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Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes

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Chapter Summary

The world trade order is based on an intricate and specific balance between rights and obligations of Members which need to be carefully and effectively maintained. Thus, effective dispute settlement has been an important element of the post-war trade order and its development. As early as in the Havana Charter an elaborate dispute settlement mechanism was envisaged as part of the ill-fated International Trade Organization. It included a number of elements, which could even be read as a blueprint for today's World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system. Inter alia, Art. 95 Havana Charter provided for voluntary arbitration, action by the Executive Board including arbitration, recommendations and "appropriate and compensatory" measures, which were later reflected in Arts XXII and XXIII General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (Dispute Settlement Understanding, DSU).

Keywords: Dispute Settlement Understanding; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Havana Charter; world trade order; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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