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Between Law and DiplomacyThe Social Contexts of Disputing at the World Trade Organization$
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Joseph Conti

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804771436

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804771436.001.0001

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The Good Case

The Good Case

Legal Mobilization at the World Trade Organization

(p.68) Chapter Four The Good Case
Between Law and Diplomacy
Stanford University Press

This chapter shows how practitioners offer multiple motives for initiating a WTO dispute. Accounts of practitioners demonstrate that the idea of a “good case” encompasses flexible sets of motives including economic, political, and symbolic characteristics of trade grievances, to mobilize WTO law. The flexibility is due to uncertainties associated with litigation, which are manifestations of five features of the WTO: the newness of the system, the organizational and legal structure of the dispute system, the context of the WTO as an intergovernmental agreement, the persistence of inequality between states, and the difficulties of securing meaningful compliance. The discussion considers six variations of the good case, including symbolic, communicative, and affective motives above and beyond the existence of a trade grievance.

Keywords:   WTO dispute, WTO law, WTO good case, dispute system, intergovernmental agreement

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