Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

International Trade Law Research Guide

This guide features resources on international trade law.

Panel & Appellate Body Reports; Arbitration Decisions & Awards


Summaries & Commentary

The following print and electronic resources provide summaries of WTO panel and Appellate body reports.  Many of them also provide explanatory annotations and/or commentary.

  • WTO Dispute Settlement:  One-Page Case Summaries 1995-2014 INTL K4600 .A52 2015
    These official summaries, prepared by the WTO, provide easy-to-digest overviews of panel and Appellate Body reports.
     
  • WTO Dispute Settlement Decisions:  Bernan's Annotated Reporter INTL KZ5185 .A53 (canceled in 2013)
    This multi-volume, commercially published set includes the full texts of WTO panel and Appellate Body reports, along with a procedural history of each dispute, a summary of each report, and annotations describing each of the issues decided.  The Law Library has Volumes 1-97, which covers decisions rendered from 1996-2013.
     
  • TradeLawGuide
    The TLG's editors provide commentaries on WTO panel and Appellate Body reports, as well as arbitration decisions and awards, usually within 48 hours of their issuance.  Click on the "Commentaries" tab on the main menu at the top of the homepage.  Search by keyword or browse alphabetically or chronologically by dispute name.
     
  • WorldTradeLaw.net
    In addition to the full texts of WTO panel and Appellate Body reports, as well as arbitration decisions and awards, WorldTradeLaw.net provides summaries of key findings, commentary, and procedural histories and timelines.  To access reports, decisions, and awards, click on "WTO Cases & Legal Texts" on the green menu bar.  To access dispute settlement commentary (DSC), click on "DSC Features" in the green menu bar.
     


Full Texts

The print and electronic resources listed below provide access to the full texts of WTO panel and Appellate Body reports.  Since these reports are quite lengthy (typically 100 pages or more), you may wish to read a summary before consulting the full text. 

  • Dispute Settlement Reports INTL KZ5158 .W67
    This multi-volume print set includes the official, authoritative texts of WTO panel and Appellate Body reports published in chronological order by date of decision.
     
  • TradeLawGuide
    Click on the "Jurisprudence" tab on the main menu bar at the top of the homepage to access the full texts of WTO panel and Appellate Body reports, as well as arbitration decisions and awards.  Search by keyword, browse alphabetically by dispute name or use the filters to browse by document type. 
     
  • Westlaw WTO & GATT Panel Decisions (WTO-DEC)
    This Westaw database includes the full texts of reports issued by WTO dispute settlement panels (1995-present) and by GATT dispute settlement panels (1948-1994).  It also includes selected procedural documents, such as requests for  consultations and requests for the establishment of dispute resolution panels.
     

Analytical Tools

Use the print and electronic resources described below to help you research the extensive body of WTO dispute resolution case law by topic or by WTO agreement article number. 

  • TradeLawGuide
    The TLG offers the following online tools for researching WTO dispute resolution case law:
     
    • Subject Navigator.  Search or browse WTO panel and Appellate Body reports by topic.
    • Article Citator.  Browse by WTO agreement article number to find excerpts from panel and Appellate Body reports that have interpreted and applied the article in question.
    • Jurisprudence Citator.  Use this tool to determine whether an article interpretation from a WTO panel or Appellate Body report has been cited by tribunals in subsequent cases. 
    • Video Tutorials.  Click on the “Learning Centre link at the top of the TLG homepage to access video tutorials that will show you how to use the tools described above.
       
  • WTO Analytical Index:  Guide to WTO Law & Practice (3rd ed.) INTL REF K4610.A2 W79 2012
    This comprehensive guide to the interpretation and application of the WTO agreements is published by the Legal Affairs Division of the WTO Secretariat.  It contains extracts or summaries of key findings from thousands of pages of WTO jurisprudence, including panel reports, Appellate Body reports, Article 21.3(c) awards, and Article 22.6 decisions.
     
    • Content is divided into 21 chapters, each of which corresponds to a particular WTO agreement.  Within each chapter, content is arranged on an article-by article basis.
    • The text of each article is followed by extracts from reports issued by dispute resolution tribunals and other WTO bodies that interpret the article in question.  Citations to the underlying documents are provided.
    • Volume II includes a comprehensive subject index as well as a case name index.
    • The third edition covers the period from January of 1995 through September of 2011.
    • Content from the Analytical Index is accessible online via the WTO's website.  Browse by WTO agreement or by subject.  Note that the content may only be viewed in a Web browser and is not available for download.

       
  • WTO Analytical Index:  Supplement Covering New Developments in WTO Law & Practice.
    This supplement to the WTO Analytical Index covers the period from October of 2011 through June of 2015. 
     
  • WTO Appellate Body Repertory of Reports and Awards, 1995-2013 (5th ed.) INTL K4610.A7 W67 2014
    This resource is similar to the WTO Analytical Index (described above), but the content is limited to extracts from reports and awards issued by the WTO's Appellate Body.  If you want to limit your research to interpretations made by the Appellate Body, it is a good place to start.  Volume II includes a comprehensive subject index.
     
  • Free Analytical Tools on the WTO Website.
    • Subject Index of Disputed Cases
      The alphabetical subject index is divided into three tables covering trade in goods, intellectual property, and services.  Click on a subject heading within a table to view a list of disputed cases that address that subject.  
    • Disputes by WTO Agreement
      Click on the name of a WTO agreement to view a list of disputed cases in which the complaining party alleged a violation of the agreement in question.  Scroll down to view an article-by-article breakdown of the disputed cases.
       

Pre-WTO GATT Panel Reports

  • WTO website
    GATT panel reports are available for download from the WTO website in PDF format.  Reports are arranged in chronological order.  If the report was published in the GATT Basic Instruments and Selected Documents series (described below), a citation to the relevant GATT BISD volume or supplement is provided in parentheses after the short title of the dispute.
     
  • GATT Basic Instruments and Selected Documents (GATT BISD).  INTL KZ5185.A4 1947
    Most reports issued by GATT dispute settlement panels prior to the creation of the WTO are published in this official compilation of GATT-related documents.  Note that after the initial four volumes, all subsequent volumes in the series were designated as supplements.  The subject index at the end of Supplement 42 covers the entire series.
     
  • Analytical Index:  Guide to GATT Law and Practice (6th ed.) INTL K4603 .C6 1995
    This precursor to the WTO Analytical Index (described above) provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade by dispute settlement panels prior to the establishment of the WTO in 1995.  Extracts from reports issued GATT panels and other GATT bodies are arranged by GATT article number.  Each volume also includes a comprehensive subject index.
     
  • Westlaw WTO & GATT Panel Decisions (WTO-DEC)
    This Westaw database includes the full texts of reports issued by GATT dispute settlement panels (1948-1994) and by WTO dispute settlement panels (1995-present).  It also includes selected procedural documents, such as requests for  consultations and requests for the establishment of dispute resolution panels.