Who Controls WTO Dispute Settlement? Socio-Professional Practices and the Crisis of the Appellate Body

17 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2020

See all articles by Tommaso Soave

Tommaso Soave

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Central European University (CEU)

Date Written: January 29, 2020

Abstract

This article appraises the stalemate surrounding the future of the WTO Appellate Body through the lens of socio-professional practices. In particular, it argues that it argues that the ongoing struggle reflects a confrontation between, on the one hand, the ‘outer circle’ of trade diplomats and political stakeholders in the system and, on the other hand, the ‘inner circle’ of legal practitioners that run the adjudicative machinery in its routine operations. Moving from this premise, the paper traces some of the pathways that led to the progressive emergence and rise in power of the inner community of professional trade practitioners, with a particular focus on party counsel, secretariat lawyers, and specialized scholars. The operational closure of this community has caused resentment with some official stakeholders, who are now trying to regain control of a system that they feel has long eluded their scrutiny.

Keywords: WTO, Appellate Body, dispute settlement, backlash, law and social studies

JEL Classification: K33, K41

Suggested Citation

Soave, Tommaso, Who Controls WTO Dispute Settlement? Socio-Professional Practices and the Crisis of the Appellate Body (January 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3527343 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3527343

Tommaso Soave (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://https://graduateinstitute.ch/academic-departments/faculty/tommaso-soave

Central European University (CEU) ( email )

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Budapest, H-1051
Hungary
+436764514355 (Phone)

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