WTO Dispute Settlement and the Appellate Body: Insider Perceptions and Members' Revealed Preferences

30 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2020

See all articles by Matteo Fiorini

Matteo Fiorini

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Petros C. Mavroidis

Columbia University - Law School; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS)

Maarja Saluste

European University Institute

Robert Wolfe

Queen's University - School of Policy Studies

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

The WTO dispute settlement system is in crisis, following the decision of the United States to block new appointments to the Appellate Body (AB). The AB went into hibernation in December 2019, not having enough sitting members to be able to operate. What do WTO members think of the performance of WTO dispute settlement? How much do WTO members care about the existence and operation of an appeals mechanism? In this paper, we report on the results of a survey of WTO Members' perceptions of the AB and the role it plays (should play). We complement this with data on Members' revealed preferences in their use of the dispute settlement system, their intervention in WTO debates on the AB crisis and their responses to demise of the AB. The data reveal strong support for the basic design of the dispute settlement system but also that the United States is not alone in perceiving that the AB went beyond its mandate. There are substantive questions that need to be addressed if the Appellate Body impasse is to be resolved.

Keywords: Appellate Body, Conflict resolution, Dispute Settlement, WTO

JEL Classification: F13

Suggested Citation

Fiorini, Matteo and Hoekman, Bernard and Mavroidis, Petros C. and Saluste, Maarja and Wolfe, Robert, WTO Dispute Settlement and the Appellate Body: Insider Perceptions and Members' Revealed Preferences (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14834, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3615597

Matteo Fiorini (Contact Author)

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Petros C. Mavroidis

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Maarja Saluste

European University Institute ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
50-139 Firenze
ITALY

Robert Wolfe

Queen's University - School of Policy Studies ( email )

Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

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