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Full Access Strategies and Success in Litigation and Negotiation in the WTO

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Strategies and Success in Litigation and Negotiation in the WTO

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Abstract This article analyzes linkages between litigation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) and negotiation in multilateral trade rounds and develops a typology of links that can occur between the two processes. These include creating conditions where bargaining is informed by law, influencing the agenda-setting and creating momentum for negotiation on key issues, and affecting the status quo from which negotiations proceed by influencing interpretation of trade rules in the DSB. The purpose is to test whether poor and inexperienced states that are disadvantaged in negotiations can improve their bargaining power in negotiation rounds by pursuing legal proceedings, to see whether links can be exploited for strategy-making to promote the interests of these states, and to discuss how the WTO as an international organization benefits from their empowerment. The strategies suggested in this article could improve the commitment and active participation of relatively non-influential member states. This could be conducive to perceptions of the WTO as a legitimate organization and to a more constructive climate for effective negotiations.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Law, Uppsala University P.O. Box 512, 751 20 Sweden Maria.Agius@jur.uu.se

10.1163/157180612X630965
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Abstract This article analyzes linkages between litigation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) and negotiation in multilateral trade rounds and develops a typology of links that can occur between the two processes. These include creating conditions where bargaining is informed by law, influencing the agenda-setting and creating momentum for negotiation on key issues, and affecting the status quo from which negotiations proceed by influencing interpretation of trade rules in the DSB. The purpose is to test whether poor and inexperienced states that are disadvantaged in negotiations can improve their bargaining power in negotiation rounds by pursuing legal proceedings, to see whether links can be exploited for strategy-making to promote the interests of these states, and to discuss how the WTO as an international organization benefits from their empowerment. The strategies suggested in this article could improve the commitment and active participation of relatively non-influential member states. This could be conducive to perceptions of the WTO as a legitimate organization and to a more constructive climate for effective negotiations.

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2016-12-03

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