WTO Institutional Aspects

Pieter Jan Kuijper

in The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199231928
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

 WTO Institutional Aspects

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This article starts with a brief historical discussion of the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT), and constraints under which the organization was created during the Uruguay Round negotiations as they bore on the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A brief overview is given of the institutional structure of the WTO and of the allocation of powers between the different institutions. It shows that the central axis around which the whole WTO decision-making machinery turns is the General Council (GC). The specific powers of organs such as TPRB, the DSB, the specialized councils, and other subsidiary bodies are analyzed in detail. Finally, this article looks briefly at the great success story of the WTO, the dispute settlement system, but it restricts itself to a few major institutional aspects. This article attempts to give a brief characteristic of the WTO and in the light of constitutionalization debates.

Keywords: Uruguay Round; institutional structure; decision-making; General Council; World Trade Organization

Article.  24679 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law

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