Comment, International Governance of Domestic National Security Measures: The Forgotten Role of the World Trade Organization
36 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2015
Date Written: 2009
The current perception of the United Nations as the only institution charged with governing international security issues was neither intended nor required. Although the historical development of the World Trade Organization (WTO) caused a significant shift in its governance focus, the WTO is uniquely situated to remedy several of the governance failures suffered by the United Nations and to act as an effective governor of national security in the economic sphere. need for such an alternative governance mechanism is especially acute when nation-states refuse to recognize the authority of the United Nations over a security dispute or when a veto-holding Security Council member is the subject of international concern. I first examine the historical development of the international security governance system and uncover the substantive authority of the WTO to govern the economic aspects of national security issues. I then use the parallel proceedings brought by Nicaragua before the International Court of Justice and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade dispute settlement system to dispel common objections to WTO governance in the national security arena. Finally, I demonstrate how U.S. imposition of unilateral economic sanctions on Iran presents an opportunity for WTO governance in the global war on terror.
Keywords: WTO, International Economic Law, National Security, Economic Sanctions, International Governance, International Law
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