International Trade in Services and Domestic Regulations - Necessity, Transparency, and Regulatory Diversity

Oxford University Press, 2007

3 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2009

See all articles by Panos Delimatsis

Panos Delimatsis

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg Law School

Date Written: December 20, 2007


In 2005 the WTO Appellate Body ruled that the United States' total prohibition on cross border gambling services was unlawful under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The questions raised by the case - whether and how a government could block the supply of services on moral or public order grounds - went to the heart of key controversies surrounding international economic law. How can a liberal system of international trade in services be reconciled with national governments' desire to protect social values through service regulation? How much regulatory sovereignty are the WTO Members willing to transfer to the WTO? How much regulatory diversity can the multilateral trading system withstand?

This book comes to cover an important lacuna that exists when it comes to international trade in services and its regulation. It tackles one of the most controversial issues in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) nowadays, that is, the interplay between domestic regulations and the international regulation of services trade and provides a comprehensive analysis of the regulation of services under the GATS. Through a thorough examination of the GATS negotiating history, substantive provisions, judicial interpretation, and ongoing reform process, the book presents a clear picture of how the multilateral trading system justifies and tolerates regulatory diversity in services. In this respect, the book focuses on the core general principles of necessity and transparency, which would allow the assessment of the consistency with the GATS of domestic regulations in services at a horizontal, cross-sectoral level. In addition, the book reviews with a critical eye the ongoing GATS negotiations on the creation of rules on domestic regulations.

It is the ubiquity, complexity and regulatory intensity of trade in services, as well as the novelty of the issues involved regarding the multilateral regulation of services that makes this book particularly interesting and indispensable for regulators, policymakers, negotiators, international trade lawyers as well as academia. My study takes a cross-sectoral approach and adopts an interdisciplinary stance. In addition, along with the WTO, it covers the relevant case-law in the European Union and takes into account significant recent developments at the regional level. Learning-by-doing is still a feature of regulating trade in services, both multilaterally and nationally and, consequently, people dealing with trade in services everyday may appreciate the qualities of this book in advancing research and knowledge on services trade. A thorough analysis of relevant WTO case-law to date will also draw the attention of practitioners.

For more information, visit the Oxford University Press website at:

Keywords: World Trade Organization, General Agreement on Trade in Services, Domestic Regulations, Necessity, Transparency, Regulatory Diversity, Due Process, Good Governance, Barriers to Trade in Services

Suggested Citation

Delimatsis, Panagiotis, International Trade in Services and Domestic Regulations - Necessity, Transparency, and Regulatory Diversity (December 20, 2007). Oxford University Press, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Panagiotis Delimatsis (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Postbus 90153
Tilburg, NL-5000 LE
0031 13 466 8251 (Phone)
0031 13 466 8047 (Fax)


Tilburg Law School ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Postbus 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

HOME PAGE: http://

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics