Distinguished Speakers Program 2009: Prof Yasuhei Taniguchi, Former Chair of the WTO Appellate Body

30 July 2009
Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi
Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi

Does the WTO really settle international trade disputes?

Reflections of a WTO Judge, international arbitrator & civil procedure professor

Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi

Former Chair of the WTO Appellate Body, Geneva

About the seminar

WTO has two visible functions: settling trade disputes between member states and promoting further liberalisation of international trade. The latter, commonly referred to as DDR, faces many challenges recently amidst rising protectionism. But the former has continued operating and seems to act as a centripetal force preventing the whole WTO system from falling apart. Yet this dispute settlement side to the WTO is far from perfect, and faces its own problems. Although many have praised the "judicialisation" of WTO dispute settlement, it is unlike any of the world's judicial systems. It also differs significantly from dispute resolution through international arbitration. Professor Taniguchi shall elaborate why and how this is so by drawing on his experiences on the WTO Appellate Body and as an expert in arbitration and civil dispute resolution. Through such comparisons he will explore the source of the WTO's legitimacy in the international community.

About the speaker

Professor Taniguchi is one of the world's most eminent experts in comparative civil procedure and cross-border dispute resolution. He served on the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization from 2000 until 2007. He has also been active in international arbitration, especially in the ICC and throughout the Asia-Pacific, and is currently president of the Japan Association of Arbitrators. Professor Taniguchi was also former president of the Japanese Association of Civil Procedure, and former Vice-President of the International Association of Procedural Law.

He recently retired from Senshu University Law School, and before that taught principally at Kyoto University for 39 years. He has also presented many courses world-wide as a Visiting Professor, including at the University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley, Duke University, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, New York University, the University of Melbourne, Murdoch University, the University of Hong Kong and the University of Paris XII. Cornell Law School, which awarded him a JSD in 1964, recently hosted a WTO conference and special law journal issue commemorating his achievements. Sydney Law School is privileged to host Professor Taniguchi as a 2009 Distinguished Visitor, and an ANJeL (Australian Network for Japanese Law) Visiting Academic, over July-August.

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This event is part of the Sydney Law School Distinguished Speakers Program 2009. Click here for more details.

Professor Yasuhei Taniguchi will also be the keynote speaker of a Symposium "WTO - Litigation: Issues and reforms" on Friday August 14, 2009. For more information click here.

Time: 6.00pm Registration, 6.30 - 7.45pm Lecture

Location: Sydney Law School, New Law Building, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Contact: Events Coordinator

Phone: (02) 9351 0248

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