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Part III World Trade Law and Regional Trade Agreements, XXII WTO Law in Domestic Law

From: Principles of International Economic Law (2nd Edition)

Matthias Herdegen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 03 March 2024

International investment law — International monetary law — International trade — National treatment — Conflicts between

This chapter looks into the long-standing controversy on whether the domestic law of World Trade Organization (WTO) Members should give direct effect to the WTO agreements. This issue relates to the application of WTO agreements by national authorities and national courts in context with restrictive trade measures. Direct application of WTO law by domestic authorities and courts raises a number of conflicting considerations. On the one hand, deference to the WTO agreements avoids the violation of international obligations, trade conflicts, and possible sanctions which hurt domestic industries. All too often, however, legislative bodies and executive authorities serenely ignore clear obligations under WTO law. Moreover, the provisions of the GATT and, after 1994, of other WTO agreements have often been perceived as too indeterminate to be directly applied. National courts are thus unduly afraid to pre-empt their own government in addressing trade conflicts and negotiations on the international level.

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