- Tokio Yamaoka, Why are Customs Classification Issues Adjudicated at the WTO?: Structural Issues and Possible Solutions
- Michael Lux, The Invoice in EU Customs and VAT Law: What is There to Consider?
- Gilles Muller, Trade Agreements and Legal Services: An Anatomy of the GATS and Preferential Trade Arrangements
- Panagiotis Chalkias, The Structure of Investment Arbitration
Saturday, April 5, 2014
New Issue: Global Trade and Customs Journal
Friday, April 4, 2014
Cohen: Lawyers and Precedent
Despite common references to the “invisible college of international lawyers,” and the doctrinal role granted to “the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations,” the role of lawyers, as lawyers, in the creation, development, and maintenance of the international legal order remains oddly underexplored. This short essay, prepared as part of a symposium on “The Role of Non-State Actors in International Law,” explores the role of lawyers as independent actors within international law. It argues that focusing on lawyers can help provide insights into how international law develops — specifically here, how and why a practice of precedent seems emerge even when not doctrinally encouraged or required.
Tomkiewicz: Organisation mondiale du commerce et responsabilité
Après avoir relié le droit de l'OMC à la thématique des sujets de droits (2009), puis à celle des normes et sources de droit (2010), c'est au rapprochement entre droit de l'OMC et responsabilité que ce colloque organisé à l'Université de Nice - Sophia Antipolis a été consacré. L'objectif de cette étude collective est de dresser un tableau des questions pouvant se poser dans le cadre de la thématique générale envisagée, en articulant la réflexion autour des deux grands «temps» de la responsabilité, à savoir d'abord son fondement et son déclenchement (session 1), puis les conséquences de l'établissement de la responsabilité à l'OMC (session 2).
Au-delà de problématiques générales ayant trait aux relations entre le droit international et le droit de l'OMC ou aux responsabilités qui incombent à l'Organisation en charge du système commercial multilatéral, des questions plus classiques se posent comme celle relative à la protection diplomatique et à l'endossement ou à l'imputabilité, notamment du point de vue des organes de l'Etat, des entités non étatiques et du cas particulier de l'Union européenne. De même, l'établissement du fondement de la responsabilité à l'OMC nécessite d'en envisager le fait générateur, en particulier à travers le cas des plaintes en situation de violation et de celles en situation de non-violation, la spécificité de ces dernières amenant à s'interroger quant à savoir si elles relèvent en droit et en fait des actions en responsabilité internationale. Sur cet aspect, il apparaît que l'élément essentiel du fait générateur à l'OMC n'est pas constitué par le constat de la violation d'une norme du système commercial multilatéral mais par l'atteinte aux conditions de concurrence. À ce titre, la science peut jouer un rôle majeur pour détecter et éventuellement condamner les velléités protectionnistes et la discrimination.
La nature particulière de l'OMC et de son droit explique également que la réparation se caractérise par l'éviction de la réparation matérielle et, dans une moindre mesure, immatérielle du préjudice subi par l'Etat victime du fait illicite. Dès lors que l'organe de jugement a établi la responsabilité du Membre dans une décision initiale, il pèse sur le Membre une simple obligation de cessation du comportement illicite ou dommageable ; pour autant, celui-ci pourra éventuellement être sanctionné par une suspension de concessions commerciales. Mais, et c'est là que le mécanisme de l'OMC marque son originalité, un dispositif a été mis en place pour préciser et encadrer à la fois les moyens d'action disponibles aux Membres et la manière dont ils peuvent en faire usage. De cette configuration inhabituelle, il ressort alors que l'équilibre des concessions octroyées ne constitue pas l'objectif principal du mécanisme ; ce dernier réside plutôt dans le rétablissement de la légalité du système. Au-delà, c'est la sécurité et la prévisibilité du système qui en ressortent renforcées.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
New Issue: International Legal Materials
- Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger) (I.C.J.), with introductory note by Theodore Kill
- European Commission et al. v. Kadi (E.C.J.), with introductory note by Sean M. Thornton
- Provisional Measures with Regard to El Salvador in the Matter of B (Inter-Am. Ct. H.R.), with introductory note by Lisl Brunner
- UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, with introductory note by Keith Loken
- Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, with introductory note by Hope Lewis
- Declaration of the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the Latin American States Affected by Transnational Interests, with introductory note by Eduardo Silva Romero and Ana Carolina Simões e Silva
- Tanganyika Law Society and The Legal and Human Rights Centre v. Tanzania and Rev. Christopher R. Mtikila v. Tanzania (Afr. Ct. H.R.), with introductory note by Alexander B. Makulilo
Monien: Prinzipien als Wegbereiter eines globalen Umweltrechts?
