Alan Yanovich Quoted by Law360 on WTO Dispute Settlement Overload

Law360, for its article “WTO Faces Hurdles In Bid To Fix Dispute Overload,” quoted Akin Gump international trade senior counsel Alan Yanovich on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ongoing escalation in dispute settlement activity.

Yanovich, who served for 12 years at the organization’s Appellate Body, noted that, in light of this escalation, the WTO may consider implementing minor changes in the way that the parties and panels interact, such as page limits for submissions, longer lead time in the transmission of submissions to panels before hearings and convocation of one panel hearing rather than two.

He added that the increased workload weighs more heavily on the WTO secretariat than on its members, noting, “The secretariat is concerned because they are getting the brunt of it. They are the ones being asked to put the bodies in place and get these cases done.” He also addressed WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo’s comments at last month's Dispute Settlement Body meeting regarding resource reapportionment to the organization’s legal arm: “I think Azevedo’s point was to raise awareness among delegations that are not big users of dispute settlement.”

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