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Sixth Annual WTO Conference

23rd May 2006

Organized in association with the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center and the Journal of International Economic Law.

Co-sponsored by

Sidley Austin

Topics:

Day 1:

Panel 1: What conduct is a Member responsible for?

This panel will look at WTO jurisprudence on Members' discretionary measures, omissions, and attribution to governments of private parties' conduct.

Panel 2: Exceptions to the rules: evolving jurisprudence

This panel will trace the evolution of the application of "General Exceptions" to WTO obligations (Article XX GATT, Article XIV GATS) in recent cases such as Soft Drinks, Internet Gambling, and Dominican Republic Cigarettes in light of earlier jurisprudence from Shrimp-Turtle, Korea-Beef and Asbestos cases. Has the GATS context sharpened the inquiry? Has there been a shift in the burden of proof?

Panel 3: Jurisdictional issues in WTO disputes: 'judicial economy' and 'completing the analysis'

This panel will look at the role that WTO panels and the Appellate Body have played in framing the scope of review, including the exercise of judicial economy and its implications for implementing the Dispute Settlement Body's recommendations and rulings. While some complain about over-reaching, is there also concern about under-reaching?

Panel 4: Treaty Interpretation Revisited: Interpreting Schedules of Concessions

This panel will consider the challenges that a panel faces in interpreting WTO Members' schedules of concessions, as demonstrated by the recent Chicken Cuts and Internet Gambling cases and the earlier dispute on LAN equipment. Do customary international law rules of interpretation really help in this context? Can negotiators in the Doha Agenda talks avoid the pitfalls of drafting their commitments?

Day 2:

Panel 1: Regulatory Convergence - A Role for the WTO?

Some WTO Members have been working on a bilateral or regional basis to reconcile regulatory approaches that affect global competitiveness (eg. EU Integration; Transatlantic Economic Cooperation, etc). What can we learn from their experience? Can or should regulatory convergence be sought on a multilateral basis? What have been so far the attempts within the WTO to encourage such convergence (in the field of services, or health standards)? Is there a need for international "administrative law"?

Panel 2: Trade and Investment Disputes: complement or conflict?

This panel will examine the potential for conflicts in jurisprudence where similar provisions exist in both WTO agreements and International Investment Agreements (i.e., national treatment obligations, general exceptions) and will look at procedural advancements under some FTAs (transparency; remedies) that could influence eventual changes to WTO procedures.

Panel 3: Doha Development Round: Current and Future Challenges

This panel will examine a few key issues of the Doha Round including how to achieve the development objective of the round (in particular with regard to least-developed countries) and how to ensure proper implementation of a future agreement (looking at WTO Members' constitutional and legislative provisions and considering what institutional arrangements and capacity-building programs will be necessary to ensure full implementation of new commitments).



11.5 CPD hours may be claimed by both solicitors and barristers through attendance at this event.

Programme

Institute members may access papers from this event by following this link.

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