Geneva 2018

The group on study trip from the University of Vienna arrived in Geneva on the evening of 4th July. We had two days of study tour on the 5th and 6th July to WTO headquarters and 70th Session of the International Law Commission (ILC) respectively.

On the first day, led by Prof. Freidl Weiss, we visited the WTO head office and attended a couple of talks by WTO officials in the morning. The highlight of the talk was by John Adank, the Director of Legal Affairs Division at the WTO Secretariat. He briefed us on the Dispute Settlement Body and processes relating to Panels and Appellate Body in the dispute settlement process. He also talked about the current challenges the Appellate Body faces as an institution, which relates to lack of new appointments and re-appointments of members of the Appellate Body. On the afternoon of the same day, we visited and attended a talk at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL). The talk covered the mandate and roles played by ACWL especially in the interest of the developing and least developed countries so far as dispute settlement under the auspices of WTO is concerned.

On the second day, i.e., 6th July, we attended the 70th Session of the ILC. Top diplomats, Professors and legal representatives of various countries were in attendance. Several panel members gave talks on varying topics relating to the mandate and roles of the ILC in the international community. Panel talks were followed by questions and comments by the ILC members and other participants.

After lunch, we visited and toured the museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The museum tour gave us insight into the rescue and aid works carried out by the ICRC, its history, the major natural and man-made calamities faced by the world that resulted in widespread human sufferings. It was an enriching experience. The ICRC museum tour was the last activity of the day and the exciting study trip came to an end. We arrived back in Vienna on the night of 6th July at around 9:30 pm.

The study trip gave us a practical insight into the subjects we studied in the class at the University. It was also a new experience visiting Geneva, which is a centre to many UN bodies and other international organisations. We would like to thank the OeAD for funding the study trip. We remain ever grateful for the kind gesture.

Thank you!
Langa Tenzin and Tshering Pelden, LLM in International Legal Studies, University of Vienna