WTO Dispute Settlement

Resolving Trade Disputes between WTO Members

Over the past 20 years, nearly 500 disputes have been brought to the WTO. About half of these were resolved during bilateral discussions while the other half proceeded to a panel process, which in recent years generally takes about 14 months. Appeals are considered by the WTO’s Appellate Body and – excluding exceptionally busy periods – are completed within three months. This makes the WTO’s dispute system one of the fastest in the world. This brochure, produced to mark the WTO’s 20th anniversary, looks into how the dispute settlement system operates.