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Paragraph 5(a) of Annex I to the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has been invoked by states to block the Commission's consideration of several submissions made by coastal states. The paragraph introduces several new factors into the delineation process of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, which had not been envisaged by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In addition, this has had significant consequences in respect of the completion of the delineation process, and thus the realization of one of the key objects and purposes of the Convention – that is, to create certainty about the extent of the continental shelf and the limits of the area. This article examines whether Paragraph 5(a) is in accordance with the Convention, and whether there is an alternative approach that may have a more limited impact on the delineation process.
The crisis facing the World Trade Organization illustrates the trade-off between legalization and compliance in international legal systems. Dispute bodies can sometimes “overreach” in their rulings, leading to resistance from member states. This article looks at one form of legal overreach: the extension of legal precedent. We argue that extending previous decisions can reduce the flexibility that states include deliberately in their agreements. We utilize original data on individual applications of precedent in the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body decisions from 1995 to 2015 and on policy responses to those decisions. We find strong evidence that extending precedent reduces on-time compliance. It also leads to longer delays before members comply. The results speak to the life cycles of international organizations, as well as questions of design and cooperation.
The first international administrative tribunal was set up in 1927. Since the Second World War many worldwide and regional international organizations were set up. They either created their own tribunal or accepted the jurisdiction of another tribunal for the adjudication of employment disputes. Dozens of such tribunals are functioning at present. Recently a number of organizations have withdrawn from the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT), and either set up their own tribunal or accepted the jurisdiction of another tribunal, which amounts to forum shopping. However, the proliferation of tribunals entails the risk of diverging judgments. Some cases have indeed occurred over the years, which have often been followed by calls for the merging of tribunals, or for the creation of a common appellate court. Some studies were made, but no concrete action was ever undertaken. Generally, there has been some convergence; however, it is likely that the current proliferation will remain.
No governing international text or generally accepted doctrine defines the procedure to be applied by international courts and tribunals. Yet these institutions’ tasks pose common challenges: providing notice of a dispute, defining its nature and scope, determining the legal rules, marshalling and assessing evidence, finding facts and applying legal rules to them, and then recording and communicating the result. There often is substantial similarity – indeed, convergence – in how courts and tribunals go about these tasks. This chapter examines some of the factors and institutions that contribute to this procedural harmonization among institutions dealing with disputes between parties from different countries and legal cultures. It looks at the shared historical foundations of important procedural practices, the influence of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, the roles individuals sometimes play in transmitting “legal technology” between institutions, and the effect of competition among institutions seeking to meet the needs of their “customers.” It also notes areas where procedure can diverge, as users look for new ways to address procedural problems.
This note tries to determine the most appropriate way to position international administrative tribunals (established by a number of inter-governmental organizations) in the public international legal order, and identify the substance of the so-called international administrative law applied therein. There is an emerging group of laws arising from numerous international administrative tribunal decisions that form a substantive body of legal rules applicable therein: a law of international civil service. Judges in those tribunals, who look for an appropriate source whenever they face a non-liquet situation, use the concept of international administrative law to overcome such difficulties. Judges should not hide themselves behind an ambiguous notion of international administrative law or general principles, but apply the law of international civil service with confidence.
The existing literature shows that transparency and monitoring reduce trade costs, improve regulatory practices and build and sustain trust. In this paper, using 555 specific trade concerns (STCs) raised by the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) committee in the period 1995–2018, we develop a novel classification of STCs. We distinguish between STCs aiming to exchange information (transparency STCs) and those aiming to monitor compliance with the TBT agreement (monitoring STCs). We show that: (i) when STCs intend to foster transparency, they are mainly used in relation to notified measures, thus suggesting that they are used to acquire not only new but also higher quality information than that provided merely by notifications; (ii) when STCs intend to challenge the compliance of WTO members with the TBT Agreement, they primarily address draft measures, thus suggesting that they are used to promote accountability and improve good regulatory practices; and (iii) STCs raised at the draft stage are less likely to escalate to a dispute than those raised on adopted measures. Guided by these findings, we suggest the potential for some reforms to improve the efficiency of the system. These include: introducing a reporting system on the outcome of STCs; using STCs raised in committees to fill the gap of missing notifications; systematically using the STC mechanism at the stage of draft measures; and building in the dispute settlement system the requirement to raise the matter and discuss it within the relevant committee before filing a formal dispute settlement case.
