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Settlement of disputes within the World Trade Organization (WTO)

by Dr. Hans-Joachim Letzel

With the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994, the dispute settlement procedure previously known from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was fundamentally reformed.

After presenting the historical development of the GATT and the GATT dispute settlement procedure, the author explains the course of a WTO dispute settlement procedure as well as the essential innovations compared to the GATT dispute settlement procedure by the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU 1994). Furthermore, he examines the question to what extent the WTO dispute settlement procedure has a judicial character, in particular whether the newly established review body can be qualified as an international court of justice.



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