Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

Revised Working Procedures for Appellate Review

A revised consolidated version of the Appellate Body's Working Procedures comes into effect today (1 May 2003). The revised version modifies the rules governing the participation of third parties in the oral hearings in appeals.

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 Previously, the Working Procedures conditioned participation in the oral hearing by third parties upon the filing of a written submission within 25 days of the filing of the Notice of Appeal. Following consultations with WTO Members during the autumn of 2002, the Appellate Body decided to amend its Working Procedures to add flexibility regarding the participation of third parties in the oral hearings in appeals.

The revised Working Procedures contemplate three ways in which third parties may participate at the oral hearing in an appeal. As before, third parties that file a written submission within 25 days of the filing of the Notice of Appeal will have the right to appear at the oral hearing, make an oral statement, and respond to questioning. Secondly, third parties will have the same rights if they file, within the same 25-day period, a written notification of their intent to appear at the oral hearing and make an oral statement. Thirdly, after the 25-day deadline has passed, third parties may notify the Appellate Body Secretariat that they intend to appear at the oral hearing, and may also request to make a statement at the oral hearing. Such third parties will automatically be entitled to attend the oral hearing, but their entitlement to make an oral statement and respond to questioning will be subject to the discretion of the Appellate Body Division hearing the appeal, which will take account of due process in deciding upon such requests.

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 Full text of the Working Procedures