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Is There A Need For The Principle Of Sustainable Development In WTO Dispute Settlement?

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Chapter Summary

The question why sustainable development as a principle of integration is to be employed by world trade organization (WTO) dispute settlement can be approached by inquiring whether there is a need for such a principle. This need, if it exists, is closely linked to limitations of interpretative processes and conflict-resolution principles that aim at creating coherence of international legal norms. This chapter first focuses on some general aspects of treaty interpretation. It then discusses the specific context of interpreting WTO agreements. In the context of disputes brought before the dispute settlement system of the WTO, competence to interpret the provisions of the covered agreements lies with the panels and the Appellate Body. Interpretations of the WTO agreements by panels and the Appellate Body are not definite. Only the Ministerial Conference and the general Council have the authority to adopt definite interpretations by a three-fourths majority of the Members.

Keywords: sustainable development; treaty interpretation; world trade organization (WTO) dispute settlement



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