WTO panel composition

This chapter focuses on the selection of WTO dispute settlement panellists. In an adjudicative system that submits its members to the rule of world trade, or WTO law, through the complements of compulsory jurisdiction and quasi-automatic adoption of panel reports, the question that comes to the fore for members is: ‘Who should be entrusted with the task of administering world trade justice?’ Indeed, when it comes to giving practical meaning to the rule of WTO law, the selection offrontline adjudicators is the stage in WTO adjudication where ‘the rubber first hits the road’. The process provides a symbolic occasion on which the parties renew, in each dispute, their commitment to the rule of WTO law by handing the keys to the ‘courthouse’ over to specific adjudicators. Accordingly, for anyone interested in the subject of the rule of WTO law, panellists and their selection are worthwhile objects of enquiry.

Related Topics: The WTO
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