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Regular version of the site

Article

Is the MPIA a Solution to the WTO Appellate Body Crisis?

Journal of World Trade. 2021. Vol. 55. No. 5. P. 787-803.
Старшинова О. С.

In an attempt to overcome the current WTO Appellate Body crisis, a number of WTO
Members agreed to participate in the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement
pursuant to Article 25 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (MPIA). The majority of the
WTO Members have not yet agreed to participate in the MPIA have been attempting to assess
the effectiveness of the MPIA in meeting their interests. This leads to the question as to whether
the MPIA can serve as the temporary solution for the Appellate Body crisis. Is it a practically
effective mechanism for dispute resolution, or is it simply a political declaration by MPIA
participants that they stick to the two-tier dispute settlement system? To respond to these
questions, this article analyses the legal basis of the MPIA and its negotiating history. This
article also addresses the differences between the appeal mechanisms provided for in the MPIA
and the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) and provides a conceptual discussion with
regard to the legal nature of the MPIA. Finally, the article identifies the main advantages and
drawbacks of MPIA. It should be taken into account that the effectiveness of the MPIA will only
be assessed when any of the disputes submitted for consideration under the MPIA rules is
resolved.