WTO Dispute Settlement System

Looking at the Southern Africa Development Community Tribunal through the eye(s) of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Mechanism

This article provides interesting insights on the jurisdiction of the Southern African Development Community ("SADC") Tribunal. It also considers the impact of this jurisdiction on the settlement of disputes within the SADC region. The article also considers the extent to which the removal of private access from the Tribunal's jurisdiction affects the settlement of trade disputes within SADC; , and whether the Tribunal is reconcilable with the World Trade Organization ("WTO")'s dispute settlement mechanism, which is regarded as being one of the salient features of the international trading regime.

Does Article 25 Arbitration Need Serious Consideration?

Several Members still consider that a serious consideration of the Interim Arbitration Proposal weakens any efforts to strengthen the Appellate Body or the ongoing DSU reforms. In that context, and even if this proposal is only ad hoc in nature, several procedural and technical issues need to be addressed before serious deliberations can take place.

An African Response to WTO Reform Proposals

The lack of participation of African states in the WTO dispute settlement system is indicative to a certain extent of the discomfort that most African states feel vis-à-vis the said system. A future reform of the DSU must necessarily include procedural and substantive aspects to render dispute settlement more flexible for African countries.

Distributive Justice, SDT Provisions and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The adoption of imprecise and relaxed SDT provisions that can easily provide leeway for countries to evade SDT obligations will only work contrary to the stated objective of the Agreement to promote and attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development among State Parties. Just as Amartya Sen correctly puts it, “the central issue of contention is not globalization itself, nor is it the use of the market as an institution, but the inequity in the overall balance of institutional arrangements—which produces very unequal sharing of the benefits of globalization”