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The rise of national regulatory autonomy in the GATT/WTO Regime

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date09/2011
JournalJournal of International Economic Law
Number of pages37
Original languageEnglish


This article sets forth two arguments. First, to respect a WTO Member's national regulatory autonomy in the world trading system is essential to ensure the WTO's long term success in light of the WTO's institutional constraints, the WTO's underlying philosophy and the WTO's nature as an incomplete contract. Second, and contrary to many popular criticisms against the WTO's allegedly intrusive penetration to national regulatory autonomy, this article argues that these critics have failed to appreciate the recent WTO case law developments. Indeed, the recent WTO case law has shown that the WTO Appellate Body has quietly fine-tuned its previous jurisprudence and as a result, WTO Members enjoy a broader scope of regulatory autonomy than conventionally assumed.