Confidentiality and Transparency in the WTO's Party-Centric Dispute Settlement System
in J Huerta-Goldman & M Molina-Tejeda (eds), Practical Aspects of WTO Litigation (Kluwer, 2019).
23 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018
Date Written: December 15, 2018
In the context of WTO dispute settlement proceedings, many of the decisions made by adjudicators are strongly influenced, if not controlled, by the choices of the disputing parties. In this sense, WTO dispute settlement proceedings can be characterized as party-centric. The party-centric nature of WTO dispute settlement proceedings is manifest in the approach taken by adjudicators in respect of a range of procedural matters relating to the conduct of the proceedings, including all of the main issues falling within the ambit of "confidentiality" and "transparency". These issues include: (i) the adoption of additional procedures to ensure that information designated as business confidential information (BCI) is not publicly disclosed; (ii) the publication of submissions by parties and/or third parties; (iii) the opening of hearings to public observation; (iv) the granting of enhanced rights to third parties; (v) the treatment of amicus curiae briefs; (vi) the publication of preliminary rulings by panels; and (vii) the handling of breaches of confidentiality.
Keywords: World Trade Organization, transparency, confidentiality, dispute settlement
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