Seals:the exceptions and the question of nullification and impairment
Having now spoken to several people who have seen the leaked Seals panel report-I still haven't-what appears to be the case is that the panel has upheld the general measure but found some of the exceptions to be violations. To my mind, this raises a vexing issue concerning nullification and impairment. Would Canada or Norway receive any commercial benefit by the complete removal of the exceptions in question-the most legally certain "cure" for the violations? How could doing so, which would make the ban a total ban, possibly open up competitive opportunities for these complainants in seal products? If so, then failure to remove the exceptions could hardly trigger an entitlement to suspension of concessions under 22.6, right? Of course, the actual reasoning of the panel is still being hidden from the public, so there is something tentative about these questions. And if, as it should do, the AB reverses the panel's findings of violations, then they would also be moot.