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Why de-judicialize? Explaining state preferences on judicialization in World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body and Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement reforms
Regulation & Governance  (IF5.4),  Pub Date : 2021-08-01, DOI: 10.1111/rego.12431
Johann Robert Basedow

Judicialization scholarship suggests that states must seek the de-judicialization of international dispute settlement mechanisms to regain regulatory space. Why then do some states seek a de-judicialization yet others increased judicialization of dispute settlement mechanisms in their pursuit of regulatory space? This article advances a twofold argument. First, the concept of judicialization has been erroneously conflated with state perceptions of regulatory space under dispute settlement mechanisms. States aspiring to consolidate regulatory space may pursue de-judicialization and increased judicialization alike. Second, states' preferences for de-judicialization or increased judicialization to regain regulatory space should largely depend on conceptions of legitimate international law as either intergovernmental contracts or cosmopolitan quasi-constitutional order. The article illustrates these arguments at the example of US and EU efforts to reform the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization and investor-to-state dispute settlement. Both seek to increase regulatory space. Yet, the USA pursues de-judicialization while the EU promotes judicialization.