The ACWL is co-administered and co-financed by its developed and developing country Members. The ACWL's institutional structure is designed to ensure that the ACWL can provide its services to its developing country Members and the LDCs independently of any financial considerations or other influence.
The institutional structure of the ACWL consists of the General Assembly, the Management Board and the Executive Director.
The General Assembly is the ACWL's highest decision-making body, consisting of the representatives of the Members of the ACWL and of the LDCs entitled to the services of the ACWL. It oversees the functioning of the ACWL, monitors the ACWL's finances and approves the annual budget. It meets at least twice a year. The General Assembly is currently chaired by Mr. Declan Morrin (Ireland). Mr. Michael Wei (Chinese Taipei) is the Vice-Chairperson. The General Assembly's rules of procedure can be found at this link.
The Management Board takes the decisions necessary to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the ACWL and reports to the General Assembly. It consists of six persons serving in their personal capacities who have been selected on the basis of their professional qualifications in the field of WTO law or international trade relations and development. Three Board members are nominated by the developing country Members, two by the developed country Members and one by the LDCs. In addition, the Executive Director serves ex officio on the Board. The Management Board's rules of procedure can be found at this link.
The Executive Director manages the ACWL's day-to-day operations and represents the ACWL externally.
The Endowment Fund was created from the contributions of both the developed and developing country Members. The contributions of developing countries vary with each country's share of world trade and income per capita. LDCs are not required to contribute to the Endowment Fund in order to be entitled to the ACWL's services.
Each of the ACWL developed country members - Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom - has contributed at least US$1,000,000 to the Endowment Fund or to the annual budgets of the ACWL or to both.
The ACWL charges fees for support in WTO dispute settlement proceedings in accordance with the Schedule of Fees set out in Annex IV of the Agreement Establishing the ACWL. These are CHF162 per hour for Category C Members, CHF243 per hour for Category B Members, and CHF324 per hour for Category A Members. LDCs pay CHF40 per hour. These fees are based on a time budget adopted by the Management Board, which indicates the maximum number of hours that the Member or LDC may expect the ACWL to charge for each procedural step in a typical WTO dispute settlement proceeding.
The ACWL may accept contributions from governmental and non-governmental sources for specific purposes that are not related to dispute settlement cases, such as training and the traineeship programme.
The ACWL's financial reports are audited by the National Audit Office of the United Kingdom, which has consistently issued an unqualified opinion on the ACWL's annual financial reports.