MJIEL Vol 11 Issue 1 2014 - Editorial

Communication Flows in International Economic Law

There seems to be a relatively little discussed but important development which relates to the current ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body member appointment process. This process has proved to be protracted involving the replacement of Mr David Unterhalter who completed his term of office on the 17 December 2013. To fulfil his position the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) had launched a selection process in May 2013 and four candidates were interviewed in October 2013. Since that time the DSB has not been able to arrive at a decision and there has been some mention of opening the process afresh. Meanwhile the Appellate Body has been ‘functioning’ with minus one member. This level of delay does not reflect well on the process of decision making in the DSB and is symptomatic of a politicised process of selection. It is thus in point to quote from the departing farewell speech of Mr Unterhalter:1

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