Critique of “The Demise of the WTO Appellate Body: Lessons for Governance of International Adjudication?”

There is a new paper on the Appellate Body by a former member, Peter Van den Bossche. There is and can be no doubt that he is an eminent expert in the field and that his views on the present crisis merit close – and, indeed, critical – attention.

This is an oddly defensive apologia almost entirely bereft of institutional self-reflection; it is also a wholly unhelpful contribution at a critical point in the life of the WTO. The EU is seeking to have MC12 establish a working group on WTO reform; it is difficult to imagine USTR expecting a positive outcome from the proposed working group when the former EU-nominated Appellate Body member all but accuses the United States of bad faith and absolves the Appellate Body as an institution and Appellate Body members of any part in the crisis that has befallen it.

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