The ACWL publishes Report on Operations for 2018

The ACWL’s Report on Operations for 2018 is now available on the ACWL’s website.

The ACWL’s mandate is to ensure that developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) are able to participate fully in the WTO legal system.  The ACWL provides, on demand, the following services to its developing country Members and the LDCs:

  • Free legal advice on all WTO legal matters;
  • Assistance in all stages of WTO dispute settlement; and
  • Training on WTO law through annual courses, a secondment programme for government lawyers and other seminars and workshops.

Legal advice:

In 2018, the ACWL provided no less than 237 legal opinions on issues of WTO law to its developing country Members and the LDCS. This is the most in a single year since the creation of the ACWL. In total, the ACWL has provided over 2,700 legal opinions since its inception, covering all the WTO Agreements. The opinions provided in 2018 concerned a wide range of legal issues, such as WTO institutional matters, fisheries subsidies, SPS measures, trade remedies and technical regulations.

Assistance in dispute settlement:

2018 was also a particularly busy year in terms of assistance in dispute settlement proceedings. The ACWL’s team of 12 lawyers were involved in 17 different dispute settlement proceedings, including five new requests for assistance in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. The ACWL has now provided assistance in 61 disputes, or approximately 18 per cent of all WTO disputes since the ACWL’s inception.

Training activities:

The ACWL’s Annual Training Course for Geneva-based delegates continued to include both a Moot Court Competition and an optional exam. In June, 39 delegates attended the required number of sessions to receive a Certificate of Training, and 26 delegates received a Certificate of Achievement after taking the optional exam.

Under the ACWL’s Secondment Programme, government lawyers of our Members and the LDCs gain hands-on experience and training in WTO law by working as part of the ACWL’s staff for nine months. To date, a total of 43 government lawyers from 16 different developing countries and ten different LDCs have participated in the Programme.

The ACWL also continued to provide ad hoc training on request of our Members and the LDCs, and to participate actively in several training activities organized by the WTO and other institutions.

Printed copies of the Report will be available soon and will be sent to ACWL Members and to the LDCs. The ACWL will also be pleased to provide printed copies of the Report to other interested institutions or persons. To request a printed copy, please send an e-mail stating your name and mailing address to

If you have any questions regarding this Report or the operations of the ACWL, please do not hesitate to contact the Executive Director or any other ACWL staff member using the following standard email format: Enquiries may also be addressed to

Report on Operations for 2018 (pdf)

14 June 2019

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