Advertisement

The Judicial Style of the Appellate Body

  • Niall MeagherEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

How adjudicators write their decisions can be enormously important in achieving credibility and acceptance for a tribunal’s decisions. International tribunals, such as the WTO panels and Appellate Body, face greater difficulties than domestic tribunals in developing an individual style. The DSU influences the judicial style of the AB, but does not mandate a particular stylistic approach. The AB’s approach to interpretation under Article 31 of the VCLT and its reliance on the dictionary in its interpretation seems to have contributed to the development of a formalistic writing style and, over time, longer and more complex reports. In addition, the AB has generally eschewed any rhetorical or dramatic flourishes in its writing. The chapter also discusses various factors affecting the style of the AB, includes the textualist approach of the VCLT, differences in spoken languages, differences in legal tradition, the requirement of collegiality, the importance of candour, and the personalities of the adjudicators. Ultimately, the style of a tribunal like the AB may depend mostly on the individual styles of its members.

Keywords

WTO dispute settlement Appellate Body Style Judicial style Common law Civil law Language VCLT 

References

  1. Abi-Saab G (2006) The Appellate Body and treaty interpretation. In: Sacerdoti G et al (eds) The WTO at ten: the contribution of the dispute settlement system. Cambridge, pp 453–464Google Scholar
  2. Baptista LO (2015) A country boy goes to Geneva. In: Marceau G (ed) A history of law and lawyers in the GATT/WTO: the development of the rule of law in the multilateral trading system. Cambridge University Press, pp 559–569Google Scholar
  3. Brunet P, Halperin JL, Nollez-Goldbach R (2015) «Les Styles Judiciares»: Diversité des Approches, Nécessite des Évolutions. Droit et société N 91:465–471Google Scholar
  4. Condon BJ (2010) Lost in translation: plurilingual interpretation of WTO law. J Int Dispute Settl 1(1):191–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Davey WJ (2015) The first years of WTO Dispute settlement: dealing with controversy and building confidence. In: Marceau G (ed) A history of law and lawyers in the GATT/WTO: the development of the rule of law in the multilateral trading system. Cambridge University Press, pp 353–373Google Scholar
  6. Ehlermann CD (2002) Six years on the bench of the “World Trade Court”: some personal experiences as a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization. J World Trade 36:605–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ehlermann CD (2003) Experiences from the WTO Appellate Body. Texas Int Law J 38:469–488Google Scholar
  8. Fallon RH Jr (2017) A theory of Judicial Candor. Columbia Law Rev 117:2265–2318Google Scholar
  9. Ganesan AV (2015) The Appellate Body in its formative years. In: Marceau G (ed) A history of law and lawyers in the GATT/WTO: the development of the rule of law in the multilateral trading system. Cambridge University Press, pp 517–546Google Scholar
  10. Gao HS (2018) Dictum on Dicta: Obiter Dicta in WTO Disputes. World Trade Review 17:509–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lacarte-Muró J (2015) Launching the Appellate Body. In: Sacerdoti G et al (eds) The WTO at ten: the contribution of the dispute settlement system. Cambridge, pp 476–481Google Scholar
  12. Lasser M (2015) Le style judiciaire français en question: une analyse réaliste des effets de la jurisprudence européenne sur «le procès équitable». Droit et société N 91:473–489Google Scholar
  13. Orwell G (2002) Politics and the English language. In: Knopf AA (ed) Essays, pp 954–967Google Scholar
  14. Pauwelyn J (2016) The WTO 20 years on: ‘Global Governance by Judiciary’ or, rather, member-driven settlement of (some) trade disputes between (some) WTO members. Eur J Int Law 27(4):1119–1126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Posner RA (1995) Judges’ writing styles (and do they matter?). Univ Chic Law Rev 62:1421–1449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Prott LV (1970) The style of judgment in the international court of justice, vol 5. Australian Year Book of International Law, pp 75–90Google Scholar
  17. Romano CPR (2003) The Americanization of international litigation. Ohio State J Disput Resolut 19:89–119Google Scholar
  18. Romano CPR, Alter KJ and Shany Y (2013) Mapping international adjudicative bodies, the issues and players. In: The Oxford handbook of international adjudication. Oxford, pp 3–26Google Scholar
  19. Sedley S (1999) Lord denning: a benchmark of British justice. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/news/1999/mar/06/guardianobituaries. Accessed 16 June 2019
  20. Unterhalter D (2015) The authority of an institution: the Appellate Body under review. In: Marceau G (ed) A history of law and lawyers in the GATT/WTO: the development of the rule of law in the multilateral trading system. Cambridge University Press, pp 466–475Google Scholar
  21. US Federal Judicial Center (1991) Judicial writing manual, p 16. https://www.fjc.gov/sites/default/files/2012/JudiWrit.pdf. Accessed 18 June 2019
  22. Wald PM (1995a) The rhetoric of results and the results of rhetoric: judicial writings. Univ Chic Law Rev 62:1371–1419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wald PM (1995b) A reply to Judge Posner. Univ Chic Law Rev 62:1451–1454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Weisberg RH (2018) Cardozo’s “Law and Literature”: a guide to his judicial writing style. Touro Law Rev 34:349–359Google Scholar
  25. Yeats WB (1917) The fisherman. In: The wild swans at cooleGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advisory CentreWTO Law (ACWL)GenevaSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations