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International Economic Law and GovernanceEssays in Honour of Mitsuo Matsushita$
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Julien Chaisse and Tsai-yu Lin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778257.001.0001

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Trade Law and the Vienna Treaty Convention’s Systemic Integration Clause

Trade Law and the Vienna Treaty Convention’s Systemic Integration Clause

(p.94) 8 Trade Law and the Vienna Treaty Convention’s Systemic Integration Clause
International Economic Law and Governance

Chin Leng Lim

Oxford University Press

Mitsuo Matsushita has shown an abiding interest in the systemic problems faced by the multilateral trading system. This tribute explores the significance of Article 31(1)(3)(c) of the Vienna Convention, the Systemic Integration Clause, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to these concerns. While the place of the clause in the WTO acquis is already accepted, and its basic implications are well understood, its true scope and potential remain largely matters of conjecture. This brief chapter revisits past discussions of how the clause potentially supplies a broader and more flexible rule than GATT Article XX’s General Exceptions Clause in resolving conflicts with other, non-trading concerns. It could still prove useful when trade lawyers address increasingly complex conflicts between the WTO legal system and the regional, and increasingly mega-regional and comprehensive, trading obligations of WTO members. Today, such festering concerns demand a functional analysis of the uses of the Systemic Integration Clause.

Keywords:   Article 31(3)(c) Vienna Convention, GATT Article XX, mega-regional, RTA, systemic integration, treaties

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