Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT: H.E. MR SHAHID BASHIR
WTO Dispute Settlement Body developments in 2012

I had the honour to serve as Chairperson of the DSB from 23 March 2012 until 27 February 2013. At the DSB meeting held on 27 February, I handed over the reins of this interesting and extremely busy organ of the WTO to H.E. Mr Jonathan Fried, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the WTO.


 

H.E. Mr Shahid BASHIR
Chairperson of the DSB 2012-2013

Like other DSB Chairs before me, I would like to share with you my reflections on WTO dispute settlement activity during 2012, as well as make some general observations about the WTO dispute settlement system itself.

My predecessors have extolled the high-quality results and the remarkable efficiency of the WTO dispute settlement system. I echo their sentiments, as have many others. More importantly, WTO Members continue to have great confidence in the system. Both developed and developing country Members continue to rely on the system to resolve their disputes, as illustrated in the following chart1:

 

Figure 1: Most Frequent Complainants/Respondents 

Member

No of cases initiated

Member

No of cases defended

US

105

US

119

EC/EU

87

EC/EU

882

Canada

33

China

30

Brazil

26

India

22

Mexico

23

Argentina

22

India

21

Canada

17

Argentina

18

Japan

15

Japan

17

Brazil

14

Korea

15

Mexico

14

Thailand

13

Korea

14

Indeed, my service as DSB Chair coincided with the highest number of requests for consultations received in a single year after 2002, as the following chart illustrates3:

 

Figure 2: Consultations by Year

 

2012 — The Outside World Came Knocking

The WTO dispute settlement system is a highly effective means for finding positive solutions to disputes between or among Members. The following graph demonstrates that disputes are often resolved before they proceed to the panel stage4:

 

Figure 3: Consultations, Panels and Appeals

When consultations fail to settle disputes, however, the Members turn to the DSB as the custodian of the WTO dispute settlement system to assist with next steps in resolving issues of concern.

Over time, the DSB has witnessed a wide variety of issues forming the subject-matter of disputes. Some are classic commercial disagreements, while others touch on what are sometimes termed “global” or 21st century concerns. The following chart illustrates the variety of subject areas that form the bases of disputes in the WTO, arranged by WTO agreement5:

 

Figure 4: Consultations by Agreement

Examples of disputes relating to what might be termed “global” concerns include those relating to packaging regulations on tobacco and tobacco products. At the DSB meeting establishing the panel to handle one such complaint6, several Members spoke of the right to protect the public health of their citizens, of tobacco control measures, and of protecting trademark holders’ intellectual property rights.7 Perhaps as a testament to its global implications, this panel holds the record for the largest number of Members (35) that have reserved their rights to participate as third parties in a dispute.

Disputes raising issues of environmental protection are another example of the “global concern” or 21st century disputes. Several disputes that were either initiated or active in 2012 raised issues related to what are sometimes referred to as “green energy” or “renewable energy” programmes.8 Indeed, two recent Appellate Body reports address among other things domestic content requirements for generators of electricity using solar and wind power technology9, while a recent request for consultations relates to a complaint against measures concerning solar cells and solar modules.10 

Recent disputes related to sustainable exploitation of natural resources also illustrate the global nature of some disputes. Thus far, a total of six disputes have been initiated on measures related to raw materials and rare earths. Two panels were established to handle three disputes each against one Member, and close to twenty Members are participating as third parties in the panel process that is ongoing.11

Animal welfare, while not new in WTO disputes12, was examined in disputes that were active in 2012. Two ongoing disputes relate to the treatment of seals, while another, decided by the Appellate Body in early 2012, discussed the protection of dolphins.13

Three disputes under the TBT Agreement were decided by the Appellate Body in 2012.  One concerned a ban on clove and other flavoured cigarettes14; another examined a labelling requirement with respect to dolphin-safe fishing methods15; and the third considered a labelling requirement on country of origin.16 Until the issuance of these reports, there was relatively limited jurisprudence under the TBT Agreement. These three cases have added considerably to the cache of law in this area, clarifying the meaning of several TBT provisions.

