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WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism(8)

时间:2006-11-24栏目:国际经济法论文

Chapter VIII
Strengthening of the Multilateral System


Art. 23 of the DSU deals, as indicated by its title, with the “Strengthening of the Multilateral System”. Its overall design is to prevent WTO Members from unilaterally resolving their disputes in respect of WTO rights and obligations. It does so by obligating Members to follow the multilateral rules and procedures of the DSU. Art. 23 of the DSU reads:

“Strengthening of the Multilateral System
1. When Members seek the redress of a violation of obligations or other nullification or impairment of benefits under the covered agreements or an impediment to the attainment of any objective of the covered agreements, they shall have recourse to, and abide by, the rules and procedures of this Understanding.
2. In such cases, Members shall:
(a) not make a determination to the effect that a violation has occurred, that benefits have been nullified or impaired or that the attainment of any objective of the covered agreements has been impeded, except through recourse to dispute settlement in accordance with the rules and procedures of this Understanding, and shall make any such determination consistent with the findings contained in the panel or Appellate Body report adopted by the DSB or an arbitration award rendered under this Understanding;
(b) follow the procedures set forth in Article 21 to determine the reasonable period of time for the Member concerned to implement the recommendations and rulings; and
(c) follow the procedures set forth in Article 22 to determine the level of suspension of concessions or other obligations and obtain DSB authorization in accordance with those procedures before suspending concessions or other obligations under the covered agreements in response to the failure of the Member concerned to implement the recommendations and rulings within that reasonable period of time.”

In this section, to end this book, the author means to take a precise overlook on the nature of obligations under Art. 23 of the DSU as a whole by referring to two panels’ reports in part. In this respect, the Panel in US-Sections 301-310 (DS152) rules: 1
“On this basis [provision of Article 23], we conclude as follows:
(a)It is for the WTO through the DSU process - not for an individual WTO Member - to determine that a WTO inconsistency has occurred (Article 23.2(a)).
(b)It is for the WTO or both of the disputing parties, through the procedures set forth in Article 21 - not for an individual WTO Member - to determine the reasonable period of time for the Member concerned to implement DSB recommendations and rulings (Article 23.2(b)).
(c)It is for the WTO through the procedures set forth in Article 22 - not for an individual WTO Member - to determine, in the event of disagreement, the level of suspension of concessions or other obligations that can be imposed as a result of a WTO inconsistency, as well as to grant authori

zation for the actual implementation of these suspensions.
Article 23.2 clearly, thus, prohibits specific instances of unilateral conduct by WTO Members when they seek redress for WTO inconsistencies in any given dispute. This is, in our view, the first type of obligations covered under Article 23.
Article 23.1 is not concerned only with specific instances of violation. It prescribes a general duty of a dual nature. First, it imposes on all

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