PluriCourts Lunch: Amicus Curiae and WTO Dispute Settlement: Hollow Channel of Societal Participation or Meaningful Impact?
Amicus curiae submissions to the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) have been one of the most controversial aspects of the WTO DSM. While states from the global North have typically supported the inclusion of amici, states from the South have resisted their inclusion. In this lunch seminar, Theresa Squatrito will present a paper in which she addresses empirical questions related to the WTO DSM.
Due to the disagreement between states on amici briefs, in the early days of the DSM submissions seemingly had no influence, as officially recorded by the panels and Appellate Body, on the outcome of the disputes. Panels and the Appellate Body tended to decide to not consider the information provided in the amici submissions. Despite the controversy surrounding amici briefs and the pattern of response of the DSM to amici submissions, NGOs and individuals continue to submit briefs to the WTO dispute panels and Appellate Body. At the same time, relatively little scholarship has continued to explore amici curiae submissions to the DSM.
Several empirical questions lie at the forefront of understanding the effects of amicus submissions. Who submits amici, and with what purpose? How do the panels and Appellate Body respond to the submissions? When do states engage these submissions? The empirically explores these questions. In all, it seeks to understand if, through what channels and when amicus submissions have an impact on the WTO DSM.