The Extensive (but Fragile) Authority of the WTO Appellate Body

Shaffer, Gregory; Elsig, Manfred; Puig, Sergio (2016). The Extensive (but Fragile) Authority of the WTO Appellate Body. Law and Contemporary Problems, 79(1), pp. 237-273. Duke University School of Law

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The authority of an international court (IC) is not necessarily evolutionary and its development unidirectional. This article addresses the authority of the Appellate Body (AB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and shows how it rapidly and almost immediately became extensive, but has since exhibited signs of becoming more fragile. The article applies a typology of IC authority developed by Alter, Helfer and Madsen (2014) and explains the transformation from narrow authority (a dispute resolution venue under the GATT based on political negotiations) to extensive authority (a judicialized WTO dispute settlement system with a sophisticated case law) and presents empirical indicators of the rise of the AB’s authority. Such rapid development of extensive authority is arguably a unique case in international politics at the multilateral level. That authority nonetheless remains fragile, and shows signs that it could decline significantly for reasons we explain.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > NCCR International Trade Regulation

UniBE Contributor:

Elsig, Manfred

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation

ISSN:

0023-9186

Publisher:

Duke University School of Law

Language:

English

Submitter:

Manfred Elsig

Date Deposited:

29 Jul 2016 15:16

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2017 21:57

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.84456

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84456

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