Dispute Settlement in the WTO: The NGO Perspective

Khurshid Iqbal

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy ; International Islamic University - Department of Law

January 1, 2003

Journal of Law and Society, Volume XXVIII, No 41, Faculty of Law, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, January 2003


The article focuses on the role of the NGOs in the dispute settlement process of the WTO. It argues that NGOs participation is underpinned by the emerging norm of participatory democracy. Given the growing expectations about WTO’s accountability, transparency and democratic legitimacy, the NGOs participation could be useful in providing information, expertise and public confidence to the WTO’s dispute settlement. The article concludes that as the NGOs are already playing an informal role in the WTO, the debate over the issue should shift from ‘whether’ to ‘how’. There are, however, two problems: NGOs own legitimacy and accountability. The NGOs could resolve these issues by ensuring that they pursue clear objectives and that they are not affiliated with any party to a dispute.


Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: WTO, dispute settlement, democratic legitimacy, NGOs in WTO, amicus brief

JEL Classification: K00, K33, K41


Research Paper

Author / Editor: 

Khurshid Iqbal





Publish Date: 



WTO, dispute settlement, democratic legitimacy, NGOs in WTO, amicus brief

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