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Communications from the public

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Communications from the public

In accordance with the Decision1/2, on the expiry of 12 months from either the date of adoption of this decision or the date of the entry into force of the Protocol with respect to a Party, whichever is the later, communications may be brought before the Committee by one or more members of the public concerning that Party’s compliance with the Protocol, unless that Party has notified the Depositary in writing by the end of the applicable period that it is unable to accept, for a period of not more than four years, the consideration of such communications by the Committee. The Depositary shall without delay notify all Parties of any such notification received. During the four-year period mentioned above, the Party may revoke its notification, thereby accepting that, from that date, communications may be brought before the Committee by one or more members of the public concerning that Party’s compliance with the Protocol.

The communications referred to in paragraph 16 of the Decision shall be addressed to the Committee through the joint secretariat in writing and may be in electronic form. The communications shall be supported by corroborating information.

The Compliance Committee has elaborated guidelines on communications from the public (Russian version), as a helpful instrument, serving both the Committee and the general public.

The Committee shall consider any such communication unless it determines that the communication is:

(a) Anonymous;

(b) An abuse of the right to make such communications;

(c) Manifestly unreasonable;

(d) Incompatible with the provisions of this compliance procedure or with the Protocol.

The Committee should, at all relevant stages, take into account any available domestic remedy unless the application of the remedy is unreasonably prolonged or obviously does not provide an effective and sufficient means of redress. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 18 of the Decision, the Committee shall as soon as possible bring any communications submitted to it under paragraph 16 to the attention of the Party alleged to be in non-compliance.

A Party shall, as soon as possible but not later than five months after any communication is brought to its attention by the Committee, submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and describing any response that it may have made.

The Committee shall, as soon as practicable, further consider communications submitted to it pursuant to this chapter and take into account all relevant written information made available to it, and may hold hearings.