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This article, based on a lecture given at the inauguration ceremony for the new Advisory Centre on WTO Law, describes the broader world trading landscape into which this new Centre emerges. Taking into account the possible implications of the events on September 11, this article provides a brief analysis of the current trade policy climate, asserting the necessity of institutions for the successful functioning of markets. After a short institutional history of the GATT/WTO, the author describes the importance of institutional rules, treaty text, and practice for the success of the WTO and presents the current debate over what the scope of this institution has been, is now, and could be in the future - the debate over which important issues should be taken under the WTO umbrella, and, further, which issues are appropriate to send to the Dispute Settlement System. Finally, this article illustrates the challenges facing this dispute settlement system, proposals for reform, and the vital role that the new Advisory Centre may be able to play in resolving some of these challenges.


Copyright © 2002 Cambridge University Press;

Publication Citation

1 World Trade Rev. 101-114 (2002)