26 Oct 2017 - 27 Oct 2017
[Workshop] The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization

Since its formation in 1995, The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been playing a seminal role in defining and shaping rules of trade among nations. Its legal regime covers a vast area of policy-making, ranging from the regulation of services and investments to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. As the primary organisation in the field of economic globalization, its Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) created the first ever binding decision-making apparatus on the multilateral level. Any serious attempt to understand the nature and development of international economic law requires a careful and detailed study of the WTO and its rules and jurisprudence.

Aiming to increase understanding and appreciation of the purposes and functions of the WTO, Asian Academy of International Law has invited Prof Zhang Yue-jiao (former Member and Chair of WTO Appellate Body) and Prof Julien Chaisse (Faculty of Law, Chinese University of Hong Kong) to deliver a course on WTO's law and policy that offered a comprehensive overview of this evolving legal and regulatory order.

Starting with an introduction that outlined WTO’s law and policy, Prof Zhang then aptly brought to the fore a trade in goods case study of “USA v China Measures Relating to the Exportation of Rare Earth”, elaborating on the execution and the impact of certain restrictions such as export duties, export quotas, and posing limitation on exporting enterprises.

As a leading consultant to a number of international organisations and governments, Prof Chaisse started with a legal analysis of tariffs, quotas and voluntary export restraints, he then expounded on specific rules applicable to these mechanisms in the context of the WTO system. He also addressed key issues in the law and economics of trade in services, as well as key political and economic constraints arising from services rule-making and market opening.

Government officials, solicitors and students – even the audience came from a wide spectrum of the legal sector, they have given a very positive feedback unanimously, affirming the practicality and relevancy of this two-day course. AAIL shall continue to organise training on various subjects, aiming to further advance the research and development of International Law in Asia.