Dispute Settlement In The World Trade Organization
Dispute settlement is regarded by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the central pillar of the multilateral trading system, and as the organization's "unique contribution to the stability of the global economy". A dispute arises when one member country adopts a trade policy measure or takes some action that one or more fellow members considers to a breach of WTO agreements or to be a failure to live up to obligations. By joining the WTO, member countries have agreed that if they believe fellow members are in violation of trade rules, they will use the multilateral system of settling disputes instead of taking action unilaterally — this entails abiding by agreed procedures (Dispute Settlement Understanding) and respecting judgments, primarily of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), the WTO organ responsible for adjudication of disputes. A former WTO Director-General characterized the WTO dispute settlement system as "the most active international adjudicative mechanism in the world today."
... Further, if one party to a dispute is a developing country, that party is entitled to have at least one panelist who comes from a developing country ... consultations (before a panel is convened) may be extended, and if the dispute goes to a panel, the deadlines for the developing country to make its submissions may be relaxed ... law and assist them in managing complex trade disputes, an Advisory Centre on WTO Law was established in 2001 ...
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