With the benefit of hindsight, much scholarship across political science, law, and economics has told the story of the international trade regime as if it had been pulled all along by a definite aim. By contrast, this article emphasizes the contingent aspects of the trade regime's development, looking especially to its dispute settlement mechanism. The very creation of the Appellate Body had by no means a certain outcome, and once created, the tribunal's evolution was largely unanticipated by states. An often-overlooked actor played a key role in that development: the WTO Secretariat. Drawing on recent findings, this article lays out the full extent of the Secretariat's role in dispute settlement, which remains largely hidden from view, and deliberately so. From appointing adjudicators and managing their remuneration, to providing them with legal arguments and drafting final rulings, the Secretariat of the WTO looms larger than in any comparable tribunal. Making its influence more transparent, I argue, would go a long way to returning the system to the shape it was designed to have at its outset.
International economic law is a field of public international law that regulates crossborder transactions in goods, services, and capital, as well as monetary relations between states. This chapter focuses on the branches of international economic law that govern international trade, international investment, and international monetary law. It sets out the historical background, fundamental rules, and dispute settlement systems in the areas of international trade law and international investment law, and it concludes by introducing international monetary law. International trade and international investment law share some fundamental principles, such as non-discrimination, although most favored nation treatment and national treatment take somewhat different forms in the two bodies of law. This chapter covers the Bretton Woods institutions, namely the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO).
This chapter begins by elaborating on the concept of a dispute, before providing a historical perspective on the evolution of the requirement to settle disputes peacefully. The chapter then explores diplomatic as well as legal methods of dispute settlement. Diplomatic forms of dispute settlement (also known as political or non-legal forms of dispute settlement) include negotiation, mediation, inquiry, and conciliation. Legal forms of dispute settlement include arbitration and adjudication. Resort by states to dispute settlement procedures, and in particular legal methods of dispute settlement, has grown exponentially in the last decades. Since the 1990s, the International Court of Justice has had an increasingly active docket of cases, and, in addition, the Permanent Court of Arbitration has undergone a sort of renaissance. The focus of this chapter will be on the settlement of inter-state disputes, as opposed to disputes between states and non-state actors or between non-state actors.
Unhappy with the rulings of the WTO dispute settlement system, which disproportionately targeted US use of trade remedies, the United States ended the entire system in 2019. There are multiple hurdles to agreeing to new terms of trade remedy use and thus potentially restoring some form of binding dispute settlement. First, a change would affect access to policy flexibility by the now large number of users of trade remedies. Second, although China's exports are the overwhelming target of trade remedies, exporters in other countries increasingly find themselves caught up in trade remedy actions linked to China. Third, critical differences posed by China's economic model may call for new rules for trade remedies, but no consensus on those rules has emerged. Even some of the most promising reforms have practical limitations, create additional challenges, or may be politically unviable.
This chapter sets out the history of the GATT and the WTO, with particular attention to the evolution of dispute settlement in the GATT/WTO from the Havana Charter to the Uruguay Round and beyond. The chapter provides an explanation and an overview of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Settlement Understanding (DSU), and summarizes efforts to reform the process since 1995. The chapter also discusses the assistance available to developing countries in WTO dispute settlement and provides some tips on researching WTO law. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of the current crisis in the WTO Appellate Body.
This chapter examines the system of dispute settlement that is applicable to the Protocol. This system presents a rather unique combination of, on the one hand, the continued jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and, on the other hand, an arbitration procedure. As has been rightly observed, these are two very different enforcement mechanisms. The former relies on an existing supranational court which monitors respect for the EU legal order, works together with national courts, and allows some measure of access to individuals. The role of the CJEU is controversial: its case law and jurisdiction were political drivers of the proponents of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The latter (arbitration), in contrast, represents a much more traditional public international law method that is new and available only to the parties of the WA.
This chapter aims to discuss the main features of Protocol Article 16 and Article 773 TCA. In particular, it outlines the main differences between these safeguards and those safeguards inspired from the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that are typically included in standard trade agreements. It also explores how the distinctive features of Article 16 of the Protocol may impact the judicial review of safeguard measures. The chapter considers (i) safeguards as regulated under the law of the WTO, (ii) the safeguard provisions contained in the Protocol and the TCA and (iii) the extent to which the invocation of the safeguard provisions contained in the WA and the TCA might be capable of being judicially reviewed both under the arbitration provisions of the TCA and as a matter of EU and UK law.
The chapter explores the legalization of the ASEAN Economic Community. It offers insight into the major characteristics of the new AEC Blueprint 2025 and the changing nature of the ASEAN way that have collectively shaped Asian integration. Furthermore, it analyzes ASEAN’s evolving legal framework that governs trade in goods, trade in services, investment protection and liberalization and dispute settlement. Emerging areas such as banking services, electronic commerce (e-commerce) and development assistance will also be discussed. Importantly, ASEAN’s economic integration trajectory is distinct from the neoliberal approach premised on the Washington Consensus. The chapter explains why and how the ASEAN approach guided by pragmatic incrementalism could benefit the development of the Global South. Finally, the chapter examines the externalization of the ASEAN way under ASEAN’s external agreements that underpin the regional economic architecture.
