Development Initiatives and the Viable Procedural Reforms in the Dispute Settlement System in Response to the Special Needs of Developing Countries

Nelson Sitonik


International trade relations are now more legalised under the World Trade Organization (WTO) than under the former international trade system created pursuant to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) of the WTO clearly represents a shift toward a rule-oriented, legalistic and adjudicative approach, which is intended to enhance the status of, and confidence in the WTO dispute settlement system. The approach is likely to ensure greater stability and predictability in the system by encouraging precise decisions on the merits of disputes and discouraging infractions. This paper illustrates the lack of clear procedures to support the application of the provisions of the Special Differential Treatment (SDT) and the ultimate failure by the System to regulate the behavior of the Developed Countries as they relate with the Developing Countries (DCs). The paper will also present some of the reforms that can be included to enhance the ability of the Developing Countries (DCs) to rely on the provisions laid out in the DSU. This will be achieved by emphasising on proper guidelines that will assist in clarifying the same. Among these reforms discussed are the consultation processes, participation of third world countries, cost effectiveness that also includes timing and the panel/ Appellate Body (AB) processes.

Key words: Reforms, Dispute Settlement System, World Trade Organization, Procedures.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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