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Sovereign Equality and Graduation in International Economic Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts with a discussion of the limited role of the general principle of equality in international law. It addresses the impact of sovereign equality. It discusses the emanations of equality, in particular in WTO law, and finally turns to the challenges of graduation in the face of the vastly diverging levels of development of States of formally equal status. The idea and concept of phasing in obligations based upon economic thresholds offers a way forward in overcoming the deficiencies of opting out of special and differential treatment experienced in recent decades. The return to multilateralism and graduation as a manner of phasing-in of rights and obligations on the basis of legally defined economic thresholds offers a way forward in realising more effectively the ideals of equality and justice in international economic law in the context of liberty and solidarity.

Keywords: economic thresholds; graduation; international economic law; liberty; multilateralism; solidarity; sovereign equality; WTO law



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