Completing the Analysis in WTO Appeals: The Practice and its Limitations

18 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008 Last revised: 5 Jun 2015

See all articles by Alan Yanovich

Alan Yanovich

World Trade Organization (WTO)

Tania Voon

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: December 1, 2006


Since its creation in 1995, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has gradually constructed a consistent approach to completing panels' analysis where the circumstances permit. The need for this practice stems from the limitation of WTO appeals to issues of law and the absence of remand in WTO disputes. The Appellate Body can be seen to complete a panel's analysis in two different scenarios: to deal with a claim that the panel failed to address; or to apply a different legal interpretation to the facts of the case, where the Appellate Body has reversed or modified the panel's legal interpretation. In deciding whether to complete a panel's analysis, the Appellate Body appears to consider three criteria: the existence of uncontested facts to resolve the matter, the connection between the legal issues to be addressed in completing the analysis and those considered by the panel, and the due process rights of the parties to the dispute. Where these criteria are not satisfied, the Appellate Body is unable to complete the analysis, and the dispute may go unresolved. This is an increasing problem, highlighting the need for WTO Members to agree on a suitable remand mechanism.

Suggested Citation

Yanovich, Alan and Voon, Tania, Completing the Analysis in WTO Appeals: The Practice and its Limitations (December 1, 2006). Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 9, Issue 4, pp. 933-950, 2006, Available at SSRN: or

Alan Yanovich (Contact Author)

World Trade Organization (WTO) ( email )

154 Rue de Lausanne
CH-1211 Geneva 21

Tania Voon

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010

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