Is Wto Dispute Settlement Effective?

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Is WTO Dispute Settlement Effective? Written by - Keisuke Iida Book: The Politics of Global Governance Edited by Paul F Diehl & Brain Frederking.| Khaleda AKHTAR, Public Policy Program, Graduate School of Governance Studies, Meiji University.|

Prelude: In the massive protests in Seattle in 1999, more than 5000 protesters took part on issues of environment and exploitation of child labor in third world. It was an anti-globalization movement. World Trade Organization (WTO) became one of the most controversial institutions as evidenced by the massive protests in Seattle, Washington in November, 1999. Both the critics and supporters of WTO seem to believe that it is a highly effective organization. But the writer Keisuke Iida thinks that this assumption should be examined. And his paper on “Is WTO dispute settlement system effective?” is the first step of examination. In his paper the writer discussed about whether WTO is effective in dispute settlement or not. This assignment discuss about some comments on his article and effectiveness of WTO dispute settlement system. Before analyzing some comments, the organization WTO and the writer’s findings are explained here in short. Effectiveness: According to Young & Levy there are five types of effectiveness: 1) A regime is supposed to fight/help solve the problem, whether or not it solves the problem (effectiveness in problem solving). 2) Whether or not a regime achieves values (e.g. fairness & participation) ((normative effectiveness).3) Altering the behavior of actors in favor of better management of environmental problems (political effectiveness).4) Whether or not contracting parties behave according to the rules specified in the regime (legal).5) Economic cost dimension to the problem solving approach (economic effectiveness). World Trade Organization (WTO): Location: Geneva, Switzerland, Established:1 January 1995, Created by: Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94), under the Uruguay Round Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948, Membership: 153 countries (representing 97% of world population), Budget: 196 million Swiss francs for 2011, Governed by: a ministerial conference (meeting every two years), a general council (implements the conference's policy decisions and responsible for day-to-day administration), a director-general (appointed by the ministerial conference).| Fig-1: Functions of WTO regarding dispute settlement.

Fig-1: Functions of WTO regarding dispute settlement.
Major Functions: Among these 2 functions (figure:1), due to the long deadlock in multilateral negotiations until Doha Ministerial conference in 2011, the legislative function of WTO has been in low gear and the real action has been taken by the judicial arm/dispute settlement. Good only in the first few years for resolving disputes

Good only in the first few years for resolving disputes
Fig-1: Summery and findings by the writer.
Fig-1: Summery and findings by the writer.
Summery & Findings: The writer’s research question was - What makes international regimes effective? He examined the effectiveness of the WTO dispute settlement system in five areas: actually solving disputes, fending off unilateralism, assuring a level playing field, reconciling trade and nontrade concerns and balancing legislative and judicial functions. The summery of his findings are shown in the figure: 2. WTO dispute settlement process: The WTO dispute settlement process is shown in appendix-1.

Comments: WTO dispute settlement system is effective
* The WTO dispute settlement process has done to channel the behavior of states into an orderly way of resolving their differences on trade matters and ensuring that provisions of the covered agreements are being properly applied. Channeling behavior is a valuable function of any legal system whether it results from rules that...
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