The Institutional Dimension

Valerie Hughes

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

 The Institutional Dimension

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This article discusses the underlying principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system, which has its origins in Articles XXII and XXIII GATT 1947. The general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) dispute settlement system remained essentially a diplomatic rather than legal exercise. WTO dispute settlement is founded on certain underlying principles set out in Settlement of Disputes (DSU). This article further discusses ongoing possible improvements and clarifications to the DSU. It explains the role of various bodies under WTO and discusses the Director-General (DG), Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), Appellate Body, WTO Secretariat, and Appellate Body Secretariat. Finally, it mentions that there is room for improvement and WTO Members continue to work towards a dispute settlement system. The panel process currently is conducted largely on a confidential basis; parties' written submissions are confidential unless the parties choose to make them public and hearings are almost always held behind closed doors.

Keywords: dispute settlement system; origin; Settlement of Disputes; Appellate Body; WTO Secretariat

Article.  13889 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law

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