For example, the new TBT case law addresses the right of Members to adopt technical regulations in order to fulfil “legitimate objectives” such as reducing smoking by youth, providing consumer information on product origin, and contributing to the protection of dolphins.  The recent decisions also clarify that whether such regulations would be considered more trade-restrictive than necessary (and hence WTO-inconsistent) is related to their contribution to fulfilling the relevant objective.17 They also address the meaning of “relevant international standards” under the TBT Agreement; Members are required to use such standards as a basis for their technical regulations and thus it is important to understand which standards qualify.18 The new case law also clarifies Members’ obligations with respect to notifying Members through the Secretariat of the products to be covered by a proposed technical regulation19, and with respect to allowing a reasonable interval between the publication of technical regulations and their entry into force.20

While there were several such “global” or 21st century disputes  brought before the WTO dispute settlement system in 2012, Members also continued to use the system to resolve more “traditional” disputes. Thus, there was no shortage of disputes under the Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Safeguards Agreement, the SCM Agreement, and the SPS Agreement, among others.

2012 also saw the reprise of the aircraft cases between the European Union and the United States commonly known as Airbus and Boeing21 in the form of compliance panels under Article 21.5 of the DSU. The issue in both proceedings is whether the responding Member has taken measures to comply with the previous recommendations and rulings of the DSB in these cases.

Finally, after a few years’ hiatus without any arbitration under DSU Article 21.3(c) to determine the reasonable period of time for implementing the DSB recommendations and rulings, one of the TBT disputes was the subject of such arbitration.22  Former Appellate Body Member Giorgio Sacerdoti was selected by the Director-General to serve as arbitrator in that case.23 Although it is not required by the DSU, all arbitrations under Article 21.3(c) have been conducted by Appellate Body members or former members.  They act in their individual capacities in carrying out this work, and are assisted by the Appellate Body Secretariat.

 

Procedural Issues in 2012

Transparency is an oft-recurring theme in the WTO. A number of procedural aspects related to transparency arose in the context of WTO disputes during 2012. They concern open hearings, “early” circulation of preliminary rulings, and amicus curiae briefs. 

    (i) Open hearings

Traditionally, WTO dispute settlement proceedings have been confidential until the panel or Appellate Body report is circulated.  However, on several occasions in recent years, panels, the Appellate Body, and Arbitrators have opened for public viewing their hearings (called “meetings” in WTO dispute settlement) with disputing parties.  2012 was no exception.

For two panel hearings, members of the public were permitted to view the panel meeting via closed circuit television in a WTO meeting room.24  Similarly, the Appellate Body opened one of its oral hearings to public viewing.25 The disputing parties in these cases, namely Canada, the EU, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, had agreed to this procedure.

    (ii) Preliminary rulings

The drafters of the WTO agreements, and the DSU in particular, apparently did not contemplate what has in recent years become almost common-place in panel procedures the preliminary ruling request. 

Preliminary ruling requests occur when a party to a dispute requests a panel (or, less often, the Appellate Body) to make an early determination on an issue that often is primarily procedural, or that relates to jurisdiction. Although many panels have made such rulings over the years, usually such rulings are provided at the time of their issuance only to the disputing parties (and sometimes to third parties), while the rest of the Membership learns of them only upon circulation of the final panel report, which incorporates such rulings. Thus by the beginning of 2012, a panel had circulated its preliminary ruling before circulation of its final panel report in only four instances.26

In 2012, a panel handling two disputes circulated to the entire Membership two preliminary rulings shortly after they were issued to the disputing parties — in other words, the panel did not wait until circulation of its final report to apprise the entire Membership of its preliminary ruling.27 More recently, two panels composed in late 2012 circulated their preliminary rulings in early 2013.28 This raises the question whether “early” circulation of preliminary rulings will become a more regular feature of WTO dispute settlement. Of note is that in all cases where panels have circulated preliminary rulings before the issuance of the final panel report, they have indicated explicitly that the ruling forms an integral part of the final report.29  

    (iii) Amicus curiae briefs

It is well-settled that only WTO Members have the right to participate as parties or third parties in WTO disputes. Nevertheless, issues raised in WTO disputes often generate considerable public interest. This interest is heightened where the disputes concern issues such as public health, the environment, and animal welfare. Occasionally, panels and the Appellate Body receive amicus curiae briefs from interest groups wishing to have their perspectives, which are not necessarily the same as those of the disputing parties, before the panel or the Appellate Body.

