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Trade and the EnvironmentFundamental Issues in International Law, WTO Law, and Legal Theory$
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Erich Vranes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562787.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 September 2021

The Role of International Law Conflicting with WTO Law in WTO Proceedings

The Role of International Law Conflicting with WTO Law in WTO Proceedings

(p.69) Chapter Three The Role of International Law Conflicting with WTO Law in WTO Proceedings
Trade and the Environment

Erich Vranes

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the concepts of jurisdiction and applicable law in WTO dispute settlement. It argues that international law in conflict with WTO law must, under certain circumstances, be recognized as superseding WTO law even within WTO proceedings. The central thesis is that substantive WTO obligations essentially being reciprocal, WTO Members should be regarded as being in a position, in principle, to modify such rights and duties inter partes. Given that the jurisdiction of WTO adjudicating bodies is claim-specific, their competence may lapse also due to inter se modifications of substantive WTO law (i.e., the legal grounds on which claims can be brought). This requires panels to take account of such non-WTO norms that are invoked as a defence, if the latter have to be regarded as lawful modifications of WTO law and as being meant to prevail over WTO law by the WTO Members bound by them.

Keywords:   Dispute Settlement Understanding, reciprocal obligations, integral obligations, inter se modification, Kompetenzkompetenz, pacta tertiis principle

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