Compliance by WTO Members with Adverse WTO Dispute Settlement Rulings: The Record to Date
Posted: 27 Jun 2008
Date Written: June 2007
The generally positive record of Members in complying with adverse rulings by panels, the Appellate Body or both has been an important factor in the success of the WTO dispute settlement system to date. In approximately 90 percent of the adopted reports, one or more violations of WTO obligations have been found by panels and/or the Appellate Body. In virtually all of these cases the WTO Member found to be in violation has indicated its intention to bring itself into compliance and the record indicates that in most cases has already done so. It is noticeable, if not unsurprising, that compliance has been more rapid where the WTO violations can be corrected through administrative action as opposed to legislative action. A closer review of the compliance record of the United States and the European Communities, which together have been the object of approximately half of all adverse WTO rulings, shows that these Members have generally succeeded in bringing themselves into compliance with such rulings, although both Members have experienced some residual compliance difficulties in a small number of cases. As a final note, the overall positive record of Members in complying with adverse WTO rulings is reflected in, and confirmed by, the low number of cases where Members have sought and received authorization to impose retaliatory measures.
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