Zoom Out

Twin crises in the WTO, and no obvious way out

Pause for a moment. Assume that, by magic wand, the Trump Administration changes its attitude, and agrees to new appointments to the Appellate Body (AB). Have the WTO problems disappeared simply because a complete AB is now in place? Even if matters such as Rule 15 are addressed,[1] the distinction between facts and law is...

A Washington wake-up call and hybrid governance for world trade

1. Introduction For more than twenty years, we – the international economic law scholars and practitioners – have lived comfortably alongside the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system. While at the same time, the trade community has also enjoyed an unprecedented period of stability in the stormy history of international economic relations following World...

A crisis looming in the dark: Some remarks on the reform proposals on notifications and transparency

1. Introduction In seeming contrast with the other contributors to this Question, I am not much concerned with the systemic causes of the WTO’s current crisis and with proposing plans for its modernisation. For one thing, I have neither the space nor, frankly, the ability to address in depth such issues.[1] For another, I believe...

The stalemate concerning the Appellate Body of the WTO: Any way out?

1. The functioning of the World Trade Organization in 2018-19: From crisis to paralysis? The year 2018 has been momentous for the World Trade Organization (WTO), a turning point in the history of the organisation, with the United States (US) turning its back to a 70-year old support of multilateralism in principle and practice.[1] This...

A WTO if you can keep it

1. The place of the WTO in international economic law In September 1787, the inventor and free trader Benjamin Franklin emerged from the convention in Philadelphia that had just completed drafting the United States (US) Constitution. A lady awaiting outside the State House approached Franklin to ask whether the convention had created a republic or...

‘In Clinical Isolation.’ Is there a meaningful place for the World Trade Organization in the future of International Economic Law?

Introduced by Paolo Turrini and Angelica Bonfanti What the heck. The girl was young, so lively and, what is more, socially accepted. Everyone wanted to date her. And all of a sudden, she fell ill. With the disease came the solitude – or was it the other way round? Now her conditions are stable but...

Procedural rules in WTO dispute settlement in the face of the crisis of the Appellate Body

1. Introduction In the last years, serious criticisms have paved the way for a profound crisis of the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO).[1] Indeed, the US has been challenging the legitimacy of the Appellate Body case law against the letter and the spirit of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU), at the...

Forthcoming

ITLOS procedural rules: Between change and stability

1. Introduction ITLOS’ procedural rules, its case law concerning their application and interpretation, as well as its working practice constitute a topical example of the ‘special balance between the need for change and adaptation to the special interests of the parties and the need to ensure stability of international dispute settlement’. Largely inspired by those...

Making and enforcing procedural law at the International Court of Justice

1. Introduction The International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court) appears to enjoy a relatively wide freedom in procedural matters. The ICJ’s Statute does not contain detailed rules and the Court has considerable leeway in interpreting them and, eventually, in filling the gaps. States parties to the Statute have few means at their disposal...

Procedural rules of international courts and tribunals: Between change and stability

Introduced by Beatrice I. Bonafé   International procedural law has drawn increasing attention in the last years. This Zoom-out is dedicated to an aspect of international procedural law that nonetheless is generally overlooked, that is, the very characteristics of international procedural rules when conceived of as sources of international law. Basically, two main sets of...

The Chagos request and the role of the consent principle in the ICJ’s advisory jurisdiction, or: What to do when opportunity knocks

1. Introduction When the request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 came to the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court), a unique opportunity knocked on the doors of the Peace Palace. With its answer to the questions asked by the General...