World Trade Organization
The birth of the World Trade Organization (WTO) marked the end of an era in which international trade was governed by the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947). With the refusal of the United States Congress to ratify the Charter of the International Trade Organization (Havana Charter) GATT 1947 was the only means left for the regulation of international trade relations. It was originally conceived as a provisional multilateral agreement for tariff reduction without any reference to a specific institutional umbrella. In spite of its many shortcomings, GATT 1947 gradually evolved into a de facto international organization which helped establish a strong and prosperous multilateral trading system through many rounds of trade negotiations. Although GATT 1947 is now reduced to its original status as a multilateral agreement, its history of decisions, procedures and customary practices still form an important element for the interpretation and understanding of the WTO and its provisions. The World Trade Organization is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business. The World Trade Organization is a central player in international trade regulation. The rights and duties that form WTO law are not created in a vacuum, however, and there exists a complex network of domestic, regional and international influences on the development of WTO law that go beyond the disciplines found in the covered agreements or the interpretations given by panels and the Appellate Body. As such, understanding the development of WTO law in a wider institutional context is critical to comprehending WTO law in a new age of legal globalization.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the World Trade Organization. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Public international law and subject heading (keyword) World Trade Organization are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
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- Carr, I., S. Alem and MD J. Hossain Bhuiyan (eds.), International Trade Law and the WTO, Sydney, The Federation Press, 2013.
- Hoekman, B.M. and P.C. Mavroidis, The World Trade Organization: Law, Economics, and Politics, London, Routledge, 2007.
- Macrory, P.F.J., A.E. Appleton and M.G. Plummer (eds.), The World Trade Organization: Legal, Economic and Political Analysis, New York, NY, Springer, 1995.
- Van den Bossche, P., The Law and Policy of the World Trade Organization: Text, Cases and Materials, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
- Wouters, J. and B. De Meester, The World Trade Organization: A Legal and Institutional Analysis, Antwerpen, Intersentia, 2007.
- Baldwin, R., Kawai, M. and Wignaraja, G. (eds.), A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century: the Asian Perspective, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014.
- Bethlehem, D., (et al.) (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Bhala, R., International Trade Law : Theory and Practice : With Accompanying International Trade Law Handbook and Teacher's Manual, New York, NY, LexisNexis, 2001.
- Das, A. and Nedumpara, J.J. (eds.), WTO Dispute Settlement at Twenty: Insiders' Reflections on India's Participation, New Delhi, Centre for WTO Studies, 2016. [e-book]
- Hoekman, B.M. and P.C. Mavroidis, The World Trade Organization : Law, Economics, and Politics, London, Routledge, 2007.
- Horlick, G.N., World Trade Organization and International Trade Law : Antidumping, Subsidies and Trade Agreements, Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific, 2014.
- Lester, S. and B. Mercurio, World Trade Law : Text, Materials and Commentary, Oxford, Hart, 2008.
- Macrory, P.F.J., A.E. Appleton and M.G. Plummer (eds.), The World Trade Organization : Legal, Economic and Political Analysis, New York, NY, Springer, 2005, 3 vols.
- Matsushita, M., T.J. Schoenbaum and P.C. Mavroidis, The World Trade Organization : Law, Practice, and Policy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Messenger, G., The Development of World Trade Organization Law: Examining Change in International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Mitchell, A.D., Heaton, D. and Henckels, C., Non-discrimination and the Role of Regulatory Purpose in International Trade and Investment Law, Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA, USA : Edward Elga, 2016.
- Van Den Bossche, P. and Prévost, D., Essentials of WTO Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- VanGrasstek, C., The History and Future of the World Trade Organization, Geneva, World Trade Organization, 2013.
- World Trade Organization, WTO Analytical Index : Guide to WTO Law and Practice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007, 2 vols.
- Creamer, C.D. and Godzimirska, Z., "(De)Legitimation at the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism", Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 49 (2016), No. 2, pp. 275-321.
- Davey, W.J., "Institutional Framework", in Macrory, P.F.J. (eds.), The World Trade Organization : Legal, Economic and Political Analysis, New York, NY, Springer, 2005, pp. 53-87.
- Dhar, B., "The Future of the World Trade Organization", in: Richard Baldwin, Masahiro Kawai and Ganeshan Wignaraja (eds.), A World Trade Organization for the 21st Century : the Asian Perspective (2014), pp. 316-360.
- Dillon, T.J., "The World Trade Organization : A New Legal Order for World Trade?", Michigan Journal of International Law, 16 (1995), pp. 349-402.
- Ding, J., "Enforcement in International Investment and Trade Law: History, Assessment, and Proposed Solutions", Georgetown Journal of International Law, 47 (2016), No.3, pp. 1137-1165.
- Du, M., "The Necessity Test in World Trade Law: what now?", Chinese Journal of International Law, 15 (2016), No. 4, pp. 817-847.
- Howse, R., "The World Trade Organization 20 Years On: Global Governance by Judiciary", European Journal of International Law, 27 (2016), No. 1, pp. 9-77.
