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On 1 June 2017, the ACWL completed its fifteenth annual training course. 37 of the 60 Geneva-based delegates who regularly attended the course received the ACWL’s Certificate of Training.

The ACWL’s Training Programme is divided into three annual courses each covering different aspects of WTO law and procedure. The recently completed course focused on WTO law on services, intellectual property, trade remedies, and other disciplines.

Twenty-seven sessions were held each week from 13 October 2016 to 1 June 2017 at the ACWL’s offices.

A key part of the course was a moot court exercise. The moot court problem was titled Borduria – Measures Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents and Services. This dispute involved claims by Attesta that Borduria had acted inconsistently with various provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) by, inter alia, granting longer terms of patent protection to pharmaceutical products from Transia, the third party to the proceedings, than to pharmaceutical products from Attesta, and imposing foreign ownership limitations in facilities manufacturing medical equipment in Borduria that are inconsistent with Borduria’s obligations under the TRIPS Agreement and the GATS. Transia, the third party to the proceedings, raised various arguments to advance its own trade and systemic interests. The parties submitted their written submissions to the moot court panel and presented oral arguments during a meeting of the moot court panel held on 4 May 2017 at the WTO, where the moot court panel posed questions to the parties. The moot court panel analysed the claims advanced by Attesta; the defences invoked by Borduria under Article 8.1 of the TRIPS Agreement and a moot Ministerial Decision recognizing that, in some cases, the adoption of measures that are not in conformity with the obligations under the TRIPS Agreement are allowed; and the arguments put forward by Transia. Finally, the moot court panel presented its written report on the various claims and defences raised by the parties in the final session of the training programme.

This year, for the fifth time, the ACWL offered participants the opportunity to take a written examination at the end of the course. The examination was held at the ACWL’s offices on 22-29 June, and 21 of the delegates that participated in the course sat for the examination. 19 of these delegates passed and received Certificates of Achievement.

The next ACWL training course will start in October 2017 and will focus on WTO dispute settlement proceedings.

The training course is provided free of charge to Geneva-based delegates of all LDCs and developing-country ACWL Members. Invitations to attend the course will be sent to the missions of ACWL developing countries and the LDCs in September 2017.

28 July 2017

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