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Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System$
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Joel P. Trachtman and Chantal Thomas

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383614.001.0001

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With a Little Help From Our Friends?

With a Little Help From Our Friends?

Developing Country Complaints and Third-Party Participation

Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System

Marc L Busch

Eric Reinhardt

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why and discusses what might be done to minimize the negative impact of third parties on effective use of dispute settlement by developing countries. The chapter proceeds as follows. First, it discusses what the DSU (Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes) allows by way of third-party participation. Second, it elaborates a hypothesis on how third parties shape rulings, conditional on the fact that they first undermine early settlement, and then turn to our findings. Third, it looks at the evidence concerning third-party participation in cases filed by poor complainants. The chapter concludes by examining the various proposals for reforming third-party rights under the DSU and how these might bear on developing countries, in particular.

Keywords:   third parties, dispute settlement, developing countries, DSU, third-party participation

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