Prudence or Discrimination? Emergency Measures, the Global Financial Crisis and International Economic Law

Posted: 28 Dec 2009

See all articles by Anne van Aaken

Anne van Aaken

University of Hamburg, Law School; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Jürgen Kurtz

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: December 2009

Abstract

Economists and political scientists have begun to isolate the causes and implications of the spread of the global financial crisis in late 2008. Critical attention-often accompanied by strident disagreement-has also focused on the efficacy of various domestic plans implemented in response to the crisis. International economic lawyers have started to explore the legal implications of these developments. Our analysis offers a contribution by examining whether and how certain aspects of international economic law might act as a credible constraint on state tendencies toward domestic preference when formalizing emergency responses to the crisis. We begin by offering a typology of emergency measures implemented to date. We then assess whether particular international economic law rules can target the nuanced forms of protectionism embedded in those responses. We survey both treaty commitments on trading relations (especially under the World Trade Organization) and the treatment of foreign investors. We argue that international investment law is, in the short term due to legal and extra-legal factors, more likely than any other area of international economic law to give rise to initiation of legal action and examine the most probable substantive norms likely to be violated.

Suggested Citation

van Aaken, Anne and Kurtz, Jürgen, Prudence or Discrimination? Emergency Measures, the Global Financial Crisis and International Economic Law (December 2009). Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 12, Issue 4, pp. 859-894, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1528331 or http://dx.doi.org/jgp041

Anne Van Aaken (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg, Law School ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Jürgen Kurtz

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
613 8344 4770 (Phone)
613 8344 9971 (Fax)

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