Response to the 2015-2016 Report of the CITT Advisory Committee
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Cost Reductions in CITT Proceedings
- Copyright and Single Copy Exhibits
- Agreed Statement of Facts in Appeal Proceedings
- Draft Late Filing Guidelines
- Filing of Questionnaires and Revised Investigation Report in SIMA Matters
- Feedback on Data Collection
- Contempt Proceedings
- Awarding Costs—Proposed Customs Act Amendments
- Other Matters on the Advisory Committee’s Agenda
The purpose of the CITT Advisory Committee is to provide recommendations to enhance the accessibility, fairness and transparency of the Tribunal’s rules and procedures. The Tribunal thanks the Advisory Committee for its work towards this end and for its feedback on the draft practice notices that were circulated to it over the past few months.
The Tribunal welcomes the Advisory Committee’s input on the various matters and provides the following in response to the important issues raised in its 2015-2016 report.
The Tribunal is pleased that the Advisory Committee has focused much of its work on reducing costs and improving access to the Tribunal proceedings. The Tribunal recognizes the importance of reducing costs and improving access, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses. It welcomes the creation of a subcommittee to consider how to reduce costs in proceedings under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA) in particular. The Tribunal looks forward to working with both the subcommittee and Advisory Committee to further these objectives in the coming year.
The Tribunal agrees that, in the interest of fairness, single copy exhibits should rarely be used in proceedings under SIMA. The Tribunal also agrees that parties are responsible for ensuring that they have complied with any copyright or licensing requirements when submitting information.
The Tribunal has received an opinion on these matters from one of Canada’s leading boutique (intellectual property) law firms. It is reviewing the opinion and intends to circulate a revised draft practice notice to the Advisory Committee shortly.
Further to the positive comments by the Advisory Committee on the draft practice notice, the Tribunal has now published a practice notice to encourage parties and counsel to use this device to expedite appeal proceedings and reduce costs. The notice is available at http://www.citt-tcce.gc.ca/en/agreed-statement-facts-appeals.
The Tribunal will review its practice notice titled “Draft Late Filing Guidelines” to ensure that it reflects the Advisory Committee’s recommendations. It intends to publish the practice notice shortly.
The Tribunal will review its practice notice titled “Filing of Questionnaires and Revisions and Issuance of Revised Investigation Report” to ensure that it reflects the Advisory Committee’s recommendations. It intends to publish the practice notice shortly.
At the Tribunal’s request, staff of the CITT Secretariat recently contacted over 300 companies and organizations that responded to questionnaires in SIMA cases in 2015. They were asked to provide feedback on issues related to data collection, including the content and clarity of questionnaires and the costs involved in providing requested information. Staff will compile the responses into a report, and the Tribunal will share the report with the Advisory Committee in the coming months.
In the interests of fairness and transparency, the Tribunal drafted a practice notice to guide it when and if it decided to exercise its inherent jurisdiction in a contempt proceeding. The Tribunal notes the Advisory Committee’s preliminary comments on the draft practice notice circulated in February 2016 and will wait for the Advisory Committee to provide recommendations before determining how to proceed on this issue.
The Tribunal will wait for the Advisory Committee’s views on proposed changes to its jurisdiction to award costs under the Customs Act.
The Tribunal welcomes the Advisory Committee’s commitment to reducing costs and improving accessibility to Tribunal’s processes. It looks forward to working with the Advisory Committee on the following issues: limitations on the size of briefs and witness statements; the need to include the full text of authorities in briefs; the use and scope of aids to arguments; and the transition to an electronic filing system for all documents. To that end, it will consider whether practice notices are warranted to guide these practices in all of its proceedings.
The Tribunal also welcomes the creation of a subcommittee on procurement and seeks the subcommittee’s views on, inter alia, whether the existing “10-working-day” timeline for the filing of complaints should be extended to facilitate access to justice.
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