Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1964556
 
 

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Interpretation and Institutional Choice at the WTO


Gregory Shaffer


University of California at Irvine School of Law

Joel P. Trachtman


Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

November 28, 2011

Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 1, No. 4, 2011

Abstract:     
This article develops the framework of comparative institutional analysis for assessing the implications of judicial interpretation in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The analytical framework offers an improved means to describe and assess the consequences of choices made in treaty drafting and interpretation in terms of social welfare and participation in social decision-making. The analysis builds on specific examples from WTO case law. Our framework approaches treaty drafting and judicial interpretive choices through a comparative institutional lens - that is, in comparison with the implications of alternative drafting and interpretive choices for social welfare and participation in social decision-making processes. By deciding among alternative interpretations, the judicial bodies of the WTO effectively determine which social decision-making process decides a particular policy issue. That decision, in turn, can have profound domestic and international implications. While this article focuses on the WTO, the framework developed here has general relevance for understanding the interpretation of international and domestic legal texts from 'law and economics' and 'law and society' perspectives.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: WTO, World Trade Organization, international trade, judicial interpretation, comparative institutional analysis

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Date posted: November 29, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Shaffer, Gregory and Trachtman, Joel P., Interpretation and Institutional Choice at the WTO (November 28, 2011). Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 1, No. 4, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1964556

Contact Information

Gregory C. Shaffer (Contact Author)
University of California at Irvine School of Law ( email )
401 East Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697
United States
Joel P. Trachtman
Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy ( email )
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