The WTO Legal and Dispute Settlement Systems in Times of Global Governance Crises

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2020-28

In: Cheng-Chia Jui (ed.), A New Global Economic Order (Brill Publisher 2021) (Forthcoming)

29 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2020 Last revised: 1 Aug 2020

See all articles by Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Date Written: July 23, 2020

Abstract

This contribution begins with an overview of current global governance crises (I). Due to the ‘perspectivism’, ‘bounded rationality’ and ‘conflicting instrumentalization’ of law by politicians, the social, economic and political disagreements inside and among states often prevent reasonable crises responses, as illustrated by the increasing conflicts between neo-liberal, state-capitalist and European ordo-liberal conceptions of international economic regulation (II). The hegemonic nationalism driving President Trump’s ‘trade wars’, his assault on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the US destruction of the WTO Appellate Body reflect what Nobel Prize laureate A.Einstein called the ‘madness’ of using obviously wrong methods for resolving problems; without protecting the WTO legal and dispute settlement system against money-driven, nationalist power politics (III) and maintaining the independence and impartiality of the Appellate Body (IV), the needed WTO reforms, mitigation of climate change, and coherent responses to global health and environmental emergencies appear impossible (V). The failures of ‘member-driven WTO negotiations’ suggest that adjusting the world trading system to the global governance crises may require pluri-lateral and regional reforms before the needed WTO adjustments may be possible (VI).

Keywords: Appellate Body, neo-liberalism, ordo-liberalism, World Trade Organization

Suggested Citation

Petersmann, Ernst-Ulrich, The WTO Legal and Dispute Settlement Systems in Times of Global Governance Crises (July 23, 2020). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2020-28, In: Cheng-Chia Jui (ed.), A New Global Economic Order (Brill Publisher 2021) (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3659021 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3659021

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
Italy

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