The Application of other public international laws in WTO dispute settlement



While WTO laws are international treaties and hence part of international law, they were not as such regarded as they are found in that corpus. As a result, the role of other public international law within the WTO dispute settlement is not yet clear.  In that whether, the dispute settlement body of the WTO in deciding cases would consult the rules and principles of other public international laws is not well articulated. The paper will examine the applicability of other international laws in the WTO dispute settlement on the basis of the WTO frame work and jurisprudence of international law. Finally, I argue that other international laws can be applied in the settlement of disputes under the WTO in case where they are relevant and proper for the theme.      


As provided under art 38(1) of the ICJ statute international treaties are part of international law (As per Art 38(1) of ICJ, sources of international laws are international treaties, CIL, the general principles of law, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations). Since the WTO laws are multi-lateral treaties between states, they are part of the corpus of international laws. Hence, in areas that the WTO do not address; as usually made in other international cases, other public international laws can be used by the dispute settlement body (DSB) of the WTO. However, mostly, we thought that WTO is an isolated from other public international laws. The applicability or otherwise of parts of international law other than customary international law is not clearly addressed by WTO laws. Besides, if they are to be applied in the dispute settlement, their role in the proceeding is not clear. Are they for mere interpretation or can be served as a proper law in the determination of subject matter is not clear.  In this paper, the applicability of other public international laws which are recognized by WTO laws and other not recognized will be discussed. Accordingly, the Avenues whereby the other public international laws will be applied and their role in WTO proceedings will be discussed. Moreover, the interaction between WTO laws and such other public international laws will be examined. Finally, concluding and suggestion remark are given.          

Continue reading
  12028 Hits