She says the new free trade agreement has made significant improvements to a system long plagued by “panel blocking.” The new system also better ensures that panels are formed to adjudicate disputes, and sets out a timeline for selecting a panel.
“There seems to be a willingness to fix the problem and create a roster this time. So, I think that people will be watching to see how quickly that roster is established and how it's done,” she says.
In the past, the roster of potential Canadian panelists has been chosen through an application process, often including academics, trade negotiators and lawyers as applicants, says Hughes.
“Most people that are commenting on this think the procedure has certainly been fixed and the system should work now,” she says.