Arab Countries' (Under) Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism

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Citation: Bashar H. Malkawi (2012) Arab Countries' (Under) Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Flinders Law Journal (RSS)

Tagged: Business (RSS)


Under-representation by Arab countries in the WTO dispute settlement process is a danger to the long-term legitimacy and credibility of the WTO. The WTO is more than a table for trade negotiations among its members. The WTO also aims to achieve free trade and economic development.14 If the WTO intends to achieve its stated principles, then it should be aware of inequities in the dispute settlement process and treatment of Arab countries.

The purpose of the present article is two-fold. First, the article examines the reasons as to why Arab countries do not actively participate in WTO dispute settlement proceedings.17 Trade volume, lack of technical expertise, financial strains, political relations, enforcement, and language problems eachplay a role in Arab countries under-participation and are discussed herein. Second, the article provides possible avenues through which Arab countries can enhance their presence in the WTO dispute settlement process. In the process of examining these issues, the article highlights the case(s) in which Arab countries participated in the WTO dispute settlement system. However, before addressing these issues, the article will briefly discuss the development of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.