An Institutional and Normative Analysis of the World Trade Organization


This book establishes a framework for analysis of the institutional and normative character of the WTO by locating the organization in a broader theory of international institutional law and in determining the basis for the conferral and exercise of powers in relation to its executive, legislative and adjudicative functions. The WTO is also read as an international regime in order to go beyond its formal legal and constitutional bases and to observe the Members’ practice in the context of the former semi-institutionalised GATT treaty regime with which it retains strong links. WTO decision-making, which underpins and informs its institutional and normative acts, is analysed in order to better understand the dynamics of the organization. Normative developments in the WTO are reviewed from the perspective of the creation, maintenance and revision of legally binding and non-binding or ‘soft’ law norms, in the sense of principles, rules and standards contained in primary treaty rules, which set out the rights and obligations of the Members, and subsidiary rule-making activity by WTO bodies.
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Biographical Note

Mary Footer is Professor of International Economic Law in the Faculty of Law & Social Sciences, The University of Nottingham.

Review Quotes

"...Footer has written a very useful, insightful study. She tracks the various decision-making procedures and rule-making devices and techniques with care and subtlety, has unearthed lots and lots of relevant materials, writes with a keen eye for detail and offers many a plausible reasoning. In short, as far as the institutional law of the WTO goes, her work, descriptive and analytical as it is, sets the standard against which later efforts will be measured." – Jan Klabbers, in: International Organizations Law Review 3 (2006)

Table of contents

List of Abbreviations,
Table of Cases,
Chapter I Organisational and institutional aspects,
Chapter II The dynamics of a regime,
Chapter III Decision-making,
Chapter IV Principal rule-making,
Chapter V Subsidiary rule-making, Conclusions, Institutional developments, Normative developments,


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