Gravierende Umweltprobleme wie der Klimawandel machen vor Ländergrenzen nicht Halt und erfordern ein globales Umweltrecht. Verhandlungen über neue Umweltschutzabkommen gestalten sich jedoch als schwierig und bleiben oft hinter den Erwartungen zurück. Wie aber kann ein globales Umweltrecht jenseits des tradierten Völkervertragsrechts entstehen? Wie kann der Entwicklungsvorsprung des nationalen und des europäischen Rechts dafür genutzt werden? Dieses Werk entwirft erstmals ein prinzipienbasiertes Konzept eines globalen Umweltrechts unter Betrachtung der rechtsdogmatischen Grundstrukturen des Nachhaltigkeits-, des Vorsorge- und des Verursacherprinzips auf internationaler, europäischer und nationaler Ebene.
New Issue: Journal of Conflict & Security Law
- Ralf Trapp, Elimination of the Chemical Weapons Stockpile of Syria
- Carsten Stahn, Between Law-breaking and Law-making: Syria, Humanitarian Intervention and ‘What the Law Ought to Be’
- Isobel Roele, Disciplinary Power and the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee
- Frederic Wiesenbach, Uncertainty on Somalia’s Beaches—The Legal Regime of Onshore Anti-Piracy Operations
- Frederik Rosén, Extremely Stealthy and Incredibly Close: Drones, Control and Legal Responsibility
- Marco Roscini, Cyber Operations as Nuclear Counterproliferation Measures
Djeffal: Establishing the Argumentative DNA of International Law: Of Transatlantic Divides and Universal Unity
There is an increasing tendency to frame international legal discourse in terms of regional designations. We then speak for example of European or American approaches or of Latin American international law. This development could seriously impact the perception of international law. The present article tries to deepen the understanding of what happens when we think about international law and international legal theory in national or regional terms. In an exemplary fashion the article looks at different approaches to treaty interpretation, which have been framed as European and American to see how this impacts on international legal discourse. In a first step, the two approaches at the Vienna Conference on the Law of Treaties will be explained. Secondly, two narratives will be developed describing what happened in Vienna in turn as European/American or as international legal discourse. The third part reflects on the consequences of framing concepts and theories this way with particular reference to the rules on treaty interpretation.
Franck: Using Investor-State Mediation Rules to Promote Conflict Management: An Introductory Guide
International investment disputes arising out of investment treaties are a matter of heated debate and the appropriately normative method of channeling investment-related conflict is of increasing concern. This article serves two core purposes. First, it provides a detailed overview of investor-state mediation to offer a mapping exercise about how parties to investment investment treaty disputes may best consider how to manage their treaty conflict. To do so, it explores different models of mediation and offers an overall framework that moves beyond a pure adversarial approach to dispute settlement and considers alternative methodologies that may add value to the dispute settlement process. Second, it provides empirical data from the most recent generation of data related to case outcomes. It identifies the average length of cases, the overall fiscal costs related to investment treaty arbitration, and basic outcome data. In doing so, it articulates a business case for parties seriously considering the potential value of arbitration and moving to alternative methods of dispute resolution -- as a substitute to or compliment for -- existing practices of dispute settlement.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Conference: XIX Convegno annuale SIDI
New Issue: The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals
- José Manuel Cortés Martín, Prior Consultations and Jurisdiction at ITLOS
- Mariolina Eliantonio & Haakon Roer-Eide, Regional Courts and locus standi for Private Parties: Can the CJEU Learn Something from the Others?
