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Features - WTO/GATT Research

By Jeanne Rehberg, Published on November 13, 2002

Archival Copy

This article, first published September 2, 2001 and revised on September 29, 2003, is being
archived on this site. It is no longer being updated and many of the links are superseded.

For and up-to-date version, please visit
http://www.law.nyu.edu/library/wtoguide.html


Jeanne Rehberg is Reference Librarian for International and Foreign Law at New York University School of Law Library where she is responsible for the WTO, United Nations, European Union, and United States documents collections. She is the co-editor with Radu D. Popa of Accidental Tourist on the New Frontier: An Introductory Guide to Global Legal Research (Fred B. Rothman, 1998), and author of several chapters in the book. She holds J.D., M.L.S., and M.A. (French) degrees.

Please note that revisions to this guide are indicated by yellow highlighting.


Introduction

The World Trade Organization website is a dynamic, responsive and transparent research tool.  As is typical of most IGO websites, however, the WTO official documents online are limited to recent years. At least for now, comprehensive research requires a mixture of print, microfiche, and electronic formats.

This guide lists the essential sources for researching the current WTO system and the predecessor system under the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. It does not attempt to list all the worthy secondary sources in this area. The guide cites selected U.S. materials. Of course, national sources for other WTO member states will also be relevant. The guide is organized as follows:

I. Secondary Sources
A. Other Research Guides
B. Selected Books
C. Locating Other Books and Articles
D. Websites
E. News Sources
F. Statistics
G. Terminology
II. GATT/WTO Agreements and Legal Instruments
A. Bluebook Citation
            1. Suggested Citations
  2. WTO Sources
            3. U.S. Sources
  4. Standard Unofficial Sources
            5. GATT 1947
B. Selected Other Sources
C. Negotiation, Interpretative Documents, Implementation
1. Compiled History of the Negotiations and Other Books
2. Official Documents
3. U.S. Implementation
4. Ongoing Negotiations
          5. Accessions
III. Schedules on Tariffs and Services
IV. Official Documents
A. Guides to the Documentation System
B. BISD (Basic Instruments and Selected Documents)
C. GATT/WTO Documents (Microfiche)
D. WTO Documents Online
V. Beyond the GATT: GATS, TRIPS, TRIMS, etc.
VI. Dispute Settlement
A. Dispute Settlement Rules
B. Official Sources and Citation of Reports
C. Other Sources of Reports
D. Written Submissions to the Panel or Appellate Body and Other Papers
E. Selected Secondary Sources
VII. Trade Policy Review Mechanism
VIII. U.S. Practice of International Trade Law

I. Secondary Sources

Start here for research guides, quick facts, news, statistics, background, scholarly analysis, and citations to official documents and dispute settlement reports.

A. Other Research Guides

B. Selected Books

  • The EU, the WTO, and the NAFTA: Towards a Common Law of International Trade? Ed. J.H.H. Weiler. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

  • GATT Analytical Index: Guide to GATT Law and Practice. Updated 6th ed. Geneva: WTO and Bernan Press, 1995. Two vols. Up-to-date to January 1, 1995. Also available on a CDROM co-published by WTO and Bernan Press.

  • WTO Analytical Index: Guide to WTO Law and Practice. 1st ed. Geneva: WTO Publications; Lanham, Md: Bernan, 2003. Two volumes.

  • International Business Transactions. 2d ed. Ralph H. Folsom. Practitioner Treatise Series. St. Paul, Minn.: West Group,
    2002. With updates.

  • International Business Transactions in a Nutshell. 6th ed. Ralph H. Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon, and John A. Spanogle, Jr. St. Paul, Minn.: West, 2000.

  • International Economic Law. Andreas F. Lowenfeld. International Economic Law Series. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

  • International Trade and Investment in a Nutshell. 2d ed. Ralph H. Folsom, Michael Wallace Gordon, and John A. Spanogle, Jr. St. Paul, Minn.: West, 2000.

  • Lawmaking under the Trade Constitution: A Study in Legislating by the World Trade Organization. Gail E. Evans. Studies in Transnational Economic Law, vol. 14. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2000.

  • The New Rules of Global Trade: A Guide to the World Trade Organization. Jeffrey S. Thomas and Michael A. Meyer. Scarborough, Ontario: Carswell, Thompson Canada, Ltd., 1997.
    Contains a brief history of the WTO, a description of its structure and operation, an article-by-article description of the agreements, and a discussion of legal and policy issues facing the organization.

  • The Political Economy of the World Trading System: From GATT to WTO. Bernard M. Hoekman and Michel M. Kostecki. 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

  • The Regulation of International Trade. 2d ed. Michael J. Trebilcock and Robert Howse. London; New York: Routledge, 1999.
    Introduces the theory, rules and institutions that govern international trade and related areas, including development, investment, intellectual property, the environment, labor, and competition policy.

  • Tariff Negotiations and Renegotiations under the GATT and the WTO: Procedures and Practices. Anwarul Hoda. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2001.

  • World Trade Law: The GATT-WTO System, Regional Arrangements, and U.S. Law. Raj Bhala and Kevin Kennedy. Charlottesville, Va.: LEXIS Law Publishing, 1998. With supplements.

  • The World Trade Organization: Constitution and Jurisprudence. John H. Jackson. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1998.

  • The World Trade Organization: Law, Practice, and Policy. Mitsuo Matsushita, Thomas J. Schoenbaum and Petros C. Mavroidis. Oxford International Law Library. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

  • The World Trading System: Law and Policy of International Economic Relations. 2d ed. John H. Jackson. Cambridge, Mass.; London: MIT Press, 1997.

C. Locating Other Books and Articles

Use library catalogs, mega-catalogs such as RLIN and OCLC, and periodical indexes and full-text periodical sources to identify other books and articles on your topic. If keyword searching does not prove adequate, try the following subject headings:

  • Antitrust law
  • Competition, unfair
  • Customs administration
  • Developing countries--foreign economic relations
  • Environmental law, international--economic aspects
  • Financial services industry
  • Foreign trade regulation
  • Free trade
  • General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
  • Intellectual property
  • International economic relations
  • International trade
  • International trade--environmental aspects
  • Non-tariff trade barriers
  • Services industries
  • Tariff--law and legislation
  • Uruguay Round
  • World Trade Organization

A current list of WTO publications is available on the WTO website. Click on Resources>Online Bookshop.

Also on the WTO website is the "WTO Bibliography Database." Click on Resources>Economic research & analysis>Bibliography database. The articles, books and working papers listed in this bibliography were published between 1995 and 2002. Most deal with economics, but a few are on legal topics. Some entries are linked to an abstract or full text.

The Journal of International Economic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998-) regularly includes the "JIEL Book Survey," a list of new books on the WTO and related topics.

Retrospective bibliographies:

  • GATT Bibliography. Geneva: GATT Secretariat, 1954-71. Covers 1947/54-1970.

  • The World Trade Organization: Selective Bibliography. Updated July 2002 3d. H.H.R. Van Hamel. The Hague: Peace Palace Library, 2002.

D. Websites

For news, treaties, case law, background documents, and links to other websites.

E. News Sources

B. Selected Other Sources

  • Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the 1964-67 Trade Conference. [Geneva: s.n., 1967].
    Five-volume set of the Kennedy Round agreements.

  • The WTO Dispute Settlement Procedures: A Collection of the Relevant Legal Texts. 2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

  • Law and Practice of the World Trade Organization. Ed. Joseph F. Dennin. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana, 1995-.
    Looseleaf collection of the major agreements, decisions, declarations, and understandings, and the full text of dispute panel reports. See, esp., Booklet 12A(1) in the Treaties volume, which is a guide to reading the GATS schedules of specific commitments and the lists of MFN exceptions. See also the predecessor publication Law and Practice Under the GATT (comp. and ed. Kenneth R. Simmonds and Brian H.W. Hill, New York: Oceana Publications, 1987-1994).

  • The Texts of the Tokyo Round. Geneva: GATT, 1986.
    Also in BISD 26S (26th Supplement to Basic Instruments and Selected Documents).

  • SICE, Foreign Trade Information System of the OAS

  • For updating the status of the Legal Instruments and for the text of reservations and declarations:
    Status of Legal Instruments. Geneva: WTO, 1997- (not updated since 1998).

