CETA Legal Review Completed, Now Off To Parliaments And Governments For Approval 01/03/2016 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The European Union and Canada have jointly announced the finalisation of the legal review for Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The agreement, which originally was signed by the negotiators in 2014, was re-negotiated to address strong concerns with regard to the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) procedures. While CETA already included changes to the traditional ISDS, the finalised text went further, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said during a press conference in Brussels on 29 February. CETA now has stronger language on the right to regulate and switched from “ad hoc arbitration” to a “permanent institutionalized dispute settlement tribunal” with members appointed in advance and bound to a code of conduct, she said. Arbitrators, for example, will not be allowed to act as lawyers or experts in ISDS procedures. Moreover, an appeal mechanism would be put in place. The mechanisms agreed with the new Canadian government were responses to concerns from the European Parliament and EU member states. They are in line with a proposal presented to the US negotiators last week during the 12th round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The new system, Malmstroem said, should become part of all future EU trade agreements, while she is at the same time working towards the establishment of a specialised International Court for investment dispute settlements. “This will take some time,” she said. Now CETA will head down the ratification path, going to the European Parliament and member states governments in June. Despite the efforts protests against investor-state arbitration and the classical trade agreements in general will not die down, recent announcements of NGOs and activists showed. (A recent study of Malmstroem’s new ISDS concept by the Corporate Europe Observatory and other NGOs while welcoming the structural improvements, still called it an ISDS “zombie” and warned against the privileged access for industry to an extrajudicial settlement system.) Malmstroem today (29 February) pointed to the benefits from CETA, including the end of 99 percent of customs tariffs, better access for EU companies to public procurement markets on all administrative levels and also the protection of 145 geographical indications. EU Trade Commissioner Press Release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-399_en.htm Canada’s Minister of International Trade: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=advSrch&crtr.mnthndVl=&crtr.mnthStrtVl=&crtr.page=1&nid=1036759&crtr.yrndVl=&crtr.kw=CETA&crtr.yrStrtVl=&crtr.dyStrtVl=&crtr.dyndVl= Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."CETA Legal Review Completed, Now Off To Parliaments And Governments For Approval" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.