Article: Transparency and Public Participation in the WTO: A Report Card on WTO Transparency Mechanisms, 4(1) Trade, L. & Dev. 19 (2012) [available here]
Authors: Gabrielle Marceau & Mikella Hurley
Reply by Gabrielle Marceau
I agree with the comments of Robert Wolfe and there is not much to add. Maybe the title was indeed a bit too ambitious and should be changed to “Efforts of Transparency and Public Participation in the WTO: A Report Card on WTO Transparency Mechanisms”.
The WTO Secretariat is trying to open up as much as possible, while taking into account the specific sensitivities and resistance of its Members. As noted by Prof. Wolfe, it is not always easy to be open, and neither is it always opportune – too much sun can kill (a deal). For example, several Members were quite upset when the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism accepted amicus curiae briefs.
Prof. Wolfe also noted that NGOs are not involved in WTO political committees and other decision-making processes. This is also due the preferences of the Members and it is difficult to see how to change this situation other than in trying to convince members to change.