- Marcin Kaldunski, The Law of State Immunity in the Case Concerning Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy)
- Pierre-Emmanuel Dupont, Practice and Prospects of Boundary Delimitation in Africa: The ICJ Judgment in the Burkina Faso/Niger Frontier Dispute Case
Van Schaack: ICC Fugitives: The Need for Bespoke Solutions
It is axiomatic that the ICC depends on the cooperation of the international community, including state parties and non-party states alike, to carry out its mandate to prosecute the “most serious crimes of international concern.” Nowhere is this dependency more apparent than with respect to the imperative of gaining custody of the accused. Given the high degree of situational variation, strategies aimed at gaining custody of one fugitive will not necessarily be effective with others. As such, the international community — in coordination with the Court — needs to devise bespoke solutions. This paper discusses the particular circumstances of each of the current at-large accused and outlines a host of measures that could be employed for improving the prospects of bringing the remaining fugitives into custody. This article appeared as part of UCLA School of Law’s forum on the International Criminal Court established as part of the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project in partnership with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Brucken: A Most Uncertain Crusade: The United States, the United Nations, and Human Rights, 1941-1953
A Most Uncertain Crusade traces and analyzes the emergence of human rights as both an international concern and as a controversial domestic issue for U.S. policy makers during and after World War II. Historian Brucken focuses on officials in the State Department, at the United Nations, and within certain domestic non-governmental organizations, and explains why, after issuing wartime declarations that called for the definition and enforcement of international human rights standards, the U.S. government refused to ratify the first U.N. treaties that fulfilled those twin purposes. The Truman and Eisenhower administrations worked to weaken the scope and enforcement mechanisms of early human rights agreements, and gradually withdrew support for Senate ratification. A small but influential group of isolationist–oriented senators, led by John Bricker (R-OH), warned that the treaties would bring about socialism, destroy white supremacy, and eviscerate the Bill of Rights. At the U.N., a growing bloc of developing nations demanded the inclusion of economic guarantees, support for decolonization, and strong enforcement measures, all of which Washington opposed.
Prior to World War II, international law considered the protection of individual rights to fall largely under the jurisdiction of national governments. Alarmed by fascist tyranny and guided by a Wilsonian vision of global cooperation in pursuit of human rights, President Roosevelt issued the Four Freedoms and the Atlantic Charter. Behind the scenes, the State Department planners carefully considered how an international organization could best protect those guarantees. Their work paid off at the 1945 San Francisco Conference, which vested the U.N. with an unprecedented opportunity to define and protect the human rights of individuals.
After two years of negotiations, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved its first human rights treaty, the Genocide Convention. The U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), led by Eleanor Roosevelt, drafted the nonbinding Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Subsequent efforts to craft an enforceable covenant of individual rights, though, bogged down quickly. A deadlock occurred as western nations, communist states, and developing countries disagreed on the inclusion of economic and social guarantees, the right of self-determination, and plans for implementation.
Meanwhile, a coalition of groups within the United States doubted the wisdom of American accession to any human rights treaties. Led by the American Bar Association and Senator Bricker, opponents proclaimed that ratification would lead to a U.N. led tyrannical world socialistic government. The backlash caused President Eisenhower to withdraw from the covenant drafting process. Brucken shows how the American human rights policy had come full circle: Eisenhower, like Roosevelt, issued statements that merely celebrated western values of freedom and democracy, criticized human rights records of other countries while at the same time postponed efforts to have the U.N. codify and enforce a list of binding rights due in part to America’s own human rights violations.
Milanovic: Human Rights Treaties and Foreign Surveillance: Privacy in the Digital Age
The 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden of the scope and magnitude of electronic surveillance programs run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and some of its partners, chief among them the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), have provoked intense and ongoing public debate regarding the proper limits of such intelligence activities. Privacy activists decry such programs, especially those involving the mass collection of the data or communications of ordinary individuals across the globe, arguing that they create an inhibiting surveillance climate that diminishes basic freedoms, while government officials justify them as being necessary for the prevention of terrorism.
The purpose of this article, however, is not to assess the general propriety or usefulness of surveillance programs or their compliance with relevant domestic law. I do not want to argue that electronic surveillance programs, whether targeted or done on mass scale, are per se illegal, ineffective or unjustifiable. Rather, want I want to look at is how the legality of such programs would be debated and assessed within the framework of international human rights law, and specifically under the major human rights treaties to which the ‘Five Eyes’ and other states with sophisticated technological capabilities are parties.
In the wake of the UN General Assembly's 2013 resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age, it can be expected that electronic surveillance and related activities will remain on the agenda of UN bodies for years to come, especially since the political relevance of the topic shows no signs of abating. Similarly, cases challenging surveillance on human rights grounds are already pending before domestic and international courts.The discussion has just started, and it will continue at least partly in human rights terms, focusing on the rights and interests of the affected individuals, rather than solely on the interests and sovereignty of states.
