Domestic legal traditions and the dispute settlement body

Christina Fattore (Department of Political Science, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA)

Journal of International Trade Law and Policy

ISSN: 1477-0024

Publication date: 10 June 2014



The purpose of this study is to focus on the influence of domestic legal traditions on dispute behavior, which has been widely examined in the conflict literature, within the World Trade Organization (WTO). States with a civil legal tradition hold treaties and agreements in high esteem. Therefore, they will be more likely to file trade complaints and pursue adjudication when compared to states with common or mixed legal traditions.


The hypotheses in this study have been tested using a quantitative test with data from the WTO regarding trade disputes.


While civil law states are more likely to file complaints, they are less likely to pursue adjudication over a negotiated settlement.


This study brings to light how domestic legal systems affect state behavior within an international legal body.



Fattore, C. (2014), "Domestic legal traditions and the dispute settlement body", Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 123-135.

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