Community Interests in World Trade Law

Beiträge zum Transnationalen Wirtschaftsrechtk, Heft 141, Dezember 2016

43 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Christian Tietje

Christian Tietje

Martin-Luther-University - Transnational Economic Law Research Centre

Andrej Lang

Martin Luther Universitat Halle Wittenberg; Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 12, 2016

Abstract

This paper explores the nature of WTO law. Specifically, it examines the question whether and to what extent WTO law protects community interests. It thereby revisits, seen through the lens of the community interest concept, the interrelated scholarly debates about whether the WTO’s legal system resembles a “constitution” or a “contract” and whether WTO obligations are “bilateral” or “collective”. The first part of the paper addresses challenges that are brought forward against the WTO system pursuing community interests, in particular that it only sets forth bilateral obligations, disregards non-trade values and is unfair to developing countries. The second part of the paper examines structural elements of WTO law that are indicative of community interests, namely the nondiscrimination principles, the limits on derogability and the design of enforcement mechanisms. Finally, the paper concludes that WTO law protects the community interest of promoting an essentially rules-based and fair world market. It argues that the core concern of WTO law is to protect trade-conducive structures that enable and further global economic activity for the purpose of generating overall welfare.

Keywords: WTO, GATT, GATS, SCM, Article XXIII, Appellate Body, trade, non-trade, community interest, public good, obligation, bilateral, collective, constitution, contract, fair, unfair, rule-based, global market, world market, nondiscrimination, national treatment, most favored nation inter se modification

Suggested Citation

Tietje, Christian and Lang, Andrej, Community Interests in World Trade Law (December 12, 2016). Beiträge zum Transnationalen Wirtschaftsrechtk, Heft 141, Dezember 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2884345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2884345

Christian Tietje

Martin-Luther-University - Transnational Economic Law Research Centre ( email )

Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 7
Halle an der Saale
Berlin 06099, Sachsen-Anhalt
Germany

Andrej Lang (Contact Author)

Martin Luther Universitat Halle Wittenberg ( email )

Universitätsplatz 10
Halle (Saale), Saxony-Anhalt 06108
Germany

Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg ( email )

Universitätsplatz 10
Halle (Saale), Saxony-Anhalt 06108
Germany

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