9 Jul 2020

Switzerland nominates Professor Emeritus Thomas Cottier as Arbitrator for the MPIA

Switzerland has nominated Professor Emeritus Thomas Cottier as its candidate for the pool of 10 arbitrators for the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA), a temporary solution for the paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body. Prof. Cottier is the former Managing Director of the World Trade Institute and Professor Emeritus of European and International Economic Law at the University of Bern.

The MPIA, comprised by 22 WTO members, permits participating members to have access to a 2-step dispute settlement system in the WTO, including the availability of an independent and impartial appeal stage. It is in effect since 30 April 2020 and will stay in place until the Appellate Body can reassume its function.

The WTI is delighted that Prof. Cottier has been chosen as candidate for Switzerland. He previously held several positions in the Swiss External Economic Affairs Department and was the Deputy Director General of the Swiss Intellectual Property Office. He also has a long-standing involvement in GATT/WTO activities. Prof. Cottier served on the Swiss negotiating team of the Uruguay Round from 1986 to 1993, first as Chief Negotiator on dispute settlement and subsidies for Switzerland and subsequently as Chief Negotiator on TRIPs. In addition, he has served as a member or chair of several GATT and WTO dispute settlement panels and currently assists on a high-level panel reviewing the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization.

Click here for more information about the MPIA.  

Update: As of 3 August 2020, Professor Emeritus Thomas Cottier, alongside the other ten candidates, has been confirmed as arbitrator for the MPIA. This news has been published internationally as well:

Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (in Chinese): http://www.mofcom.gov.cn/article/news/202008/20200802989107.shtml

European Commission (in English): https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2176

Inside Trade (in English, not open access): https://insidetrade.com/daily-news/wto-interim-appellate-system-operational-members-name-arbitrators