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Part VI The Settlement of Trade Disputes in the WTO and Bilateral/Regional Trade Agreements, Ch.34 Institutions

David Unterhalter, Erika Schneidereit

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law (2e) (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Daniel Bethlehem, Donald McRae, Rodney Neufeld, Isabelle Van Damme

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Precedent — Applicable law

This chapter discusses the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and dispute settlement under regional and bilateral trade agreements. The WTO dispute settlement system evolved from a system predicated upon consent under the GATT 1947 into a system of compulsory and contentious jurisdiction that results in the adoption of binding resolutions to the disputes of members. The distinctive institutions, principles, rules and practices that comprise this system are given treatment in this chapter. Some emphasis is given to the Appellate Body, the institution born of the Uruguay Round, that was intended to lend stability and certainty to the system. The Appellate Body has attracted praise and criticism. Its principal critic, the United States, has rendered the Appellate Body currently inoperative. The chapter considers these issues and whether the system might be reformed so as to secure its continuation. Finally, the chapter discusses the expansion of bilateral and regional trade agreements, their dispute settlement provisions, and their cohabitation with WTO dispute settlement.

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