The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade welcomes the selection of Dr Penny Ridings as an arbitrator under the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) (external link). The MPIA is an interim solution for hearing appeals in trade disputes between participants until the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body is able to function again.

The pool of 10 arbitrators was agreed by participating WTO Members and notified to the WTO on 31 July, and means the MPIA is now fully operational.

The Ministry acknowledges the high calibre of all those nominated.

The arbitrators bring demonstrated expertise in law, international trade and the subject matter of the WTO Agreements.

Three arbitrators will be drawn from the pool to consider a given appeal.

Dr Ridings was formerly the New Zealand Government’s Chief International Legal Adviser, and acted as Counsel in a range of disputes before panels and the Appellate Body at the WTO.  Dr Ridings has also served as an independent first-stage panellist in a number of WTO disputes.  She has also appeared as Counsel before the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

The MPIA has now been endorsed by 23 WTO Members, and covers over 50 percent of New Zealand’s exports. It remains open to all WTO Members wishing to join.