An Appellate Body report circulated in 2012 revealed that the Appellate Body received in that case four separate unsolicited amicus curiae briefs from animal welfare organisations, an international standards organization, and a private individual.30 The participants and third participants in that appeal were given an opportunity to express their views on these briefs at the oral hearing. The Appellate Body Report indicates that the Division hearing this appeal did not find it necessary to rely on the amicus curiae briefs in rendering its decision.31

Since 1995 when the WTO dispute settlement system began operating, a total of 36 panel and Appellate Body reports indicate that amicus curiae briefs had been received. This represents a small percentage of the total number of panel reports and Appellate Body reports that have been adopted since 1995 (173 and 109, respectively as of 31 December 2012).

 

Implementation of DSB Recommendations and Rulings

The DSB holds a regular meeting each month, and additional special meetings may be held at the request of any Member. Several items appear regularly on the monthly agenda, one of which is the item pertaining to “Surveillance of implementation of recommendations adopted by the DSB”. In addressing this issue at its monthly meetings, the DSB is executing its mandate under Article 21.6 of the DSU, which requires the DSB to keep under surveillance the implementation of adopted recommendations and rulings. Although the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in any given dispute are binding only on the parties to that dispute, prompt compliance with recommendations or rulings of the DSB in all disputes benefits all Members, as it ensures the effectiveness of the dispute settlement mechanism. Hence surveillance of implementation is an important function of the DSB.

After presiding over several DSB meetings and listening to the discussion under this item, I became intrigued about implementation and resolved to gain a better understanding of Members’ compliance with DSB recommendations and rulings.

My investigations led me to conclude that there is no objective means of determining whether and when Members comply with DSB recommendations. This is because the status of a dispute that is, whether there has been compliance or not may be seen differently by different parties. One party may consider that it has done everything necessary to bring its measures into compliance with the DSB recommendations or rulings, while another party may consider that further action is required before full compliance is achieved.  Moreover, if a party does not take action to repeal or amend its measure found to be inconsistent with a Member’s WTO obligations, but the aggrieved Member does not pursue the matter because, for example, some other satisfactory arrangement has been made, the status of the dispute may remain unclear to the rest of the Membership. Given the difficulty of knowing for certain the status from a compliance point of view of certain disputes, any assessment of compliance must be undertaken with great care.

Bearing all of this in mind, I am pleased to report that my investigations revealed that all Members generally comply with their DSB recommendations and rulings and that the overall compliance rate for WTO disputes is remarkably high.  In fact, I estimate the compliance rate to be about 90 per cent.  Throughout my tenure as Chairman of the DSB, the number of disputes discussed under the surveillance and implementation item of the DSB agenda (Item 1) whose reasonable period of time for implementation had expired never exceeded nine, and this at a time when close to 450 disputes had been brought before the system.

Of course, not all Members or DSU scholars will necessarily agree with my interpretation of the rate of compliance, but even accounting for some differences of view with respect to certain disputes, the compliance rate would still be impressive.

This discussion of compliance with DSB recommendations and rulings leads me to my next reflection: the settlement of the bananas dispute.

 

The Bananas Dispute

During my tenure as Chairperson of the DSB, I had the pleasure of enjoying a ring-side seat to witness what up to now is perhaps one of the most memorable events of WTO dispute settlement history. I would be remiss not to mention it in my reflections of WTO dispute settlement developments of 2012.

I had the honour to preside over the DSB meeting on 19 November 2012, during which the EU and 10 Latin American countries reported their notification of a mutually agreed solution32 to a long-standing dispute over the European Union’s banana import regime.  This mutually agreed solution was preceded by the equally historic 2009 Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas (GATB), initialled by the EU and the Latin American countries in December 2009.33 The GATB, together with a parallel agreement between the European Union and the United States, put an end to a series of conflicts on banana-related matters, including tariff schedules, waivers, and several banana-related disputes and arbitrations.34 The GATB was incorporated into the EU tariff schedule.

The certification process for the revised EU tariff schedule was completed in October 2012 and was followed by a formal notification of the mutually agreed solution in November 2012. As mentioned above, this notification was reported at the DSB meeting last November. Ten Members spoke about the impact that this dispute had had on their economies and expressed contentment at what they perceived as a positive resolution to this dispute. They spoke of a new era in trade among the parties involved.

The historic achievement is commemorated in the photograph below, where Director-General Pascal Lamy and I are pictured with representatives of several Members.35

 

 

The Digital Dispute Settlement Registry (DDSR)

Speaking of new eras, I turn briefly to the dispute settlement mechanism’s technological venture into the 21st century. During my tenure as DSB Chair, I presided over two meetings during which, in response to requests from some Members, the Secretariat provided updates on the progress of Digital Dispute Settlement Registry (DDSR) initiative, aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the dispute settlement mechanism through the use of technology.36 I would like to highlight the main elements of this initiative, as well as the progress reported in 2012.

