WTO Dispute Settlement Commentary Overview

WorldTradeLaw.net's Dispute Settlement Commentary (DSC) Service

The Dispute Settlement Commentary (DSC) service is a comprehensive legal research tool for WTO Panel and Appellate Body Reports and WTO Arbitrations.  The service is available on an annual subscription basis.  Features include:

  • Summary/analysis of new reports/arbitrations.

  • Summary/analysis of all past reports/arbitrations back to the establishment of the WTO.

  • Up-to-date keyword index, and updates of Commentaries for past reports/arbitrations to reflect new developments in WTO jurisprudence.

  • Database of WTO dispute settlement tables and statistics.

Overview of DSC Features
(Click here for a detailed explanation of the service)

Quick Reference

The DSC service acts as a quick reference tool by providing basic information on each WTO dispute settlement decision.  

General Research Tool

The DSC service is a comprehensive tool for researching WTO case law and disputes.

Benefits of a Web Service

Because it is web-based, the DSC service makes research easy, with quick links, sortable tables and on-line customer service.

Prices and How to Subscribe

The DSC service is an annual subscription service.  Prices vary based on the nature and location of the institution.  Contact us to inquire about a subscription.

First page of each DSC contains:

  • Timeline of dispute

  • Parties/panelists/AB division/arbitrators

  • List of issues covered

  • List of key findings

  • Appellate treatment of issues heard on appeal


  • DSCs for all WTO panel/AB reports and WTO arbitrations dating back to 1995

  • Detailed summary of findings for each report / Critical analysis of selected findings

  • Updates of past DSCs to reflect new developments in WTO law

  • References to related journal articles and books

  • Full-text search engine for DSCs

  • Keyword index of WTO legal provisions and terms (the "WTO Case Law Index")

  • Sortable database of WTO disputes (view key information about disputes in sortable tables by key date, dispute name, panelist, AB Member, or subject matter)

  • DSC for each report/arbitration posted on website within several weeks of circulation to WTO Members

  • E-mail notification for posting of DSCs on web site

  • In each DSC, links are provided to underlying reports and other cited cases

  • On-line discussion board/e-mail to answer customers' questions regarding DSCs

  • Keyword index updated immediately after each report is circulated

  • Sortable tables of key information on WTO disputes 


  • The base rate for an annual subscription is US$5,000

  • In addition, we offer discounted subscription prices for governments, academic institutions, and other non-profit entities

  • We also offer quantity discounts (e.g., for purchasing consortia, individual entities purchasing as a group, etc.)

  • And of course, we provide special and differential treatment on pricing for developing countries

  • We accept payment by check or wire transfer (please note that you are responsible for any wire transfer fees charged by your financial institution)

  • Access is offered through IP-authentication or username/ password

Contact us to inquire about a subscription.

Since the creation of the WTO in 1995, WTO panels, the Appellate Body and arbitrators have issued over 225 dispute settlement reports. The number of reports has increased dramatically compared to dispute settlement under the GATT.  In addition, the length and complexity of the reports has grown considerably. As things stand now, it is extremely time-consuming for people to read all of these reports, and it has become increasingly difficult for government officials, private and public sector lawyers, and academics and students to keep up with WTO jurisprudence.

WorldTradeLaw.net's WTO Dispute Settlement Commentary service is designed to address this problem.  We utilize our substantial experience  in WTO law to read all of the reports and provide a clear and concise summary and analysis. For each report, we provide a basic summary of the legal findings and conclusions made by the panel/AB/arbitrator, and also provide expert analysis on many of the issues in the report. (We have posted several sample reports which are available for free.)

Most importantly, our reports are available in a timely manner -- we post each Commentary on this web site within a month or so after a report is circulated to WTO Members.  And to make sure no report goes unnoticed, we send out an e-mail notification to subscribers when each new Commentary is posted.

In addition, when a new report modifies the findings in earlier reports, we systematically update the Commentaries for the earlier reports to reflect the new development.  And for panel reports that are appealed, we update the Commentary for the panel report to reflect the Appellate Body's findings on appealed issues.

To facilitate research of specific legal issues, we also provide a comprehensive keyword index of WTO legal provisions and terms addressed in panel/AB reports and arbitrations, with links to the Commentary for each decision that covers an issue.  This WTO Case Law Index is updated immediately after each new Commentary is completed.  In addition, we have created a searchable database that includes our Commentaries for every WTO panel and Appellate Body report and arbitration. This database is an excellent tool for quickly identifying past WTO cases that address particular subjects.

Furthermore, unlike other research tools, we do more than just provide our customers with information and then let them figure it out on their own. WorldTradeLaw.net will answer questions about what we have written, either through the subscribers-only blog or through direct e-mail inquiries.  (Keep in mind, of course, that we do not provide legal advice or counsel -- we simply explain what we have written.  For further information, please see our disclaimer page.)

Finally, to assist those researching  WTO legal issues, we have created a database of key information regarding all WTO disputes, focusing in particular on key dates, subject matter covered by the dispute (e.g., anti-dumping, services, subsidies, etc.), the parties to the dispute, and the decision makers.  The database allows subscribers to view sortable tables that list disputes by each of those categories (e.g., by panelist name, alphabetically by dispute name, by circulation date or adoption date, or by subject matter).


The base rate for an annual subscription is US$5,000.  However, we offer discounted subscription prices for governments, academic institutions, and other non-profit entities.  We also offer quantity discounts (e.g., for purchasing consortia, individual entities purchasing as a group, etc.).  And of course, we provide special and differential treatment on pricing for developing countries.  Please contact us for more information on subscribing.