Trade Policy and International Legal Development
Chapter 6: Legal Remedies for Violations of WTO Law
6. Legal remedies for violations of WTO law It has become common within the international law community as well as among the public at large to look at the World Trade Organization as a uniquely ‘strong’ international institution. Whether praised as such by supporters of multilaterally driven trade liberalization or condemned as such by those who feel threatened by the WTO’s project of (seemingly ruthlessly) spreading capitalist ideology, this perceived strength is largely based in the organization’s ‘binding’ dispute settlement mechanism.1 More precisely, the WTO appears strong because it offers both a formal arena in which Members can call into question other Members’ trade policy compatibility with WTO rules and, perhaps more importantly, it provides for legal remedies which permit the use of retaliatory trade sanctions in cases where the violator refuses to come into compliance with the rules.2 Indeed, the calls for using trade regulation to advance social policy goals rest on the perceived strength of the WTO – particularly in contrast 1 Matsushita, Schoenbaum, and Mavroidis call dispute settlement the ‘quintessential function’ of the WTO: Mitsuo Matsushita, Thomas J. Schoenbaum, and Petros C. Mavroidis, The World Trade Organization: Law, Practice, and Policy (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2003) 93, n. 69; Oren Perez, ‘Multiple Regimes, Issue Linkage, and International Cooperation: Exploring the Role of the World Trade Organization’, 26 U. Pa. J. Int’l Econ. L. (2006) 735, 753 (‘Indeed, the WTO is seen as more powerful than parallel global environmental regimes particularly because of the independent owers of the judicial...
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