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Canons Of Treaty Interpretation: Selected Case Studies From The World Trade Organization And The North American Free Trade Agreement

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Chapter Summary

The main purpose of this chapter is to analyse certain new developments in treaty interpretation as contained in the jurisprudence of such organisations as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), organisations that have no. been traditionally linked to the application, development or crystallisation of the rules of general international law. Both the WTO and the NAFTA rely on customary rules of treaty interpretation as enshrined in the 1969 VCLT. Therefore they both apply general rules of international law. For a non-WTO rule to play a role in the interpretative process, the following conditions must be fulfilled: first, the WTO term under scrutiny must be broad and ambiguous in order to justify taking into account other rules; secondly, the other rules must be of assistance in the determination of the meaning of the WTO rule.

Keywords: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); treaty interpretation; World Trade Organisation (WTO)



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