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

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...