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The Appellate Body of the WTO: An International Court by Another Name

  • Fernando Dias SimõesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 10)

Abstract

Albeit originally designed to review a few cases per year, the WTO’s Appellate Body quickly became the busiest international dispute settlement forum. Ironically, as it faces the looming threat of paralysis, this quasi-court is also being suggested by some as a prototype for other areas of international adjudication. The Appellate Body is truly at a defining moment in its history. WTO member states should reflect about the role that this adjudicatory body plays as an international tribunal and whether its original features still serve its mandate. The current number and complexity of its caseload calls for an upgrading of its structure. This chapter argues that the remarkable work conducted over the last decades by Appellate Body members makes them worthy of being treated as real judges. While this proposal will not be a panacea for all of the ills of the Appellate Body, and political consensus is increasingly harder to achieve, moving Appellate Body members to a full-time status could enhance the gravitas of their position and reinforce public perceptions of authority and legitimacy.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongPR China

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