate dispute resolution proceedings on the person's behalf; or
    2. notice under Article 1711(5) that a Party will not request the establishment of a panel.
  2. A person of a Party may commence dispute resolution proceedings in respect of matters covered by Chapter Five (Procurement) where the person has received:
    1. notice under Article 513(5) (Bid Protest Procedures — Provinces) that a contact point will not initiate dispute resolution proceedings on the person's behalf; or
    2. notice under Article 513(6) (Bid Protest Procedures — Provinces) that the Party in whose territory the person is located will not request the establishment of a panel.
  3. The person requesting the commencement of dispute resolution proceedings shall provide written notice to the Party that refused to initiate proceedings or request a panel, to the Party complained against and to the Secretariat.
  4. A person may not commence proceedings under this Article if the person has failed to:
    1. request a Party to initiate dispute resolution proceedings under Article 1711(1);
    2. request a contact point to initiate dispute resolution proceedings under Article 513(5) (Bid Protest Procedures — Province); or
    3. commence any applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4 that may be invoked by the person;
    within two years after the date on which the person acquired, or should have acquired, knowledge of the alleged inconsistent measure and knowledge that the person incurred loss or damage or suffered a denial of benefit.

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Article 1713: Screening

  1. Each Party shall, before the date of entry into force of this Agreement, appoint an individual (the "screener") to review requests made under Article 1712(1) or (2). The screener shall be independent of government and capable of making an independent decision on the merits of the request. Notice of the appointment shall be delivered to the other Parties and the Secretariat.
  2. Each Party shall establish the process to be used by its screener for the review of requests.
  3. Where notice is provided under Article 1712(3), the screener of the Party that delivered notice to a person under Article 1711(4) or (5) or Article 513(5) or (6) (Bid Protest Procedures — Provinces) shall, within 30 days after the date of its delivery, review the request to determine whether the person should be permitted to commence dispute resolution proceedings.
  4. In deciding whether the person should be permitted to commence dispute resolution proceedings, the screener shall take into account the following:
    1. whether the complaint is frivolous or vexatious;
    2. whether the complaint has been instituted merely to harass the Party complained against; and
    3. whether there is a reasonable case of injury or denial of benefit to the person or, in the case of a trade union, injury or denial of benefit to its members.
  5. Where a dispute resolution proceeding is commenced under Article 1712(1)(a), the screener shall also determine the chapter of Part IV under which the person shall proceed.
  6. On determination of the applicable chapter, the person and the Party complained against shall attempt to resolve the matter using the dispute avoidance and resolution process provided in that chapter. This paragraph does not apply in cases where the person has already exhausted such process.
  7. The screener shall decide whether to accept or reject the person's request within 30 days after the date of delivery of the request. If the screener rejects the person's request, the screener shall, within that 30 day period, provide written notice to the person of the screener's decision, including the reasons for the decision. If the screener determines that the person may proceed, the screener shall, within that 30 day period, provide written notice, including the reasons, to the person, the Party that refused to initiate proceedings or request a Panel, the Party complained against and the Secretariat. Failure to provide such notice to the person within the 30 day period is deemed to be an approval.
  8. If the screener determines under paragraph 7 that the person may proceed, then the person and the Party complained against may agree to proceed directly under Article 1715 or 1716.

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Article 1714: Consultations

  1. A person that has:
    1. received approval from the screener to proceed to dispute resolution; and
    2. exhausted any applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4 that may be invoked by the person;
    may request consultations with the Party complained against respecting the complaint approved by the screener.
  2. A person that has received a notice under Article 513(5) (Bid Protest Procedures — Provinces) shall request consultations under this Article.
  3. The request shall be delivered to the Party complained against and the Secretariat and shall:
    1. specify the actual measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement; and
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint.
  4. Consultations shall commence within 10 days after the date of delivery of the request.
  5. Consultations shall be confidential and without prejudice to the rights of the person and the Party complained against in any further proceedings.

