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Why most of the developing countries do not participate in WTO dispute settlement Mechanism

The main aim of the WTO dispute Settlement Mechanism is to facilitate the process of providing the developing countries to give access to the foreign markets and reap the benefits of the globalization without harming the overall interests of the developing countries.

The dispute settlement mechanism of WTO is considered to be the most critical and successful system to safeguard the developing countries from any form of influence of the developed countries. It is considered to be an essential element from the perspective of the overall development.

Trade liberalization promises to offer considerable returns but has a lot of risks. Though WTO offers protection to the developing countries while safeguarding their interest, yet some of the developing countries do not participate within the system of dispute settlement.

Following are the main reasons due to which some of the developing countries restrain from participating in the dispute settlement system:

  • Conservatism of developing states while handling the international issues: The major issue that is faced by the developing countries is that there are a number of stages within the dispute resolution system and most of the developing countries have assigned the tasks of handling matters of WTO and United Nations to an ambassador or an official of ministry, but still if a separate body is developed for handling matters, then also it will hold the lowest position.

  • Institutional Confrontation: the institutional coordination in the developing states is less while filing the claims with the WTO. Moreover, it has been found that sometimes, the claims in the developing countries require a prior approval from the attorney general while filing the litigation.

  • Cost of accessing the legal system of WTO is costly: it is often considered that the cost of arbitration and settlement of disputes in WTO is expensive which restrain the developing countries to participate in the settlement system.

  • Political and economic pressures from the developed countries: It is a fact that in some of the developing countries avoids the use of dispute settlement because of the political or economic pressure that they may face from the developed countries which undermines the value of DSM.

  • Delay in dispute settlement: another important issue that is faced by the developing countries is that since there are several stages within the dispute settlement system which makes the results delayed and the concerned party usually loses interest.

  • Discriminatory behaviour: In some cases, it has been found that the appellate body and the members of the panel may take decisions while discriminating among the involved parties which make the decision unjustified.

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