The experts gathered under the “Rethinking WTO Dispute Settlement” initiative at uOttawa have highlighted the critical need to adjust the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanisms in response to the evolutions of global trade. This visual post presents a summary of their contributions and offers reflections on future directions, encouraging a renewal of commitment and increased cooperation in the adjudication of international trade disputes. The experts outline a vision for a strengthened and flexible international commercial governance system, capable of navigating the complexities of global trade.
The dispute resolution system, which was once considered the “Crown Jewel” of the WTO, is no longer functioning. Professor Joanna Langille offers an insightful analysis into how and why this critical mechanism has ceased to function effectively. She delves into the reasons behind its paralysis.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization whose rules govern trade between nations. It was established on January 1, 1995, succeeding the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Professor Robert Howse of New York University examines the origins of the WTO, particularly its emergence from the prevailing belief in the benefits of economic neoliberalism as the optimal approach for global growth and development.
In May 2023, a diverse group of over forty World Trade Organization (WTO) experts gathered at the University of Ottawa to address the challenges plaguing the WTO dispute settlement system. This symposium aimed to explore innovative solutions to revitalize the system and support reform efforts. Attended by a mix of academics, practitioners and former WTO officials, the event fostered discussions on reforming the adjudicatory system, enhancing the WTO’s deliberative functions, and incorporating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.