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Article 1715: Assistance of Committee

  1. Where the matter in dispute has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the person and the Party complained against within:
    1. 30 days after the completion date of the applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4, where the person and the Party complained against have agreed under Article 1713(8) to proceed directly under this Article;
    2. 40 days after delivery of the request for consultations under Article 1714; or
    3. such other period of time as they may agree; either of them may make a written request to the Committee for its assistance in resolving the matter.
  2. Where no dispute avoidance and resolution process is listed in Annex 1701.4 and the person and the Party complained against have agreed under Article 1713(8) to proceed directly under this Article, either of them may make a written request to the Committee for its assistance in resolving the matter.
  3. The request shall be delivered to the Secretariat and the person or Party complained against, as applicable, and shall:
    1. specify the actual measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement; and
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint.
  4. The Committee shall convene within 20 days after the date of delivery of the request.
  5. In providing assistance, the Committee may:
    1. seek the advice of technical experts;
    2. establish working groups or fact-finding bodies;
    3. facilitate the use of conciliation, mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms; and
    4. make recommendations.
  6. The person and the Party complained against shall make every effort to resolve the dispute at this stage of the proceedings using the various mechanisms available to them.

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Article 1716: Request for Panel

  1. Where the matter in dispute has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the person and the Party complained against within:
    1. 30 days after the completion date of the applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4, where the person and the Party complained against have agreed under Article 1713(8) to proceed directly under this Article;
    2. 40 days after commencement of consultations under Article 1714, where the person and the Party complained against have agreed under Article 1713(8) to proceed directly under this Article and not to request assistance under Article 1715;
    3. 50 days after the date of delivery of the request for assistance under Article 1715;
    4. one day after the issuance of the screener's determination, where the person was not required to exhaust a dispute avoidance and resolution process listed in Annex 1701.4 and the person and the Party complained against have agreed under Article 1713(8) to proceed directly under this Article; or
    5. such other period as they may agree;
    either of them may make a written request to the Committee for the establishment of a panel.
  2. Where no dispute avoidance and resolution process is listed in Annex 1704.1 and the person and the Party complained against have agreed under Article 1713(8) to proceed directly under this Article, either of them may make a written request to the Committee for the establishment of a panel.
  3. The request for the establishment of the panel shall be delivered to the Secretariat and the person or Party complained against, as applicable, and shall:
    1. specify the actual measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of this Agreement;
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint;
    4. explain how the measure has impaired internal trade; and
    5. identify the injury or denial of benefit caused by the measure.
  4. Unless the person and Party complained against otherwise agree, the Committee shall, on delivery of the request, establish a panel composed of five members.

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Article 1717: Establishment of Panel

  1. Within 30 days after the date of delivery of the request for the establishment of a panel, the person and the Party complained against shall each appoint two panellists from the roster. The Party may not appoint panellists which it has nominated to the roster.
  2. The appointed panellists shall, within 10 days after their appointment, select the chairperson of the Panel from the roster. If they are unable to agree within that period, the Secretariat shall select the chairperson by lot from that roster.
  3. The rules of procedure for the panel shall be those established under Article 1706 with such changes as the circumstances may require.
  4. The terms of reference for a panel shall be to examine whether the actual measure at issue is inconsistent with this Agreement.

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Article 1718: Report of Panel

  1. The panel shall, within 45 days after the date the hearing was completed or such other period time as the person and Party complained against may agree, issue a report based on the submissions of the person and Party complained against and any other information received during the course of the proceeding.
  2. The report shall contain:
    1. findings of fact;
    2. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the actual measure in question is inconsistent with this Agreement;
    3. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the actual measure has impaired internal trade and has caused injury; and
    4. recommendations, if requested by either the person or the Party complained against, to assist in resolving the dispute.
  3. The report may contain an award of costs of the proceeding determined in accordance with Annex 1718.3.

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Article 1719: Implementation of Panel Report

  1. On receipt of the panel report, the person and the Party complained against shall agree on a resolution of the dispute which shall normally conform with the recommendations of the panel.
  2. Wherever possible, the resolution of the dispute shall be the non-implementation, removal or amendment of the measure that is inconsistent with this Agreement.
  3. Each Party shall amend its laws in order to permit any costs awarded under Article 1718(3) to be paid in the same manner as costs awarded against the Crown in that Party's superior courts.

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Article 1720: Non-Implementation — Publicity

  1. Subject to paragraph 2, where the Party complained against has not complied with the recommendations set out in the panel report or has failed to agree with the person on a mutually satisfactory resolution of the dispute, within 60 days after the report is issued, the Secretariat shall make the panel report public.
  2. The person and the Party complained against may agree to extend the time period set out in paragraph 1 but in no case shall such extension exceed an additional 60 days.
  3. Where the dispute remains unresolved, the matter shall be added to the Committee's agenda for its annual meetings, where it shall remain until the matter is resolved.

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Part C: General

Article 1721: Code of Conduct

The Parties shall, before the date of entry into force of this Agreement, establish a Code of Conduct for panellists.

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Article 1722: Limit on Jurisdiction

For greater certainty, a panel has no jurisdiction to rule on any constitutional issue.

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Article 1723: Definitions

In this Chapter:

administrative remedy
means any non-judicial remedy provided by an agency, board or commission of a Party;
disputing Parties
means the complaining Party and the Party complained against;
consulting Parties
means the complaining Party, the Party complained against and any other Party with a substantial interest in the matter in dispute, within the meaning of Article 1704(10), that is participating in the consultations.

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Annex 1701.4
Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Processes in Sector Chapters

For the purposes of articles 1701(4) and 1711(3)(b), a person or a Party is deemed to have completed or exhausted the applicable dispute avoidance and resolution process when the applicable time period, as follows, has elapsed:

  1. for Chapter Six (Investment), 90 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Article 614(1) (Consultations) or paragraph 11 of Annex 608.3;
  2. for Chapter Seven (Labour Mobility), 90 days after the date of delivery of the request for assistance under Article 711(5) (Consultations);
  3. for Chapter Nine (Agricultural and Food Goods), 90 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Article 906(1) (Consultations), or 10 days after the issuance of the Trade Policy Committee's technical advice and recommendations under Article 906(3), whichever date is earlier;
  4. for Chapter Ten (Alcoholic Beverages), 90 days after the date of delivery of the complaint under Article 1009(1)(a)(Complaints) or 60 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Article 1009(2);
  5. for Chapter Eleven (Natural Resources Processing), 180 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Annex 1103.2 (1);
  6. for Chapter Fourteen (Transportation), 60 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Article 1412(1) (Consultations), where such consultations have not begun, or 90 days after the date of delivery of the request for assistance under Article 1413(1) (Assistance of Council); and
  7. for Chapter Fifteen (Environmental Protection), 90 days after the date of delivery of the request for consultations under Annex 1510.1(4).

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Annex 1705.1
Roster

  1. The roster shall be composed of not more than 65 members. Each Party shall be entitled to appoint up to 5 members to the roster.
  2. Roster members shall:
    1. have expertise or experience in matters covered by this Agreement;
    2. be independent of and not take instructions from any Party; and
    3. serve for a term of five years, with the possibility of reappointment.
  3. Where a roster member becomes unable to sit on the roster or a roster member's term expires, the Party who nominated that member shall nominate a replacement member to the roster.

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Annex 1706.1
Panel Rules of Procedure

These rules are intended to give effect to the provisions of Chapter Seventeen with respect to panel reviews conducted pursuant to that Chapter. Where a procedural question arises that is not covered by these rules, a panel may adopt the procedure to be followed in the particular case before it by analogy to these rules and the provisions of Chapter Seventeen. These rules should not be construed to extend or limit the jurisdiction of panels.

Application

These rules are established under Article 1706 and shall apply to dispute resolution proceedings under Chapter Seventeen.

Definitions

  1. In these rules:
    "Agreement"
    means the Agreement on Internal Trade;
    "Committee"
    means the Committee on Internal Trade established under Article 1600;
    "disputant"
    means a complaining Party, or a person of a Party, that requests the establishment of a panel, or any Party complained against in the panel proceeding;
    "documents"
    includes any materials filed in a panel review;
    "panel"
    means a panel established under Article 1705 or Article 1717;
    "participants"
    means the disputants and any Party that joins a panel proceeding under Article 1704(9);
    "Party"
    means a Party to the Agreement;
    "person"
    means a person as defined in chapter 2 and chapter 17 of the Agreement;
    "Secretariat"
    means the Secretariat established under Article 1603.

Duration and Scope of Panel Review

  1. A panel review commences on the day on which a Request for Panel Review is filed with the Secretariat and terminates on:
    1. the day on which a panel report is issued under rule 41;
    2. the day on which a notice of termination is given to the Secretariat under rule 47; or
    3. where a panel is convened under Article 1710(5) or 1710(7), the day on which a decision of the panel is issued under rule 48.
  2. A panel, in conducting its review, shall:
    1. where a panel is established pursuant to a request made under Article 1704, unless the disputants otherwise agree in writing, examine whether the actual or proposed measure or other matter at issue is or would be inconsistent with the Agreement;
    2. where a panel is established pursuant to a request made under Article 1716, examine whether the actual measure at issue is inconsistent with the Agreement;
    3. where a panel is convened under Article 1710(5), determine whether the suspension of benefits or the imposition of retaliatory measures by a complaining Party is manifestly excessive; and
    4. where a panel is convened under Article 1710(7), determine whether any action taken by the Party complained against to resolve the dispute is sufficient or satisfactory.

Responsibilities of Secretariat

  1. The Secretariat shall provide administrative support for each panel review and shall make the arrangements necessary for the oral proceedings and meetings of each panel.
  2. The Secretariat shall maintain a file for each panel review, comprised of either the original or a copy of all documents filed in the panel review and, where necessary, may certify copies as true copies of the originals.
  3. The file number assigned to a Request for Panel Review shall be the Secretariat file number for all documents filed or issued in that panel review. All documents filed shall be stamped by the Secretariat to show the date and time of receipt.
  4. The Secretariat shall forward copies of any Request for Panel Review to all the other Parties and shall forward copies of all other documents and submissions filed with it on a panel review to the participants.
  5. The Secretariat shall advise the participants in a timely manner of the time and location of all proceedings before the panel.
  6. The Secretariat shall forward copies of each panel report to the participants.

Translation and Interpretation

  1. The written and oral proceedings may be in either official language.
  2. The Secretariat shall provide for interpretation and translation, as the case may be, of written and oral proceedings or panel reports, if a participant or panellist so requests.
  3. Where a panel report is made public, it shall be issued in both official languages simultaneously. Each version shall be equally authentic.

Operation of the Panel

  1. The chairperson of the panel shall preside at all its meetings.
  2. The chairperson of the panel shall fix the date and hour of its sittings in accordance with these rules and following consultations with other panel members and the Secretariat.
  3. Panel meetings other than hearings may be conducted by telephone conference call or other electronic means.
  4. A panel may adopt its own internal procedures for routine administrative manners not inconsistent with these rules.

Confidentiality

  1. Where a participant indicates that any information contained in documents filed with the Secretariat or forwarded to other participants, in connection with panel proceedings, is to be treated confidentially:
    1. as a result of the information being commercially sensitive or otherwise protected by law; or
    2. in order to protect the information from disclosure which could impair international relations or obligations, the Secretariat, the panel and all other participants shall take all necessary steps to protect the confidentiality of the information and may enter into pre- hearing agreements regarding the protection of such information.
  2. A participant may disclose to other persons such information in connection with panel proceedings as it considers necessary for the preparation of its case, but it shall take all necessary steps to ensure that such other persons maintain the confidentiality of the information.
  3. The Secretariat shall take all necessary steps to ensure that experts, interpreters, translators, court reporters and other individuals retained by the Secretariat maintain the confidentiality of any information designated as confidential.
  4. On request of another participant, a participant shall promptly deliver to the other participants and the Secretariat a non-confidential summary of its written submissions.

Request For Panel Review

  1. A disputant that requests the establishment of a panel under Article 1704 or Article 1716 shall file a Request for Panel Review with the Secretariat.
  2. Where a disputant has requested the establishment of a panel under Article 1704, the Secretariat shall deliver copies of the Request for Panel Review to the Committee and to the other Parties.
  3. Where a disputant has requested the establishment of a panel under Article 1716, the Secretariat shall deliver a copy of the Request for Panel Review to the other disputant.
  4. A Request for Panel Review under Article 1704 shall:
    1. specify the actual or proposed measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of the Agreement;
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint;
    4. explain how the measure has impaired or would impair internal trade; and
    5. identify the actual or potential injury or denial of benefit caused by the actual or proposed measure.
  5. A Request for Panel Review under Article 1716 shall:
    1. specify the actual measure complained of;
    2. list the relevant provisions of the Agreement;
    3. provide a brief summary of the complaint;
    4. explain how the measure has impaired internal trade; and
    5. identify the injury or denial of benefit caused by the measure.

Notice of Appearance

  1. The Party complained against and any Party that is entitled to join the panel proceedings under Article 1704(9) and wishes to do so, shall file a Notice of Appearance with the Secretariat within 15 days after receiving a Request for Panel Review under Article 1704.
  2. The Party complained against or the person, as the case may be, shall file a Notice of Appearance with the Secretariat within 15 days after receiving a Request for Panel Review under Article 1716.
  3. The Secretariat shall forward copies of any Notice of Appearance received under rule 26 to the other Parties.

Written Submissions

  1. A disputant that has filed a Request for Panel Review shall file written submissions with the Secretariat within 45 days after the Request for Panel Review was filed and the Secretariat shall forward copies of the submissions to the other participants.
  2. The written counter-submissions of the other participants shall be filed with the Secretariat within 45 days after the initial written submissions have been filed with the Secretariat and the Secretariat shall forward copies of the written counter-submissions to each of the participants.
  3. The panel may allow further written submissions and shall fix the time for their filing.
  4. The panel may convene a pre-hearing conference in order to determine:
    1. whether a Party has a substantial and direct connection with a person within the meaning of Article 1704 (7) or (8);
    2. the timing and the location of the hearing;
    3. the order in which the participants will be heard at the hearing; and
    4. any other matter relevant to the panel proceedings.

Hearing

  1. The panel shall fix the date for the hearing and the Secretariat shall forward notice of the date to the participants.
  2. The hearing shall, unless the participants otherwise agree, be held in the capital city of the Party complained against.
  3. All panellists must be present during the hearing. Participants who have not filed submissions or counter submissions may not present oral arguments without the consent of the panel and all other participants.
  4. In the case of the death, retirement, disqualification or disability from any cause of one of the panel members after oral arguments have begun, the Committee may order that the matter be reheard on such terms as are appropriate after a substitute panellist is selected in the same manner in which the panel member being replaced was appointed under the Agreement.
  5. The hearing shall be conducted by the panel in the following manner:
    1. Argument of the complaining Party or person;
    2. Presentation of any Party that has joined a panel proceeding pursuant to Article 1704(9);
    3. Argument of the Party complained against;
    4. Reply of the complaining Party or person;
  6. Oral arguments shall be limited to the issues in dispute.

Supplementary Written Submissions

  1. The panel may at any time during a proceeding address questions in writing to one or more of the participants. The panel shall deliver the written questions to the participant or participants to whom the questions are addressed through the Secretariat, which shall also provide for delivery of copies of the questions to all other participants.
  2. A participant to whom the panel addresses written questions shall deliver a copy of any written reply to the Secretariat, which in turn shall provide for the delivery of copies of the reply to all other participants. Each other participant shall be given the opportunity to provide written comments on the reply within five days after the date of delivery.

Report of Panel

  1. The panel shall within 45 days after the date the hearing was completed or such other period of time as the disputants may agree, issue a report based on the submissions of the participants and any other information received during the course of the proceeding.
  2. Where the disputants are Parties, the report shall contain:
    1. findings of fact;
    2. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the measure in question is or would be inconsistent with this Agreement;
    3. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the measure has impaired or would impair internal trade and has caused or would cause injury; and
    4. recommendations, if requested by a disputant, to assist in resolving the dispute.
  3. Where a Party with a substantial interest in the dispute has participated in the panel hearing pursuant to Article 1704(9), any recommendation referred to in rule 43 contained in a report shall apply with respect to that Party.
  4. Where a person is one of the disputants, the report shall contain:
    1. findings of fact;
    2. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the actual measure in question is inconsistent with the Agreement;
    3. a determination, with reasons, as to whether the actual measure has impaired internal trade and has caused injury; and
    4. recommendations, if requested by either the person or the Party complained against, to assist in resolving the dispute.
  5. A report referred to in rule 45 may contain an award of costs of the panel proceedings determined in accordance with Annex 1718.3.
  6. The majority and dissenting opinions of panel members shall be anonymous.

Notice of Termination

  1. If the disputants resolve the dispute at any stage of the panel proceedings, written notice shall be given to the Secretariat, and where the disputants are Parties, copies of the notice shall be delivered by the Secretariat to the other Parties.

Convening of Panel Under Article 1710

  1. Where a panel is convened by the Committee:
    1. under Article 1710(5) to determine whether the suspension of benefits or the imposition of retaliatory measures by a complaining Party is manifestly excessive; or
    2. under Article 1710(7) to determine whether any action taken by the complained against to resolve the dispute is sufficient or satisfactory; the panel shall issue its decision within 30 days after the matter is referred to it.
  2. The panel shall as soon as possible after being convened under rule 49, determine the manner in which it intends to proceed and shall through the Secretariat, notify the participants of the manner of proceeding.

Payment of Panel Operational Costs

  1. For the purposes of rules 52 to 54:
    "operational costs"
    means all per diem fees and other disbursements payable to panelists for the performance of their duties as panelists; and
    "intervenor"
    means a participating Party which is not a disputant but fulfills the requirements for participation in a dispute under articles 1704.9 and 1704.10 of the Agreement.
  2. Operational costs shall be divided equally between disputants.
  3. In the event that there are one or more intervenors in a dispute, operational costs shall be distributed equitably by the panel. Disputants may be required to bear all operational costs, but alternatively the panel may assess a portion of the operational costs to the intervenors. In no instance shall intervenors collectively be responsible for more than one-third of operational costs.
  4. Nothing in these Rules shall be construed as preventing a Party in its discretion from assuming full or partial liability for the share of operational costs for which a person of that Party is liable under rule 52.

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Annex 1718.3
Costs

  1. An award of costs may be made only to a successful person in a panel proceeding and shall be at the discretion of the panel and determined in accordance with this annex.
  2. A person may submit a statement of costs at the conclusion of the panel hearing.
  3. In determining whether to award costs, the panel shall consider the conduct of the person during the panel proceeding.
  4. In determining the amount of costs, the panel shall consider the statement of costs submitted by the person and, as well, the reasonableness of the costs based on the complexity of the complaint and the duration of the panel proceeding.
  5. In no event shall costs exceed the following tariff:
    1. counsel or agent's fees relating to preparation for the hearing, to a maximum of: $12,500.00;
    2. counsel or agent's fees related to attendance at the hearing for each of the first five days, to a maximum per day of: $2,000.00; and thereafter for each day up to 10 days, to a maximum per day of: $1,500;
    3. reasonable fees and disbursements of experts, to a maximum of: $12,500.00;
    4. reasonable charges for postage, courier services and disbursements, including travel expenses.
  6. The Parties shall establish rates for the tariff items set out in paragraph 5 before the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

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Annex 1721
Code of Conduct For Panellists

Preamble

The Parties place importance on the integrity and impartiality of proceedings conducted pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17 of the Agreement on Internal Trade, this Code of Conduct is hereby established to ensure that these principles are respected.

This Code of Conduct is intended to assist the Committee, the Secretariat and panellists in the operation of dispute resolution procedures involving panels under Chapter 17,

The governing principle of this Code of Conduct is that a candidate or member must disclose the existence of any interest relationship or matter that is likely to affect the candidate's or member's independence or impartiality, that is, which creates a reasonable apprehension of bias or an appearance of impropriety.

A reasonable apprehension of bias is created where a reasonable person, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances that a reasonable inquiry would disclose, would reasonably conclude that a candidate or member has an interest, relationship or matter that might have an influence on the exercise of the candidate's or member's public duties.

The disclosure obligation, however, should not be interpreted so that the burden of detailed disclosure makes it impractical for persons to serve as members, thereby depriving the Parties and participants of the services of those who might be best qualified to serve as members. Thus, candidates and members should not be called upon to disclose interests, relationships or matters whose bearing on their role in the proceeding would be trivial.

Throughout the proceeding, candidates and members have a continuing obligation to disclose, in writing, interests, relationships or matter that may bear on the integrity or impartiality of the dispute settlement process.

This Code of Conduct does not determine whether or under what circumstances the Parties will disqualify a candidate or member from being appointed to, or serving as a member of, a panel or committee on the basis of disclosures made.

Part 1: Interpretation

  1. In this Code of Conduct,
    "Agreement"
    means the Agreement on Internal Trade; (Accord)
    "candidate"
    means
    1. an individual whose name appears on a roster or list established under Annex 1705.1, or
    2. an individual who is under consideration for appointment as a member of a panel pursuant to Annex 1705.1; (candidat)
    "committee"
    means Committee on Internal Trade;
    "family"
    means two or more persons related to each other by reason of blood relationships, marriage or adoption;
    "family member"
    means a member of a family;
    "member"
    means a member of a panel constituted pursuant to Annex 1705.1; (membre);
    "participant"
    has the meaning assigned to the Panel Rules of Procedure;
    "Party"
    means a Party to the Agreement; (Partie)
    "proceeding"
    , unless otherwise specified, means a panel under Article 1705 ; (procédure)
    "Secretariat"
    means the Secretariat established pursuant to Article 1603; (Secrétariat) and
    "staff"
    , in respect of a member, means persons under the direction and control of the member.
  2. Any reference made in this Code of Conduct to an Article, Annex or Chapter is a reference to the appropriate Article, Annex or Chapter of the Agreement.

Part 2: Responsibilities to the Process

  1. Every candidate, member and former member has the responsibility to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety and shall observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and impartiality of the dispute settlement process is preserved.

Part 3: Disclosure Obligations

Initial Disclosure Obligation
(Relationship Conflicts)

  1. A candidate shall disclose any interest, relationship or matter that is likely to affect the candidate's independence or impartiality or that might create a reasonable apprehension of bias or appearance of impropriety in the proceeding. To this end, a candidate shall make all reasonable efforts to become aware of any such interests, relationships and matters.

    Upon consideration for membership on a panel and at the request of the Secretariat, the candidate shall disclose such interests, relationships and matters by completing an Initial Disclosure Statement provided by the Secretariat and sending it to the Secretariat.

    Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, candidates shall disclose the following interests, relationships and matters:

    1. any financial or personal interest of the candidate
      1. arising out of any personal, professional or other relationship with persons associated with the proceeding or who may benefit from its outcome, and
      2. arising out of any issue, that may be decided in the proceeding for which the candidate is under consideration, in an administrative proceeding, a domestic court proceeding or another panel proceeding that involves similar issues;
    2. any financial interest of the candidate's employer, partner, business associate or family member
      1. arising out of any personal, professional or other relationship with persons associated with the proceeding or who may benefit from its outcome, and
      2. arising out of any issue, that may be decided in the proceeding for which the candidate is under consideration, in an administrative proceeding, a domestic court proceeding or another panel proceeding that involves similar issues;
    3. any past or existing financial, business, professional, family or social relationship with any interested parties in the proceeding, or their counsel, or any such relationship involving a candidate's employer, partner, business associate or family member; and
    4. public advocacy or legal or other representation concerning an issue in dispute in the proceeding or involving the same goods or services.

Supplemental Disclosure Obligation
(Issue Conflicts)

  1. A member in a Chapter 17 proceeding shall, after receiving the written submissions and counter submissions of the participants, disclose any interests, advocacy or representation, particularly as referred to in subparagraph 4(a)(ii) or (b)(ii) or paragraph 4(d), by completing a Supplementary Disclosure Statement provided by the Secretariat and sending it to the Secretariat.

Continuing Disclosure Obligation

  1. Once appointed, a member shall continue to make all reasonable efforts to become aware of any interests, relationships or matters referred to in section 4 and shall disclose them. The obligation to disclose is a continuing duty which requires a member to disclose any such interests, relationships and matters that may arise during any stage of the proceeding.

    The member shall disclose in writing such interests, relationships and matters by communicating them to the Secretariat for consideration by the appropriate Parties.

Part 4: The Performance of Duties By Candidates and Members

  1. A candidate who accepts an appointment as a member shall be available to perform, and shall perform, a member's duties thoroughly and expeditiously throughout the course of the proceeding.
  2. A member shall carry out all duties fairly and diligently and comply with the provisions of Chapter 17; the applicable rules and the Code of Conduct.
  3. A member shall not deny other members the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the proceeding.
  4. A member shall consider only those issues raised in the proceeding and necessary to make a decision and shall not delegate the duty to decide to any other person, except as provided in the applicable rules.
  5. A member shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the member's staff comply with Parts 2, 3 and 7 of this Code of Conduct.
  6. A member shall not make any communication concerning the proceeding outside the scope of panel review. A member shall not have any communication with a participant except in the presence of all other members and participants.
  7. A candidate or member shall not communicate matters concerning actual or potential violations of this Code of Conduct unless the communication is to the Secretariat and is necessary to ascertain whether that candidate or member has violated or may violate the Code.

Part 5: Independence and Impartiality of Members

  1. A member shall be independent and impartial. A member shall act in a fair manner and shall avoid creating a reasonable apprehension of bias or an appearance of impropriety.
  2. A member shall not be influenced by self-interest, outside pressure, political considerations, public clamour, loyalty to a Party or fear of criticism.
  3. A member shall not, directly or indirectly, incur any obligation or accept any benefit that would in any way interfere, or appear to interfere, with the proper performance of the member's duties.
  4. A member shall not use the member's position on the panel to advance any personal or private interests. A member shall avoid actions that may create the impression that others are in a special position to influence the member. A member shall make every effort to prevent or discourage others from representing themselves as being in such a position.
  5. A member shall not allow past or existing financial, business, professional, family or social relationships or responsibilities to influence the member's conduct or judgment.
  6. A member shall avoid entering into any relationship, or acquiring any financial or personal interest, that is likely to affect the member's impartiality or that might create a reasonable apprehension of bias or an appearance of impropriety.

