The WTO Dispute Settlement System: How Have Developing Countries Fared?
40 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2005
Date Written: November 30, 2005
This paper briefly describes the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement system and overviews its operation during its first ten years - from 1995 to 2004. The paper then summarizes the system's overall success in settling disputes, in terms of whether disputes have been settled promptly, either through mutually agreed solutions or through implementation of panel/Appellate Body reports. The heart of the paper considers the experience of developing countries in the system and a preliminary evaluation is made in terms of how they have fared (i) in the specific cases in which they were involved, and (ii) in advancing their major trade policy concerns on a subject matter and a country-by-country basis. The paper then briefly considers several possible reforms to the WTO system that would be of particular interest to developing countries.
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