CWR > Volume 1(1); 2015 > Articles
Research Paper
Published online: March 1, 2015

From GATT to WTO: The Legalization of Compliance Procedures in Trade Dispute Settlement System

Guang Ma
Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School
51 Zhijiang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, 310008
Corresponding Author:

Jiang Li
Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


From the twentieth century on, legalization process has been evident in international relations. As a core issue of international law and relation, dispute settlement between States has been evolving from its tit-for-tat strategy to diplomatic and then legal control. Based on the GATT DSP, the WTO DSM has achieved significant progress in legalization. In particular, as more DSM decision have been complied by member States, legalization process of trade dispute resolution via WTO is regarded promising. From the viewpoint of the legalization theory, in comparison to the GATT, the compliance of the WTO DSM's decisions have become more precise. The WTO members have granted more authorities to its panel of the AB or DSB. It means that in the aspect of compliance of the WTO DSM's decisions, the degree of delegation to the DSB has been lifted to a higher level.

Keywords : WTO DSM, GATT DSP, Compliance, Legalization, Precision, Obligation, Delegation.

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