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Settling disputes at the World Trade Organization
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1445-7699
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This cumulative dissertation consists of five self-contained essays, all of which are closely focused around issues that concern the WTO dispute settlement mechanism (DSM). In Essay 1, we describe salient features of the DSM using a unique data set. We observe a spike in new disputes in 2012, which in turn led to an increasing number of panels and appeals. This put the WTO under a heavy workload and delays soon became an issue. In Essay 2, we show that the DSM often appoint institutional insiders to serve as judges. Although the DSM was reformed under the WTO, the judges are similar to those found in the GATT. Furthermore, there is an incentive structure in place that encourage the WTO Secretariat to assume a larger role in writing panel reports and for panelists to let them. Essay 3 examines the role of Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) provision Art. 8.10 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) in helping developing countries win disputes against richer countries. We observe that developing countries lose more claims when this provision is applied. I formulate a model and show that this observation can be consistent with the presumed benefit of Art. 8.10. Essay 4 addresses the problem of delays by asking ourselves whether we can lessen the problem with a permanent panel. I study features such as the panelists’ experience and prior working relationships in explaining the time it takes to issue panel reports and efficiency in examining claims. We find that prior collaboration can decrease duration. Lastly, in Essay 5, we assess the impact on trade for members that are not involved in disputes. There is evidence of positive trade effects after a dispute for noncomplainants, but the effects are limited to disputes that did not escalate to adjudication. We found no external dispute effects for adjudicated disputes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University , 2018. , p. 34
Series
Örebro Studies in Economics, ISSN 1651-8896 ; 38
Keywords [en]
World Trade Organization, trade policy, trade disputes, dispute settlement, causality, panels, developing countries, panels, international trade
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64709ISBN: 978-91-7529-233-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64709DiVA, id: diva2:1178890
Public defence
2018-03-23, Örebro universitet, Teknikhuset, Hörsal T, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-01-31 Created: 2018-01-31 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The WTO dispute settlement system 1995-2016: A data set and its descriptive statistics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The WTO dispute settlement system 1995-2016: A data set and its descriptive statistics
2017 (English)In: Journal of World Trade, ISSN 1011-6702, E-ISSN 2210-2795, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 357-408Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we provide some descriptive statistics of the first twenty years of the WTO (World Trade Organization) dispute settlement., that we have extracted from the data set that we have put together, and made publicly available (http://globalgovernancepro gramme.eui.eu/wto-case-law-project/). The statistical information that we present here is divided into three thematic units: the statutory and de facto duration of each stage of the process, paying particular attention to the eventual conclusion of litigation; the identity and participation in the process of the various institutional players, that is, not only complainants and defendants, but also third parties, as well as the WTO judges (panellists and Appellate Body members); and, finally, information regarding the subjectmatter of various disputes, regarding the frequency with which claims regarding consistency of measures with the covered agreements (but also, at a more disaggregate level, e.g. specific provisions) have been raised. We call our work ‘descriptive statistics’, because, in an effort to provide raw material that will help researchers to conduct their research as they see fit, we have consciously refrained from systematically interpreting the data that we have assembled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kluwer Law International, 2017
National Category
Law and Society Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65321 (URN)000426481000001 ()2-s2.0-85021457188 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agency:

European University Institute (EUI), Florence (Italy)

Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-08-14Bibliographically approved
2. Black Cat, White Cat: The Identity of the WTO Judges
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Black Cat, White Cat: The Identity of the WTO Judges
2015 (English)In: Journal of World Trade, ISSN 1011-6702, E-ISSN 2210-2795, Vol. 49, no 4, p. 685-698Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

World Trade Organization (WTO) judges are proposed by the WTO Secretariat and elected to act as 'judges' if either approved by the parties to a dispute, or, by the WTO Director-General in case no agreement between the parties has been possible. They are typically 'Geneva crowd', that is, they are either current or former delegates representing their country before the WTO. This observation holds for both first as well as second instance WTO judges (e.g., Panellists and members of the Appellate Body). In that, the WTO evidences an attitude strikingly similar to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Whereas the legal regime has been heavily 'legalized', the people called to enforce it remain the same.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kluwer Law International, 2015
National Category
Economics Law and Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65322 (URN)000369123500006 ()2-s2.0-84939546487 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-02-28Bibliographically approved
3. The Effect of Panel Composition on Developing Countries’ Success Rate in the WTO Dispute Settlement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Effect of Panel Composition on Developing Countries’ Success Rate in the WTO Dispute Settlement
2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
Publisher
p. 30
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65323 (URN)
Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-07-24Bibliographically approved
4. Efficiency gains and time-savings of permanent panels in the WTO dispute settlement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Efficiency gains and time-savings of permanent panels in the WTO dispute settlement
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65326 (URN)
Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-02-28Bibliographically approved
5. Are WTO disputes public goods?: Dispute effects for the membership
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are WTO disputes public goods?: Dispute effects for the membership
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65327 (URN)
Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-02-28Bibliographically approved

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Johannesson, Louise

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