In this paper, the dispute resolution procedures used by two of the most prominent global arbiters, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will be compared and contrasted in terms of the types of cases that each respective organization would deal with, the methods by which disputes are referred to them, the process/methodology for the dispute resolution and the mechanisms for redress. In addition, reference will be made, where appropriate, to relevant sources of law.
In order to accurately evaluate and understand the various aspects of these organizations that will soon be presented, an adequate understanding of the structure of the WTO and the ICC both need to be explained briefly.
The WTO has its origins in the words of a man who lived and studied economics centuries before the WTO ever existed. Considered by many to be the father of modern economics, Adam Smith put forth the original theory that the key to true economic progress and prosperity for all nations is international trade. He theorized that by making a wide variety of goods and services available anywhere in the world, not only would the country of origin benefit, but also the receptions of these goods would benefit due to the improvement of their quality of life through the utility of the goods themselves (Miller, 2003). With the idea of free international trade already very popular, the WTO was formed not only in an effort to promote free international trade, but also to attempt to police the international marketplace to prevent violations of trade laws.
Like, the WTO, the ICC seeks to serve as an advocate for, and protector of international trade. Possessing a similar mindset to that of the WTO, the ICC also tries to peacefully resolve international trade disputes through an arbitration process, promote free trade in every corner of the globe, and seek ways to improve world commerce, much as one's local chamber of commerce promotes the interests of a given city or town (International Chamber of Commerce, 2006).
Having given a brief overview of the origins, goals, and mindsets of these two organizations, it is now possible to properly analyze them as was detailed at the outset of this paper.
Types of Cases
Speaking in the broadest of terms, both the WTO and the ICC handle cases of a non-criminal nature; both organizations, in the course of evaluating a case, will refer any criminal matters to the appropriate law enforcement agency anywhere in the world. The types of cases that these organizations handle would best be described as non-criminal civil matters in that the cases usually involve some sort of business or trade dispute that centers on financial gain or loss, and the disputes of both organizations can often be resolved by the use of monetary reparations for the injured party or parties. However, there are some fundamental differences in the ways that the WTO and ICC handle their respective responsibilities.
In general, the WTO is more of a reactive organization, which is to say that the organization handles the disputes that are referred to them as they are