World Trade Organization (WTO) member states are moving towards increased reliance on renewable energy and are enacting domestic policies to encourage investment in renewable energy technology. These domestic policies have not escaped the scrutiny of other WTO members, who in some cases have commenced dispute resolution processes to resolve claims of non-compliance with WTO Agreements. This commentary discusses relevant decisions of the WTO dispute resolution bodies and the possible effect of these decisions on renewable energy in Africa.
The reading of the travaux préparatoires of Article XXI GATT indicates that the GATT Contracting Parties did not envisage that a global pandemic such as a virus could amount to a national security exception under the said Article. However, the drafters of GATT 1947 cannot be put to blame since no global health crisis has ever necessitated the applicability of the Article. The 2020 Corona virus (Covid 19) is an example of a global health crisis. In response to the crisis and in a bid to protect their nationals, states are restricting the exportation of medical related equipment. This amounts to quantitative restrictions which is a violation of the World Trade Organisation rules of trade. This paper analyses such measures in lieu of WTO member’s obligations.
The present state of international economic law leaves much to be desired. Anchored by the multilateral General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which led to the creation of the World Trade Organization, and complemented by a vast network of bilateral and multilateral investment treaties and free trade agreements, international economic law is drawn from diffuse sources. Additionally, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body and Appellate Body, which interpret the GATT provisions, and arbitral tribunals, which interpret investment protection agreement provisions, shape the content of international economic law. However, the patchwork of treaty text and dispute settlement rulings into a body of law is unraveling.
The conference is organised by the Postgraduate and Early Professionals/Academics Network of the Society of International Economic Law (PEPA/SIEL) in collaboration with the International Law Forum and other sponsors at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. SIEL’s Postgraduate and Early Professionals/Academics Network (PEPA/SIEL) is, among other things, interested in fostering collaboration and mentoring opportunities for emerging academics and professionals in International Economic Law (IEL). PEPA/SIEL fulfils these goals through various activities such as organising conferences at which emerging IEL academics and professionals can present and discuss their research in a supportive and welcoming environment.
Afronomicslaw.org is pleased to welcome a new editor and three contributing editors effective immediately.
We are pleased to announce that the 9th PEPA/SIEL conference will take place on 17-19 May 2020 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law, in Jerusalem.
In order to address a scenario where a AfCFTA member might resort to the WTO and still want the dispute to be resolved under the AfCFTA’s dispute resolution protocol, then this article proposes that the latter Protocol should be amended to the effect that, matters raised in the WTO context and in AfCFTA’s context should be considered not to be the same.
In my view, one simple and safe guiding principle for Caribbean states could be whether the proposals on the table advance or diminish the protections guaranteed by the rule of law. These protections include: supremacy of law, equality, accountability, fairness, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency. Using this as the guiding principle, small states can meaningfully contribute to the debate.
Several Members still consider that a serious consideration of the Interim Arbitration Proposal weakens any efforts to strengthen the Appellate Body or the ongoing DSU reforms. In that context, and even if this proposal is only ad hoc in nature, several procedural and technical issues need to be addressed before serious deliberations can take place.
The lack of participation of African states in the WTO dispute settlement system is indicative to a certain extent of the discomfort that most African states feel vis-à-vis the said system. A future reform of the DSU must necessarily include procedural and substantive aspects to render dispute settlement more flexible for African countries.