Vol. LIV No. 3

Opportunism and Trade Law Revisited: The Pseudo-Constitution of the WTO

Abstract: The constitutionalization of the world trade system has elevated it in legal thinking and given it a false aura of permanency and immutability. The debate among legal academics on this has centered on the technical aspects of trade disputes rather than on the critical issue of the normative nature and effects of the system on those most affected— workers. The opportunistic actors who successfully argued for the creation and constitutionalization of the system have managed to relegate the debate about its continuing benefits to the side. They have benefited from legal scholars’ failure to adequately evaluate and analyze the real effects of the system. Being a trade law dissident is more important now than ever before.

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