Adjudication in the GATT/WTO: Making General Exceptions in Trade Law

Ingo Venzke

in How Interpretation Makes International Law

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199657674
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191753114 | DOI:
Adjudication in the GATT/WTO: Making General Exceptions in Trade Law

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This chapter introduces international judicial institutions as weighty actors in international legal discourse. It shows how the practice of adjudication in international trade law has shaped the general exceptions of Art. XX GATT. The spell of precedents has not only carried semantic shifts but it has also provided new reference points for legal discourse to which interpreters are expected and forced to relate their arguments. In substance, adjudicators have shaped the law to provide thick standards for domestic regulatory processes. They walk the line between proportionality analysis at the international level and deference to domestic regulatory autonomy. The chapter closes by sketching how interpretation may be guided by considerations of democratic legitimacy in a system of multilevel governance.

Keywords: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; GATT; World Trade Organization; WTO; judicial lawmaking; adjudication; precedents; proportionality analysis; trade and public policy; general exceptions of Art. XX GATT

Chapter.  33358 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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