C. Negotiation, Interpretative Documents, Implementation

1. Compiled History of the Negotiations and Other Books

  • GATT Analytical Index: Guide to GATT Law and Practice. Updated 6th ed. Geneva: WTO and Bernan Press, 1995. Two vols. Also available on a CDROM co-published by WTO and Bernan Press.
    Covers the trade agreement up to January 1, 1995. According to the Preface and Introduction, this is a guide to the interpretation and application of the GATT and a repertoire of GATT practice and drafting history, drawn from official documents. Each chapter in the Guide covers an Article of the GATT. For each article, the Guide provides four categories of material: (1) the text of the Article, the Interpretative Notes on that Article from Annex I of the GATT, other relevant Annexes, and relevant Understandings on the Article incorporated into the GATT 1994; (2) excerpts from and citations to documents bearing on the interpretation of and practice under the Article; (3) a history of the drafting and amendment of the Article; and (4) a list of relevant documents from the preparatory work, the early years of the GATT and the Review Session of 1954-55. The Introduction includes a list of the document symbol prefixes that have been used since the negotiation of the ITO in 1947. The combined subject index covering both volumes is printed in each volume. The Introduction, pp. 1-20, and the final chapter, Institutions and Procedure, pp. 1085-1133, cover the ICITO, the structure, operation and documentation system of the GATT 1947 bodies, the history of the Uruguay Round negotiations, and the transition to the WTO.

  • WTO Analytical Index: Guide to WTO Law and Practice. 1st ed. Geneva: WTO Publications; Lanham, MD: Bernan, 2003. Two volumes. Covers January 1, 1995, to June 30, 2001. Annual updates are expected. Rather than incorporate material from the earlier GATT Analytical Index (see above), the WTO Analytical Index refers to it and has its own chapter on the GATT, while also covering the other WTO agreements. Like the earlier guide, this new version provides the text of the agreements article-by-article with related explanatory notes, declarations, decisions, and understandings, and excerpts from the jurisprudence and decisions of WTO bodies. It includes no drafting history from the Uruguay Round; for that, refer to the earlier guide, other books and the official documents. The introduction contains handy lists of the WTO agreements, the WTO bodies, the official document series, and the GATT and WTO dispute settlements. The index covers both volumes and is printed in each.

  • The GATT Uruguay Round: A Negotiating History (1986-1992) , Vols. I and II, Commentary; vol. III, Documents. Deventer; Boston: Kluwer Law and Taxation Publishers, 1993.

  • Guide to the Uruguay Round Agreements. WTO Secretariat. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1999.
    Provides an explanation of each agreement and references to the legal texts and any related decisions taken by the WTO since 1994. To this extent, the book acts as a sort of update to the GATT Analytical Index. It does not attempt to provide a history of the Uruguay Round and does not provide the wealth of official document citations that the GATT Analytical Index does.

  • Implementing the Uruguay Round. John H. Jackson and Alan O. Sykes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
    A country-by-country review of the implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements by ten of the Member States plus the European Community.

  • Intellectual Property and International Trade: the TRIPS Agreement. Ed. Carlos M. Correa and Abdulqawi A. Yusuf. London; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1998.

  • "The Legislative Process: Case Study 1: The Making of the TRIPS Agreement," chap. 4 in Lawmaking under the Trade Constitution: A Study in Legislating by the World Trade Organization. Gail E. Evans. Studies in Transnational Economic Law, vol. 14. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2000.

  • The New World Trade Organization Agreements: Globalizing Law Through Services and Intellectual Property. Christopher Arup. Cambridge Studies in Law and Society. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

  • Reshaping the World Trading System: A History of the Uruguay Round. 2d and rev. ed. John Croome. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1999.
    A negotiating history of the Uruguay Round told in "lively and non-technical terms."

  • The TRIPS Agreement: Drafting History and Analysis. Daniel Gervais, 2d ed. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2003.

2. Official Documents related to negotiation, interpretation and application of the agreements

Books and articles may cite official documents related to the negotiation, interpretation, and application of the agreements. To locate other documents, use the official document sources described in section IV below. The WTO Documents Online facility on the WTO website (click on Documents>Official Documents) permits full-text searching of documents from 1995 onwards and selected material for the period 1986-1994, including Uruguay Round documents and a small number of GATT documents. Both the GATT/WTO microfiche collection and BISD Basic Instruments and Selected Documents include an index by articles of the agreements. See also Dispute Settlement, section VI below.

A collection of 84 derestricted Uruguay Round documents on the TRIPS negotiations is on the WTO website (>Trade Topics> Intellectual property gateway page and scroll down to History: derestricted UR negotiating documents on TRIPS).

3. U.S. Implementation

See section II.A.2 above.

4. Ongoing Negotiations

To track ongoing negotiations, consult the websites and news sources listed in section I.C. and E. above. For example, the WTO website has a page on the negotiations on agricultural trade reform.

5. Accessions

Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, 1994. Protocols. etc., 2001 Nov. 10. Protocol on the Accession of China = Protocole d'accession de la Republique Populaire de Chine = Protocolo de Adhesion de la Republica Popular China: Doha 10 November 2001. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (1994). Protocols. etc., 2001 Nov. 11. Protocol on the Accession of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu = Protocole d'accession du Territoire douanier distinct de Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen et Matsu = Protocolo de Adhesion del Territorio Aduanero Distinto de Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen y Matsu: Doha 11 November 2001. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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III. Schedules on Tariffs and Services

  • Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round (Geneva: GATT Secretariat, 1994).
    34-volume set containing the legal texts, the ministerial decisions, the GATT 1994, the other agreements, and the schedules of tariffs and service commitments that had been negotiated to that point. To find out which volume has the schedules for a particular member state, go to the WTO Online Bookshop on the WTO website and click on Resources>On-line bookshop>Agreements and Legal.

  • The Results of the Uruguay Round (Geneva: WTO, 1996), and World Trade Organization Agreements on CD-ROM: The Legal Texts and Schedules: Services Issue I. (Geneva: WTO, 2002).
    The material in the 34-volume paper set is also available in two searchable CD-ROMS that contain the agreements in the three official languages (English, French, Spanish) and the schedules. The 2002 CD-ROM adds updates to the services schedules that were published in the 1996 CD-ROM, new services schedules, and schedules for financial services and telecommunications.

  • The Goods and Services schedules are also available on the WTO website (>Documents>Legal Texts of the WTO Agreements and scroll down to Countries’ Schedules of Commitments >Goods and >Services).

  • The schedules may also be published as separate volumes and they are subject to rectification and modification. See, e.g., Second [GATS] Protocol: Revised Schedules of Commitments on Financial Services, 1995; Third [GATS] Protocol: Schedules of Specific Commitments relating to Movement of Natural Persons, 1995; Fourth [GATS] Protocol: Schedules of Specific Commitments concerning Basic Telecommunications, 1997; Fifth [GATS] Protocol: Schedules of Specific Commitments and Lists of Exemptions from Article II concerning Financial Services, 1998. Search the GATT/WTO documents in microfiche, the WTO Documents Online or BISD to locate documents related to the schedules.

  • National tariff sources for the schedules of individual member states, such as
    Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. U.S. International Trade Commission. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1987-. An online version for use as an advisory tool only is available on the USITC website.

  • Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb of the U.S. International Trade Commission

  • GATT 1947 schedules were published at T.I.A.S. 1700. See 55 U.N.T.S. 306 for citations to the U.N.T.S. volumes that contain the GATT 1947 schedules.

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IV. Official Documents

In contrast with United Nations documents, libraries generally cannot acquire comprehensive sets of individual GATT/WTO official documents in paper. Three collections of documents exist and are described below. The first BISD series and the much more comprehensive microfiche collection are the only large collections of pre-WTO documents. The microfiche ceased coverage with 1996 and the first BISD series with 1995. Currently, the two ongoing collections of WTO documents are the new BISD series and the much larger Documents Online database.

A. Guides to the Documentation System

  • GATT Analytical Index: Guide to GATT Law and Practice. Updated 6th ed. Geneva: WTO and Bernan Press, 1995. Pp. 1-20 and 1116-1118.

  • Juan M. Mesa, "Legal and Documentary Research at WTO: The New Documents On-Line Database," 4 Journal of International Economic Law 245 (2001).
    Description of the WTO documentation system and instructions for using the online documents database.

  • Guide to Documentation (Recent Series). [Geneva]: WTO Document System Section, Translation and Documentation Division, 1997.
    Although not updated, this guide gives basic information on GATT and WTO documentation published after 1986. Describes the structure of the documentation system, the de-restriction process, and how to obtain documents. Annex I lists the document series. Annex II A and B list the schedule number for each Member Schedule of Market Access Concessions and Services Commitments and Lists of Exemptions and tells where they are printed in the multi-volume Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations: Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round.

A list of the WTO document symbols is available in the WTO Documents Online facility if you click on the ? next to the Document symbol field on the search screen.

B. BISD: Basic Instruments and Selected Documents

BISD Basic Instruments and Selected Documents. Geneva: Contracting Parties to the GATT, 1952-. Lanham, Md.: Bernan Press and WTO, 1998-. All volumes and supplements are searchable in a CD-ROM, co-published by the WTO and Bernan Press, 1998, and in LEXIS-NEXIS (INTLAW;BISD).

[WTO] BISD Basic Instruments and Selected Documents. World Trade Organization. Geneva: World Trade Organization; Lanham, Md: Bernan, 2002-. Covers 1995-.

BISD is the official compilation of documents in paper format. The documents in BISD are considered by the WTO to have the legal standing of the originals. The first series covers through 1995 and the new series for the WTO begins with 1995. The first series contains the texts of legal instruments, decisions, declarations, resolutions, understandings, recommendations, reports, protocols of accession, dispute reports, and selected other documents. BISD does not generally contain summary records of Ministerial Conferences, minutes of the Council, or documents of the Secretariat. The WTO BISD contains protocols of accession, decisions and reports adopted by WTO bodies and a few selected documents from the Uruguay Round, but not dispute panel and Appellate Body reports or arbitration awards, which are covered in numerous other sources (see Dispute Resolution below).

The first BISD consists of four volumes. The original volumes I (out-of-print), I Revised (out-of-print), III (out-of-print and replaced by volume IV), and IV contain the text of the GATT and amendments to the date of the volume. Vol. II contains decisions, declarations, resolutions, rulings and reports of the first six sessions. Vol. IV also contains the text of the Protocol of Provisional Application and an Appendix with a guide to the legal sources of the GATT provisions and a list of the titles, effective dates and U.N.T.S. reference for the Protocols of amendments. Apart from those original volumes, all the volumes published between 1953 and 1998 (covering 1952-95) were called "supplements." They are often cited as: BISD 39S/91 (Supplement 39, page 91).

The last supplement of the first series, number 42, contains a cumulative index that covers all the supplements. That index lists subjects, country names, articles of the agreements, and names of councils and other subsidiary bodies, but not document symbols. Documents related to dispute settlement are indexed under "Conciliation" and names of GATT/WTO bodies. The WTO BISD is also indexed.

C. GATT/WTO Documents [microfiche]. Geneva: WTO, 1947-96.

This microfiche set covers GATT/WTO documents through 1996. This includes documents from the negotiation of the GATT and the Havana Charter, derestricted GATT and WTO documents since 1948, adopted GATT 1947 panel reports, and WTO panel reports. (Derestricted WTO documents issued since 1994 are also now available in the WTO Documents Online.) A separate set of microfiche containing Uruguay Round documents can be found in a few libraries. The documents in the microfiche set are considered by the WTO to have the legal standing of the originals.

A companion List and Index of Documents has been issued in paper and microfiche since 1981 (and cumulated for 1984-88 and 1989-92). The main entry section is arranged by document symbol. The other sections are indexes by subject, articles of the agreements, product name, country name, and GATT/WTO body. Between 1948 and 1980, the GATT issued the List of Documents... and the Documents Index together for some years and separately for others. In 1994 the GATT issued the List & Index of Uruguay Round Documents Issued Between 1986-1994. To locate documents from the negotiation of the agreements, use the index by article of the instruments.

D. WTO Documents Online

WTO Home Page (click on Documents, then Official Documents)

The WTO Documents Online database contains documents from 1995 to the present and selected material for the period 1986-1994, including Uruguay Round documents and a small number of GATT documents. Documents can be viewed or downloaded in text or image in one or more of the three official languages. The database is updated daily. From the main page, the Browse and Search options permit retrieval of documents by keywords, dates, WTO bodies, topics, and other characteristics. The main page also has quick links to the WTO agreements, the dispute settlement reports and the schedules.

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V. Beyond the GATT: GATS, TRIPS, TRIMS, etc.

  • Competition Law and the WTO: Limits of Multilateralism. Kevin Kennedy. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2001.

  • Electronic Commerce and the Role of the WTO. Geneva: World Trade Organization, 1998.

  • GATS 2000: New Directions in Services Trade Liberalization. Eds. Pierre Sauvee and Robert M. Stern. [Boston, Mass.]: Center for Business and Government, Harvard University; Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2000.

  • Greening the GATT: Trade, Environment and the Future. Daniel C. Esty. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 1994.

  • Guide to the GATS: An Overview of Issues for Further Liberalization of Trade in Services. Ed. WTO Secretariat. Boston, Mass.: Kluwer Law International, 2001.

  • Guide to the WTO and Developing Countries. Peter Gallagher. WTO Guide Series, vol. 2. The Hague; Boston, Mass.: Kluwer Law International, 2000.

  • Intellectual Property and International Trade: A Guide to the Uruguay Round TRIPS Agreement. Paris: ICC Pub., 1996.

  • Intellectual Property and International Trade: the TRIPS Agreement. Ed. Carlos M. Correa and Abdulqawi A. Yusuf. London; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1998.

  • Intellectual Property Rights in the WTO and Developing Countries. Jayashree Watal. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.

  • Intellectual Property Rights, the WTO and Developing Countries: the TRIPS Agreement and Policy Options. London, New York: Zen Books, Ltd., Penang, Malaysia: Third World Network, 2000.

