- International trade — Sources of international law
This chapter discusses the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system. The system is built on the pre-existing GATT regime. It functions very much like a court of international trade: there is compulsory jurisdiction, disputes are settled largely by applying rules of law, decisions are binding on the parties, and sanctions may be imposed if decisions are not observed. Three institutions administer the WTO dispute settlement system: the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), which establishes panels, adopts panel and Appellate Body Reports, supervises the implementation of recommendations and rulings, and authorizes sanctions for failure to comply with dispute settlement decisions; the Appellate Body is a standing institution composed of seven persons appointed by the DSB for four-year terms; and panels are composed of three (exceptionally five) qualified governmental and/or non-governmental individuals selected from a roster of persons suggested by WTO Members.
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