Precedent in the Settlement of International Economic Disputes: The WTO and Investment Arbitration Models
19 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011
Date Written: January 15, 2011
The issue of precedent in international law attracts currently special interest in view of the proliferation of international courts and the lack of institutional relations between them. Notwithstanding the absence of "stare decisis" l an international court looking at previous decisions relevant for a case, even originating from a different court, contributes however to predictability, and coherence of international law through adjudication. The paper first reviews the common law and civil law sytems. I then analyses the practice of the ICJ and of other international courts such as the ECHR, the ECJ and international criminal courts. The paper thereafter concentrates on the reliance on precedents within the WTO dispute settlement system which features an orginal appeal system wherein panels are expected to follow Appellate Body precedents. The role of previous decisions in commercial and investment arbitration is thereafter reviewed, highlighting the diffeences between the two models in respect to ICSID arbitration. The paper concludes highlighting the desirability of "jurisprudence constante" by ICSID Annulment Commitees.
Keywords: precedent, international law, international courts, WTO, international commercial arbitration, investment arbitration, ICSID
JEL Classification: K33, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation