Disputing the dispute settlement mechanism: Chapter 19 again — CBA PracticeLink

Riyaz Dattu

Aug. 24, 2017

Osler partner Riyaz Dattu tells CBA PracticeLink “there’s no proof” of nationalist bias among NAFTA Chapter 19 dispute settlement panels. In his article, author Doug Beazley examines the NAFTA renegotiations and how the U.S. and Canada are at odds over the U.S.’s desire to remove Chapter 19, a binational dispute settlement mechanism. The article explores why Canada wants to keep Chapter 19 and that its proposed removal could be a sticking point during talks. Riyaz, who specializes in international trade and investment law, broke down the numbers and determined that “out of those 47 cases Canada or Mexico brought against the U.S. under Chapter 19, 36 were decided unanimously.” Riyaz says there is no evidence to support the notion that the U.S. has been treated unfairly by Chapter 19 panels.

“There’s no proof that the panels break down along national lines,” Riyaz tells CBA PracticeLink. “And there’s no proof that U.S. courts necessarily would be easier on U.S. businesses than the current system.”

For more information on Chapter 19 and the NAFTA talks, read Doug Beazley’s article “Disputing the dispute settlement mechanism: Chapter 19 again” in The Canadian Bar Association.