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Precedent In The Settlement Of International Economic Disputes: The WTO And Investment Arbitration Models

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Chapter Summary

The role of precedent in international adjudication has attracted interest ever since the first standing judicial body, the Permanent Court of International Justice, was established, both as a practical issue and a theoretical subject. In order to address the role of precedent in international law in general, one cannot but start recalling the great divide in this matter between common law and civil law systems, although customary international law follows closely neither the one nor the other in this respect. In the United States the Supreme Court has reasoned that "the very concept of the rule of law underlying our Constitution requires such continuity over time that a respect for precedent is, by definition, indispensible. The institutional setting of investment arbitration is completely different from both that of the WTO and of the other international courts, not to speak of domestic legal systems.

Keywords: civil law systems; customary international law; international adjudication; international courts; investment arbitration; Permanent Court of International Justice; precedent; Supreme Court; United States; WTO



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