Journal Article

International Regime Complexity and Economic Law Enforcement

Sergio Puig

in Journal of International Economic Law

Volume 17, issue 3, pages 491-516
Published in print September 2014 | ISSN: 1369-3034
Published online August 2014 | e-ISSN: 1464-3758 | DOI:
International Regime Complexity and Economic Law Enforcement

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  • Financial Law
  • Public International Law
  • International Economic Law
  • Economics


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The article makes two contributions: first, it locates the causes of the increase in parallel, overlapping, or related proceedings in the enforcement of international trade and investment agreements in two distinct but interrelated dynamics: the inseparability or ‘convergence’ of trade and investment and ‘minilateralism’—or the expansion of regional trade agreements as an alternative to global negotiations. In contrast to some accounts, the article is not troubled by this phenomenon. Instead, it explores the intersections between international trade regulations and investment law during the process of enforcement. Specifically, it describes how the expansion of economic arrangements creates spaces to maneuver and innovate and proposes a framework of six strategies to understand the combination of different but related bodies of laws. Second, the article presents policy-makers and treaty negotiators with a palette of targeted options that can help to control these strategies. I argue that while it may be close to impossible to catalog all the consequences of converging structures, overlapping jurisdictions, and parallel lawmakers of trade and investment, states can promote coordination across tribunals and, to a limited extent, among independent but interconnected regimes by understanding the ways economic agreements interact as an international regime complex.

Journal Article.  14285 words. 

Subjects: Financial Law ; Public International Law ; International Economic Law ; Economics

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