On 23 May 2019, the ACWL completed its seventeenth annual training course on WTO law for Geneva-based delegates of the ACWL’s developing country Members and the least-developed countries (LDCs).  This year, 73 delegates participated in the course, of whom 38 attended the required number of sessions to receive 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 WTO dispute settlement proceedings. The 2018/2019 course focused on Basic Principles of WTO Law. The course takes place on Thursday afternoons at the ACWL’s offices. This year, there were 28 sessions held between 4 October 2018 and 23 May 2019.  The course is taught by the ACWL’s lawyers, drawing on their extensive practical experience in WTO law and dispute settlement proceedings.

The course includes a popular moot court exercise, in which delegates prepare and deliver arguments in a hypothetical WTO dispute settlement proceeding. The moot court problem was titled Norland – Import Restrictions on Automobiles and related to issues under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement). The  participants discussed whether the measures at issue were technical regulations under the TBT Agreement; whether they were quantitative restrictions under Article XI:1 of the GATT 1994; whether they discriminated vis-à-vis imported products under Article III of the GATT 1994; and whether, contrary to Article II of the GATT 1994, the treatment provided to imported products was less favorable than that provided for in the relevant Schedule of Concessions. Finally, the participants discussed whether the GATT-inconsistent measures could be justified under Article XX of the GATT 1994. The delegates were divided into four teams (complainant, defendant, third party, and panel). The parties submitted written arguments to the panel and presented oral arguments during a hearing held on 2 May 2019 in one of the WTO hearing rooms. The panel then delivered its written report on 23 May 2019 at the year-end lunch for the training course.

Once again, the ACWL offered delegates the opportunity to take a written examination at the end of the course. The examination was held at the ACWL’s offices on 25 and 27 June 2019. 34 delegates sat for the examination, of whom 33 passed and received the ACWL’s Certificate of Achievement.

The ACWL’s 2019/2020 training course will start in October 2019 and will focus on WTO Law on Services, Intellectual Property, Trade Remedies, and Other Disciplines.

The ACWL’s training course is provided free of charge to Geneva-based delegates of developing-country ACWL Members and of the LDCs. Invitations to attend the course and a draft programme will be sent to the missions of ACWL developing countries and the LDCs in September 2019.

18 July 2019



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