Originally from: The WTO: Governance, Dispute Settlement & Developing Countries
The WTO: Governance, Dispute Settlement & Developing Countries-Electronic
Chapter 42 - Preview Page
Compliance by WTO Members with Adverse WTO Dispute Settlement Rulings
This chapter examines the extent to which WTO Members have complied with adverse WTO dispute settlement rulings (those rendered both by dispute settlement panels and the Appellate Body). The record (covering the period 1 January 1995 to 31 March 2006) indicates that, generally speaking, WTO Members found in violation of their WTO obligations in dispute settlement proceedings have done a reasonably good job in taking steps to correct these violations within a reasonable period of time. While there have been some cases where compliance has been delayed, or where full compliance has yet to be achieved, this should not detract from the fact that the overall compliance record of WTO Members has been quite positive, which in turn has contributed significantly to the effectiveness of the WTO dispute settlement system as a whole.
It is to be recalled that Article 3.7 of the DSU clearly states that the preferred remedy under the WTO dispute settlement system is the withdrawal of any WTO-inconsistent measure. If, and only if, this is not possible on a timely basis, are alternative remedies to be pursued (first, through the granting of compensation by the responding Member to the complaining Member consisting of trade liberalization measures with respect to a volume of trade comparable to that adversely affected by the WTO-inconsistent measures; and then, if compensation is not possible and as a last resort, through retaliation by the complaining Member consisting of trade restrictive measures of a proportionate nature against the trade of the responding Member).
About the Author:
Bruce Wilson Director of Legal Affairs Division of the WTO Secretariat.