IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jieclw/v14y2011i2p403-436.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Limits of WTO Adjudication: Is Compliance the Problem?

Author

Listed:
  • Juscelino F. Colares

Abstract

Mainstream international trade law scholars have commented positively on the work of World Trade Organization (WTO) adjudicators. This favorable view is both echoed and challenged by empirical scholarship that shows a high disparity between Complainant and Respondent success rates (Complainants win between 80 and 90 percent of the disputes). Regardless of how one interprets these results, mainstream theorists, especially legalists, believe more is to be done to strengthen the system, and they point to instances of member recalcitrance to implement rulings as a serious problem. This article posits that such attempts to strengthen compliance are ill-advised. After discussing prior empirical analyses of WTO adjudication involving primary rights and obligations under the WTO agreements (i.e. substantive adjudication), this article expands the empirical study into compliance disputes. It finds that 'enforcement' proceedings do protect the pro-free trade interests so overwhelmingly supported in substantive adjudication. Since that is the case, this article investigates the extent to which current levels of non-compliance might constitute a threat to this regime, and theorizes that the observed level is not only acceptable but a necessary feature of the system. I conclude by arguing that compliance-related issues must be viewed in a broader perspective that transcends narrow legalistic views and accounts for the multifaceted interests of, and differences among, WTO members. Oxford University Press 2011, all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Juscelino F. Colares, 2011. "The Limits of WTO Adjudication: Is Compliance the Problem?," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 403-436, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:14:y:2011:i:2:p:403-436
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jiel/jgr014
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:14:y:2011:i:2:p:403-436. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/jiel .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.