That would be fine.
I'm a law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. For about 15 years in my research, I've specialized on international investment law and investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS. I'll limit my comments to the investment chapter of NAFTA, chapter 11, and will quickly note that international adjudication of disputes that involve foreign investment should, in my view, meet four criteria.
First, it should be balanced, in the sense that foreign investors should have rights and protections, but also responsibilities that are enforceable in the same way.
Secondly, it should be independent, in the nature of other judicial processes at the international domestic level.
Thirdly, it should be fair, in that all parties with an interest in the resolution of the dispute should have an opportunity to have standing in the proceeding, to the extent of their interest.
Fourthly, it should be respectful of domestic institutions, especially domestic courts, in the same manner as other international courts and tribunals.
I emphasize these four criteria because the conventional design of ISDS, including in chapter 11 of NAFTA, does not meet these four criteria. I think that is relevant to the mandate of this committee, in the sense that you should consider, when Canada engages in the renegotiation of NAFTA, that one of the benefits of a termination of NAFTA is that we would get rid of this flawed mechanism of international adjudication. Alternatively, we might have an opportunity to replace it with something better in the context of renegotiation.
I'm not offering a comment on the pros and cons of termination versus renegotiation as a whole; obviously, we don't have a lot of public information to work with on that. I think we should keep in mind that the removal of chapter 11, and especially the ISDS mechanism, would be something of a silver lining in the negative overall outcome of termination of NAFTA, and that it's preferable to call the U.S. administration's bluff on termination if the alternative for Canada is an unduly concessionary deal, because there are some benefits to NAFTA termination.
I'll end my comments right there and summarize: balance, fairness, independence, and respect for domestic institutions should be the defining criteria for evaluating ISDS or any alternative.