The following are frequently asked questions regarding TradeLawGuide. If you have additional questions please email us directly at

1. What new capabilities does TradeLawGuide bring to the market and how does it compare to existing WTO law research tools?

Given that TradeLawGuide is a new WTO law research product, we start by answering this key question.

TradeLawGuide enables you to research jurisprudence in a thorough and complete manner. Two words sum up TradeLawGuide- "methodical" and "efficient".

Before starting to capture data, we spent two years carefully developing and testing protocols to gather and organize the content in TradeLawGuide in a standardized manner to enhance its comprehensiveness, consistency and usefulness. Content is not limited to key points but extends to all data, making TradeLawGuide valuable not only for researching principal issues but also those on the periphery of existing jurisprudence.

The research tools enable you to methodically research jurisprudence on any WTO provision and then follow relevant passages through subsequent reports, awards or decisions where those passages are cited.

"Noting up" WTO Law

TradeLawGuide is the only database that enables the user to note up WTO law.

"Noting up" in the domestic law context refers to examining the judicial treatment of legislation or a case. It is a crucial step in legal research. It must be accomplished methodically and comprehensively.

Recent statements by the Appellate Body in US - Stainless Steel (Mexico) and other reports call attention to the importance noting up WTO jurisprudence. The Appellate Body has stated, inter alia, that "following the Appellate Body's conclusions in earlier disputes is not only appropriate, but is what would be expected from panels, especially where the issues are the same".

Noting up allows the user to: (i) find all jurisprudence that applies or interprets a legal instrument or provision; (ii) determine whether that jurisprudence is still good law, and (iii) determine what adjudicators have been saying about that jurisprudence. This last step is invaluable for understanding the interpretation of the jurisprudence and can lead to jurisprudence that has applied the law to similar facts.

The Article Citator notes up the provisions of 72 WTO agreements and instruments and other relevant treaties. The user selects a provision and can instantly find all of the jurisprudence on point, sort and display that jurisprudence to expedite his/her review, and immediately view the specific provision references within that jurisprudence.

The Jurisprudence Citator notes up the paragraphs and footnotes of all WTO jurisprudence. A paragraph or footnote of a WTO report, award or decision can be selected and then all jurisprudence that cites that paragraph or footnote can be identified immediately and reviewed.

Finally, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) minutes tool enables the user to quickly note up WTO jurisprudence to ascertain strengths, weaknesses, policy issues or concerns raised in submissions before the DSB.

Noting up with TradeLawGuide's citators and DSB minutes tool will improve the comprehensiveness of research and reduce the risk of errors or oversights.

TradeLawGuide's integrated browser, which integrates pinpoint PDF viewing with summaries, key findings, extracts and the jurisprudence citator, vastly improves the speed and efficiency of your research saving you time and money.

Other research tools also provide remarkable improvements in research time. For example, if you do a full text search on the word "proceedings" there are thousands of results. TradeLawGuide's contextual search results identifies the key jurisprudence in three seconds and presents it separately at the top of the results.

2. How often is TradeLawGuide updated?

TradeLawGuide is updated daily.

The principal documents added on a continuous basis are procedural documents (from WTO litigation) and jurisprudence documents. Documents are added as they become publicly available on the WTO website.

The only data that take additional time to upload are the detailed citator and annotation data from WTO jurisprudence (i.e., panel reports, Appellate Body reports and arbitration awards/decisions). We upload the jurisprudence documents immediately and they are available for full text search and viewing. However, the detailed data will be uploaded sequentially in accordance with our audit procedures. When such data are being uploaded there is a notice to that effect in the "TLG News" box in the Member Welcome page.

The servers that subscribers access are updated daily at 12:00 (noon) Ottawa time to reflect additions from the previous 24 hours. Depending on your login time, the database may be up to 24 hours out of date.

3. Does TradeLawGuide include the submissions of the disputing parties in WTO disputes?

The only submissions on the database are those attached to the panel reports (see the full versions of the panel reports included in the "Jurisprudence" tab in the database) and those summarized in the body of the reports (e.g., Appellate Body reports).

The reason we do not separately include submissions is because they are not uniformly available from all WTO disputing Members. One of our requirements for data upload is that the data category is complete. We cannot meet this requirement for submissions.

Some of the WTO Members include their submissions on their own websites. For example:

United States -

EU -

All procedural documents issued in the disputes are available from the directory in the "Jurisprudence" tab (each dispute has a link to "Display all documents in this dispute") and in the "Documents" tab (which allows you to display by category or by dispute name).

4. How do I download documents from TradeLawGuide?

You can download documents from anywhere in the database using the integrated PDF browser. Just click on the PDF version of the document you are viewing and press F8 to get the PDF toolbar. Use the "Save" function to save a copy of the document.

The "Jurisprudence", "Documents" and "Negotiating History" tabs provide document directories to simplify document download.

5. How do I access TradeLawGuide once I have subscribed?

Upon subscription, you will be provided a username and password via email. Once received, you can log into the website and update/manage your members profile, including changing your password to something more familiar.

6. What is the cost of a subscription?

Access to TradeLawGuide is through an annual subscription fee that varies depending on the number of users. The base subscription rate is $2652.25 (U.S.) per year for up to three users. For groups larger than three users, accredited universities or international organizations please contact our Director of Sales, Susan Foote at

7. Does TradeLawGuide use Popup windows when I am logged in as a subscriber?

Yes. TradeLawGuide makes use of popup windows to provide ancillary information and enhance the browsing experience, with the intent of not taking the user away from their current activity. If the browser is not set to enable popups, some of the functions will not be available. Therefore, in order to use all of the features available in this site, we recommend disabling your browser's pop-up blocker and/or ensuring the configuration allows pop-up windows on this specific website.

8. Does TradeLawGuide use cookies and store personal information?

Yes, TradeLawGuide uses cookies which may store temporarily information in your browser to enhance the user experience similar to any rich media website. It is recommended that cookies be enabled in your browser. For complete details on TradeLawGuide cookie usage, please see our Privacy Policy.

9. What is the recommend screen resolution for using the site?

TradeLawGuide is designed to work with a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768, but higher resolutions are recommended to reduce the amount of scrolling. Different display monitors, screen resolutions, and browsers can produce different user views and experience of web pages.

10. Does TradeLawGuide use Adobe Reader?


Pinpoint Referencing in iFrame Viewer

TradeLawGuide's iFrame viewer takes you to pinpoint references within PDF documents.  Pinpoint referencing is essential because of the complex web of linkages that the database creates between related information. For this functionality to operate, it is necessary that you utilize certain browsers and also have Adobe Reader or Professional v. 9.0+  loaded on your computer.

We are currently creating hypertext versions of all of the documents in our collection. Once this change is implemented the many annoyances caused by PDF documents including browser compatibility issues and searching issues will be eliminated.


TradeLawGuide is best viewed with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox as the default browsers and a screen resolution of 1024x768 (or higher).  The most recent version of these browsers is recommended.

Please enable pop-ups in your browser.

We recommend designating (the regular site address) and (the secure site address) as "trusted" sites in your browser.

GOOGLE CHROME: Unfortunately, Google Chrome is no longer supporting the technical plugins that are necessary to make the TradeLawGuide pinpoint referencing operate. Please use another browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

FIREFOX Version 19 and newer: Versions of Firefox since version 19 have a built-in PDF viewer. This must be activated in order for pin-point referencing to work. To activate, please select Tools > Options > Applications. In the Applications panel, please click on "Portable Document Format (PDF)". Open the drop-down menu and select "Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)".


In order for the pinpoint referencing in TradeLawGuide’s iFrame viewer to properly function, please:

  1. 1. Download Adobe Reader onto your Mac if you do not already have it downloaded.

  2. 2. Select Preferences in the Safari browser

       Step 1

  3. 3. Click on Manage Website Settings under Security Tab

       Step 2

  4. 4. Select Adobe Reader from the list and select Allow Always option

       Step 3


Before you make the changes to suggested below, please close all applications using Adobe Reader or Professional including TradeLawGuide (if you are logged into TradeLawGuide, we recommend logging off before closing the application).

iFrame Browsing

If PDF documents are not opening in the iFrame, please try the following:

For Adobe Acrobat Reader and Professional version 9.x, open Adobe Reader or Professional and choose Edit > Preferences > Internet, select "Display PDF In Browser", "Allow fast web view", and "Allow speculative downloading in the background" and then click OK.

For Versions 10.x and newer, open Adobe Reader or Professional and choose Edit > Preferences > Internet, select "Allow fast web view", and "Allow speculative downloading in the background" and then click OK.

If you are still having problems with PDF documents opening in the iFrame please see instructions at the following URLs:

How to Disable "Reading Untagged Document" Dialog

When opening PDF documents in the iFrame you may encounter "Reading Untagged Document" or other similar dialog. To disable this, for Adobe Acrobat Reader and Professional versions 9.x and newer, open Adobe Acrobat Reader or Professional and choose Edit > Preferences > Reading.

For "Screen Reader Options"/"Page vs Document", select "Only read the currently visable pages". Uncheck the box "Confirm before tagging documents".

Hit Highlighting in Full Text Search

TradeLawGuide's full text search for PDF documents uses hit highlighting for browsing search results.

For Adobe Acrobat Reader and Professional version 9.x, you must manually enable search hit highlighting in order for our full text search tool to operate correctly. Please open Adobe Reader or Professional and choose Edit > Preferences > Search. Check the box entitled “Enable search highlights from external highlight server” and click “OK”.  

Adobe Acrobat Reader and Professional versions 10.x and newer eliminate the built-in support for hit highlighting of search results from external web servers that has been present in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader prior to version 10.

In order view search results from web-based search engines when using these versions, you will need to download and install a plug-in that enables hit highlighting. You can download a plug-in from the dtSearch website:

To browse through the hits in the PDF documents, please use Ctrl+Shift+Space to get the next hit and Ctrl+Shift+Backspace to get the previous hit.

If the hit highlighting is still not working, go to Program Files in your computer and click on the dtSearch PDF Search Highlighter - Options. Uncheck the box "Verify that highlighting requests are sent only to compatible servers".

Checking the configuration of your computer

If you would like to determine whether your computer is configured for optimized browsing, please use the following test link and click on the paragraph references. The PDF document should advance to the relevant parts of the document.

  • collapse Test link for "System Requirements" Page

If you have any questions about technical issues please consult the FAQs or contact


Get Adobe Reader

12. How can I contact TradeLawGuide for additional questions?

You can contact us at