The primary purpose of this article is to advance this conversation by looking at one specific, threshold issue: whether human rights treaties such as the ICCPR and the ECHR even apply to foreign surveillance. The article will show that while there is much uncertainty in how the existing case law on the jurisdictional threshold issues might apply to foreign surveillance, this uncertainty should not be overestimated – even if it can and is being exploited. The only truly coherent approach to the threshold question of applicability, I will argue, is that human rights treaties should apply to virtually all foreign surveillance activities. That the treaties apply to such activities, however, does not mean that they are necessarily unlawful. Rather, the lawfulness of a given foreign surveillance program is subject to a fact-specific examination on the merits of its compliance with the right to privacy, and in that, I submit, foreign surveillance activities are no different from purely domestic ones.
López Escarcena: Indirect Expropriation in International Law
When does a state measure become subject to compensation as an indirect expropriation under international law? The author examines claims of indirect takings from such fora as the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, the European Court of Human Rights, and arbitral panels in investment treaty arbitrations.
Sebastián López Escarcena offers a comprehensive coverage of the history and main concepts of the international law of expropriation. The interaction between human rights conventions and investment treaties are analysed from a global perspective, providing the reader with a unique insight into expropriation at an international level. Within the course of his examination, the author illuminates important concepts of public law, from deprivation of property to payment of compensation, and from margin of appreciation to proportionality.
In examining in detail the case law of different international tribunals, this shrewd book formulates some insightful answers to the threshold question, and will be of great interest to decision-makers in investment treaty arbitrations, to legal practitioners, state officers and scholars in international investment law and international human rights law, and to anyone dealing with international and comparative law in general.
Schulze: Kulturelle Relativität des Internationalen Rechts
Kulturgebundene Rechtsüberzeugungen sind Ausdruck von individuellen oder gruppenspezifischen Haltungen und Wertvorstellungen, die sich in getrennten Rechtsräumen entwickelt haben und in medial verbundenen Gesellschaften zueinander in Konkurrenz treten. Orient und Okzident, Kapitalismus und Kommunismus, Christentum und Islam benennen diese Differenzen schlaglichtartig.
Thematisiert werden die Grundlagen eines kulturgebundenen transnationalen Rechts im Hinblick auf die Gerechtigkeitserwartungen der Beteiligten. Ferner wird der Konstitutionalisierungsprozess des Völkerrechts auf die ihm zugrunde liegenden rechtlichen Werte hin befragt. Der westliche Standard erscheint danach relativ und begründet die Gefahr eines Kulturimperialismus. Schließlich geht es um die Funktion des Internationalen Privatrechts als Instrument des Ausgleichs kollidierender Wertvorstellungen in privatrechtlichen Sachverhalten. Sofern sie dort nicht berücksichtigt werden, verschieben sich die Probleme in die Sachnormen.
Mit Beiträgen von: Erik Jayme (Heidelberg), Bardo Fassbender (St. Gallen), Götz Schulze (Potsdam).
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Alamuddin, Jurdi, & Tolbert: The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice
This book provides a full analytical overview of the establishment and functioning of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the newest and most controversial of the UN-sponsored international criminal courts. In 2005, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated in a huge blast that reverberated across Lebanon and the region. The Tribunal was established with a mandate to try the perpetrators of the Hariri killing, as well as those responsible for other killings that are 'connected' to this core crime. Individuals associated with the Hezbollah group have been indicted to be tried in the court in The Hague-but in their absence as their locations are unknown.
The Tribunal is the UN's first attempt at addressing terrorism in an international criminal court, and the first attempt to set up international trials following crimes committed in the Middle East region. The court's narrow mandate and unique procedures have led many to question what kind of precedent it will set in a volatile region. This book looks at how the court was established, its foundational principles based on the Statute of the International Criminal Court and Lebanese domestic law, and the possible further development of its case law. It provides an authoritative guide to the procedure of the Tribunal,the status of the Registry, the rights of suspects and accused, trials in absentia, and the regulation of the conduct of counsel, drawing on comparisons to other international courts. The authors include those involved in setting up the court, prosecutors, defence counsel for the suspects, as well as judges and academic commentators who are experts on the issues covered in the book. They provide a probing insight into how the Tribunal came into being, its challenges, controversies, and its achievements to date.
