TITLE XIII: DISPUTE SETTLEMENT
Article LAW.DS.1: Objective
The objective of this Title is to establish a swift, effective and efficient mechanism for avoiding and settling disputes between the Parties concerning this Part, including disputes concerning this Part when applied to situations governed by other provisions of this Agreement, with a view to reaching a mutually agreed solution, where possible.
Article LAW.DS.2: Scope
1. This Title applies to disputes between the Parties concerning this Part (the “covered provisions”).
2. The covered provisions shall include all provisions of this Part, with the exception of:
(a) Article LAW.GEN.5 [Scope for cooperation where a Member State no longer participates in analogous measures under Union law];
(b) Article LAW.PRUM.19 [Suspension and disapplication];
(c) Article LAW.PNR.28(14) [Retention of PNR data];
(d) Article LAW.PNR.38 [Suspension of cooperation under this Title];
(e) Article LAW.OTHER.136 [Termination];
(f) Article LAW.OTHER.137 [Suspension]; and
(g) Article LAW.DS.6 [Suspension].
Article LAW.DS.3: Exclusivity
The Parties undertake not to submit a dispute between them regarding this Part to a mechanism of settlement other than that provided for in this Title.
Article LAW.DS.4: Consultations
1. If a Party (“the complaining Party”) considers that the other Party (“the responding Party”) has breached an obligation under this Part, the Parties shall endeavour to resolve the matter by entering into consultations in good faith, with the aim of reaching a mutually agreed solution.
2. The complaining Party may seek consultations by means of a written request delivered to the responding Party. The complaining Party shall specify in its written request the reasons for the request, including identification of the acts or omissions that the complaining Party considers as giving rise to the breach of an obligation by the responding Party, specifying the covered provisions it considers applicable.
3. The responding Party shall reply to the request promptly, and no later than two weeks after the date of its delivery. Consultations shall be held regularly within a period of three months following the date of delivery of the request in person or by any other means of communication agreed by the Parties.
4. The consultations shall be concluded within three months of the date of delivery of the request, unless the Parties agree to continue the consultations.
5. The complaining Party may request that the consultations be held in the framework of the Specialised Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation or in the framework of the Partnership Council. The first meeting shall take place within one month of the request for consultations referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article. The Specialised Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation may at any time decide to refer the matter to the Partnership Council. The Partnership Council may also seize itself of the matter. The Specialised Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation, or as the case may be, the Partnership Council, may resolve the dispute by a decision. Such a decision shall be considered a mutually agreed solution within the meaning of Article LAW.DS.5 [Mutually agreed solution].
6. The complaining Party may at any time unilaterally withdraw its request for consultations. In such a case, the consultations shall be terminated immediately.
7. Consultations, and in particular all information designated as confidential and positions taken by the Parties during consultations, shall be confidential.
Article LAW.DS.5: Mutually agreed solution
1. The Parties may at any time reach a mutually agreed solution with respect to any dispute referred to in Article LAW.DS.2 [Scope].
2. The mutually agreed solution may be adopted by means of a decision of the Specialised Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation or the Partnership Council. Where the mutually agreed solution consists of an agreement on joint interpretations of provisions of this Part by the Parties, that mutually agreed solution shall be adopted by means of a decision of the Partnership Council.
3. Each Party shall take the measures necessary to implement the mutually agreed solution within the agreed time period.
4. No later than the date of expiry of the agreed time period, the implementing Party shall inform the other Party in writing of any measures taken to implement the mutually agreed solution.
Article LAW.DS.6: Suspension
1. Where consultations under Article LAW.DS.4 [Consultations] have not led to a mutually agreed solution within the meaning of Article LAW.DS.5 [Mutually agreed solution], provided that the complaining Party has not withdrawn its request for consultations in accordance with Article LAW.DS.4(6) [Consultations], and where it considers that the respondent Party is in serious breach of its obligations under the covered provisions referred to in Article LAW.DS.4(2) [Consultations], the complaining Party may suspend the Titles of this Part to which the serious breach pertains, by written notification through diplomatic channels. Such notification shall specify the serious breach of obligations by the responding Party on which the suspension is based.
2. The Titles concerned by the suspension shall provisionally cease to apply on the first day of the third month following the date of the notification referred to in paragraph 1 or any other date mutually agreed by the Parties, unless, no later than two weeks before the expiry of that period, the complaining Party gives written notification to the responding Party, through diplomatic channels, of its withdrawal of the first notification or of a reduction in scope of the suspension. In the latter case, only the Titles referred to in the second notification shall provisionally cease to apply.
3. If the complaining Party notifies the suspension of one or several Titles of this Part pursuant to paragraph 1, the respondent Party may suspend all of the remaining Titles, by written notification through diplomatic channels, with three months’ notice.
4. If a notification of suspension is given under this Article, the Specialised Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation shall meet to decide what measures are needed to ensure that any cooperation initiated under this Part and affected by the notification is concluded in an appropriate manner. In any event, with regard to all personal data obtained through cooperation under this Part before the Titles concerned by the suspension provisionally cease to apply, the Parties shall ensure that the level of protection under which the personal data were transferred is maintained after the suspension takes effect.
5. The suspended Titles shall be reinstated on the first day of the month following the date on which the complaining Party has given written notification to the respondent Party, through diplomatic channels, of its intention to reinstate the suspended Titles. The complaining Party shall do so immediately when it considers that the serious breach of the obligations on which the suspension was based has ceased to exist.
6. Upon notification by the complaining Party of its intention to reinstate the suspended Titles in accordance with paragraph 5, the remaining Titles suspended by the respondent Party pursuant to paragraph 3 shall be reinstated at the same time as the Titles suspended by the complaining Party pursuant to paragraph 1.
Article LAW.DS.7: Time Periods
1. All time periods laid down in this Title shall be counted in weeks or months, as the case may be, from the day following the act to which they refer.
2. Any time period referred to in this Title may be modified by mutual agreement of the Parties.