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Contribution to Book
Customary Rules of Interpretation in the Practice of WTO Dispute Settlement Bodies
The Practice of International and National Courts and (De)Fragmentation of International Law (2012)
  • Lukasz A Gruszczynski, Institute of Law Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences
Abstract
The WTO dispute settlement bodies tend to follow the instructions of Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). The customary rules that are embodied in these articles constitute a point of reference for both the panels and the Appellate Body in their interpretation of WTO provisions. This paper identifies a number of cases, however, where the dispute settlement bodies appear to deviate from the holistic approach promoted by the VCLT. In particular, these include instances of extensive reliance on text (to the exclusion of other elements such as context and purpose), application of a sequential interpretative approach, and limiting the relevance of non-WTO rules of international law in the process of interpretation. Against this background, the paper analyses the significance of such situations with regard to the fragmentation and/or unity of international law.
Keywords
  • WTO,
  • interpretation,
  • international law,
  • fragmentation,
  • VCLT,
  • Vienna Convention
Publication Date
2012
Editor
A. Nollkaemper and O. K. Fauchald
Publisher
Hart Publishing
ISBN
978-1-84946-247-1
Citation Information
Lukasz A Gruszczynski. "Customary Rules of Interpretation in the Practice of WTO Dispute Settlement Bodies" OxfordThe Practice of International and National Courts and (De)Fragmentation of International Law (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lukasz_gruszczynski/8/