World Trade Review

Internet roundtable

The Appellate Body's GSP decision 1

a1 Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP, Washington, DC
a2 School of Law, University of Edinburgh
a3 University of Michigan Law School
a4 Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown University
a5 Duke University School of Law
a6 University of Michigan Law School

Article author query
charnovitz s   [Google Scholar] 
bartels l   [Google Scholar] 
howse r   [Google Scholar] 
bradley j   [Google Scholar] 
pauwelyn j   [Google Scholar] 
regan d   [Google Scholar] 

CHARNOVITZ: The Appellate Body's decision in the Tariff Preferences case demonstrates the value of a second-level review of panel decisions. Notwithstanding the composition of the panel – which was as highly qualified, balanced, and diverse as any panel could possibly be – the panel issued a decision that met widespread disapproval. In what is probably a record for third-party support of the plaintiff, eight countries asked the Appellate Body to reverse key points. Happily, the Appellate Body did reverse many of the troubling holdings in the panel report. Unhappily for the world community, the Appellate Body did not have an opportunity to review the panel's interpretation of GATT Article XX, which (like many previous panels) has chiseled away at vital exceptions.

(Published Online August 24 2004)


1 European Communities – Conditions for the Granting of Tariff Preferences to Developing Countries, AB-2004-1, Report of the Appellate Body, 7 April 2004.

2 Roundtable organizer