Proportionality and remedies in WTO disputes

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Abstract

This article considers the role of proportionality in determining the level and type of remedies available to World Trade Organization Members for violations of legal obligations or for certain other undesirable or unfair conduct. As an aid to interpretation, proportionality confirms the purpose of suspension of concessions as inducing compliance and may clarify the meaning of 'nullification or impairment' and the appropriate response to actionable or prohibited subsidies. However, principles such as proportionality must yield to the relevant text of the WTO agreements, where that text is unambiguous, and WTO Tribunals must carefully investigate the meaning and scope of a principle before using it in the WTO. Contrary to certain past decisions, the principle of proportionality is not relevant to the imposition of safeguards in the WTO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-1008
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of International Law
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

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