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International Court Authority$
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Karen J. Alter, Laurence R. Helfer, and Mikael Rask Madsen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198795582.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2020

The World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body

The World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body

Its Extensive but Fragile Authority

Chapter:
(p.300) 13 The World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body
Source:
International Court Authority
Author(s):

Gregory Shaffer

Manfred Elsig

Sergio Puig

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198795582.003.0013

This chapter discusses how the authority of the Appellate Body (AB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rapidly became extensive. It nonetheless remains fragile given geopolitical shifts that have helped catalyze the rise of neo-nationalist trade politics in the United States. The establishment of extensive AB authority represented a legalization leap in which international dispute settlement moved from limited narrow authority under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to significantly more expansive authority. However, the WTO is an interstate dispute settlement system, so private parties have no direct access to the AB. The AB thus confronts state pressure and at times shapes its decisions to facilitate WTO Member compliance with them. The AB’s authority appears threatened by the US refusal to approve the launching of the selection process to replace retiring AB members. The United States is reacting, in particular, to AB rulings against US import relief practices.

Keywords:   Appellate Body, World Trade Organization, extensive authority, international dispute settlement, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, interstate dispute settlement system

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