Any country designated by the United Nations as an LDC is entitled to the services of the ACWL, provided that it is a Member of the WTO or in the process of acceding to the WTO. Unlike developing countries, LDCs need not join the ACWL and contribute to the ACWL's Endowment Fund to acquire the right to use the ACWL’s services. There are 43 LDCs currently entitled to the services of the ACWL.
The ACWL's legal advice and training are provided free of charge to LDCs. The ACWL charges modest fees for support in dispute settlement proceedings. An LDC can expect to pay no more than CHF5'880 for participation in consultations, CHF17'760 for participation in panel proceedings and CHF10'520 for participation in appellate review proceedings. These and other fees are set out in greater detail in the ACWL's time budget (pdf).
Additionally, support for LDCs that participate in WTO dispute settlement proceedings as third parties may be provided free of charge.
An increasing number of WTO Members participate in WTO dispute settlement proceedings as third parties to familiarise themselves with the WTO’s dispute settlement practice and jurisprudence. Thus far, however, LDCs have rarely made use of this opportunity. Against this background, the ACWL General Assembly has decided that any LDC that has reserved its right to participate in a WTO panel proceeding as a third party may request the ACWL to assist it in that proceeding and any subsequent Appellate Body proceeding free of charge.
The request must be made in writing by a person authorised to represent the LDC in the WTO and must indicate the name(s) of the person(s) from the LDC that will participate in the preparation of submissions and attend hearings. The Executive Director may approve the request if the support by the ACWL is likely to assist the LDC in building its capacity in WTO law, if there is no conflict of interest that would prevent the ACWL’s staff from providing support to the LDC and if providing the support would cause neither financial nor operational problems for the ACWL.