event
#G2TRADEHACK
Wednesday
14
April
G2 photo square NEW

G-2 Conference and Hackathon Challenge 2021 - How to Make the WTO Fit for Future Trade

Organized by CTEI, the Institute of International Economic Law || Georgetown Law & the Geneva Trade Platform
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ONLINE EVENT

This year, our annual G2 Conference will take a new spin. At a moment when trade is challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and a resurgence of protectionist sentiments, and the WTO faces crisis across many of its core functions, we want to elevate new, fresh perspectives with bold ideas for the WTO’s path forward. Our focal point will be a three day hackathon for students from around the world, on: ‘How to Make the WTO Fit for Future Trade.’ The most innovative proposals will be featured on the day of the conference.

This event is co-organised by CTEI, the Institute of International Economic Law || Georgetown LawGeneva Trade Platform and will take place on 14 April 15:00-20:00CET. 

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Every year the G2 Conference invites the trade community to join leading scholars and practitioners from all over the world to discuss the hottest topics in trade law and trade policy.

This year’s conference takes on a new spin. In addition to outstanding panels on legal paths forward on WTO plurilaterals and the path ahead for dispute settlement, we have challenged students from across the globe to a hackathon: a three day design sprint where they’ll work in teams of 2-4 to develop a fully considered and legally sound proposal for an outcome at the WTO.

With thousands of dollars in prize money on the line and an eminent jury, we hope to see bold new thinking from the trade policy leaders of tomorrow. We hope you can join us for what should be an exciting hackathon, fascinating discussions and useful and enjoyable networking facilitated by GatherTown.

Speakers during the conference will include:

Welcome remarks & Keynote speech: 15:00-15:30 CET

  • George Mina | Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO

 

Panel 1: WTO Plurilaterals - Unlocking the System, or Breaking it? 15:30-16:30 CET

Some WTO Members are championing deals with less than the full WTO membership as a way to make progress on issues from e-commerce to the environment, and have  suggested several legal pathways for eventually incorporating them into the WTO framework. Other Members hold such plurilateral deals to be in violation of the letter of WTO law, its spirit, or both.  

This panel will discuss the legal and systemic implications of the primary approaches being proposed, and the options available to their opponents and supporters. 

  • James Nedumpara | Professor and Head, Centre for Trade and Investment Law, New Delhi
  • Myrto Zambarta | Head Of Unit, Directorate General for Trade, European Commission
  • Nicolas Lamp | Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Queen's University

Chair: 

Gabrielle Marceau | Professor of WTO Law, University of Geneva; Senior Counselor, WTO Research Division

 

Panel 2: Hackathon Plenary - 16:45 - 17:45 CET

The 3 finalist teams will be invited to present and discuss their solutions before the Jury (listed below), ahead of the final determination of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers. 

  • Joost Pauwelyn | Head, International Law Department, Co-Director, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of Geneva; Murase Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
  • Gabrielle Marceau | Professor of WTO Law, University of Geneva; Senior Counselor, WTO Research Division
  • Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder | Executive Director, IISD Europe; Senior Director, Economic Law & Policy
  • Dmitry Grozoubinski | Executive Director, Geneva Trade Platform
  • Patricia Holmes | Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO
  • Kekeletso Mashigo | Counsellor (Economic & Legal), South African Permanent Mission to the WTO, SA Embassy, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Yujin Kim McNamara | Partner, Akin Gump
  • Katrin Kuhlmann | President and Founder, New Markets Lab; Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
  • Marie Kasperek | Director, Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center

 

Panel 3: Agreeing on How to Disagree - WTO Dispute Settlement 2.0 - 18:00-19:00 CET 

The WTO Dispute Settlement system was once considered the organization’s “jewel in the crown,” but that status is at risk with the Appellate Body empty and Members increasingly looking to unilateral, bilateral, or plurilateral approaches to resolve their disagreements. 

In this discussion, eminent experts on international trade law will discuss the past, present and future of the dispute settlement system in light of the Biden Administration’s recently announced position, the European Union’s Trade Review and the ongoing impasse over the Appellate Body.  

A the end of this session the winning team of the hackathon will be announced.

  • João Aguiar Machado | Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the European Union to the WTO
  • Jan-Yves Remy | Deputy Director, Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services (SRC), University of the West Indies
  • Kathleen Claussen |  Associate Professor of Law, University of Miami Law School
  • LI Yihong | Minister & Deputy Permanent Representative, Chinese Permanent Mission to the WTO

Chair: 

  • Jennifer Hillman | Senior Fellow, Trade and International Political Economy, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Former Member, World Trade Organization Appellate Body

 

Virtual Career session (for students): 19:00-20:00 CET

 

The G2 Hackathon Challenge 9-11 April & finalist selection on 14 April 2021

 

At a moment when trade is challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and a resurgence of protectionist sentiments, and the WTO faces crisis across many of its core functions, the organizers of the 2021 G-2 hackathon want to elevate new, fresh perspectives with bold ideas for the WTO’s path forward.


We are challenging teams of students (2-4 per team) from anywhere in the world to collaborate and in just 72 hours, develop a fully considered and legally sound proposal for an outcome at the WTO that meaningfully addresses an issue that will be shared at the launch of the Hackathon (9 April 2021). Team members will need to be available from 9-11 April and 14 April afternoon 15:00-20:00 CET.


To answer the hackathon challenge, your team will be asked to do four things: 

  • Define the substantive issue that your team is addressing (500 words).
  • Propose a specific treaty text, or more informal commitment/declaration, text that addresses the concern or a particular, detailed aspect of it (200 words). 
  • Suggest a legal/technical or institutional way to implement your textual, substantive proposal within the broader WTO framework (500 words). 
  • Prepare a short video summarising the issue and your team’s solution (3-5 minutes)

Teams will be evaluated by a panel of eminent legal and trade policy experts on (i) the creativity of their solutions, (ii) the rigor of their legal drafting, (iii) the feasibility of their proposed path forward and (iv) the clarity of their presentation. 


The top three teams will present their proposals during a special panel at the G2 conference and the winning team will receive a cash prize of USD 3,000 followed by USD 2,000 & USD 1,000 for the second and third runner up respectively. The winning team will also have their proposal published as a policy brief or working paper on the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI) at the Graduate Institute and at the Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown Law websites.


*A team should be composed of 2-4 students. All participants in the team need to be current undergraduate, masters or PhD students at the time of participating in the Hackathon. Should one of your team members not be eligible s/he will disqualify the entire team. The students can be from any university or law school in the world. 

 


THIS CONFERENCE HAS BEEN ORGANIZED THANKS TO THE KIND SPONSORSHIP OF MR. SERGEY POPOV, Akin gump strauss hauer & feld llp, and lee & ko.

 

a special thanks to our organizing committee | marie kasperek, david kleimann, gabrielle marceau, joost pauwelyn, chris brummer, dmitry grozoubinski, meha jain, tamara pironnet, joanita kalibala & michael omumbwa