Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, and Interpretation

Isabelle Van Damme

in The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199231928
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, and Interpretation


This article deals with the jurisdiction, applicable law, and interpretive practices of the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system, which define its power within the WTO institutional structure and its influence on other international courts and tribunals. It mentions that understanding the judicial function requires a study of the type of powers of judges, as well as their sources. This article implies a comparative survey of practices of various courts and tribunals to detect emerging principles of international procedural law and inherent powers associated with the status of the international judge. It further suggests that the role of the Appellate Body is broader than that of a court of cassation. The applicable law in WTO dispute settlement is touched upon in several provisions. The principles developed by legal system to guide and justify the reasoning process of the adjudicator in interpreting and applying the law are also discussed.

Keywords: jurisdiction; applicable law; interpretive practices; dispute settlement system; Appellate Body

Article.  23523 words. 

Subjects: Law ; International Law

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