International Economic Law

Asif Qureshi and Xuan Gao

in International Law

ISBN: 9780199796953
Published online July 2013 | | DOI:
International Economic Law

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  • International Law
  • International Courts and Tribunals
  • Private International Law and Conflict of Laws
  • Public International Law


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In general, international economic law (IEL) is concerned with the governance of international economic relations between states as they affect individuals in a state, including in particular their relations inter se across national boundaries. As such, the principal preoccupations of IEL involve international trade, international investment, international monetary and financial law, and international development law. A traditional drive for this normative framework has been the facilitation of the optimal allocation and use of national and international resources for the development of all the people of the world. Defining IEL is a complex process involving a bundle of questions that need to be understood at the outset before any firm definition is articulated. The process involves first and foremost the “is” question: what is IEL? This question involves a consideration of the legal sources of IEL, the subject matter that is the object of IEL disciplines, and the subjects that are subject to IEL. Second, the process involves the “ought” question: how should IEL be redefined? This can be in terms of its sources, its subjects and subject matter, even in terms of its very objectives. Third, the process involves refocusing from a global perspective to a closer, micro level scrutiny of the subject. At this level, the questions focus on defining the sets of regimes that make up the international economic system and configuring them in relation to each other and the international economic system as a whole, including the system of IEL in the wider international order. Fourth, another subtext of the process of defining IEL involves inquiring into how international economic governance should be allocated among the state, region, and multilateral levels. Finally, the process of defining IEL is a dynamic process and involves a constant appraisal of whether international economic relations are developing in such a manner that corresponding adjustments to the definition of IEL are called for. The process of defining IEL in this manner elevates the question from a mere academic discourse to one of the most profound inquiries in international economic relations, one that is highly relevant to informing our responses to contemporary international economic problems and that is ubiquitous in all manner of national, regional, and multilateral economic governance. The approach to IEL herein is from the perspective of public international law, with a focus on the traditional preoccupations with world trade, money and finance, investment and taxation, and international development law.

Article.  11039 words. 

Subjects: International Law ; International Courts and Tribunals ; Private International Law and Conflict of Laws ; Public International Law

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