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The WTO Dispute Settlement System: The First Ten Years

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  • William J. Davey

Abstract

This paper reviews the operation of the WTO's dispute settlement system during its first ten years -- from 1995 to 2004. After a brief overview of the system, the experience of several major users of the system -- the United States, the European Communities, Canada, Japan, Brazil and India -- is examined and an evaluation is made in terms of how they have fared in advancing their major trade policy concerns on a subject matter and a country-by-country basis. Particular attention is paid to certain bilateral relationships, such as that of the United States and the EC. The paper then evaluates the system's 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 paper concludes that since its inception in 1995, the system has worked reasonably well in providing a reasonably effective mechanism through which WTO Members are able to resolve disputes, both at the consultation stage and following completion of formal dispute settlement proceedings. The system has not, however, achieved its goal of promptness in many cases. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Davey, 2005. "The WTO Dispute Settlement System: The First Ten Years," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 17-50, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:8:y:2005:i:1:p:17-50
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    Cited by:

    1. Dreher, Axel & Voigt, Stefan, 2011. "Does membership in international organizations increase governments' credibility? Testing the effects of delegating powers," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 326-348.
    2. Ziaul Abedin & Mohammad Ali Tareq, 2008. "Trends of Trade Disputes During the WTO Regime," AIUB Bus Econ Working Paper Series AIUB-BUS-ECON-2008-04, American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB), Office of Research and Publications (ORP), revised Jan 2008.
    3. Khan, Haider & Liu, Yibei, 2008. "Globalization and the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism: Making a Rules-based Trading Regime Work," MPRA Paper 7613, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
    4. Fouad Pervez, 2015. "Waiting for election season," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 265-303, June.
    5. Lee, Jiwon & Wittgenstein, Teresa, 2017. "Weak vs. Strong Ties: Explaining Early Settlement in WTO Disputes," ILE Working Paper Series 7, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    6. Bartels Lorand, 2013. "Making WTO Dispute Settlement Work for African Countries: An Evaluation of Current Proposals for Reforming the DSU," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 47-66, August.
    7. Sumimaru Odano & Ziaul Abedin, 2008. "Insufficiency in the dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO: Consequences and Implications for the Multilateral Trading System," Working Papers EMS_2008_01, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    8. Peter K. Yu, 2013. "Building IPC4D to promote access to essential medicines," Chapters,in: The Global Governance of HIV/AIDS, chapter 10, pages 200-222 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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