The introductory chapter begins with a review of the literature on the effectiveness of international courts, with a focus on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement System (DSS). It then sets out the book’s main objective, which is to offer a multidimensional approach for analysing the effectiveness of the WTO DSS, a goal-based approach that defines DSS effectiveness as the extent to which this adjudicative system attains the goals set for it by the WTO and its Member states. Such an approach not only transcends classic compliance-centred effectiveness models by taking into account the manifold goals entrusted to the DSS, but also enables revelation of the real-life intricacies underlying the DSS’s operation and, consequently, its effectiveness, as these emerge from the multiple, conflicting, and shifting nature of its objectives. After formulating the book’s research agenda and objectives, the chapter provides an overview of the book’s four parts and explains its methodological framework.
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