A Framework for a Reformed WTO Appellate Body

Purvaja Modak (Gateway House), Rachel Thrasher (Global Economic Governance Initiative)
This Policy Brief was first published in https://t20ind.org


Strengthening the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism by re- establishing a more effective Appellate Body (AB) is a priority for many WTO member countries (including members of the G20). Although the AB was established in 1995 to hear appeals on trade disputes between member countries, it has been effectively disbanded following the end of the final member’s term in 2020 and the United States (US) has blocked all new appointments since. The inability of a multilaterally accepted AB to hear appeals, however, severely undermines the goal of providing a predictable, multilateral, non-discriminatory, and transparent international trading system. Several G20 member countries have submitted proposals to reform or remake the AB but none of them have resulted in sufficient consensus for reform. This Policy Brief draws from existing proposals to outline a framework for procedural and substantive reforms suited to changing institutional needs and allowing for regulatory flexibilities to address emerging climate and developmental concerns.


Purvaja Modak (Gateway House), Rachel Thrasher (Global Economic Governance Initiative)

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