Import and Export Tax
The Functions of a ‘Panel’
During disagreements between states, a panel is normally constituted when a party to a particular disagreement case makes a request in writing. The panel requests normally include details of whether there were consultations held before, between the party in disagreement or not, the exact measures in question and a short summary of the legal base of the grievance, which should be adequate to present the crisis in a clear manner. The panel is first of all charged with the responsibility of confirming the aforementioned details. A panel is normally made up of 3, or under the request of the complainants a total of 5, properly-qualified government or non-government personalities, who serve at their individual capacities and not representatives of organisations or governments.
The function of the panel is to help the DSB in carrying out its tasks in line with the Understanding and enclosed or covered accords or agreements. For that reason, a panel is supposed to do an intentional or purposeful assessment of the issue that is brought before it, as well as an objective evaluation of the particulars, proof or facts of the complaint and the relevance of the case, in addition to its compliance with the pertinent covered accords or agreements. While carrying out these responsibilities, the panel should find out any other relevant issues that will help the DSB come up with appropriate recommendations or give appropriate rulings that are allowed within the limits of the enclosed agreements. The panel members should only ensure that the party which is invited on the panel attend it and similarly keep all the documents that are presented before it confidential. After the panelists have assessed the case at hand, they should submit a written report to the DSB within a period of six months from the time it was set. The report submitted to the DSB should outline the findings in regard to the facts surrounding the case, the pragmatism of relevant conditions, and the fundamental underlying principles behind or supporting any of their results and/ or findings.
The Roles of the ‘Appellate Body’
An Appellate body is normally formed when any one party or members who filed the complaint with the panel makes a request seeking to appeal from the decision that is made by the panel. The Appellate body, first of all, has the responsibility of ensuring that the appeal that is made by the discontented party is limited to or is within the enclosure of the legal issues or legal framework that was initially covered or included in the panel report and the legal interpretations that were developed by the panel. This implies that one party can appeal a decision made by the panel based on a question of fact. If the appellate body determines that the measure that is raised by the appealing party is inconsistent with the covered agreement, then it will recommend that the appellant ensures that the measure conforms to the agreement before it is accepted for review.
The appellate body basically writes its reports in the absence of the complaining party and the reports are normally made based on the information that was initially provided by the party, in addition to their statements. The appellate body, basically made of seven individuals, normally expresses opinions that are supposed to remain anonymous. In the report, the appellate body may modify, reverse, or uphold the legal findings and conclusions that were made by the panel. This report should be submitted to the DSB not later than nine months from the time the panel was formed. The report from the Appellate body will be adopted by the DSB and similarly be unconditionally accepted by the parties that are having the dispute. This may not be the case if the DSB makes a decision via a consensus not to adopt the report from the Appellate Body, and this should take place within thirty days following the circulation of the report amongst the members.