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date: 23 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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

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