Like a Rolling Stone: Exploring Viable Options for the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism to Evolve Forward in the Post-WTO Era
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The WTO is on the brink of demise. One of the WTO Members’ major concerns focuses on the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism. Several proposals to fix the WTO DSM have been presented and discussed among the Members, but to no avail. The distrust is so profound that WTO Members have been struggling to reach a consensus. Outside-of-the-box thinking is necessary for overcoming the largest existential challenges the WTO has ever faced and for preparing for the possibility of the need for a successor regime. This Chapter provides a conceptual basis for two new trade dispute settlement mechanisms. First, it casts light on the possibility of using the Expert Review Groups to supplement, at least in part, the appeal mechanism that the Appellate Body had taken on until it ceased to function in December 2019. Second, it explores the possibility of establishing a new trade dispute settlement mechanism that could be used by private parties. It argues that the new system could be particularly useful for the settlement of anti-dumping disputes. These ideas illustrate that any post-WTO regime will have to embrace the defeat of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to become a “rolling stone” and adapt to an unsecure world.
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