- Kloewer, B., "The Spaghetti Bowl of Preferential Trade Agreements, and the Declining Relevance of the WTO", Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 44 (2016), No. 3, pp. 429-440.
- Moore, P.M., "The Decisions Bridging the GATT 1947 and the WTO Agreement", American Journal of International Law, 19 (1996), pp. 317-328.
- Petersmann, E.-U., "The Transformation of the World Trading System through the 1994 Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization", European Journal of International Law 6 (1995), pp. 161-221.
- Spak, G.J. and G. Kapterian (eds.), “The World Trade Organization”, Giorgetti, C. (ed.), The Rules, Practice, and Jurisprudence of International Courts and Tribunals, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2012.
- Wolfe, R., "Global Trade as a Single Undertaking : The Role of Ministers in the WTO", International Journal, 51 (1995-96), pp. 690-709.
- Bhala, R. (ed.), Modern GATT Law: A Treatise on the Law and Political Economy of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other World Trade Organisation Agreements, London, Sweet & Maxwell, 2013.
- World Trade Organization, The Results of the Uruguay Round, Geneva : WTO, 1994.
- World Trade Organization, Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations : Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations Done at Marrakesh on 15 April 1994 : Marrakesh Protocol to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 = Négociations commerciales multilatérales du Cycle d'Uruguay = Ronda Uruguay de negociaciones comerciales multilaterales, Geneva : GATT Secretariat, 1994-1996, 31 vols in 33 covers.
Relevant Legal Texts:
- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (1994)
- General Agreement on Trade in Services (1994)
- Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (1994)
- Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (1994)
- Agreement on Trade - Related Investment Measures (1994)
- Agreement on Trade - Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (1994)
Periodicals, serial publications
- Hamel, H.H.R. (ed.), World Trade Organization : Selective Bibliography, (updated ed. 2001), The Hague : Peace Palace Library, 2001
- Also published as: "Selected Bibliography on the World Trade Organization", (extended and updated ed. July 1998), in : International Trade Law on the 50th Anniversary of the Multilateral Trade System, Milan : Giuffrè, 1999, pp. 859-1060
- Online version: World Trade Organization Bibliography
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Limenta, M., WTO Retaliation: Effectiveness and Purposes, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2017.View this title in our link resolver PlinkletThis book highlights the significance in identifying the purposes of retaliation prior to evaluating its effectiveness. Put differently, it refers to the purpose-based approach of effectiveness. It is a common understanding that the purpose of WTO retaliation is to induce compliance. This book, nevertheless, argues in favour of coexistence of the multiple purposes of retaliation, including reaching a mutually agreeable solution. These views are based on the extensive research conducted on the purposes of WTO retaliation, namely through interpreting Article 22 of the DSU; examining the remedies rules within the frameworks of public international law, and law and economics; and assessing the academic writings/debates as well as the statements of arbitrators.
Messenger, G., The Development of World Trade Organization Law: Examining Change in International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The Development of World Trade Organization Law: Examining Change in International Law examines the development of WTO law through an analysis of competing global actors, norms, and institutions. Taking a different approach to social-scientific or traditional legal models, this book argues that such globalized actors are the driving force behind the development of WTO law yet not in control of it. Identifying causal language as key to understanding this development, the volume examines three different causal influences: instrumental, systemic, and constitutive. It applies this causal methodology to three key areas of WTO law: safeguard measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and subsidies. The volume provides detailed explanations of why the law has developed as it has and offers insights into the future functioning of the WTO system.
Jemielniak, J., L. Nielsen and H. Palmer Olsen (ed.), Establishing Judicial Authority in International Economic Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Part I. Courts in International Economic Law – Emergence, Interplay and Proliferation: 1. Assessing the impact of WTO and regional dispute resolution mechanisms on the world trading system David A. Gantz; 2. Establishing permanent regional good offices for trade disputes in Asia Chang-fa Lo; 3. African regional judiciaries and their jurisprudence in trade law matters Amos Saurombe; 4. Coordinated actions in international economic law as illustrated by investment treaty arbitration and World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes Greg Tereposky and Laura Nielsen; Part II. The Development and Usage of Precedents in International Economic Law: 5. Minority rules: precedent and participation before the WTO Appellate Body Joost Pauwelyn; 6. The welfare implications of precedent in international law Krzysztof J. Pelc; 7. Features of trade law adjudication and their impact on the development of legal concepts and precedents Anton K. Schnyder and Stefanie Pfisterer; Part III. Legitimating Decisions in International Economic Law: 8. Judicial ethics in international economic law: what standards of independence and impartiality apply to arbitrators and panelists? Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer; 9. Judicial authority and styles of reasoning: self-presentation between legalism and deliberation Ingo Venzke; 10. Global citizens in international commercial arbitration and WTO dispute resolution Joanna Jemielniak and Laura Nielsen; 11. Proportionality analysis and international commercial arbitration: the example of public policy and domestic courts Benedikt Pirker.
