CWR > Volume 7(1); 2021 > Article
Research Paper
Published online: March 1, 2021

Reforming the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism: Towards a Mega-Multilateral Court?

Zihan Liu
Shanghai University of Political Science & Law
EH16 6YL, 37 Double Hedges Park, Edinburgh, UK.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is facing serious crisis, which has impeded its normal function. To address this impasse, this article suggests a reform of the WTO’s dispute-settlement mechanism: the establishment of a new megamultilateral court to substitute for the Appellate Body. The first part of this paper addresses the reasons for considering this approach. The second part identifies how to establish a new mega-multilateral court within the WTO. The third part puts forward an idea of the function of the Dispute Settlement Body, which would serve as a forum for adjudicators and State Parties of the mega-multilateral court, in order to balance judicial independence, judicial accountability, and consistency. In discussing the reason for this reform, approaches to implementing it, and other examples of what form it might take, this article concludes that it is appropriate to establish a new mega-multilateral court within the WTO.

Keywords : WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism, Appellate Body, Mega-Multilateral Court, Judicial Independence, Judicial Accountability, Judicial Consistency

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