Harlan Cohen, who is Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, has contributed a chapter entitled “Culture Clash: The Sociology of WTO Precedent” to a just-published essay collection.
The chapter appears in Precedents as Rules and Practice, a volume published by C.H.Beck/Hart/Nomos. Co-editors are Dr. Amalie Frese of European University Institute, Florence, Italy, and Julius Schumann of the University of Vienna.
Here’s the SSRN abstract for Professor Cohen’s chapter:
Thanks to the United States, the WTO Appellate Body can no longer hear appeals. Having blocked all appointments to the body, the United States has left its bench empty, with no members to fulfill its role. Among the United States’ justifications: The Appellate Body’s adoption of an apparent doctrine of precedent.
This chapter takes a deeper look at the fight over precedent at the WTO, both as a case study in the emergence and operation of precedent within international law and as a microcosm of the cultural conflicts playing out within the WTO. The chapter develops an account of precedent as a product of three overlapping, inter-dependent, and mutually constructed logics: (1) the jurisprudential, (2) the rational, and (3) the sociological. It then uses these three logics to retell the story of precedent at the WTO – the emerging patterns of argumentative practice, the Appellate Body’s adoption of a doctrinal test, and the escalating U.S. opposition to the “cogent reasons” standard that body applied. Seeing the fight over precedent as a function of all three logics reveals the real cultural fights for control of the WTO community of practice. Seeing that community of practice coalesce around and split over unwritten practices of precedent reveals how international law develops as much as a function of culture, training, and practice as of rules and power.
Harlan Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, gave an online presentation Monday of “Culture Clash: The Sociology of WTO Precedent,” as part of the International Law Workshop at the Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University. Conveners of the weekly workshop series are Tel Aviv Law faculty members Natalie Davidson, Aeyal Gross, and Eliav Lieblich.
Harlan Cohen, the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented on “The Sociology of WTO Precedent” last month as part of a 2-day Behavioural Approaches in International Law Workshop.
It was sponsored online by the at Hamburg University, and organized by Hamburg Professor Eva van der Zee, Leiden Professor Daniel Peat, and Copenhagen Professor Veronika Fikfak. It was the first event of the new European Society of International Law Interest Group on Social Sciences and International Law.
The Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law is pleased to host Dr. Hanspeter Tschaeni for Coffee and Conversation: International Trade and Economic Law this afternoon.
Dr. Tschaeni is Chief Trade Adviser at Trade Advisers, a consulting firm engaged in activities relating to the British exit from the European Union. He also serves on several World Trade Organization dispute settlement panels.
Previously, Dr. Tschaeni served for more than thirty years in the Swiss Federal Administration, where he was Head of Section on International Economic Law and Deputy Head of Division on Foreign Economic Services, with the rank of ambassador. In that capacity, he participated as legal counsel and headed delegations in negotiations with the European Union and in free-trade agreement negotiations with numerous countries around the globe.
Co-sponsors of the event include Georgia Law’s Business Law Society and the International Law Society.