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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the different standards of review that apply in World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system. It describes the concept of standard of review in general terms and sets out the general principles of standard of review as it operates in WTO law. It then discusses the different standards of review that apply to the different tasks performed by panels in WTO disputes, most critically legal interpretation and factual determinations. For factual determinations, this article identifies three different standards of review that apply to three different categories of WTO dispute/agreement — trade remedy agreements, the TBT Agreement and the SPS Agreement, and the classical disputes under GATT 1994. It concludes with a discussion of the standard of review that WTO panels apply to domestic law. Finally, it discusses the standard of review that applies between the WTO adjudicating bodies, namely, the standard of review that the Appellate Body applies when reviewing panel decisions.

Keywords: standards, review, World Trade Organization, remedy agreements, domestic law, Appellate Body, panel decisions

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