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A4.1 Working practices concerning dispute settlement procedures as agreed
by the Dispute Settlement Body
6 June 1996
For practical purposes the working practices agreed by the Dispute Settlement Body concerning dispute settlement procedures since the entry into force of the (WTO) are compiled in this document. The working practices pertain to:
- “Date of circulation” in the DSU and its additional and special rules.
- Communications under the DSU.
- Time-periods under the DSU and other covered agreements.
- Notifications of requests for consultations.
When there is a reference to the terms “date of circulation” or “issuance to all Members” or “issuance to the Members” in the DSU and its additional and special rules, the date to be used is the date printed on the WTO document to be circulated with the assurance of the Secretariat that the date printed on the document is the date on which this document is effectively put in the pigeon holes of delegations in all three working languages. This practice will be used on a trial basis and be subject to revision when necessary.
Where there is a requirement under the DSU or any other covered agreements that communications by delegations be addressed to the DSB Chairman such communications should always be sent to the WTO Secretariat with a copy to the DSB Chairman. Members are invited to contact the Council Division in the WTO Secretariat, to inform it that a communication is being sent in order to enable an expeditious processing and circulation of communications.
Note: In addition to notification to the DSB, Notice of Appeal must be sent to the Appellate Body Secretariat in accordance with the Working Procedures for Appellate Review (WT/AB/WP/1). All other communications to the Appellate Body are required to be submitted to the Appellate Body Secretariat as provided for in the above-mentioned Working Procedures.
When, under the DSU and its special or additional rules and procedures, a time-period within which a communication must be made or action taken by a Member to exercise or preserve its rights expires on a non-working day of the WTO Secretariat, any such communication or action will be deemed to have been made or taken on the WTO non-working day if lodged on the first working day of the WTO Secretariat following the day on which such time-period would normally expire.4
All requests for consultations under Article 4.4 of the DSU which should be notified to the DSB and the relevant Councils and Committees by a Member should be sent to the Secretariat (Council Division) specifying in the notifications the other relevant Councils or Committees to which they wished the notification to be addressed. The Secretariat would then distribute it to the specified relevant bodies.