Reasonableness, Impartiality and Objectivity
in Aik Hoe Lim and Bart De Meester (eds), WTO Domestic Regulation and Services Trade: Putting Principles into Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2014) 65–78
11 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2014
This chapter contains a legal analysis of the meaning and potential scope of GATS Article VI:1 , taking account of relevant case law and the underlying purpose of the provision. We begin by providing an overview of Article VI: 1 and explaining its general relationship to GATT Article X:3(a) and to the pronouncements of panels and the Appellate Body on the latter provision. We then identify the boundaries of GATS Article Vl:l by considering its textual limitations to particular service sectors (those in which specific commitments are undertaken), particular measures (those of general application affecting trade in services), and particular conduct in relation to those measures (their administration). Finally, we consider the core concepts of reasonableness and impartiality at the heart of both GATS Article Vl:l and GATT Article X:3(a), in view of the limited case law to date, characterizing them as due process provisions that potentially incorporate both procedural and substantive protections. We conclude that the breadth and strength of GATS Article VI:l as a discipline on domestic regulatory conduct is yet to be fully realized.
Keywords: General Agreement on Trade in Services, GATS Article VI:1, World Trade Organization
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