The ACWL’s Report on Operations for 2021 is now available on the ACWL’s website.

The ACWL’s mandate is to ensure that developing countries and least-developed countries (LDCs) are able to participate fully in the WTO legal system. The ACWL provides, on demand, legal advice, assistance in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, and training on WTO law to its developing country Members and to the LDCs. At present, half of the Members of the WTO (82) are entitled to the ACWL’s services.

The Report on Operations for 2021 summarizes the ACWL’s operations during the year. In addition, the Report describes the activities held to mark the ACWL’s 20th anniversary (2001-2021) during the year.

The Report on Operations for 2021 explains that notwithstanding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, demand for the ACWL’s services remained high in 2021. The ACWL provided 206 legal opinions on issues of WTO law to its developing country Members and the LDCs and has now provided over 3,300 legal opinions since its inception. A total of 42 different countries – more than a quarter of the membership of the WTO – sought this advice during 2021.

These legal opinions help developing and least-developed countries participate fully in the WTO legal system by increasing their understanding of WTO law and enabling them to defend their interests in the WTO. The ACWL’s legal advice also serves an important dispute prevention function by enabling these countries to ensure the WTO-consistency of their trade-related measures.

During 2021, the ACWL’s team of 12 lawyers participated in 15 different dispute settlement proceedings, including two new requests for assistance in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. The ACWL has now provided assistance in 70 disputes, or in about 20 per cent of all WTO disputes since the ACWL’s inception.

Most of the ACWL’s training activities continued on virtual platforms during 2021 as a result of the pandemic. However, the ACWL was fortunate to be able to continue its Secondment Programme, which provides a unique opportunity for government lawyers from developing and least-developed countries to gain hands-on experience and training in WTO law, during the pandemic. The Report also describes the ACWL’s outreach activities and other aspects of the ACWL’s operations.

Printed copies of the Report will be available in the coming weeks and will be sent to ACWL Members and to the LDCs entitled to the ACWL’s services. 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 secretariat@acwl.ch.

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: name.surname@acwl.ch. Enquiries may also be addressed to secretariat@acwl.ch.

Report On Operations 2021 pdf, 5 MB.


10 June 2022

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