Going Global or Regional or Both? Dispute Settlement in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Overlaps with Other Jurisdictions, in Particular that of the WTO

Posted: 17 Sep 2004

See all articles by Joost Pauwelyn

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Georgetown University Law Centre

Abstract

This paper examines the potential for overlap between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) dispute settlement mechanism on trade and other international dispute settlement regimes. Can one and the same dispute between SADC members fall under the jurisdiction of both the SADC mechanism on trade and the jurisdiction of another international court or tribunal? The paper answers this question in the affirmative and sums up other fora that may overlap with the SADC mechanism. It then identifies the different factors that may influence SADC members to bring a dispute to either SADC or another international forum. The paper focuses, in particular, on the relative advantages and disadvantages of bringing a complaint to the WTO as compared to SADC. Next a comparative analysis is provided, setting out how the problem of overlapping fora has been addressed in other international regimes. The concluding part of the paper offers concrete proposals to amend Annex VI on SADC dispute settlement so as to (i) avoid the duplication of dispute settlement proceedings; and (ii) steer parties to the forum that is, according to a decision to be made by SADC members, best suited to resolve a particular dispute (be it the SADC mechanism or another mechanism). It is hoped that the paper's analysis is not only useful for the SADC-WTO interface, but also for problems of overlap confronted in other regional fora, be it NAFTA, the EU, MERCOSUR, ASEAN or the ANDEAN Community and in the increasing number of bilateral free trade negotiations currently under negotiation.

Keywords: international trade, Southern African Development Community, WTO, overlapping jurisdictions, forum shopping

Suggested Citation

Pauwelyn, Joost, Going Global or Regional or Both? Dispute Settlement in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Overlaps with Other Jurisdictions, in Particular that of the WTO. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=478041

Joost Pauwelyn (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, Geneva CH-1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://graduateinstitute.ch

Georgetown University Law Centre ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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