Giorgio Sacerdoti to Issue Ruling on Trade Dispute Between EU and UkraineTHE BOCCONI ACADEMIC AND TWO OTHER ARBITRATORS MUST SAY WHETHER UKRAINE'S DECISION TO BLOCK EXPORTS OF TIMBER TO THE EU GOES AGAINST THEIR ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT
Giorgio Sacerdoti, Bocconi University Emeritus and member of the WTO Appellate Body from 2001 to 2009, was asked by the European Commission to join the arbitration panel (along with Swiss Christian Häberli and Ukrainian Victor Muravyov) that will rule on a dispute relating to the block of timber exports from Ukraine to EU members. The arbitral body was constituted on the basis of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
"My appointment to this position is based on my expertise in the field of international trade law as a former judge of the Appellate Body of the WTO, which today is unfortunately paralyzed by the US veto on new judicial appointments," Sacerdoti explains. "It is the first time that the European Union has decided to follow an arbitration procedure on the basis of a bilateral agreement, in order to challenge a partner's trade restrictions which it considers in violation of the obligations of the agreement. If the arbitration panel decides against it, Ukraine will have to retract its decision."
According to the Association Agreement, the arbitration procedure will have to be concluded in 150 days, i.e. by the end of June, and hearings - open to the public - will be held in Kiev.
by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Alex Foti