Kennedy, M., WTO Dispute Settlement and the TRIPS Agreement: Applying Intellectual Property Standards in a Trade Law Framework, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The TRIPS Agreement was implemented in the WTO to gain access to a functioning dispute settlement mechanism that could authorize trade sanctions. Yet TRIPS and the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding are based on systems that developed independently in WIPO and GATT. In this book, Matthew Kennedy exposes the challenges created by the integration and independence of TRIPS within the WTO by examining how this trade organization comes to grips with intellectual property disputes. He contrasts the way intellectual property disputes between governments have been handled before and after the establishment of the WTO. Based on practical experience, this book provides a comprehensive review of the issues that arise under the DSU, TRIPS, GATT 1994 and other WTO agreements in intellectual property matters. These range from procedural pitfalls to substantive treaty interpretation and conflicts as well as remedies, including cross-retaliation.
Hodu, N.Y. and Z. Qi, The political economy of WTO implementation and China's approach to litigation in the WTO, Cheltenham, UK : Northampton, MA, USA, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The concept of compliance with World Trade Organization law as part of international economic law is examined in this discerning book. Cognisance of the key conceptual issues that continue to dominate contemporary debates around rule-making in the world trading system, this must-read text approaches the issue of international norm compliance from a broad perspective. In view of China's role in shaping the political economy of the world trading system in recent years, this book places the discussion within the context of Chinese Confucian values
Cook, G., A Digest of WTO Jurisprudence on Public International Law Concepts and Principles, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
In its first twenty years, the WTO dispute settlement system generated over 350 decisions totalling more than 60,000 pages. These decisions contain many statements by WTO adjudicators regarding the law of treaties, state responsibility, international dispute settlement, and other topics of general public international law. This book is a collection of nearly one thousand statements by WTO adjudicators relating to admissibility and jurisdiction; attribution of conduct to a State; breach of an obligation; conflicts between treaties; countermeasures; due process; evidence before international tribunals; good faith; judicial economy; municipal law; non-retroactivity; reasonableness; sources of international law; sovereignty; treaty interpretation; and words and phrases commonly used in treaties and other international legal instruments. This comprehensive digest presents summaries and extracts organized systematically under issue-specific sub-headings, making this jurisprudence easily accessible to students and practitioners working in any field of international law.
Charnovitz, S. The Path of World Trade Law in the 21st Century, Singapore, World Scientific Publishing, 2015.Charnovitz, 2015
The advent of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 transformed international economic law for states, enterprises, and nongovernmental organizations. This book analyzes how the WTO is changing the path of international trade law and examines the implications of these trends for the world economy and the global environment. Containing 18 essays published from 1999 to 2011, the book illuminates several of the most complex issues in contemporary trade policy. Among the topics covered are: Is there a normative theory of the WTO's purpose? Can constitutional theory provide guidance to keep the WTO's levers in balance? Should the WTO use trade sanctions for enforcement? What can the WTO do to enhance sustainable development and job creation?
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Qureshi, A.H., Interpreting WTO Agreements: Problems and Perspectives, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.Qureshi, A.H., 2015
This book was first published in 2006. The case law of the World Trade Organization is now extensive, running into over one hundred cases and thousands of pages. The interpretative process involved in this jurisprudence constitutes a form of legislative activity, and is therefore of great significance not only to the parties to disputes, but to the membership of the WTO. Qureshi sets out here to identify some of the underlying problems of interpreting WTO agreements, within the context of different issues, problems, objectives and disciplines, and to comprehensively examine the underlying conditions for the interpretation of WTO agreements. He focuses on: the apparatus of interpretation in the WTO; the manner of interpreting institutional norms, national measures, and exceptions; the manner of facilitating the development objective; the manner of reconciling conflicting norms through interpretation; and finally the manner of interpreting the trade remedies agreements. Various perspectives on interpretation are proffered, particularly that of justice and development.
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400th Trade Dispute for World Trade Organization (WTO)
On 1 January 2010 the World Trade Organization (WTO) will celebrate its 15th birthday. Shortly before the anniversary the 7th Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference will take place for the second time in Geneva, Switzerland, from 30 November to 2 December 2009. Trade ministers will be discussing the general theme “The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment”.Read more
WTO launches new database on regional trade agreements
On 14 january 2009 the database was launched and can be accessed in English, French and Spanish. The database can be searched by country, region, legal provision, date of notification or entry into force of the RTA. Summary tables of all RTAs currently in force, containing various types of information, can be easily exported by users of the database.Read more
- Brexit and the World Trade Organization by Gregory Messenger (2nd May 2016)
- From GATT to the WTO and Beyond Research Guide, Georgetown Law Library
- GATT/WTO, Duke University School of Law Library
- GATT/WTO : A Research Guide, University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Library
- GATT/WTO System, American Society of International Law
- International Trade Law Research, Boston University School of Law, Pappas Law Library
- World Trade-ILS Reference Guides, Harvard Law School
- WTO & GATT Research, New York University School of Law Library
- WTOformation Centre