by: Yan Luo
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With its virtually universal treaty network and its binding dispute settlement
mechanism (DSM), has the World Trade Organization (WTO) become a “legalized”
international organization? To a large extent, the positive effect of the move
to a higher level of legalization in the WTO is commonly acknowledged.
Nevertheless, contrary to the high expectations of trade ‘legalists’,
empirical studies suggest that the policy goal of trade liberalization cannot
always be achieved by the functioning of the WTO legal system. Indeed,
legalization at the international level often affects domestic systems in ways
that are not only unintended, but often provoke unanticipated reactions.
This incisive new study analyzes the proliferation of legalization in the WTO
and two vital aspects of its consequences. The author illustrates the rise of
legalization in the trade regime by examining the pragmatic process of
legalization and its consequences in the field of anti-dumping. She
particularly sketches the historical development of legalization in the
multilateral anti-dumping framework by identifying significant events which
illustrate the increased obligation, greater precision, and stronger
delegation in the regime. She then explores the impact of international
legalization on the EU’s anti-dumping regime and China’s dispute settlement
activities in this area since the country’s relatively recent accession. She
demonstrates that, even after decades of legalization, domestic anti-dumping
investigations often fail to fulfill the expectations of global legalists, and
that the results of those investigations are not always challengeable in the
The author’s focus brilliantly illuminates two features of the role of
legalization played in the development of the WTO system that are widely
(1) the correlation between legalization in GATT/WTO law and corresponding
changes in domestic policy-making, policy administration, and judicial review;
(2) the impact of legalization on the utilization of the DSM to settle
disputes in particular subject areas.
Concluding that the evolution of the GATT/WTO system is an illustrative
example of the phenomenal rise of legalization in international organizations,
the book is a valuable contribution to the broader debate of
‘constitutionalization’ in the international economic law literature. This is
the first study to systematically analyze the rise of legalization in the WTO
and its impact on domestic systems in this context. In its analysis of the
discourse, dynamics, and effects of legalization in the trade regime, and in
its empirical examples, this book will prove of great value to all
professionals, legal or otherwise, involved with international trade and the
economics of globalization.
Preface. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. Table of Cases. 1.
Introduction. 2. Conceptualizing Legalization in the WTO System. 3
. Rise of Legalization in the Multilateral Anti-Dumping Framework. 4.
Legalization of Anti-Dumping Rules at International Level. 5.
Consequences of Legalization: WTO-transposed and WTO-plus Features of the
European Anti-Dumping Regime. 6. Consequences of Legalization: China’s
Anti-Dumping-Related WTO Activities. 7. Conclusion. Bibliography.