Working Paper No. 1219

Efficiency Gains and Time-savings of Permanent Panels in the WTO Dispute Settlement

Published: June 5, 2018Pages: 28Keywords: WTO; Dispute settlement; WTO panel; Trade disputes; DelaysJEL-codes: F13; K41

Efficiency Gains and Time-savings of Permanent Panels in the WTO Dispute Settlement Louise Johannesson


The dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) is today the most active dispute resolution forum in the world. However, its success has also led to increased processing time of disputes, which, in turn, increases the cost of using the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a way to resolve trade conflicts.

I investigate whether the DSM  can be improved by introducing a permanent panel of judges, to replace the current ad hoc system of appointing new judges for each dispute. I find mixed results, but one aspect that could speed up the process is that permanent judges develop established work relations and working methods.

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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