The project was initiated in 2009, following a discussion among Members who are frequent users of the dispute settlement mechanism on how to best leverage recent technological advancements “to increase efficiency, reduce costs including for courier services, reduce paper, and enhance document security”.37  The project has three main elements: (i) development of an electronic storage facility for all dispute settlement records; (ii) design of a research facility for Members and the Secretariat to search for dispute settlement information; and (iii) creation of a secure electronic registry for filing and serving dispute settlement documents online.

During my tenure, significant progress was reported on all three elements:

  1. Regarding the electronic storage facility, the Secretariat has been cataloguing and scanning past dispute settlement records, some of which are currently available only in paper or older electronic formats. Scanned material will be uploaded into the DDSR in a searchable format so that those entitled to view the documents (such as parties to a dispute) will be able to quickly access recent as well as older material. By the end of December 2012, some 250,000 pages of case files had been scanned.
      
  2. Regarding the research facility, the new registry will permit WTO Members and the public to conduct sophisticated searches about dispute settlement that are not currently possible using the WTO website.
     
  3. Regarding the secure electronic registry, the Secretariat has been consulting with a “Working Group” of Members to design a system that satisfies Members’ needs, with particular attention being given to security aspects in order to safeguard the confidentiality of material to be uploaded using the system.

The new facility was delivered to the Secretariat at the end of 2012 for testing and fine-tuning of specifications. One of the great advantages of the new facility is that it will not require significant technological know-how on the part of users. Simply put, if one can send an e-mail, one can e-file a submission, or access the other functions of the DDSR. Moreover, no new or complicated or expensive equipment will be necessary.  

It is anticipated that the initiative will enter into a test phase in the second half of 2013. Some Members have already expressed interest in participating in the test phase.

 

Panel and Appellate Body Member Appointment Process

Thus far, I have shared with you my reflections on the 2012 DSB activities that relate to the dispute settlement process.  I turn now to two other important tasks bestowed on the DSB Chair: consultation by the Director-General on the appointment of panelists; and the re‑appointment of Appellate Body Members.

The Director-General was called upon to compose five panels in 2012.  When composing panels, the DG is required to consult with the disputing parties as well as with the DSB Chair and the Chair of the relevant Councils or Committees, depending on the subject matter of the dispute.38 I had the privilege, therefore, to contribute to the composition process on a number of occasions during my tenure as DSB Chair. I would like to take this opportunity to thank on behalf of the Membership the 249 individuals who have so ably and with such dedication served the dispute settlement system and the WTO over the years.  These panelists hail from numerous WTO Members, both developed and developing. The following chart illustrates the diversity of WTO panelists by Member39:

 

Figure 5: Panelists by Member

 

Turning to the DSB Chair’s role with the Appellate Body appointment process, my predecessor launched such a selection process at the DSB meeting of 22 February 2012 for: (i) the appointment of a new member of the Appellate Body to replace Mr Shotaro Oshima, who completed his term in May 2012, as well as (ii) the possible reappointment of one Appellate Body member, Ms Yuejiao Zhang.40

From 24 April 2012, I continued these selection exercises and, in May of last year, I was honoured to oversee the process that approved the appointment of Ms Yuejiao Zhang of China to her second four-year term as an Appellate Body Member, a term that began on 1 June 2012.  I also had the privilege of overseeing the process that approved the appointment of Mr Seung Wha-Chang41 as a member of the Appellate Body for a four-year term, beginning 1 June 2012.42 

I commend Ms Zhang and Mr Wha-Chang on their appointments and take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Membership, our appreciation for their dedication and commitment to the WTO dispute settlement system.

 

DG Selection Process

Pursuant to the “Procedures for the Appointment of Directors-General”, adopted in 2003 by the General Council,43 it was my privilege as the 2012 DSB Chair to participate, together with the 2012 Chairperson of the General Council and the 2012 Chairperson of the Trade Policy Review Body, in the launch of the selection process for the new Director General.44

Subsequently, I had the privilege of overseeing this selection process as Chairperson of the General Council. I was joined in this exercise by the two other members of the so-called “Troika”: the 2013 Chairperson of the DSB (H.E. Mr Jonathan Fried of Canada), and the 2013 Chairperson of the Trade Policy Review Body (H.E. Mr Joakim REITER of Sweden). At the General Council Meeting of 14 May 2013, upon the recommendation of the “Troika”, the Members agreed to appoint Mr Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo as the next Director-General of the WTO for a period of four years from 1 September 2013, following the expiry of Mr Pascal Lamy’s term of office on 31 August 2013.

I wish to thank all Members for participating in the consultation process with an exceptionally high level of engagement and a constructive spirit. This very constructive approach helped us conduct the fastest DG selection process since the birth of the WTO. I also wish to thank Ambassadors Fried and Reiter who worked with dedication throughout the process and who demonstrated great integrity, impartiality and commitment.

 

2013: Onwards and Upwards!

Dispute settlement activity took off at a clip, in all respects, at the start of 2013. As of 28 February 2013, when my tenure ended, two requests for consultations had been received, three panels (covering five disputes) had been established, and six panels were in composition. Further, several panels and the Appellate Body were working on matters that started late last year or early this year. We also witnessed one open hearing.45 Additionally, Mr Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, a former Appellate Body Member, was appointed on 28 February 2013 to act as arbitrator in Article 21.3(c) proceedings to determine the reasonable period of time for compliance in a recent dispute.46

I suspect that this is only the tip of the iceberg for the 2013 dispute settlement activity. During my tenure, I observed the increasing strain on the resources of the Legal Affairs and Rules divisions corresponding to Members’ increased reliance on the dispute settlement mechanism to resolve their disputes.47 I also witnessed the heavy burden imposed on the Appellate Body and its Secretariat, with consequences for time needed to complete appeals. It is my hope that going forward the resources of the Secretariat will be reinforced.

 

Conclusion

In closing I, like my predecessors, wish to express my appreciation for the support I received from Members during my chairmanship of the DSB. The continuing spirit of co-operation and collaboration among Members greatly facilitated the work of the DSB in what was a challenging, interesting, and rewarding year. 

Finally, I wish to salute those who work tirelessly to ensure that the dispute settlement system operates well. My myriad interactions with the WTO Secretariat staff in my capacity as Chairperson of the DSB have reinforced my belief that our Member-driven vehicle has the very best of engineers at hand to ensure that it runs smoothly. In this regard, I wish to highlight the excellent service provided by the Council and Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) Division, who provided invaluable advice and support to me as DSB Chairman. I salute the work of the Appellate Body Secretariat for the outstanding support it provides to the Appellate Body. I commend the exceptional work of the Legal Affairs Division and the Rules Division in assisting panels and in providing precious advice to me during my tenure. And finally, I thank the translation and documentation staff for ensuring that the flow of written information from the DSB to the Members was timely and efficient.

 

Notes:

1. Statistics are as of 27 February 2013.back to text
2. This number includes 15 disputes brought against individual EU member States only, namely: Belgium — Measures Affecting Commercial Telephone Directory Services (DS80); Belgium — Certain Income Tax Measures Constituting Subsidies (DS127); Belgium — Rice (DS210); Denmark — Measures Affecting the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (DS83); France — Certain Income Tax Measures Constituting Subsidies (DS131);  France — Measures Relating to the Development of a Flight Management System (DS173); Greece — Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights for Motion Pictures and Television Programs (DS125); Greece — Certain Income Tax Measures Constituting Subsidies (DS129); Ireland — Computer Equipment (DS68); Ireland — Measures Affecting the Grant of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (DS82); Ireland — Certain Income Tax Measures Constituting Subsidies (DS130); Netherlands — Certain Income Tax Measures Constituting Subsidies (DS128); Portugal — Patent Protection under the Industrial Property Act (DS37); Sweden — Measures Affecting the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (DS86); and United Kingdom — United Kingdom — Computer Equipment (DS67).back to text
3. Statistics are as of 27 February 2013.back to text
4. Statistics are as of 27 February 2013.back to text
5. Statistics are as of 27 February 2013.back to text
6. See Australia — Tobacco Plain Packaging (Ukraine) (WT/DS434).back to text
7. See WT/DSB/M/322, 23 November 2012, paras. 65-79.back to text
8. These disputes include: Canada — Renewable Energy (WT/DS412); Canada — Feed-in Tariff Program (WT/DS426); China — Measures Concerning Wind Power Equipment (WT/DS419); and EU — Certain Measures Affecting the Renewable Energy Generation Sector (WT/DS452). back to text
9. Canada — Renewable Energy (WT/DS412); Canada — Feed-in Tariff Program (WT/DS426).back to text
10. India — Certain Measures Relating to Solar Cells and Solar Modules (WT/DS456). back to text
11. China — Raw Materials (WT/DS394, WT/DS395, WT/DS398); and China — Rare Earths (WT/DS431, WT/DS432, and WT/DS433). back to text
12. See US — Shrimp (WT/DS58). back to text
13. EC — Seal Products (WT/DS400, WT/DS401); and US — Tuna II (Mexico) (WT/DS381). back to text
14. US — Clove Cigarettes (WT/DS406).back to text
15. US — Tuna II (Mexico) (WT/DS381).back to text
16. US — COOL (WT/DS384, WT/DS386).back to text
17. See Article 2.2 of the TBT Agreement.back to text
18. See Article 2.4 of the TBT Agreement.back to text
19. See Article 2.9.2 of the TBT Agreementback to text
20. See Article 2.12 of the TBT Agreement.back to text
21. EC and certain member states — Large Civil Aircraft (WT/DS316); and US — Large Civil Aircraft (2nd Complaint) (WT/DS353). back to text
22. US — COOL (WT/DS384, WT/DS386).  The last such arbitration was carried out in 2009 in the dispute Columbia--Ports of Entry; see WT/DS366/13.back to text
23. See WT/DS384/24, WT/DS386/23.back to text
24. Canada — Renewable Energy (WT/DS412) and Canada — Feed-in Tariff Program (WT/DS426).back to text
25. US — COOL (WT/DS384, 386).back to text
26. These four panels handled the disputes in: Canada — Wheat Exports and Grain Imports (WT/DS276) (in 2003); Australia — Apples (WT/DS367) (in 2008); China — Raw Materials (WT/DS394, WT/DS395, WT/DS398) (in 2010); and China — Electronic Payment Services (WT/DS413) (in 2011). back to text
27. Canada — Feed-in Tariff Program (WT/DS412) and Canada — Renewable Energy (WT/DS426). See WT/DS412/8 and WT/DS426/7, 25 May 2012.back to text
28. EC — Seal Products (WT/DS400, 401) and US — Countervailing Measures (China) (WT/DS437). See WT/DS400/6, WT/DS401/7 and WT/DS437/4. back to text
29. See for example the preliminary rulings in Canada — Feed-in Tariff Programs, and Canada — Renewable Energy: WT/DS412/8 and WT/DS426/7, 25 May 2012. back to text
30. US — Tuna II (Mexico) (WT/DS381).back to text
31. Appellate Body Report, US — Tuna II (Mexico), para. 8 (WT/DS381/AB/R). back to text
32. See WT/DS27/98, 12 November 2012.back to text
33. See WT/DS27/97, 7 January 2010; and WT/L/784, 15 December 2009.back to text
34. These include: WT/DS16; WT/DS27 (except for the complaint by the United States); WT/DS105; WT/DS158; WT/DS361; WT/DS364; and Arbitrations under the Doha Waivers: WT/L/616 and WT/L/625.back to text
35. See WT/DSB/M/325, 15 February 2013.back to text
36. See WT/DSB/M/318, 27 August 2012; and WT/DSB/M/327, 4 March 2013. back to text
37. See WT/DSB/M/318, para. 69. back to text
38. See Article 8.7 of the DSU.back to text
39. Statistics are as of 27 February 2013.back to text
40. WT/DSB/M/315, 27 June 2012.back to text
41. Mr Seung-Wa Chang is the first individual from Korea to serve as a member of the WTO Appellate Body.back to text
42. WT/DSB/M/316, 20 July 2012.back to text
43. WT/L/509, 20 January 2003. back to text
44. See WT/L/509, para. 17.back to text
45. At the request of the parties to the dispute, the first substantive meeting of the panel in EC — Seal Products (WT/DS400, WT/DS401), held on 18 and 19 February 2013, included sessions open to public viewing. back to text
46. China — GOES (WT/DS414). See WT/DS414/11.back to text
47. In 2012, the DSB adopted 11 panel reports (covering 18 disputes), and 7 Appellate Body reports (covering 11 disputes).   back to text

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