Journal Article

EC Liability for the Non‐Implementation of WTO Dispute Settlement Decisions – Advocate General Alber Proposes a ‘Copernican Innovation’ in the Case Law of the ECJ

Geert A. Zonnekeyn

in Journal of International Economic Law

Volume 6, issue 3, pages 761-769
Published in print September 2003 | ISSN: 1369-3034
Published online September 2003 | e-ISSN: 1464-3758 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiel/6.3.761
EC Liability for the Non‐Implementation of WTO Dispute Settlement Decisions – Advocate General Alber Proposes a ‘Copernican Innovation’ in the Case Law of the ECJ

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In two identical Opinions delivered on 15 May 2003 in the Biret cases, Advocate General Alber of the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’), proposes that the European Community (‘EC’) may be held liable under EC law for the non‐implementation of WTO dispute settlement decisions within the prescribed reasonable period of time and the damages resulting therefrom for economic operators. The Advocate General opines that, in such circumstances, WTO law has direct effect and can thus be invoked by private parties in proceedings before the European courts in Luxembourg in order to trigger the liability of the EC. It remains to be seen whether the ECJ will be prepared to follow the ‘Copernican innovation’ proposed by the Advocate General. This note does not purport to give an exhaustive analysis of the Opinions of the Advocate General. It will focus on some of the more controversial issues dealt with in both Opinions.

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Subjects: Financial Law ; Public International Law ; Economics

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