This chapter sheds light on the relationship between the composition of the bench and the sociological legitimacy of the judicial branch of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Two identity characteristics are consistently part of the criticism of the WTO’s bench: the lack of female adjudicators as well as individuals with academic experience. Overall, however, the identity of the bench does not appear to matter greatly for how WTO Members evaluate its exercise of authority. We suggest that the role of the WTO’s Legal Affairs Division and the Appellate Body Secretariat in streamlining outcomes and procedures may best explain this, as it helps prevent such diversity from manifesting in dispute rulings. Alternatively, it tells us that judicial diversity matters more for the bench’s normative legitimacy-and for scholars-than it does for governments.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Identity and Diversity on the International Bench|
|Subtitle of host publication||Who is the Judge?|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||19|
|State||Published - Dec 10 2020|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The several contributors 2020.
- Adjudicator appointment
- Adjudicator characteristics
- Judicial identity
- WTO bench
- WTO dispute settlement mechanism
- WTO judges
- World trade organization