The GATT dispute resolution system is generally regarded as one of the cornerstones of the multilateral trade order. The system has already been strengthened and streamlined by the reforms agreed upon at the mid-term ministerial review meeting in Montreal in December 1988. Disputes currently before the Council are subject to these new rules, which include a larger automatic system for decisions relating to the institution, mandate and composition of bodies, so that these decisions no longer depend on the agreement of the parties to the dispute. The Uruguay Round Agreement on Dispute Resolution Rules and Procedures (DSU) will further strengthen the existing system and extend the largest automatic system agreed at the mid-term review to include the adoption of bodies and the results of a new appeal body. In addition, the DSU will establish an integrated system allowing WTO members to base their claims on one of the multilateral trade agreements contained in the WTO agreement annexes. To this end, a dispute resolution body (DSB) exercises the authority of the General Council and the boards and committees of covered agreements. Other provisions include rules on compensation or suspension of concessions in the event of non-implementation. Within a specified period of time, the parties may enter into negotiations to agree on mutually acceptable compensation. In the event of a non-agreement, a party to the dispute may seek authorization from the dispute settlement treaty to suspend concessions or other obligations to the other party concerned.
The DSB grants this authorization within 30 days of the end of the agreed implementation period. Differences of opinion on the proposed level of suspension may be referred to arbitration. In principle, concessions should be suspended in the same area as the one at issue in the panel case. If this is not feasible or effective, the suspension may take place in another area of the same agreement. If this is not effective or feasible and the circumstances are serious enough, the suspension of concessions may be made as part of another agreement. The works concerned are works that have been made public either because of the absence of international copyright agreements between the United States and the country of origin of the work, or because of non-compliance with the registration and notification of copyright procedures in the United States. These are also works that already had U.S. copyright, but were made public because of the lack of copyright renewal. The law defines all the works concerned as “restored works” and the copyright granted to you as a “restored copyright”, although many of these works never had an American copyright to restore it.
The Telecommunications Annex refers to measures affecting access and use of public telecommunications services and networks. In particular, it requires that another party be able to benefit from such access on reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions in order to allow the provision of a service contained in its timetable. The conditions of use of public networks should not be greater than what is necessary to preserve the public service responsibilities of their operators, protect the technical integrity of the network and ensure that foreign service providers do not provide services, unless a specific obligation permits. The annex also encourages technical cooperation to help developing countries strengthen their own telecommunications sectors. The Air Services Annex excludes traffic rights (bilateral agreements largely conferring landing rights) and activities directly related to the negotiation of traffic rights from the coverage of the agreement. However, the schedule also specifies that the agreement should apply to aircraft repair and maintenance services, air marketing and computerized booking services.