  • International Regulation of Trade in Services. Comp. and ed. Philip Raworth. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana, 1996-.

  • "The Legislative Process: Case Study 1: The Making of the TRIPS Agreement," chap. 4 in Lawmaking under the Trade Constitution: A Study in Legislating by the World Trade Organization. Gail E. Evans. Studies in Transnational Economic Law, vol. 14. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2000.

  • The Multilateral Trading System: Analysis and Options for Change. Ed. Robert M. Stern. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1993.

  • The New World Trade Organization Agreements: Globalizing Law Through Services and Intellectual Property. Christopher Arup. Cambridge Studies in Law and Society. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

  • Opening Markets in Financial Services and the Role of the GATS. Kono Masamichi and the WTO. Special Studies. Geneva: WTO Publications, 1997.

  • The Regulation of International Trade. 2d ed. Michael J. Trebilcock and Robert Howse. London; New York: Routledge, 1999.

  • "The Results of the Uruguay Round for Services," part III in Guide to the Uruguay Round Agreements. WTO Secretariat. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1999.

  • Trade and Environment. Hakan Nordstrom. Special Studies No. 4. Geneva: WTO, 1999.

  • Trade, Development, and the Environment. Ed. WTO Secretariat. The Hague; Boston, MA: Kluwer Law International, 2000.

  • The TRIPS Agreement: Drafting History and Analysis. 2d ed. Daniel Gervais. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2003.

  • The World Trade Organization and the Environment. P.K. Rao. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Press; New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.

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VI. Dispute Settlement

A. Dispute Settlement Rules

The legal basis for the dispute settlement process is the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes, Annex 2 of the WTO Agreement ("DSU"). The WTO Dispute Settlement Procedures: A Collection of the Relevant Legal Texts, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), takes into account legal decisions and legal instruments adopted since 1995, and omits older material that was contained in the first edition, The WTO Dispute Settlement Procedures: A Collection of Legal Texts (Geneva: WTO, 1995). The legal texts are also available on the WTO website.

B. Official Sources and Citation of Reports

These reports can be very long, but each paragraph is numbered in the original. There are several websites and numerous print sources for the reports. Even though your reader may not have access to the same source that you cite, all of the sources reproduce the paragraph numbering, so it is advisable to add a pinpoint cite to specific paragraph numbers.

  • Rule 21.8.4(a) of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 17th ed., cites GATT and WTO dispute settlement reports to BISD, if therein. The footnotes to articles in The American Journal of International Law and other journals may also be useful for examples of citation formats. Because these reports tend to be very long, but all published sources keep the official paragraph numbering, it may also be advisable to include pinpoint citations to the paragraph numbers.

  • BISD Basic Instruments and Selected Documents. Geneva: Contracting Parties to the GATT, 1952-1998; Lanham, Md.: Bernan Press and WTO,1998. All volumes and supplements are searchable in a CD-ROM co-published by the WTO and Bernan Press, 1998, and in LEXIS-NEXIS (INTLAW;BISD). In the index to the first BISD series, dispute settlement is indexed under "conciliation" and names of WTO/GATT bodies. NOTE: The first series of BISD covers through 1995 only, and the WTO BISD (see Official Documents above) does not include dispute reports.

  • GATT/WTO Documents [microfiche]. Geneva: WTO, 1947-96. Ceased after 1996.

  • Dispute Settlement Reports. World Trade Organization. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000-. Available in English, Spanish and French. This reporter contains panel and appellate reports and arbitration decisions under the WTO agreements. Coverage begins with 1996. NOTE: The WTO has authorized the pagination in this reporter.

C. Other Sources of Reports

For reports not yet published in the official sources, Rule 21.8.4(a) of the Bluebook permits you to cite the official WTO website , I.L.M. or another widely available unofficial source.

  • WTO Website >Click on Trade Topics and choose "The Disputes" from the pull-down menu. For WTO disputes, “disputes chronologically” links to a collection of documents and rulings from each dispute. For the WTO rulings only, choose “dispute rulings by country” or “list of panel, appeal and arbitration rulings.”  The GATT disputes are listed under a separate heading.  NOTE: Full-text searching is not available through these links, only through the Documents Online (see below).

  • International Legal Materials. Washington, D.C.: American Society of International Law, 1962-. Selected reports. Also available in LEXIS-NEXIS (INTLAW;ILM) and WESTLAW (ILM).

  • Full-text searching of dispute reports - Using the following full-text databases you can combine search terms such as country, product name, legal issue, or the name of a panelist (always check current database directory for scope):

    • WTO Documents Online (Click on Documents>Official documents>Simple search or >Advanced search).

    • WESTLAW (WTO-DEC), GATT reports,1948-94; WTO reports, 1995-.

    • LEXIS-NEXIS:
      INTLAW;GTTWTO or ITRADE;GTTWTO, August, 1948-.
      ITRADE;WTODS, 1996-.
      Note: LEXIS-NEXIS also has a separate file of BISD (INTLAW;BISD). This is useful because BISD is the preferred Bluebook source for dispute settlement reports (for the dates covered by BISD).

    • WorldTradeLaw.net
      The free part of this website provides searchable full texts of the WTO and NAFTA agreements, GATT panel reports, WTO panel and appellate reports and arbitration decisions ("WTO disputes"), and NAFTA Chapter 20 panel reports. Paid subscribers also have access to the editors' WTO Dispute Settlement Commentaries, Subject-Matter Pages that list WTO disputes and GATT reports by major topics, and a systematic subject digest of WTO disputes (WTO Case-Law Index).
       

  • World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Decisions: Bernan's Annotated Reporter. Lanham, Md.: Bernan Press, 1998-.
    Full text of reports since 1996, with summaries of procedural history and findings. Each volume has a subject index and the following tables: status of other WTO disputes and requests for panels, countries involved in the disputes, WTO agreement provisions interpreted in the decisions, and other WTO documents and dispute panel reports cited.

  • The International Trade Law Reports. Ed. Ulick Bourke and Robin Griffith. London: Cameron May, 1996-.
    Provides full text of WTO panel and appellate body reports and editorial commentary.

  • Handbook of WTO/GATT Dispute Settlement. Pierre Pescatore, William J. Davey & Andreas Lowenfeld. Ardsley, N.Y.: Transnational Publishers, Inc., 1991-.
    Looseleaf. Vol. 1 contains an overview of the world trading system and a commentary on the drafting of the decisions. Vol. 1 also provides a legal and procedural digest of the published adopted reports, with summaries of the reports and indexing by keywords, GATT article, country, name of panelist, document symbol for the report, BISD cite, and country/subject. (In 1997 the digest was also published as a separate pamphlet entitled Digest with Key Words and Summaries.) There is also a list of un-adopted reports. In this volume, the editors assign to each report a CS-- number. In vol. 2 are portions of the full texts of the findings and conclusions of the reports (numbered by the editors as DD--, with the same number that the case bears in the CS-- section of vol. 1), preceded by the Rulings of the Chairman, 1948-49, and the 1949 Decisions of the Parties. NOTE: As of 2000, the editors are no longer publishing full texts of the reports.

  • World Trade and Arbitration Materials. Geneva: Werner Pub. Co, 1994-. Formerly World Trade Materials (vol. 1-6, 1989-94).
    Journal that reprints full text or excerpts of selected GATT and WTO dispute settlement reports, ITC determinations, excerpts of the Trade Policy Review reports, and arbitration rules and awards.

  • SICE, Foreign Trade Information System of the OAS: reports arranged by date and country:  GATT Reports. WTO reports; GATT Reports.

  • Law and Practice of the World Trade Organization. Ed. Joseph F. Dennin. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana, 1995-.
    Looseleaf collection of the major agreements, decisions, declarations, and understandings, and the full text of dispute panel reports. See also the predecessor publication Law and Practice Under the GATT (comp. and ed. Kenneth R. Simmonds and Brian H.W. Hill, New York: Oceana Publications, 1987-1994).

D. Written Submissions to the Panel or Appellate Body and Other Papers

Under article 18 of the DSU, written submissions to the panel or appellate body shall be treated as confidential, but shall be made available to the parties to the dispute. A party may disclose statements of its own positions to the public. Any WTO member may request and receive a non-confidential summary of the information contained in written submissions that could be disclosed to the public. As a practical matter, the arguments of the parties become public at the conclusion of the process by way of the final reports of the panel and the appellate body.

It is possible that other papers related to a dispute might be reproduced in one or more of the three sources of official GATT/WTO documents described in section IV above (microfiche, BISD, and the Documents Online). These might include, for example, a request for consultation or for the establishment of a panel, a notification of mutually agreed solution to a dispute, a communication from the panel, a notification of appeal, and minutes of the Dispute Settlement Body.

