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1 Dispute Settlement in the WTO a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system Article 3.2 DSU Presented.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Dispute Settlement in the WTO a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system Article 3.2 DSU Presented."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Dispute Settlement in the WTO a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system Article 3.2 DSU Presented by: Peter Morrison Trade in Services Division WTO Secretariat

2 2 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Overview Overall aim: to secure compliance with the Agreements to secure compliance with the Agreements Quasi-judicial Nature Secured access Detailed procedures Automaticity in the proceedings Deadlines Possible appeal

3 3 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO Scope An integrated system An integrated system : Applies to all the multilateral agreements A single set of rules for all disputes Only a few specific rules in some agreements

4 4 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO Main players Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) Panel and Appellate Body Panel and Appellate Body Parties: WTO Members Parties: WTO Members WTO Secretariat WTO Secretariat

5 5 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Relationship of players Panel Appellate Body Ministerial Conference Dispute Settlement Body (General Council) Request for Panel by WTO Member

6 6 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Main Procedures 60 days 9 months 90 days 15 months

7 7 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO Consultations: the request Indicates reasons for the request: identification of the measures legal basis for complaint Notified to DSB and circulated to all Members

8 8 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Consultations: function to accord sympathetic consideration to and accord adequate opportunity for consultation… confidential, only between the Members concerned

9 9 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Consultations: third parties But, in some instances, other Members can request to be joined in the consultations But, in some instances, other Members can request to be joined in the consultations Article 4.11 DSU substantial trade interest

10 10 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Consultations: if not successful If consultations fail to resolve the matter within 60 days from receipt of request….. Or if no response or no entering into consultations A request for establishment of a panel can be made …. A request for establishment of a panel can be made

11 11 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Establishment of panels Request for establishment Request for establishment: must identify the specific measures at issue and provide a brief summary of the legal basis of the problem sufficient to present the problem clearly Establishment Establishment negative consensus at the latest at the second DSB meeting at which the request is made; decided by negative consensus

12 12 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Terms of reference and composition of panels Terms of reference: (Article 7 DSU) Standard, or Standard, or Special terms of reference Special terms of reference Panel Composition: (Article 8 DSU) well-qualified government and/or non-governmental individuals Secretariat proposals indicative list of panelists nomination by DG

13 13 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Panels: how they function Functions of the Panel …a panel should make an objective assessment of the matter before it, including an objective assessment of the facts of the case and the applicability of and conformity with the relevant covered agreements… Functions of the dispute settlement system … to preserve the rights and obligations of Members under the covered agreements, and to clarify the existing provisions of those agreements in accordance with customary rules of interpretation of public international law… Art. 3.2 DSU

14 14 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Panel Procedures: main steps Oral hearings (usually 2), on basis of written submissions Oral hearings (usually 2), on basis of written submissions Descriptive part of report issued to parties Descriptive part of report issued to parties Interim review based on draft report Interim review based on draft report Final report issued to parties Final report issued to parties Final report circulated to all Members Final report circulated to all Members

15 15 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Panel Procedures: other sources of input Third parties have make presentations Third parties have make presentations need substantial interest need substantial interest (Article 10 DSU) Panels may seek Panels may seek factual information from any relevant source factual information from any relevant source (Article 13 DSU) scientific or technical advice from an Expert review group scientific or technical advice from an Expert review group (Appendix 4 DSU) Requirement of confidentiality Requirement of confidentiality (Article 14 DSU)

16 16 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Panel Procedures: duration As a general rule, 9 months from establishment of panel to consideration of report for adoption (if no appeal) 12 months where report is appealed (Article 20 DSU)

17 17 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: : Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Panel procedures: Adoption of Panel Reports Adoption within 60 days of circulation, by negative consensus…. Except if appealed … Except if appealed

18 18 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Appellate Review Appeals limited to issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the panel Appeals limited to issues of law and legal interpretations developed by the panel Appeal only open to parties to the dispute Appeal only open to parties to the dispute Appellate Body 7 members members to have recognized authority and expertise in international trade law members unaffiliated with any government

19 19 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Appellate Review: report and adoption Report of the Appellate Body Report of the Appellate Body: may uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of the panel (Art DSU) Adoption Adoption of Appellate Body report: by reverse consensus within 30 days of circulation to Members

20 20 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Implementation bring the measures into conformity with its WTO obligations Member must bring the measures into conformity with its WTO obligations (Article 19 DSU) Member must inform DSB of its intentions in for implementation of the recommendations (Article 1 DSU) If there is a finding of violation:

21 21 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Implementation: reasonable period of time reasonable period of time Determination of reasonable period of time for implementation: proposed by Member, and approved by DSB, or mutually agreed by the parties, or arbitration determined through arbitration: guideline for the arbitrator: 15 months from the date of adoption (Article 21.3 DSU)

22 22 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Implementation: surveillance Surveillance by the DSB Surveillance by the DSB Status reports on implementation Temporary measures If Member fails to bring measure into conformity within reasonable period of time, possibility compensation or suspension of concessions suspension of concessions (retaliation)

23 23 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Implementation Compensation: (Article 22 DSU) Voluntary Negotiated Compatible with WTO Agreements If no compensation agreed within 20 days after expiry of reasonable period of time….

24 24 Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Dispute Settlement in the WTO: Implementation Suspension of concessions : when authorized? on expiry of 20 days after the end of the reasonable period of time which products? same sector/other sector/ other agreement level of suspension? equivalent to the level of nullification or impairment (Art DSU) arbitration on level of suspension, or principles of Art DSU

25 25 Dispute Settlement in the WTO Dispute Settlement in the WTO Performance to Date Requests for consultations: 315 Adopted reports: 82 Mutually agreed solutions: 45 Adopted compliance reports: 12 Authorization for suspension: 7 (retaliation)


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