Public Private Partnership for WTO Dispute Settlement, Enabling Developing Countries

Mexico - 23 April 2018

World Trade Organisation Dispute Settlement Understanding (WTO DSU) is a two-tier mechanism. The first tier is international adjudication and the second tier is domestic handling of trade disputes. Both tiers are interdependent and interconnected. A case that is poorly handled at the domestic level generally stands a relatively lower chance of success at the international level, and hence, the future of WTO litigation is partially predetermined by the manner in which it is handled at the domestic level. Moreover, most of the capacity-related challenges faced by developing countries at WTO DSU are deeply rooted in the domestic context of these countries, and their solutions can best be found at the domestic level. The present empirical investigation seeks to explore a domestic solution to the capacity related challenges faced mainly by developing countries, as it examines the model of public private partnership (PPP). In particular, the article examines how India, one of the most active DSU users among developing countries, has strengthened its DSU participation by engaging its private stakeholders during the management of WTO disputes. The identification and evaluation of the PPP strategies employed by the government and industries, along with an analysis of the challenges and potential limitations that such partnerships have faced in India, may prompt other developing countries to review or revise their individual approach towards the future handling of WTO dispute.