Don’t waste your energy tweaking at the margins.
This was the crux of Hunter Nottage’s presentation at GEG on 24 October, on the integration of developing countries in the WTO legal regime.
Nottage is Counsel at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law, a Geneva-based non-profit organisation tasked with offering litigation, legal advice, and legal training services to developing countries. Established six-and-a-half years ago, the ACWL aims to reduce the asymmetry of access to the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism by responding to financial constraints and lack of legal expertise that many developing countries face. It has participated in 20 per cent of all DSM activity and lost only one case to date. But the core of Nottage’s presentation was to challenge some of the received wisdom, arguing that in order to improve access to the DSM, it was necessary to reform trade rules rather than focus on procedural changes for disputes.