Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 October 2020
This chapter surveys several entry points through which science becomes legally relevant in WTO law and in trade disputes. It reviews the elaborate techniques of WTO panels and the Appellate Body to engage with scientific evidence in cases involving environmental and health risks. The chapter addresses the WTO’s expert consultation system and discusses the changing canons of deference afforded to WTO members in adopting science-based SPS measures. It extensively analyses the epistemic nature and significance of the two-stage standard of review, under which WTO dispute settlement bodies scrutinize the coherence of the reasoning provided by the risk assessor. The chapter concludes with identifying argumentative techniques in the WTO jurisprudence justifying adjudicatory conclusions concerning scientific evidence and arguments. It distinguishes reasoning methods built on scientific, intuitive, and legal rationality. The chapter also identifies an additional particular reasoning style, which utilizes concepts that are labelled as 'hybrid' benchmarks.