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Thinking Beyond the State: Private Conduct and the Law of the World Trade Organization

An International Law Association British Branch Event

16th February 2011

International Law Seminar Series Spring/Summer 2011

The International Law Association British Branch is pleased to announce there will be a series of practitioner-led seminars on Wednesday evenings, commencing 16 February 2011 at Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge (see information below). It is anticipated that the following firms/chambers will be hosting seminars:

-Clifford Chance
-Essex Court Chambers
-Herbert Smith
-WilmerHale
-20 Essex Street
-Blackstone Chambers
-Matrix Chambers
-Freshfields
-Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge UK
-The Commonwealth Secretariat
-Latham Watkins
-Serle Court
-Clyde & Co

Topics will include:
-Iran Sanctions
-Enforcement of Awards against State Assets
-Kleptocracy and UNCAC
-Constitutional morality and popular morality in international human rights laws
-UNCLOS Article 76 Submissions

All seminars are free to attend. Pre-registration not necessary unless stated.
CPD points available.

Further announcements will follow. Any Firm, Set of Chambers, or individual who would like to contribute to this series is invited to contact Tim Daniel 020 7556 4444/tdaniel@eapdlaw.com or Prina Patel 020 7556 8414/prpatel@eapdlaw.com at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge UK LLP.

16 February 2011
'Thinking Beyond the State: Private Conduct and the Law of the World Trade Organization'

Increased outsourcing of governmental tasks to private actors requires a new assessment of WTO law which has so far been unwilling to take account of private regulatory mechanisms. International law has long relied on attribution as a mechanism to bring private conduct under the purview of the responsibility of states in cases where the breach of an international norm was not carried out by state organs. In integration mechanisms such as the WTO, reliance on state action does not adequately capture the challenges posed by private actors. Both attribution and positive duties for states are mechanisms to meet that challenge.

Professor Markus Wagner argues that private actors may well benefit from government oversight elsewhere (with WTO law providing the legal mechanism) in order to have the ability to export their products or services. This may be somewhat counterintuitive at first given that we tend to think of governmental action as prohibiting certain behaviour which, while potentially true for domestic players, may be the opposite for foreign producers or service providers.

Chair: Becket McGrath Co-Chair of the Antitrust Practice Group at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge

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