In Search of Coherence: Navigating the WTO in the Universe of International Law
In J. Chaisse and Tsai-Yu Lin (Eds.), A "Liber Amicorum": Mitsuo Matsushita, A Critical Assessment of the International Economic Law and Goverance. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 259-283, 2016
29 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2015 Last revised: 1 Mar 2017
Date Written: 2016
The proper positioning of the WTO in the broader context of various international treaty regimes is becoming an even more complicated issue. This chapter aims to navigate the WTO through the universe of public international law, and attempts to address coherence problems. This chapter is organised as follows: after this introductory note, this chapter provides an overview of the debates on "self-contained" regimes and the fragmentation of international law, and clarifies the concept of coherence. On the basis of this background, there is an examination of those international instruments incorporated into, or explicitly referenced, in the WTO Agreement. This chapter, in section III, will then explore built-in institutional linkage between the WTO and other specific areas of international law by way of two legislative techniques: incorporation and explicit reference. In section IV, this chapter investigates how the WTO relates to public international law by looking at two key subjects of general international law, customary rules of interpretation and state responsibility, in addition to other international treaty regimes. Section V will explore the relationship between the WTO and RTAs, which may strengthen or restrict the rights and obligations of Members under the WTO Agreement. Section VI concludes.
Keywords: coherence, fragmentation, VCLT, self-contained,
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