Rules of Procedure have been established setting out the procedure to be followed once a “Request for Review” has been submitted to the CSR Counsellor.5
Once received, a Request for Review will undergo an “Initial Assessment” phase and screening process. A preliminary determination of “eligibility” will be made by the CSR Counsellor, based on considerations such as the amount of time that has elapsed (complaints must be related to incidents occurring on or after 19 October 2009); the nature and seriousness of the issue; whether the request was made in good faith; whether other processes have been exhausted; and whether the issue is substantiated.
Following the Initial Assessment, the parties will be invited to undertake an “Informal Mediation” which may involve information gathering, research, the engagement of experts, discussions and efforts at conciliation. A “Trust Building” exercise may follow, to permit the parties to provide context to the issues raised. The express written consent of the parties will be required to undertake the Informal Mediation, which may be withdrawn at any time with notice. As the process unfolds, terms of reference will be created in collaboration between the parties and the CSR Counsellor, and expressed in a Letter of Intent. If “no progress” is made at this point the CSR Counsellor may terminate the process at their discretion. If “some progress” is made, the CSR Counsellor will continue to engage as appropriate. If “progress” is made the CSR Counsellor may move to a “Structured Dialogue” phase. If the process ends, a “Final Report” will be released by the CSR Counsellor.
If undertaken, Structured Dialogue will involve further efforts at consultative discussion aimed at resolving the dispute between the parties. This process will either result in “no resolution” whereby the process may be terminated at the discretion of the CSR Counsellor; or to formal mediation; or resolution with a set of commitments adopted by participating parties. If the process ends at this stage a Final Report will be published by the CSR Counsellor. If formal mediation will be entered into, a publicly available interim report may be made by the CSR Counsellor.
In certain cases, the CSR Counsellor may recommend a process of formal mediation conducted by an external mediator once the foregoing process is exhausted.
At the end of this Review Process a report will be issued by the CSR Counsellor. Such reports will be publicly available on the CSR Counsellor’s website and may be shared with the Minister of Natural Resources as well as with the Minister of International Cooperation. It will describe the process and the outcome, and may be used as a tool to educate the industry on best practices.
Fact finding may be undertaken by the CSR Counsellor at any stage of the Review Process. Fact finding may include the use of independent third parties, or even be conducted by the parties themselves, in order to improve understanding of the issues giving rise to the dispute, with an eye to resolution. Procedural issues and the desired way forward may also be discussed in this Review Process.
The Rules of Procedure will be in effect until October of 2012, at which time they may be subject to review. ’
- Rules of Procedure for the Review Mechanism of the Office of the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Counsellor, October 20, 2010 (valid until October 2012), online: <http://www.international.gc.