DISPUTE SETTLEMENT SYSTEM TRAINING MODULE: CHAPTER
Introduction to the WTO dispute settlement system
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Developing country Members and the dispute settlement system
The DSU also
addresses the particular status of developing country Members of the (WTO),
although the approach taken differs from that of the other covered agreements.
Unlike those agreements, which set out the Members’ substantive trade obligations,
the DSU chiefly specifies the procedures under which such substantive obligations
can be enforced. Accordingly,
in the dispute settlement system, special and differential treatment1 does
not take the form of reducing obligations, providing enhanced substantive rights
or granting transition periods. Rather, it takes a procedural form, for instance,
by making available to developing country Members additional or privileged
procedures, or longer or accelerated deadlines. These rules of special
and differential treatment will be mentioned in subsequent chapters in the
relevant procedural context in which they apply. The rules of special and differential
treatment and other aspects of the developing countries’ role in the dispute
settlement system are also the subject of a separate chapter.2
1. “Special and differential
treatment” is a technical term used throughout the WTO Agreement to designate
those provisions that are applicable only to developing country Members.
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