Internationalizing Domestic Disputes? Transnational Public–private Partnership in WTO Litigation


For approximately two decades, commentators have extensively investigated the production of World Trade Organization (WTO) cases.1 The WTO Dispute Settlement Body has been the central pillar of the WTO system since its establish- ment, because it is the institution within the system that can authorize sanctions for violations of the WTO agreements, but also plays a critical role in shaping and de- veloping WTO law.2 On the other hand, trade negotiations in the WTO have al- most been paralyzed, and the WTO agreements – as a result of conference diplo- macy – contain significant ambiguity leaving ample room for judicial interpretation.3 Thus, the cases brought before the WTO court structure the devel- opment of WTO law and influence the international economic order.4 Motivated by these concerns, scholars have probed into the process behind WTO proceedings, unearthing the players that have driven the legal actions.5 Scholars have docu- mented that governmental agencies often rely on the assistance of the private sec-