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Sovereignty and Economic Coercion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the sovereignty issue from the perspectives of territorial jurisdiction and sovereign equality. The principle of state sovereignty empowers countries to enter into agreements (treaties) with other countries in which they agree to cede the power to regulate certain matters unilaterally. A core function of Article XX is to delineate the boundary between national autonomy and the international obligations of World Trade Organization (WTO) members. State sovereignty gives countries jurisdiction to regulate the acts of persons inside their territory and the acts of their citizens. The draft articles codify customary international law with respect to the doctrine of necessity, which may be invoked to excuse failure to comply with international obligations. From the perspective of exporting countries, particularly developing countries, the use of trade barriers to induce changes to their internal regulatory regime is an act of coercion that violates the non-intervention norm in international law.

Keywords: customary international law; economic coercion; state sovereignty; territorial jurisdiction; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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