On an ad hoc basis, the ACWL organises seminars on legal issues of topical interest to ACWL developing country Members and the LDCs. These seminars usually take the form of a light lunch at the ACWL’s offices followed by a discussion from 13.30-14.45 hrs.
The ACWL normally organises these seminars when the Appellate Body issues reports in significant disputes. Other seminars have addressed systemic issues that arise in WTO law that are of concern to developing and least-developed countries.
The ACWL welcomes requests or suggestions for these seminars.
Seminars have included:
- A seminar on the Appellate Body Report in Argentina – Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods, which was issued on 15 January 2015. This report raised interesting issues about the interpretation of the legal standard to challenge unwritten measures of a WTO Member. The report also clarified the relationship between Articles VIII and XI:1 of the GATT 1994.
- A seminar on the Appellate Body Report in United States – Countervailing Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India, which was issued on 8 December 2014. The report raised interesting issues about the interpretation of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, including the definition of “public body” and “financial contribution” under Article 1.1(a)(1). It also provided guidance as to how investigating authorities should determine a “benefit” pursuant to Article 14(d).
- A seminar on the Appellate Body Report in European Communities – Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal Products, which was issued on 20 May 2014. This dispute attracted broad public attention. The Appellate Body report addressed complicated issues regarding the relationship between the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, as well as regarding the scope of the exceptions under Article XX of the GATT 1994.
- A seminar on the legal methods to change WTO law, among them amendments, the modification of schedules, decisions of the Ministerial Conference (waivers, authoritative interpretations and other types of decisions), and the incorporation of new agreements into WTO law (multilateral and plurilateral agreements and agreements that are given legal effect through entries in schedules). The seminar examined the advantages and limitations of each of these methods from a legal perspective.