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date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism has taken great strides towards establishing the rule of law in international trade, that is, a rule-oriented international trading system. In the old dispute settlement system under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1947, which preceded the present dispute settlement system, the contracting parties established panels to resolve trade disputes when they arose among Contracting Parties regarding the interpretation and application of rules of the GATT 1947. This article looks at the role of the Appellate Body in the WTO, and provides an overview of the major principles of WTO jurisprudence that have been established by the Appellate Body. It also considers two sets of critique: for some the Appellate Body has been too literal in its interpretations; whereas, for others, the Appellate Body has overstepped its mandate by going beyond interpretation and into rule making.

Keywords: Trade Organization, dispute settlement mechanism, rule of law, international trade, Tariffs and Trade, contracting parties, trade disputes, Appellate Body, jurisprudence, rule-making

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