Assessing the Advisory Centre on WTO Law from a Broader Governance Perspective
5 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2011
Date Written: November 29, 2011
This paper is for a symposium on the Tenth Anniversary of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL). The paper places the ACWL in the broader context of international trade law governance. It notes that although the ACWL is quite different than the WTO Appellate Body in presenting legal arguments as opposed to issuing rulings, it plays an analogous role in two respects. First, it enhances the legitimacy of the WTO dispute settlement system through facilitating developing country access to it, thus increasing the law’s normative force. Second, it helps to clarify WTO rules to developing country policymakers in providing them with legal opinions, and thus helps to ensure that the rules are understood and followed across the WTO membership. In its ten years, the ACWL has become an important institution in these two respects — dispute settlement and analysis of measures’ consistency with WTO rules, including a member’s own.
Keywords: international trade law, WTO, ACWL, developing countries
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