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A Global Law Perspective of the WTO

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Chapter Summary

This chapter maps the relevance of global law advocacy for the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO is the institutionalized umbrella of the multilateral trading system (MTS) succeeding the previous diplomacy-based General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It is a semi-autonomous regime that promulgated its own administrative, legislative and judicial procedures and therefore exemplifies a certain degree of self-sufficiency. At equipoise, WTO is yet another contextualized regime of international law. The WTO is an immediate derivative of the development of global trade, but also the development of an increasingly globalized society. It has resulted from ever-increasing global economic interdependence and has admittedly been instrumental in accentuating this phenomenon. Legally speaking, various legal concepts within the WTO legal system are anachronistic at best: take the case of the definition of what constitutes a 'measure' for the purposes of dispute settlement in the WTO.

Keywords: dispute settlement; GATT; global law; global trade; international law; multilateral trading system (MTS); World Trade Organization (WTO)



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