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The Future Of WTO Dispute Settlement: A Practitioner’s Assessment

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Chapter Summary

In keeping with the focus of this Conference on International Arbitration and Mediation, this chapter addresses the future of World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement from the standpoint of its use to meet the needs of private parties. In particular, it analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the WTO system's remedies for companies and industries aggrieved by the WTO-inconsistent actions and policies of foreign governments. It also briefly addresses another important concern about dispute settlement - namely, the difficulties of least-developed countries in making effective use of the system. With respect to poor countries, the burdens of participation in the system are simply too great. The chapter suggests that the trade bars, which now include major law firms in Europe, Japan, Korea, Canada, the United States and elsewhere, have a pro bono responsibility here that is important for the long run success of the system.

Keywords: international arbitration; least-developed countries; mediation; private parties; pro bono responsibility; trade bars; World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement; WTO system



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