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Part VI The Settlement of Trade Disputes in the WTO and Bilateral/Regional Trade Agreements, Ch.36 Jurisdiction and Applicable Law in the WTO and Free Trade Agreements

Lorand Bartels

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law (2e) (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Daniel Bethlehem, Donald McRae, Rodney Neufeld, Isabelle Van Damme

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Applicable law — Jurisdiction

The WTO, and most modern FTAs, include binding dispute settlement systems for the determination of their core obligations. This chapter looks at the jurisdictional powers of the tribunals established in these dispute settlement systems. It briefly discusses the nature of jurisdiction, contrasting its treatment in trade and other international agreements. Next, it turns to the way that the WTO and FTAs grant trade tribunals the power to determine facts, including the measures adopted by a respondent party, and to identify, interpret and apply the applicable law to those facts. In this context, it considers questions such as the power of a WTO or FTA tribunal to consider domestic law, and also public international law outside of the WTO agreements or FTA at issue. Finally, this chapter considers how WTO and FTA tribunals relate to each other, including by means of FTA choice of forum clauses, and their effectiveness under WTO law.

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