Part 6: Post Proceeding Conduct

  1. For a period of one year after the completion of a Chapter 17 proceeding, a former member shall not personally advise or represent any participant in the proceeding with respect to any issues which arose in the proceeding.
  2. A member or former member shall not represent a participant in an administrative proceeding, a domestic court proceeding or another Chapter 17 proceeding involving the issues in dispute before the panel.
  3. A former member shall avoid actions that may create the appearance that the member was biased in carrying out the member's duties or would benefit from the decision of the panel.

Part 7: Maintenance of Confidentiality

  1. A member or former member shall not at any time disclose or use any non-public information concerning the proceeding or acquired during the proceeding except for the purposes of the proceeding, nor disclose or use any such information to gain personal advantage or advantage for others or to affect adversely the interest of another.
  2. A member shall not disclose a panel report or panel decision prior to its release by the Secretariat. A member or former member shall not at any time disclose which members are associated with majority or minority opinions in any proceedings.
  3. A member or former member shall not at any time disclose the deliberations of a panel or committee, or any member's view, except as required by law.

Part 8: Responsibilities of Staff

  1. Parts 2 (Responsibilities to the Process) and 7 (Maintenance of Confidentiality) of this Code of Conduct apply also to staff. Part 3 (Disclosure Obligations) apply to staff to the extent that they are not obliged to submit disclosure statements but do have an initial and continuing obligation to disclose to panellists any interests, relationships or matters that may bear in the integrity or impartiality of the dispute settlement process.

Part 9: Responsibilities of the Secretariat and Committee

  1. The Secretariat shall take all necessary steps to protect the confidentiality of disclosure statements and any subsequent disclosures.
  2. Any communication to the Secretariat regarding a conflict of interest, a reasonable apprehension of bias or an appearance of impropriety shall be conveyed to the participants for the purposes of determining whether there has been a breach of this Code of Conduct.
  3. In the event the participants are unable to agree as to whether there has been a breach of this Code of Conduct, the matter shall be referred to the Committee for decision.

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Draft For Discussion
Agreement on Internal Trade

In the matter of (Secretariat file number)

(title of proceeding)

Initial Disclosure Statement

I have read the Code of Conduct for Dispute Settlement Procedures under Chapter 17 of the Agreement on Internal Trade (Code of Conduct). I am fully aware that Part 3 of the Code of Conduct requires that I disclose any interests, relationships and matters that are likely to affect my independence or impartiality or that might create a reasonable apprehension of bias or an appearance of impropriety in the matter cited above.

I have read the request for panel review filed in the matter cited above and have made all reasonable efforts to determine whether there are any such interests, relationships or matters. I make the following statement fully aware of my duties and obligations under the Code of Conduct.

  1. I do not have any financial or personal interest in the matter cited above or in its outcome, except as follows:
  2. I do not have any financial or personal interest in an administrative proceeding, a domestic court proceeding or another panel proceeding that involves issues that may be decided in the matter cited above, except as follows:
  3. Neither my employer, partner, business associate or family member has a financial interest in the matter cited above or in its outcome, except as follows:
  4. Neither my employer, partner, business associate or family member has a financial interest in an administrative proceeding, a domestic court proceeding or another panel proceeding that involves issues that may be decided in the matter cited above, except as follows: Initial Disclosure Statement (concluded)
  5. I do not have any past or existing financial, business, professional, family or social relationship with any interested parties in the matter cited above, or their counsel, nor am I aware of any such relationship involving my employer, partner, business associate or family member, except as follows:
  6. I have not publicly advocated, nor have I provided legal or other representation, concerning any issue in dispute in the matter cited above or involving the same goods or services, except as follows:
  7. I do not have any interests or relationships, other than those described above, nor am I aware of any matters, that are likely to affect my independence or impartiality or that might create a reasonable apprehension of bias or an appearance of impropriety as follows:

    I recognize that, once appointed, I have a continuing duty to make all reasonable efforts to become aware of any interest, relationship or matter within the scope of Part 3 of the Code of Conduct that may arise during any stage of the matter cited above and to disclose it in writing to the Secretariat, as and when I become aware of it.

    Signature

    Name (Typed)

    Date

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