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WTO dispute resolution subject of seminar

American lawyer Meredith Kolsky Lewis is giving a seminar on dispute resolution under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at Victoria University next Tuesday. The seminar is the first of the year for the New Zealand branch of the International Law Association.

A specialist in international trade law and civil litigation, Ms Lewis is visiting Victoria’s Law Faculty on sabbatical from international law firm Shearman & Sterling.

“With New Zealand hosting APEC, Mike Moore heading the WTO and the recent change of Government, interest in trade issues in New Zealand appears to be heightening,” Ms Lewis says.

“Victoria University was particularly attractive to me because of its proximity to the Government and national research facilities – and the Law Faculty was recommended by a Kiwi colleague.”

Ms Lewis will talk about the difference between the old (pre-WTO) and new dispute resolution mechanisms, and why the current procedure benefits New Zealand and the United States.

The current lamb dispute between New Zealand and the United States will be discussed, as well as disputes in which Ms Lewis has been involved. These include the defence of Mexican agricultural interests in antidumping and safeguards actions in the United States, and the challenge in the WTO of United States antidumping rulings.

Ms Lewis will discuss the pros and cons of introducing a more ‘legalistic’ dispute mechanism, and how and why alternatives might come to be used to resolve certain WTO disputes.

A graduate of Northwestern and Georgetown Universities, Ms Lewis has been involved in various international trade matters, as well as NAFTA and WTO counselling and disputes. Most recently she spent six months in Tokyo, assisting the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry with its preparations for meetings and negotiations including the recent WTO Ministerial held in Seattle.

Ms Lewis is speaking at 1.10 pm, Tuesday 8 February, in Lecture Theatre 3 at Old Government Buildings (15 Lambton Quay). The floor will be open for questions at the conclusion of her seminar.

Victoria University Wellington

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