E. Selected Secondary Sources about the Dispute Settlement Process

  • Update of all WTO dispute settlement cases (http://www.wto.org) >Trade Topics >Dispute settlement gateway page>Update.
    This is usually updated several times per year after each regular meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body. It reflects the state of play of WTO disputes since 1 January 1995. The Update includes summaries of the arguments and findings developed in each relevant dispute.

  • Anatomy of a Trade Dispute: A Documentary History of the Kodak-Fuji Film Dispute. James P. Durling. London: Camerson May, Ltd., 2002.

  • Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization: Practice and Procedure. David Palmeter and Petros C. Mavroidis. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2d ed. forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

  • The GATT/WTO Dispute Settlement System: International Law, International Organizations, and Dispute Settlement. Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann. London; The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1997.

  • International Trade Reporter. Washington, D.C.: BNA. Also in WESTLAW (BNA-ITR), LEXIS-NEXIS (BNA;INTRAD), and on the web through BNA.
    Looseleaf service with four parts: Decisions (U.S. federal and state cases and administrative actions--ITC, Commerce, Treasury), Import Reference Manual (annotated with cites to cases, USC and CFR), Export Reference Manual (country-by-country summaries of the shipping regulations of other countries), and Current Reports newsletter (with summaries of new WTO dispute settlement reports).

  • World Trade Without Barriers: The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Dispute Resolution. Frank Warren Swacker, Kenneth Robert Redden, and Larry B. Wenger. Charlottesville: Michie Butterworth, 1995.

  • WTO Disputes: Anti-Dumping, Subsidies and Safeguards. Edwin Vermulst and Folkert Graafsma. London: Cameron May, 2002.

  • WTO Litigation: Procedural Aspects of Formal Dispute Settlement. Jeff Waincymer. London: Cameron May, 2002.

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VII. Trade Policy Review Mechanism

Operating provisionally since 1988, the Trade Policy Review Mechanism was permanently established in the WTO Agreement of 1994. Its aim is to enhance the transparency of the trade policies of the member states. Each member state's trade policies are reviewed periodically according to a schedule based upon its share of world trade. The Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) (which is actually the General Council, i.e., the full membership, under a different name) conducts each review on the basis of a policy statement submitted by the member state and a report prepared by economists in the Secretariat's Trade Policy Review Division.

After a review meeting in the TPRB, a report is published consisting of the Secretariat's report, the member state's policy statement and the concluding remarks from the TPRB meeting. These reports have been issued in paper and reports for 1995-97 are also available on a CDROM co-published by the WTO and Bernan Associates. Reports back to 1995, along with background documents, are also available on the WTO website. The journal World Trade and Arbitration Materials (Geneva: Werner Pub. Co, 1994-, formerly World Trade Materials, vol. 1-6, 1989-94), also publishes excerpts from the reports.

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VIII. U.S. Practice of International Trade Law

  • U.S. Trade Representative

  • U.S. International Trade Administration

  • U.S. International Trade Commission

  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. U.S. International Trade Commission. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1987-.
    This looseleaf is the official version of the HTS. An online version for use as an advisory tool only is available on the USITC website.

  • International Trade Reporter. Washington, D.C.: BNA. Also in WESTLAW (BNA-ITR), LEXIS-NEXIS (BNA;INTRAD), and on the web through BNA.
    Looseleaf service with four parts: Decisions (U.S. federal and state cases and administrative actions--ITC, Commerce, Treasury), Import Reference Manual (annotated with cites to cases, USC and CFR), Export Reference Manual (country-by-country summaries of the shipping regulations of other countries), and Current Reports newsletter (with summaries of new WTO dispute settlement reports).

  • Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb (USITC) of the U.S. International Trade Commission.

  • Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices. Report Submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Ways and Means of the House, and the Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Finance of the Senate, by the Dept. of State in accordance with section 2202 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. Joint Committee Print. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1989-.  Also available on the Dept. of State website.

  • World Trade Law: The GATT-WTO System, Regional Arrangements, and U.S. Law. Raj Bhala and Kevin Kennedy. Charlottesville, Va.: LEXIS Law Publishing, 1999. With supplements.

  • [Year] Trade Policy Agenda and [year] Annual Report of the President of the United States on the Trade Agreements Program. Washington, D.C.: Office of the United States Trade Representative, 1989-.
    Also available on the USTR website.

  • "U.S. Regulation of International Trade." Catharine L. Krieps. Chap. 4 in Introduction to International Business Law: Legal Transactions in a Global Economy. Ed. Gitelle Seer and Maria I. Smolka-Day. Sponsored by the AALL. New York: Oceana, 1996.
    A bibliographic guide to sources for researching U.S. law.

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