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 4.争议解决

4Dispute Settlement

   争端 解决是多边贸易体制的核心支柱,同时也是WTO对全球经济※※ 稳定的独特贡献。如果没有解决争端的手段,一个以规则为基础的体制的效力就会下降,因为它的规则是不能被强制执行的。WTO程序尤其强 调依靠法律进行治理,同时,这也使得贸易体系更加可靠,更具可预见性。WTO的争端解决 体系建立在明确定义的规则之上,并且对完成案件裁决规定了时间期限。

 

Dispute settlement is the central pillar of the multilateral trading system, and the WTO’s unique contribution to the stability of the global economy. Without a means of settling disputes, the rules-based system would be less effective because the rules could not be enforced. The WTO’s procedure underscores the rule of law, and it makes the trading system more secure and predictable. The dispute settlement system of WTO is based on clearly-defined rules, with timetables for completing a case.

 

Stage and time

60 days

Consultations,mediation.etc.

45 days

Panel set up and  panel lists appointed

6 months

Final panel report to parties

3 weeks

Final panel report to WTO members

Total=1 year

(without appeal)

60-90 days

Appeals report

30 days

Dispute Settlement Body adopts appeals report

Total=1y3m

(without appeal)

 

然而,(争 端解决机制)的关键并不在于裁决的作出。通过磋商来解决问题才是优先的选择。截至20081月,在接近 369件案件中, 只有大约136件完成了整 个专家组程序。其余案件大多数或已通过“庭外”和解得以解 决或仍处于旷日持久的磋商阶段来——一案件甚至 从1995年至今仍在 进行磋商。

However ,the point is not to pass judgment. The priority is to settle disputes, through consultations if possible. By January 2008, only about 136 of the nearly 369 cases had reached the full panel process. Most of the rest have either been notified as settled “out of court” or remain in a prolonged consultation phase- some since 1995.

 

   如果 法院发现它们所处理的刑事案件在不断增加,是否意味着法律和程序已经被破坏?并不一定。有时候,这也意味着人们更加信任法庭和法治。人们向法院寻求救济,而非通过私了来解决问题。WTO之中的情形 在很大程度上就是这样。没有人希望看到国与国之间的争吵。但是,如果发生贸易争端,根据国际普遍接受的规则来处理争议无疑是更为合理的方式。我们有足够的理由相信,不断增多的争议只不过是世界贸易扩张以及乌拉圭回 合中形成的更加严格的规则的结果;我们也有足 够的理由相信,更多案件进人WTO 的事实反映 了人们对这个体系的信心在不断增长。

If the courts find themselves handling an increasing number of criminal cases, does that mean law and order is breaking down? Not necessarily. Sometimes it means that people have more faith in the courts and the rule of law. They are turning to the courts instead of taking the law into their own hands. For the most part, that is what is happening in the WTO. No one likes to see countries quarrel. But if there are going to be trade disputes anyway, it is healthier that the cases are handled according to internationally agreed rules. There are strong grounds for arguing that the increasing number of disputes is simply the result of expanding world trade and the stricter rules negotiated in the Uruguay Round; and that the fact that more are coming to the WTO reflects a growing faith in the system.

 

 

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