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In her presentation, Dr. Soloway focused on defending the Chapter 11 dispute settlement. She stated that the basic purpose of the regime was to prevent discrimination and appropriation without compensation. The panel involved can award monetary damages, but cannot force a government to remove a policy. Furthermore, if panel rulings are looked at objectively, they cannot be said on balance to be overwhelmingly favourable to investors. In some cases such as Metalclad and Meyers, public perception that the cases involved environmentalism v. trade does not stand up to a closer look. In Metalclad the presence of the disputed plant was actually good for the environment and in Meyers one was really dealing with a case of protectionism.

William Dymond spoke of some of the larger picture in terms of trade liberalisation. He stated that the work of trade liberalisation is largely completed, although there is still obviously work to be done in terms of areas such as the environment and labour standards. The liberals have been pushing a free trade policy and will continue to do so. Dymond also suggested that the fact that 90% of the public will vote for pro-free trade parties in the upcoming election demonstrates that there is broad support for the policy.

Dr. Howard Mann generally challenged Chapter 11 and Dr. Soloway’s understanding of it. Dr, Mann expressed particular concern on the matter of the doctrine of expropriation, suggesting that it was overly favourable to investors and that any environmental regulation could fall within its ambit. In general, he argued that investors should not be allowed to expect a static regulatory environment, which Chapter 11 risks allowing them to do.

During the discussion which followed Andrey Anishchenko asked about the fact that the Chapter 11 regime seemed set up in such a way that provided for reverse discrimination against domestic investors who did not have the option of turning to Chapter 11 panels and about whether the consensus regarding free trade that Professor Dymond suggested really did exist. Dr. Soloway stated that Anishchenko’s understanding of Chapter 11 was correct and that there were no current policy solutions that she could think of on the matter. Dr. Mann stated that there was a democratic deficit that had to be addressed. Sanford Gaines pointed out that a counter-argument was that domestic investors have political channels open to them at home that foreign investors do not have. Chris Tollefson asked panelists about the doctrine of expropriation. Dr. Mann pointed out that expropriation includes covert things such as depriving the owner of the value of property and that any environmental law would have the effect of doing this. Sylvia Ostry pointed out some anecdotal evidence to the panel from her experience which suggested that the real power in countries lay with ministries of finance and that those responsible for the environment were not very high up on the totem poll. A representative of the physicians for the Environment Association stated that we have a situation where the elite feels that it will benefit from free trade and does not want to listen to protests against the policy