On 19th November, law firm Clifford Chance published an article saying that the World Trade Organization (WTO) appeals system is grinding to a halt. By the end of the year, the Appellate Body is likely to have too few appointed Members to hear appeals (a division of 3 Members is required for each case). Unless the US agrees to the appointment of new Members, the WTO Appellate Body will cease hearing new disputes, and the continued effectiveness of the dispute settlement system may be threatened. The briefing provides an overview of the Appellate Body crisis by setting out the legal framework that governs the appeals process and discussing some of its perceived shortcomings. It then considers potential reforms and alternatives to the current system, including recent decisions by the EU, Canada and Norway to establish interim arbitration mechanisms. In the light of Brexit, from the point of view of the UK, surely early remedying of the problem is essential?
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