This book provides a novel approach to the allocation of international responsibility in a multilayered structure like the European Union. Introducing a new concept of functional international responsibility, this study finds that in international economic law the focus of international dispute settlement bodies is not on the responsible party, but on a party best placed to bear responsibility. The book offers a comprehensive analysis of international rules of responsibility and international dispute settlement practice, primarily that of the World Trade Organization and investment arbitration. The study offers a practically applicable approach to questions of international responsibility which will assist international adjudicators, EU and Member States' officials and third country government agents who negotiate economic agreements and are involved in international economic disputes. The book is also relevant to those interested in the governance and accountability questions under the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
This chapter compares the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) with the Australia -- United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), reflecting on relevant developments in the Australia -- United States relationship, including with respect to agriculture and biologic medicines. The chapter focuses on the Chapters on services and investment, addressing areas such as electronic commerce, investor--state dispute settlement (ISDS), and the "carve-out" of tobacco control measures from ISDS in the TPP. The comparison of investment in the two treaties is particularly of interest given the exclusion of ISDS in the AUSFTA and its inclusion (except as between Australia and New Zealand) in the TPP. We conclude that the TPP is a more modern agreement than the AUSFTA with several improvements that provide greater regulatory policy space. However, the inclusion of ISDS as between Australia and the United States in the TPP is questionable.
The ‘public morals’ exception remains a key aspect of the international trade system; however, its outer bounds have never been precisely defined. This question became pertinent in the US–Tariff Measures panel report, which expansively read the exception to justify a wide range of economic interests, including prohibitions on economic espionage, anti-competitive behaviour, and the regulation of government takings. This note challenges the panel's interpretation, arguing that it is flawed and essentially amounts to a factual standard of review. It proposes an alternative approach to public morals review, which involves an objective standard of review of facts and law, while providing adequate deference to Members’ own factual determinations. It further engages with the issue of extraterritoriality, defending an approach based on Members’ legislative jurisdiction as this strikes a balance between Members’ right to regulate trade for moral purposes and the interests of the international community.
The place of arbitration within the Syrian legal system has received scant academic and professional attention, and as such, remains largely unstudied. Shedding much-needed light on the nature of arbitration in Syria as a resilient form of ancient customary Arab alternative dispute resolution, this contribution appraises the salient features of the Syrian Arbitration Law 2008 and arbitration-related provisions within recent Syrian legislation. It aims to understand the position of arbitration in Syria between existing national and international law frameworks for dispute settlement and to assess the potential for establishing independent, transparent, and efficient tribunals to resolve disputes arising out of ongoing conflicts that have plagued the country since 2011. If arbitration proves to be a mechanism for ordering the peaceful settlement of postwar disputes within and concerning Syria, parties, practitioners, and stakeholders must employ perspectives that include and are capable of navigating Syria’s existing arbitration landscape.
The topic of ‘trade and technology’ usually gives rise to discussions of the ways in which new technologies might be traded, and the limitation of current trade rules in adapting to rapidly changing innovations. In contrast, this chapter asks a fundamentally different question – what opportunities will technology present to change the modes and methods by which trade regulation is achieved? Specifically, the chapter considers how the World Trade Organization (WTO), or a future trade organisation, might itself take advantage of technology to restructure how it manages trade and fulfils its mandate. That mandate includes serving as a facilitator of trade agreements and market access negotiations, a forum for resolution of trade disputes, and a watchdog for national trade policies. It argues that technologies such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, and the Internet of Things can be used in order to streamline and improve a range of WTO processes, particularly dispute settlement, negotiations, notifications, and monitoring.
This paper reviews the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel Report Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic in Transit of April 2019. It constitutes the first attempt to disentangle the legal and political aspects related to the invoked essential security interests from the economic considerations underlying the measures imposed on the transit through Russia of goods exported from Ukraine to the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. One the one hand, the panel's interpretation of Article XXI of the GATT denies Members unilateral determination over security exceptions. It further enables a pathway for future WTO panels to review possible abuses of security exceptions – a growing concern due to the rising complexity of transnational economic relations. On the other hand, our economic analysis suggests a stricter assessment of Russia's transit restrictions was necessary. In particular, it argues that the panel adopted a circular assessment when considering the plausibility of whether Russia implemented its measures for the protection of its essential security interests at a time of emergency in international relations. Ultimately, although the panel's focus on finding a diplomatic and legal path forward failed economic scrutiny a legal assessment argues that the panel's findings fit the legal design of Article XXI:b of the GATT.