Process and Substance in WTO Reform

41 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2010

See all articles by James Thuo Gathii

James Thuo Gathii

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Date Written: 2004


The paper departs from accounts that primarily associate the WTO’s legitimacy crisis with the deficiencies in the process of negotiating trade rules and the general lack of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness in conducting its trade governance mandate in general or exclusively in the organizational structure of the WTO.

Instead, the paper argues the ending the closed door, secretive and technocratic nature of the WTO decision-making and the trading regime bias in favor of industrial products and services will only partially resolve the WTO’s legitimacy issues. These issues must be simultaneously addressed alongside the bias against agriculture and other developing country concerns, such as those relating to implementation of existing agreements, to adequately address the WTO’s legitimacy crises.

Keywords: WTO, trade regime

Suggested Citation

Gathii, James Thuo, Process and Substance in WTO Reform (2004). Rutgers Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 885, 2004, Available at SSRN:

James Thuo Gathii (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 East Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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