Featured Articles Series I

Featured Articles Series I

WTO Appellate Body Crisis Causes and Possible Remedies

By Md. Al-Imran Khan, South Asian University
Mr. Amirul Islam, Teach for Bangladesh


WTO appellate body (AB) which is considered to be one of the central pillars of International Trading System has been working as one of the most successful dispute settlement body since it is inception in 1995 under Article 17 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU). However, in recent years, AB is facing a severe crisis as there are not enough judges in the forum and United States of America vetoing the appointment of new judges alleging AB is overreaching through procedural discretion and interpreting the texts of the treaties and thus exercising power that was not given to it under the WTO agreement. Since WTO regulates world trade, a paralyzed dispute settlement body is a threat to the existence of the whole organization. Very likely, it will cause a severe disruption in global trade. As the global pandemic is already upsetting the global trade, if the AB crisis is not fixed urgently, we might see the end of WTO as we know. Appeals are piling up, and no one knows when they are going to get the decisions. This article shows the overall crisis of the AB with its severe deadlock on the dispute settlement task due to the vacant posts. Again, an endeavor shall also be made to show the real causes of such deadlock, including the political and economic factors. Finally, this article focuses on the possible way out as to how the issues can be solved to make the WTO be a true and effective mechanism of world trade dispute settlement.

Recommended Citations :


Md. Al Imran Khan and Amirul Islam, ‘WTO Appellate Body Crises: Causes and Possible Remedies’, [2021] FA1 IJBLS, https://intbusinesslaw.com/wto-appellate-body-crises-causes-and-possible-remedies/

Bluebook 19th Ed.

Md. Al Imran Khan and Amirul Islam, WTO Appellate Body Crises: Causes and Possible Remedies, FA1 IJBLS 1, 1-14(2021).