Professor Julien Chaisse, an associate member of RCCL, explains that since as early as 2016, the US began blocking reappointments of Appellate Body (AB) members until now, when there is only one AB member left on the panel. As the AB needs at least three AB Members to compose a tribunal to hear an appeal, currently, no appeals can be heard. This leads to catastrophic ramifications. Without the possibility of appeal, some parties will be unable to defend themselves through WTO procedures. Moreover, knowing that there can be no appeals, some Members might think it is not worth the time and effort to initiate any new complaints. However, these problems are unlikely to signify the end of the WTO. Instead, it is likely to lead to changes in the dispute settlement mechanism (DSM), particularly regarding the enforcement of first instance decisions, i.e. decisions made by the first layer of the DSM. If a first instance decision cannot be appealed, that decision will remain binding and enforceable. This may result in a bilateral enforcement, which is a complicated concept. Read the full article here: Jasper Jung, “The World Trade Organization Today : China, Changes, and Challenges”, Public Jurist, 10 June 2020 <www.hkuglc.org/government-and-laws-committee-hku-public-jurist >.