Thirlway: The Sources of International Law
The question of what is, and what is not, part of international law is of course fundamental. Traditionally, treaties between states and custom (state practice) have been seen as the primary means by which international law is created. These two sources, along with the 'general principles of law', are specified in the Statute of the International Court of Justice (Article 38), and this text has long been treated as generally authoritative. However, whether this is still an adequate definition of the sources of international law, and how they may operate in modern international society, has been questioned in significant ways. Taking Article 38 ICJ Statute as starting-point, this book provides a careful assessment of all the recognised, or asserted, sources of international law.
Among the issues considered are: the impact of ethical principles on the creation of international law; the existence of peremptory norms (those of jus cogens), and whether they come into being through the same sources as other norms; the place of these, and of norms involving rights and obligations erga omnes, in the operation of international legal relationships; the definition and role of 'general principles of law'; whether any of international law's sub-disciplines involve the application of additional sources; and the continuously evolving relationship between treaty-based law and customary international law. Re-examining the traditional model, the work takes account of the increasing role of international jurisprudence, and looks at international organisations and non-state actors as potential new sources of international law. The book provides a perfect introduction to the law of sources, as well as innovative perspectives on new developments, making it essential reading for anyone studying or working in any field of international law.
Conference: BIICL Fourteenth Annual WTO Conference
- RTAs/TPP/TTIP - Prospects and Impacts
- Developments in Dispute Settlement Procedure
- Interpretation of the TBT Agreement in the Aftermath of Seals
- Implementing Post-Bali Decisions
- Current Issues in Benchmarking Jurisprudence
- New Theoretical Perspectives on International Economic Law
- State trading in the WTO: Russia/Kazakhstan
- Future Issues for the WTO
Dunoff & Pollack: Reversing Field: What Can International Law Teach International Relations?
Conference: Twenty-Second Investment Treaty Forum Public Conference
This meeting proceeds from the observation that we are presently in the midst of a period of unprecedented re-examination and innovation with respect to the dispute settlement aspects of the investor-state treaty regime. The purpose of this meeting is to address some of the most important policy and rule changes which have taken place over the past several years and ask about changes and new structures currently under consideration.
The meeting will proceed under three panels:
1. 'Alternatives to Ad Hoc Dispute Settlement', which will look at proposals for alternatives to "ad hoc" arbitral tribunals, such as the use of specialised dispute settlement mechanisms for particular classes of claims, treaty-based interpretative committees, and the use of treaty-based appellate mechanisms.
2. 'Beyond Arbitration', which will consider the adoption by some states of domestic legislation to replace investment treaties and the future of ISDS in investment treaties between developed states, such as the US and EU.
3. 'Making the Most of Current Processes', which will look at changes to existing investor-state arbitral structures, such as UNCITRAL's new rules on transparency, innovations in mediation practice, and the role of treaty secretariat's as potential engines for reform.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Karp: Responsibility for Human Rights: Transnational Corporations in Imperfect States
Responsibility for Human Rights provides an original theoretical analysis of which global actors are responsible for human rights, and why. It does this through an evaluation of the different reasons according to which such responsibilities might be assigned: legalism, universalism, capacity and publicness. The book marshals various arguments that speak in favour of and against assigning 'responsibility for human rights' to any state or non-state actor. At the same time, it remains grounded in an incisive interpretation of the world we actually live in today, including: the relationship between sovereignty and human rights, recent events in 'business and human rights' practice, and key empirical examples of human rights violations by companies. David Karp argues that relevantly public actors have specific human rights responsibility. However, states can be less public, and non-state actors can be more public, than might seem apparent at first glance.
New Issue: World Politics
- Research Articles
- Timothy Frye, Ora John Reuter & David Szakonyi, Political Machines at Work Voter Mobilization and Electoral Subversion in the Workplace
- Rafaela M. Dancygier, Electoral Rules or Electoral Leverage? Explaining Muslim Representation in England
- Alex Street, My Child Will Be a Citizen: Intergenerational Motives for Naturalization
- Ryan S. Jablonski, How Aid Targets Votes: The Impact of Electoral Incentives on Foreign Aid Distribution
- Review Article
- Henry Farrell & Abraham L. Newman, Domestic Institutions beyond the Nation-State: Charting the New Interdependence Approach
Bou Franch & Castillo Daudí: Derecho Internacional de los derechos humanos y Derecho internacional humanitario
En la presente monografía se contiene un análisis exhaustivo y sistemático de las normas internacionales sobre derechos humanos. Se examinan tanto las normas relativas a los derechos humanos contenidas en los instrumentos jurídicos de vocación universal, adoptados a instancia de la Organización de Naciones Unidas, como las cada vez más abundantes normas de ámbito regional, ya sea en Europa (por iniciativa del Consejo de Europa o de la Unión Europea) o en otros ámbitos regionales (por iniciativa de la Organización de Estados Americanos, la Unión Africana, la Liga Árabe o la Asociación de Estados del Sureste Asiático). Se aborda igualmente el estudio de las normas internacionales relativas a la protección del individuo durante los conflictos armados, así como las relativas a la responsabilidad internacional penal del individuo.
