The WTO at Ten

The Contribution of the Dispute Settlement System

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Bringing together articles by some of the leading policy-makers, including previous WTO Director-Generals, practitioners, scholars of international trade law, government officials, international civil servants, Members of the WTO Appellate Body, and judges from a number of international tribunals, this volume assesses the dispute settlement system during the first ten years of the World Trade Organization. It examines the relationship and balance between political governance and dispute settlement; the functioning of the dispute settlement procedures and various reform proposals; the contribution of the Appellate Body to the development of international trade law; and treaty interpretation in a number of international dispute settlement fora such as the WTO, the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice, and the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The book has its origins in a series of events commemorating the tenth anniversary of the creation of the WTO dispute settlement system and the Appellate Body.



The Appellate Body, the WTO dispute settlement system, and the politics of multilateralism

The end of the Cold War gave rise to renewed optimism about the capacity of multilateral institutions to respond to global political, economic, and social challenges. Within a decade, however, the East/West divide would be replaced by other conflicts, schisms, and complexities – the debate over globalization, the related development challenge, global terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, and the rise of China as a regional and perhaps global superpower. The politics of multilateralism appear as difficult and fragile as ever – whether the ‘climate change’ negotiations (Kyoto) or the role of the UN Security Council in policing the use of force. Recently, expert commissions have issued reports on reform of two crucial multilateral fora – the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO), a sign of recognition that multilateral institutions must change to respond to new challenges.


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