Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond
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Trade and Competition Law in the EU and Beyond

Edited by Inge Govaere, Reinhard Quick and Marco Bronckers

This well-documented book comprises a stellar cast of European and American authors delivering an overview of cutting edge issues in the areas of trade and competition law, arising in the EU and beyond.
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Chapter 14: The Effect of WTO Dispute Decisions in EU Law – Autonomy or Autarky?

Piet Eeckhout


Piet Eeckhout* 14.1 INTRODUCTION Article 38 of the ICJ’s Statute refers to judicial decisions as a source of international law. It is clear of course that such decisions are of a different nature than the other sources: conventions, customs, and general principles of law. International courts and tribunals interpret and apply the norms of international law produced by those other sources. Moreover, they do not have inherent jurisdiction. Their authority to hear and decide cases is usually conferred by an international agreement, and requires the consent of states. As international law is fragmented, there is no complete and coherent system of jurisdiction and remedies. In some areas of international law litigation is rare. In others it is highly developed. Moreover, there is great diversity in the systems of dispute settlement, and the extent to which those systems are judicial in character. Although Article 38 ICJ Statute mentions judicial decisions as a separate source of law, it makes more sense to discuss the legal effect of such decisions in EU law under the broader heading of agreements concluded by the EU. It is within the setting of such agreements that dispute settlement systems have been created, which may lead to judicial – or quasi-judicial – decisions, involving the EU. The question of the effects, in EU law, of international litigation has so far mainly arisen in the context of the EU’s WTO membership. Jacques Bourgeois has always been a lawyer of many trades. An excellent practitioner, he is in equal measure a leading...

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