General Principles of Procedural Law in the Practice of the WTO Appellate Body

In: International Community Law Review
Mariana Clara de Andrade Postdoctoral Researcher in International Law, University of Milano-Bicocca Milan Italy

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The method of identification of general principles and their function as a source of law have long been object of doctrinal debate. This topic is now under the programme of work of the International Law Commission. Relatedly, international courts and tribunals have relied on general principles of procedural law derived from national legal systems in their practice and reasoning, but the methodology employed by adjudicators in importing these sources from domestic law remains obscure. This research examines the use of general principles of procedural law in WTO dispute settlement, in particular by its Appellate Body. The aim is two-fold: first, to study the methodology employed in the identification of general principles of procedural law in the case law of the WTO Appellate Body; second, to examine the functions performed by general principles in the practice of this international jurisdiction.

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