ILO Working Paper 104

Trends of Dispute Settlement Mechanisms under Labour Provisions: An Analysis Based on Quantitative and Multiple Case Comparisons between EU and US (CN version)

The paper uses quantitative data and cases comparison to conclude five trends of the dispute settlement mechanism. The above-mentioned trends indicate that the implementation mechanism of labor provisions has become more effective under the impetus of the EU and the U.S. and has exerted stronger binding force on contracting parties’ compliance with labor provisions.

The dispute settlement mechanism is one of the important implementation mechanisms of the labor provisions under the Free Trade Agreement. To urge the parties to more strictly implement the commitments made in the labor provisions, the EU and the U.S. have been continuously improving the mechanism in recent years.

The paper uses quantitative data and cases comparison to conclude five trends of the dispute settlement mechanism, including: First, the jurisdiction of panel continues to expand, and the link between labor provisions and trade has become a potential assumption and the defendant needs no proof; Second, the efficiency of the panel in making decisions has been continuously faster; Third, the types of disputes adjudicated by the panel are constantly increasing; Fourth, the panel relies heavily on the interpretation of core labor standards by the International Labor Organization (ILO); Fifth, alternative mechanisms for panel began to emerge.

The above-mentioned trends indicate that the implementation mechanism of labor provisions has become more effective under the impetus of the EU and the U.S. and has exerted stronger binding force on contracting parties’ compliance with labor provisions.

Based on the analysis, it is suggested that China should improve its understanding of the trend of the dispute settlement mechanism and improve its relevant policies accordingly.