Decision making in the WTO

R Rajesh Babu

in International Economic Law and Governance

Published in print July 2016 | ISBN: 9780198778257
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191823763 | DOI:
Decision making in the WTO

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In the recent times, the ‘consensus’ decision-making processes practiced in WTO have come under criticism owing to constant deadlocks. This inability of political bodies to address and respond to challenges, specifically in relation to the clarification and interpretation of the WTO Agreements, has undermined the carefully balanced WTO rights and obligations. This chapter attempts to highlight the implication of the judicial decision making on the developing countries and on WTO multilateralism. It argues that the judicial norm creation and the inability of the political bodies to provide adequate check, has resulted in a scenario where judicial law-making has superseded negotiated consent-based law-making. This development has not only undermined the rights and obligations assumed by the developing countries under the WTO covered agreements but has also undermined state sovereignty and member-driven decision-making processes. Consequently, the legitimacy of the panels/Appellate Body rulings and the credibility of the dispute settlement process are under threat.

Keywords: ‘consensus’ decision making; interpretation of the panel and Appellate Body; judicial decision making; judicial overreach; WTO decision making

Chapter.  14377 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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