Document Type



Dispute settlement at the WTO does not end once the Panel and Appellate Body have issued their reports. Implementation proceedings, including arbitration on the reasonable time period for implementation, the level and manner of retaliation and further Panel proceedings on whether implementation has taken place, can be equally critical in order to secure compliance with the WTO agreements for developing members. Yet, either as complainants or as implementing parties, they may face specific challenges due to their socioeconomic vulnerabilities or costs associated with implementation. While the dispute settlement process includes a number of special and differential treatment (SDT) provisions for developing members, implementation proceedings offer much more limited safeguards and flexibilities, and their use by litigants and adjudicators has been very inconsistent. This article analyzes how members, parties, disputes, arbitrators, Panelists, the Appellate Body and the Dispute Settlement Body have addressed developmental claims and arguments in implementation proceedings. It finds that developing members have often argued that, based on SDT provisions, their development status should have a bearing on the time for implementation (by themselves or by an opposing party).

Date of Authorship for this Version



World Trade Organization, implementation procedures, Law

Original Citation

Originally published in Trade, Law and Development, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 150-199, Summer 2012.