- There is no differentiation between Corporations and Countries in the text of Chapter 28. Corporations now have the same legal standing as Countries. Not only is there no acknowledgement of national sovereignty, article 28.21 specifically snuffs out national sovereignty by precluding a Country legislating to protect itself from any clause, provision or ruling produced under the TPP;
- Anyone can lodge a "breach" complaint, they do not have to be affected by the breach, and there is no "reasonable" test - every complaint proceeds. Different parties making the same complaint are grouped together, but they still all have to be included in all proceedings and all get their fees if they win. This will create a whole new industry akin to copyright trolls and ensure Governments either spend hundreds of millions on litigation or dont even think about breaching the agreement. I think this clusterf^&k provision is an important part of how Chapter 28 is constructed to ensure compliance;
- The Panel that hears disputes is only a panel of 3 people with majority rules - so billion dollar decisions affecting an entire nation can be made by just 2 people;
- Panellists are not Judges, anyone with expertise can sit on a panel. That includes Lawyers for other TPP Corporations, so a Lawyer from Nestle could adjudicate a case about Monsanto then Monsanto could hire that Lawyer to adjudicate a dispute of theirs;
- Panellists can also be Academics. All those donations to Universities by wealthy corporate donors should have bought themselves a lot of sympathetic Academics enjoying an easy life on Big Corporate's dime and happy to give back when asked;
- There are no rules of evidence and almost no rules on due process;
- Decisions are public but which Panellist voted which way is confidential, so no-one can actually be held accountable for contentious decisions;
- The penalty can be anything the Panel decides - fines, business suspension, confiscation of assets - there are no rules, it just says "make such findings, determinations and recommendations as ...necessary for the resolution of the dispute." Later in the document it talks about how fines (called Monetary Assessments) are collected, so that seems to be the primary method of redress. Fines can be ongoing, so something like "a million a day until the breach is corrected" are likely;
- The only appeal allowed is a request to review the decision made to the same Panel that made it;
- Fines can be collected by the seizure of assets, including Australian assets being simply seized by a Foreign Government, or on behalf of a foreign corporation;
- A Country in breach can be subject to retaliation such as trade embargoes by other Nations without penalty;
- Fine payment can be forced by reference to the United Nations and it's agencies including the World Bank. The agreement centres on denying a recalcitrant Country membership in the UN club. Remember the TPP is part of the United Nations and each signatory is required to also sign off on all relevant UN treaties and agreements.
Here are the major provisions:
Where a dispute regarding any matter arises under this Agreement and under another international trade agreement to which the disputing Parties are party, including the WTO. Agreement, the complaining Party may select the forum in which to settle the dispute.
A Party that requested consultations (which failed) may request the establishment of a panel. A panel shall be established upon delivery of a request.
The panel shall comprise three members:
1 appointed by the complaining Party or Parties,
1 appointed by the responding Party
1 The Chair, appointed by agreement if possible, if not by agreement of the first 2 appointments, if not then by random choice from the approved list of appointees.
All panellists shall:
(a) have expertise or experience in law, international trade, other matters covered by this Agreement, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements;
(b) be chosen strictly on the basis of objectivity, reliability, and sound judgment;
(c) be independent of, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from, any Party;and
(d) comply with the code of conduct contained in the Rules of Procedure.
This is a really important part - Panellists are taken from an approved list of Corporate lapdogs, so the ultimate composition will always be 1 vote for the Country being told to screw itself and 2 votes for the Corporation doing the screwing.
The function of a panel is to make an objective assessment of the matter before it, including an examination of the facts of the case and the applicability of and conformity with this Agreement, and make such findings, determinations and recommendations as are called for in its terms of reference and necessary for the resolution of the dispute.
A panel shall take its decisions by consensus; provided that where a panel is unable to reach consensus it may take its decisions by majority vote.
That unless otherwise agreed by the disputing Parties, hearings shall be held in the capital of the responding Party.
No panel may, either in its initial report or its final report, disclose which panellists are associated with majority or minority opinions.
The responding Party has notified the complaining Party that it does not intend to (comply)or following the expiry of the reasonable period of time, a complaining Party (will be able to get) Compensation and the suspension of benefits and the payment of a monetary assessment. Compensation, and suspension of benefits and the payment of a monetary assessment shall only be applied until such time as the responding Party has eliminated the non-conformity or the nullification or impairment, or a mutually satisfactory solution is reached.
United Nations Sovereignty
This agreement is regulated under the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Article 29.1: General Exceptions
For the purposes of (this agreement) The Parties understand that the measures referred to in Article XX(b) of GATT 1994 include environmental measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and that Article XX(g) of GATT 1994 applies to measures relating to the conservation of living and non-living exhaustible natural resources.
In other words the TPP cannot stop a Country legislating to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and affecting the conservation of living and non-living exhaustible natural resources. So we cannot be ordered to kill or destroy an organism, or to mine a substance we do not want to mine. That is it. If we mine or harvest it, the TPP applies to how we trade it. Exhaustable is an important word, it stops us claiming sovereignty over water, which is a major target of the Corporate Congress.
Read it yourself here: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/TPP-Final-Text-Dispute-Settlement.pdf
So now the agenda is unmasked. The leftie luvvies that are so in love with this whole "we are all one" and "one world government" idea can now see that these are just pretexts to a Corporate Congress. Thanks to the TV show Continuum I might start using that theme now, it is just such a perfect description for where this has gone - one world economy run by a trans-national Corporate Congress for the benefit of the Corporate Congress members. Democracy is dead.
Here is the image again to share:
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