Friday, March 2, 2018

Crisis in the crown jewel

The WTO's dispute settlement mechanism is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of the WTO.However, of late, it has faced some challenges.

For those following the developments at the dispute settlement mechanism at the WTO, two recent pieces may be of interest - 

First, this detailed analysis of what needs to be done to set the system right is available in a March 2018 Peterson Institute for International Economics Policy Brief which argues that the impasse is too serious to ignore.

Second, this piece by Terence P. Stewart, sets out the rationale for some of the 'concerns' on the functioning of the dispute settlement system.

There indeed is a thin line, at times, between interpretation of existing rights and obligations as against creating new rights and obligations. How this is perceived and tackled differs depending on one's views the role of the judicial authority to be. 

There are no easy answers to this crisis.