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The Application of the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts in the WTO Regime

In this short post, I consider the unique application of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA) to the special regime of the World Trade Organization, an organization that has had a variable relationship with international law over the years. Consistent with Article 55 of ARSIWA which privileges “special rules” of responsibility only to the extent that they seek to derogate from the general framework, a WTO panel in Korea – Government Procurement has confirmed the “residual” application of general international law norms, including ARSIWA, when it stated that they apply “to the extent there is no conflict or inconsistency, or an expression in a covered WTO agreement”.  The post considers first circumstances where WTO rules, as well as panels and (the erstwhile) Appellate Body interpreting them, contract out of the general framework of ARSIWA; it then sets out the circumstances in which ARSIWA has been directly or indirectly referenced and/or applied; and concludes with future areas in which the application of ARSIWA might arise at…

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The IMF, WTO, World Bank, and WHO all come around? Multilateral Unity Against Inequitable Global COVID Vaccine Distribution, but still sans Human Rights

Sometimes, they do come around, albeit so narrowly. Back in February 2021, I argued that international law (specifically based on the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the Right to Development presently being codified in the draft Convention on the Right to Development) compels States and non-State actors to design equitable COVID Vaccine Distribution…

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The draft WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies: Are we closing the net?

On 11 May the chair of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s fisheries subsidies negotiations released a draft text designed to spur the final stage of negotiations toward final agreement. Talks on fisheries subsidies have been on the WTO’s ledger since 2001 and have been conducted in earnest since 2016. The negotiations are the key element in States’ efforts…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 6 – Trumping International Law?

This episode examines the effects of the four years of the Trump Administration on international law. I am joined by Joseph Weiler, Co-Editor in Chief of EJIL and University Professor at New York University School of Law; Neha Jain, Professor of Public International Law at the European University Institute; and Chimene Keitner, who is Alfred…

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China’s Recent Restrictions on Trade and the SPS Agreement

Since June 2020, China turned its eye on trade measures to battle the spread of COVID-19 in its country. It introduced several measures, from extensive testing of containers and content of imported food and agricultural products to complete import bans of specific products (such as pork from Tönnies and poultry products from Tyson Foods Inc.

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