On an ad hoc basis, the ACWL organises seminars on legal issues of topical interest to WTO Members. The ACWL invites delegates from both developed and developing countries to participate in these seminars in their personal capacity in order to encourage the sharing of their diverse experiences in dispute settlement proceedings.
Recent seminars have included:
- A seminar on the WTO Appellate Body’s proposed changes to its Working Procedures for Appellate Review, which had been circulated to WTO Members. The proposed changes involved (i) the deadlines for the filing of submissions, (ii) the electronic filing of documents, and (iii) procedures for consolidating appeals of closely-related panel reports. The seminar met with interest because many developing countries were concerned that the proposed changes would increase the burden of participating in Appellate Body proceedings. The Appellate Body announced the final changes to its rules in July 2010.
- A seminar on the Appellate Body report in China – Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products (WT/DS363/AB/R), circulated on 21 December 2009. In the report, the Appellate Body addressed the question of whether China's restrictions on the right to import publications and audiovisual entertainment products were consistent with China's Protocol of Accession and whether those restrictions could be justified under Article XX(a) of GATT 1994. The Appellate Body also addressed the scope of China's services commitments on distribution services.
- In light of the increasing concern of WTO Members regarding monetary policies designed to promote exports and restrain imports, the ACWL hosted a seminar entitled "Monetary Policy and WTO Law". The seminar analysed the rules of the GATT and other WTO agreements governing the relationship between the world trade order and the international monetary system, the roles assigned to the IMF and the WTO under those rules and the legal issues that arise when trade measures are taken to correct current account imbalances.
- A seminar on the Appellate Body Report in India - Additional and Extra-Additional Duties on Imports from the United States (DS 360). The seminar was based on the ACWL paper "Basic Principles Set out in GATT Articles II and III."
- Discussions led by Appellate Body Member David Unterhalter (on treaty interpretation) and by former Appellate Body Member Ambassador Julio Lacarte-Muró (on the review of the DSU).
- A seminar on the main methods available to give legal effect to the results of the Doha Round, focusing on a background paper entitled "Giving Legal Effect to the Results of the Doha Round: An Analysis of the Methods of Changing WTO Law" (pdf) prepared by ACWL staff. Following presentations by the staff of the Centre, Professor John H. Jackson of the Georgetown University Law Centre commented on the paper.