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Reviewing dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization: a time to reconsider the role/s of compensation?


The World Trade Organization provides a forum for the settlement of trade disputes arising between its 148 Members. Should consultations fail, the parties may choose to initiate formal proceedings in Geneva, and must do so in preference to taking unilateral action. The dispute settlement rules are presently under review with a view to their clarification and improvement, making this a natural time to ask whether the appropriate strategy has been identified. This article focuses on the functions of compensation in the overall context of WTO remedies. Particular attention is given to the prospects for new disciplines and increased practice connected with the granting of both trade compensation and financial compensation. Also considered is the extent to which financial compensation can and should be linked to reparation in the sense of correcting the injury caused by WTO violations. The discussion is informed by the general international law position, by proposals made during the on-going review process and by emerging dispute settlement practice.

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The author is grateful for the comments of the anonymous reviewers.
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World Trade Review
  • ISSN: 1474-7456
  • EISSN: 1475-3138
  • URL: /core/journals/world-trade-review
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