The CPTPP sets out a unique dispute resolution mechanism for matters arising under the Environment Chapter throughout Article 20.20 to Article 20.23, with linkage to Chapter 28 on the Agreement’s general dispute settlement measures. A simple process of dispute resolution mechanism under the CPTPP Environment Chapter should go through Environment Consultations (Article 20.20), Senior Representative Consultations (Article 20.21), and Ministerial Consultations (Article 20.22), before Parties can proceed to the traditional Dispute Settlement (Chapter 28) (see below figure). That being said, the whole consultation process should be finished within 60 days following the date of receipt of a consultation request, or any other period as the consulting Parties might agree, the requesting Party may request consultations under Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement).
Figure 1: Dispute settlement process under the CPTPP Environment Chapter
The DSM under the CPTPP Environment Chapter also differs from that of the Labour Chapter by adding another layer of consultation (the Ministerial Consultation under Article 20.22) before Parties can proceed to the DSM procedure under Chapter 28. This signifies CPTPP member states’ stronger aspiration to resolve environment-related matters through an amicable mechanism.