Ambos: The ICC and Common Purpose: What Contribution is Required Under Article 25(3)(d)?
Article 25(3)(d) has not yet been the object of much academic or jurisprudential debate, but the few authors who have attempted to make sense of the provision have had serious problems in doing so and have therefore fiercely criticized it. This paper will not deal with all the possible aspects and problems but will rather focus, after some general preliminary remarks, on the quality or nature of the contribution required by Article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Some other issues of the provision are only dealt with insofar as they relate to the contribution issue.
Peers, et al.: The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: A Commentary
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines the key political, social and economic rights of EU citizens and residents in EU law. In its present form it was approved in 2000 by the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission. However its legal status remained uncertain until the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009. The Charter obliges the EU to act and legislate consistently with the Charter, and enables the EU's courts to strike down EU legislation which contravenes it. The Charter applies to EU Member States when they are implementing EU law but does not extend the competences of the EU beyond the competences given to it in the treaties. This Commentary on the Charter, the first in English, written by experts from several EU Member States, provides an authoritative but succinct statement of how the Charter impacts upon EU, domestic and international law. Following the conventional article-by-article approach, each commentator offers an expert view of how each article is either already being interpreted in the courts, or is likely to be interpreted. Each commentary is referenced to the case law and is augmented with extensive references to further reading. Six cross-cutting introductory chapters explain the Charter's institutional anchorage, its relationship to the Fundamental Rights Agency, its interaction with other parts of international human rights law, the enforcement mechanisms, extraterritorial scope, and the all-important 'Explanations'.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Alford: The Convergence of International Trade and Investment Arbitration
The World Trade Organization (“WTO”) and bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) are among the most significant legal developments in the history of international economic law. Never before in the history of international relations has trade and investment been supported by such powerful legal guarantees and adjudicative processes. In less than two decades the WTO and BITs have permanently altered the legal landscape with reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements designed to reduce barriers to trade and investment and eliminate discriminatory treatment in international economic relations.
In most respects the worlds of trade and investment are on parallel tracks headed in the same direction. The ends are similar, but the means toward those ends are distinct. The purpose of this essay is to highlight discrete areas where a convergence of the two disciplines is emerging. These points of convergence are limited, but significant.
The first point of convergence highlights the mutually reinforcing nature of trade and investment. The guarantees in BITs and the WTO are baseline protections that reflect international minimum standards that nations accord to every other trading partner. Preferential trade agreements with investment chapters promote deep vertical integration and efficient global production lines by minimizing trade costs, maximizing market access, and harmonizing cross-border regulatory standards. The convergence of trade and investment in deep preferential trade agreements is a reflection of the modern era of globalized chains of supply.
The second point of convergence emphasizes the unifying commitment in both trade and investment regimes against discrimination and protectionism. While the WTO focuses on non-discrimination with respect to like products and services, BITs focus on non-discrimination with respect to the regulation of similarly-situated foreign and domestic investors. Despite the textual differences, in no other area of law has WTO jurisprudence influenced the resolution of investment claims more than with respect to BIT national treatment guarantees.
The third point of convergence is the trend toward parallel WTO and BIT proceedings, which is only possible through the convergence of substantive norms. Thus far we have seen such parallel proceedings in less than a handful of cases, but the proliferation of BITs and investment arbitration will increase such opportunities. There is an obvious symmetry between the two types of proceedings, with one looking forward and the other looking backward.
The fourth point of convergence is the use of trade remedies to enforce investment arbitration awards. Investment arbitration was designed in a manner such that recognition and enforcement of adverse investment awards was presumed. That is not how things have played out, and the Argentina kerfuffle suggests that foreign investors increasingly may pursue trade remedies to secure enforcement of investment arbitration awards.
The final point of convergence is relying on investment arbitration to enforce international trade rights. Despite the assumption that international trade disputes must be resolved before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, the existence of broad umbrella clauses in BITs presents an emerging vehicle for enforcing investment commitments in trade agreements.