Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1219: Efficiency Gains and Time-savings of Permanent Panels in the WTO Dispute Settlement

Louise Johannesson ()
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Louise Johannesson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) is today the most active dispute resolution forum in the world. However, its success has also led to increased processing time of disputes, which, in turn, increases the cost of using the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a way to resolve trade conflicts. I investigate whether the DSM can be improved by introducing a permanent panel of judges, to replace the current ad hoc system of appointing new judges for each dispute. I find mixed results, but one aspect that could speed up the process is that permanent judges develop established work relations and working methods.

Keywords: WTO; Dispute settlement; WTO panel; Trade disputes; Delays

JEL-codes: F13; K41

28 pages, June 5, 2018

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