Trade Talk I How can Nations Handle WTO Governance & Crises I Prof. Ernst Ulrich Petersmann


Centre for Trade and Investment Law (CTIL-IIFT) headed by Dr. James J. Nedumpara organised a Trade Talk on “How Should WTO Members Respond to Their WTO Governance and Appellate Body Crises? in New Delhi on March 26, 2019. Since 2017, the United States (US) and other World Trade Organization (WTO) members have been violating their legal duties and democratic mandates given by national parliaments to maintain the WTO Appellate Body (AB), as legally prescribed in Article 17 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (i.e. as being ‘composed of seven persons’, with vacancies being ‘filled as they arise’).

However, none of the reasons offered by the US for its blocking of the (re)appointment of AB candidates – on grounds unrelated to the personal qualifications of the candidates – can legally justify its disruptions of the WTO legal and dispute settlement system. The talk will focus on ways to implement and reform, but not to destroy the WTO system.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann is emeritus professor for International and European law and former Head of the Law Department of the European University Institute (EUI). He combined 40 years of legal practice in German, European, UN, GATT and WTO governance institutions with teaching international and European law at numerous universities in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the USA as well as in African and Asian countries. He has served as secretary, member, chairman of numerous GATT/WTO dispute settlement panels and chairman of the International Trade Law Committee of the International Law Association (1999-2014). Prof. Petersmann has published 30 books and about 300+ contributions to books and journals on international and European law.

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