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2 WTO Law and Domestic Law

Mitsuo Matsushita, Thomas J. Schoenbaum, Petros C. Mavroidis, Michael Hahn

From: The World Trade Organization: Law, Practice, and Policy (3rd Edition)

Mitsuo Matsushita, Thomas Schoenbaum, Petros C. Mavroidis, Michael Hahn

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 June 2024

Peace treaties — Recognition and enforcement

This chapter discusses the relationship between World Trade Organization (WTO) law and domestic law. It focuses on how the domestic legal orders of three WTO Members — the European Union, Japan, and the United States — implement their WTO obligations into their national legal orders. It shows that the European Union and United States, for very different reasons, have a complex relationship between their domestic legal systems and WTO law. Neither of them recognizes the direct effect of the WTO agreements or final decisions of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). Both require the implementation of international WTO norms in their domestic legal orders as a necessary precondition for giving internal validity to their internationally legally binding WTO obligations. Japan provides another example of the difficulty many WTO members face in reconciling their principled position that international treaties take precedence over domestic laws from the day of their enactment or approval with the real world, and states do not want the Appellate Body to limit their foreign economic policy more than it already does. The cases of the United State, Japan, and the EU demonstrate that WTO norms will only be applied by domestic courts after internal implementation and that direct effect of DSB decisions in the domestic legal orders of WTO Members is not recognized.

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