The WTO Secretariat’s ‘Open Secret’: Unpacking the Controversy

Author: Joost Pauwelyn
Published: 18.08.2022
Over the past two years, we have had the opportunity to present the findings from our EJIL article, ‘WTO Rulings and the Veil of Anonymity’, to a number of audiences spanning fields from international law to political science and quantitative methods. Though the article makes a number of claims about transparency in judicial settings, the design of trade rules, and the anonymity of dissenting opinions, the one finding that has invariably attracted most attention has been our use of text-as-data methods to show that the permanent staff of the WTO Secretariat have more influence over the final text of WTO…