Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Regulatory Shift: The Rise of Judicial Liberalization at the WTO

41 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2007  

Judith Goldstein

Stanford University - Department of Political Science

Richard H. Steinberg

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Abstract

In the early years of the GATT/WTO regime, trade regulation occurred through a negotiated legislative process associated with trade rounds. Over the last fifteen years, however, the focus of GATT/WTO trade regulation has moved to the judicial process. GATT negotiations, reliant on reciprocity between big territories, non-reciprocity for developing countries, and the extension of Most Favored Nation status to all, created a regulatory system that substantially liberalized trade, but also enabled some powerful protectionist sectors to remain entrenched in industrialized countries. Since conclusion of the Uruguay Round, the decline in non-reciprocity for developing countries has catalyzed legislative gridlock at the GATT/WTO, reflected in the current Doha Round impasse. The failure of the Ministerial negotiating process has opened up space for public sector entrepreneurs - the Appellate Body - to push for regulatory change. The same divisions that have undermined trade talks have made it increasingly difficult for the membership to provide a check on judicial lawmaking. The result is that we are entering a period of "judicial liberalization" at the WTO, led by the Appellate Body.

Keywords: GATT, WTO, international regulation, judicial lawmaking, judicial liberalization, Appellate Body, dispute settlement, reciprocity

Suggested Citation

Goldstein, Judith and Steinberg, Richard H., Regulatory Shift: The Rise of Judicial Liberalization at the WTO. UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 07-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1026039

Judith Goldstein

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

616 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
(650) 723-0671 (Phone)
(650) 723-1808 (Fax)

Richard H. Steinberg (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-267-2064 (Phone)
310-206-7010 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
542
Rank
41,151
Abstract Views
2,035