WTO dispute settlement procedure - Essay Example

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The World Trade Organization’s dispute resolution system has been the subject of both self-praise and observer praise. Most of the praise revolves around its improvement of the previous dispute resolution system under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs. …
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Download file to see previous pages The World Trade Organization’s dispute resolution system has been the subject of both self-praise and observer praise. Most of the praise revolves around its improvement of the previous dispute resolution system under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs. The World Trade Organization claims that the changes implemented by the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement system strengthens the role that dispute resolution plays in success of the World Trade Organization’s multilateral trade regime.2 Much is made of the number of cases submitted to the dispute resolution process since its inception under the World Trade Organization. However, academics and non-government organizations, among others are not as convinced that the dispute settlement process is as successful as claimed and argue that the number of cases submitted for consultation does not represent a robust measure of success.3 This research study examines the World Trade Organization’s dispute resolution process and determines that the number of cases alone do not reflect the success of the dispute resolution process. However, an examination of the complainants lodging complaints and the number of cases abandoned point to inherent weaknesses. This research study will explain those weaknesses and how they might be avoided by an improvement in the dispute resolution process. Introduction....
The idea is that the dispute settlement system ensures that WTO members are complying with their commitments under the WTO’s multilateral trade system.4 In 2009, the WTO had received more than 400 requests for consultation under its dispute resolution system.5 The success of the WTO’s dispute resolution system cannot be effectively measured by reference to the number of complaints lodged. It is necessary to determine the nature of the disputes, the member states lodging the disputes and the outcome of those disputes. For example, Schaffer and Melendez-Ortiz inform that a vast majority of the complaints are filed by developed countries and that while only 77 of the reported cases were filed by developing countries, the majority of those cases were filed by just two developing countries: Brazil and India. Moreover, to date, a number of African WTO members have never filed a complaint under the WTO’s dispute settlement system.6 The uneven representation in the WTO’s dispute resolution system immediately draws attention to an inherent weakness rather than the success of the system. There are a number of explanations for this uneven representation. It could mean that the dispute resolution system is not well understood by developing countries. Or perhaps they lack the resources to proceed. Regardless of the explanation, there appears to be a weakness in the WTO dispute resolution system that deters its use by developing countries. In evaluating the success or lack thereof of the WTO’s dispute settlement process, this paper will examine this disparity in complaints lodged. Other factors will be examined, such as the number of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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