International Trade Law Research Guide

This guide features resources on international trade law.

Citations to Dispute Resolution Materials

Table of Contents

WTO Panel & Appellate Body Materials

Citations to the WTO panel and Appellate Body materials are governed by Rule 21.11 (a) of The Bluebook KF245 U5 2020.  It provides as follows:

Cite reports of WTO panels and the Appellate Body by their official document symbol:

  • Panel Report, United States—Sections 301–310 of the Trade Act of 1974, WTO Doc. WT/DS152/R (adopted Jan. 25, 2000) [hereinafter Section 301 Panel Report].
  • Appellate Body Report, Brazil—Export Financing Programme for Aircraft, ¶ 19, WTO Doc. WT/DS46/AB/R (adopted Aug. 20, 1999).

Cite communications of panels and the Appellate Body, as well as members’ communications to panels and the Appellate Body, in a like format:

  • Preliminary Ruling by the Panel, Canada—Measures Relating to Exports of Wheat and Treatment of Imported Grain, ¶ 23, WTO Doc. WT/DS276/12 (July 21, 2003).
  • Request for Consultations by the United States, European Communities—Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products, WTO Doc. WT/DS291/1 (May 20, 2003).
  • Request for the Establishment of a Panel by Brazil, United States—Subsidies on Upland Cotton, WTO Doc. WT/DS267/7 (Feb. 7, 2003).

A members’ written submissions and oral statements to panels and the Appellate Body are made public at the discretion of the individual member. Because these documents are not normally publicly available, include precise information regarding their location:

  • First Written Submission of the United States, United States—Subsidies on Upland Cotton, WT/DS267 (July 11, 2003), untries%20Regions/africa/agreements/pdfs/dispute_settlement/ds267/asset_upload_file148_5598.pdf.


GATT Panel Decisions

Citations to pre-WTO GATT panel decisions are governed by Rule 21.11 (b) of The Bluebook KF245 U5 2020.  It specifies that citations should be made to GATT Basic Instruments and Selected Documents (GATT BISD) KZ5185 .A4 1947, the official compilation of GATT documentation in print, which is available on the third floor of the Williams Library.

The citation should include the title; the case number, if listed; the document date; the ordinal number of the GATT BISD supplement (or annual volume); the page; and the year of publication:

  • Report of the Panel, Japan—Restrictions on Imports of Certain Agricultural Products, ¶ 5.2.2, L/6253 (Feb. 2, 1988), GATT BISD (35th Supp.), at 163, 229 (1989).
  • Netherlands Measure of Suspension of Obligations to the United States (Nov. 8, 1952), GATT BISD (1st Supp.), at 32 (1953).


WTO & GATT Document Symbols

Like the United Nations and other international organizations, the WTO employs an internal system of classifying documents, which grew out of the system employed by its predecessor, the GATT.  This system can be confusing to those who are not familiar with it.

Consult the WTO’s Guide to Documentation webpage to understand how the WTO organizes its official documents.

For a complete list of document symbols and acronyms, download this guide to WTO Document Nomenclature.

The GATT Digital Library provides a helpful guide to Understanding GATT Symbols.

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