2013-14 WTO Moot Court

Introduction of the 12th ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law

ELSA Moot Court Competition is a stimulated hearing of the WTO dispute settlement system which is held by the European Law Students’ Association annually. Participants from all over the world will be separated into several regional rounds, and the best 20 teams will be qualified to participate the Final Oral Round which will take place at the WTO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, the Asia-Pacific regional round of 2014 was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which commenced from 27th February until 2nd March.

The fictitious case of this year involves the following issues:

(1) the admissibility of a WTO case when the initiation of which is inconsistent with the choice of forum clause provided in a FTA between the parties to the WTO case;

(2) the scope of the services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority under the GATS Article 1.3(b), and whether the water services fall into this scope which may prevent the regulation of which from applying any obligation under the GATS;

(3) the interpretation of Members’ Schedule of Specific Commitments, including whether the water services have been committed to liberalize, and how to deal with a limitation inscribed in the Schedule which is unclear to see its inconsistencies with the GATS Articles XVI and XVII; and

(4) the weight and balance between trade interests and non-trade interests under the GATS Article XIV:(a) and (b), particularly, the conformity of the measure at issue with the necessity test under the GATS Article.

As to the result of the Asia-Pacific regional round of 2014, we cannot secure the opportunity of getting into the Final Oral Round, but make ourselves only into the quarter final of the regional round. From the experience of this year, we have learned a lot of knowledge which is most relevant to the issues of this year, by reading, discussing and analyzing the materials that we found relevant and helpful to the case at hands. In addition, we are also deeply aware of the difficulty and importance of communicating and persuading the Panelists in the short and limited period of time. These experiences must be valuable for a law student to turn itself into a law