Rules 6-32

Written Submissions and Other Documents

6. A participating Party shall deliver the original and nine copies of each of its written submissions to its section of the Secretariat and shall make a copy of each of its written submissions available to the Embassy of each other participating Party at the time it delivers the written submission to its section.

7. A complaining Party shall deliver the original and nine copies of its initial written submission to its section of the Secretariat no later than 10 days after the date on which the last panelist is selected. The Party complained against shall deliver the original and nine copies of its written counter-submission to its section of the Secretariat no later than 20 days after the date of delivery of the initial written submission. A third Party shall deliver the original and nine copies of its initial written submission to its section of the Secretariat no later than the date on which the counter-submission is due.

8. A section of the Secretariat that receives a written submission shall forward it by the most expeditious means practicable to the responsible section of the Secretariat which, in turn, shall provide for delivery of that submission by the most expeditious means practicable to the other sections of the Secretariat, the other participating Parties and the panel.

9. In the case of any request, notice or other document related to the panel proceeding that is not covered by rule 6, 7 or 8, the participating Party shall deliver the original and nine copies of the document to its section of the Secretariat and, on the same day, it shall deliver a copy to the other participating Parties by facsimile or other means of electronic transmission.

10. Minor errors of a clerical nature in any request, notice, written submission or other document related to the panel proceeding may be corrected by delivery of a new document clearly indicating the changes.

11. A participating Party that delivers any request, notice, written submission or other document to its section of the Secretariat shall, to the extent practicable, deliver a copy of the document in electronic form to that section.

12. Any delivery to a section of the Secretariat under these rules shall be made during the normal business hours of that section.

13. If the last day for delivery of a document to a section of the Secretariat falls on a legal holiday observed by that section or on any other day on which the offices of that section are closed by order of the government or by force majeure, the document may be delivered to that section on the next business day.

Operation of Panels

14. The chair of the panel shall preside at all of its meetings. A panel may delegate to the chair authority to make administrative and procedural decisions.

15. Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the panel may conduct its business by any means, including by telephone, facsimile transmission or computer links.

16. Only panelists may take part in the deliberations of the panel but the panel may permit assistants, Secretariat personnel, interpreters or translators to be present during such deliberations.

17. Where a procedural question arises that is not covered by these rules, a panel may adopt an appropriate procedure that is not inconsistent with the Agreement.

18. If a panelist dies, withdraws or is removed, a replacement shall be selected as expeditiously as possible in accordance with the selection procedure followed to select the panelist.

19. Any time period applicable to the panel proceeding shall be suspended for a period beginning on the date the panelist dies, withdraws or is removed and ending on the date the replacement is selected.

20. A panel may, in consultation with the disputing Parties, modify any time period applicable in the panel proceeding and make such other procedural or administrative adjustments as may be required in the proceeding, such as where a panelist is replaced or where the Parties are required to reply in writing to the questions of a panel.

Hearings

21. The chair shall fix the date and time of the hearing in consultation with the participating Parties, the other members of the panel and the responsible section of the Secretariat. The responsible section of the Secretariat shall notify in writing the participating Parties of the date, time and location of the hearing.

22. The hearing shall be held in the capital of the Party complained against.

23. The panel may convene additional hearings if the disputing Parties so agree.

24. All panelists shall be present at hearings.

25. The following persons may attend a hearing:

(a) representatives of a participating Party;

(b) advisers to a participating Party provided that they do not address the panel and provided further that neither they nor their employers, partners, business associates or family members have a financial or personal interest in the proceeding;

(c) Secretariat personnel, interpreters, translators and court reporters; and

(d) panelists' assistants.

26. No later than five days before the date of a hearing, each participating Party shall deliver to the other participating Parties and the responsible section of the Secretariat a list of the names of those persons who will make oral arguments or presentations at the hearing on behalf of that Party and of other representatives or advisers who will be attending the hearing.

27. The hearing shall be conducted by the panel in the following manner, ensuring that the complaining Party or Parties and the Party complained against are afforded equal time:

Argument -

(i) Argument of the complaining Party or Parties.

(ii) Argument of the Party complained against.

(iii) Presentation of a third Party.

Rebuttal Argument -

(iv) Reply of the complaining Party or Parties.

(v) Counter-reply of the Party complained against.

28. The panel may direct questions to any participating Party at any time during a hearing.

29. The responsible section of the Secretariat shall arrange for a transcript of each hearing to be prepared and shall, as soon as possible after it is prepared, deliver a copy of the transcript to the participating Parties, the other sections of the Secretariat and the panel.

Supplementary Written Submissions

30. The panel may at any time during a proceeding address questions in writing to one or more of the participating Parties. The panel shall deliver the written questions to the Party or Parties to whom the questions are addressed through the responsible section of the Secretariat which, in turn, shall provide for the delivery of copies of the questions by the most expeditious means practicable to the other sections of the Secretariat and any other participating Party.

31. A participating Party to whom the panel addresses written questions shall deliver a copy of any written reply to its section of the Secretariat which, in turn, shall forward it by the most expeditious means practicable to the responsible section of the Secretariat. The responsible section of the Secretariat shall provide for the delivery of copies of the reply by the most expeditious means practicable to the other sections of the Secretariat and any other participating Party. Each other participating Party shall be given the opportunity to provide written comments on the reply within five days after the date of delivery.

32. Within 10 days after the date of the hearing, each participating Party may deliver to its section of the Secretariat a supplementary written submission responding to any matter that arose during the hearing.