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III Decision-making

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a brief summary of the existing WTO rules on decision-making, including such matters as the right of initiative and the formal means of adopting decisions by consensus and/or majority voting. It turns our attention towards two aspects of the practice of WTO decision-making. The first aspect is equality of voting power versus parity of interest. The second aspect is the myriad of informal, but institutionalised, practices that exist in WTO decision-making. The chapter considers issues of internal and external transparency in decision- making, which are at the heart of the debate of governance at the WTO, in particular the accountability of the organisation. It briefly examines the form, legal bases and validity of WTO decisions. Finally, some preliminary conclusions with respect to the decision-making process are presented and discussed in light of their potential impact on normative developments in the WTO.

Keywords: consensus; equality of voting power; parity of interest; WTO Agreement; WTO decision-making



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