TERMS OF REFERENCE

1. Mandate of the Committee

1.1

NAFTA Article 2022 requires the Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes (Committee) to report and provide recommendations to the NAFTA Commission on general issues referred to it by the Commission respecting the availability, use and effectiveness of arbitration and other procedures for the resolution of private international commercial disputes in the free trade area.

1.2

The Commission refers the following matters to the Committee for report and recommendations to the Commission as appropriate in accordance with Article 2022(4):

1.2.1

compilation, examination and assessment of existing means for the settlement of private international commercial disputes;

1.2.2

identification of sectors and types of businesses that would particularly benefit from the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR);

1.2.3

promotion of the use of arbitration and other procedures for the resolution of private international commercial disputes in the NAFTA region, including ways to increase private sector awareness of the benefits of using ADR;

1.2.4

facilitation of the use of arbitration and other procedures in the NAFTA region, including the use of model ADR and other contractual clauses;

1.2.5

opportunities for expanded cooperation between institutions with an interest or involvement in ADR in the NAFTA region; and

1.2.6

issues relating to the enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards, and other litigation issues related to ADR.

1.3

The Commission may refer other matters to the Committee from time to time in accordance with Article 2022(4).

2. Membership of the Committee

2.1

The Committee will comprise up to 10 members from each Party, up to two of whom may be officials representing the Party and up to eight of whom may be selected from outside the Government.

2.2

Each Party will appoint its own members of the Committee, and may establish terms for their appointment.

2.3

The government representatives will serve as the chairs of the Committee.

3. Agenda for Committee Meetings

3.1

The chairs will, in developing the agenda for a meeting, consult with and take fully into consideration the views of the members on specific issues to be considered by the Committee.

3.2

The chairs will circulate the agenda to the full Committee in advance of each meeting.

4. Meetings of the Committee

4.1

Meetings of the Committee will normally be hosted successively by each Party and will be presided over by the chairs of that Party.

4.2

The chairs, by consensus, may invite individuals who are not members of the Committee to participate in a meeting as appropriate.

4.3

The chairs, by consensus, will approve all actions and prepare all reports of the Committee and determine which recommendations should be submitted to the Commission, taking fully into account the views and positions of all Committee members.

4.4

The Committee may establish subcommittees to address specific issues within the scope of these Terms of Reference. A subcommittee may include individuals who are not members of the Committee, if so agreed by the Parties, in which case, each Party may appoint its own members to such subcommittee.

4.5

The Committee will meet at least once each year.

Minutes of Committee Meetings

5. Coordination with Article 707 Committee

The chairs will monitor the work of, and consult periodically with, the NAFTA Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes Regarding Agriculture to promote cooperation and collaboration between the two Committees.

Article 707 - Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes Regarding Agricultural Goods.