Chad Bown and Rachel McCulloch, in their Working Paper on “Developing Countries, Dispute Settlement and the Advisory Centre on WTO Law”, analyse the role and impact of the ACWL’s involvement in WTO disputes on behalf of developing countries.
The authors observe that the ACWL has had an impact on the dispute settlement activity of developing countries in the WTO. They note the following trends:
- Developing countries with prior, though sometimes minimal, experience with dispute settlement have used the ACWL to act for the first time as a sole complainant;
- Developing countries have used the ACWL to initiate disputes with smaller stakes in terms of trade value.
Lastly, Bown and McCulloch attribute the success of ACWL, inter alia, to its status as an independent organization outside of the formal WTO framework. They suggest that that this independence has the “advantage of making ACWL operations on behalf of its clients relatively immune from the internal politics surrounding other WTO business, especially multilateral negotiations”.
The Working Paper on “Developing Countries, Dispute Settlement and the Advisory Centre on WTO Law” was published by the Brookings Global Economy and Development in December 2009. It can be accessed by clicking on the weblink below.