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The Settlement of Trade Disputes

Is There a Monopoly for the wto?

Makane Moïse Mbengue

This article examines the question of whether the wto enjoys a monopoly over the settlement of trade disputes by examining the historical context of the Dispute Settlement Understanding of the wto, including early dispute resolution under the gatt and the goal behind the transformation leading to the wto of curbing potential unilateralism within the trade regime. It argues that this culminated in the intention to create a centralized rule-based system for the settlement of disputes, rather than an intention to create a monopoly for the wto. The article examines potential threats to the so-called monopoly, in particular with the proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (rtas) and the development of Mutually Agreed Solutions (mas). It also addresses relevant case law to demonstrate that the wto does not and was not intended to enjoy a monopoly over trade disputes. Rather, the wto pursues the objective of strengthening the multilateral trading system rather than encouraging unilateral trade action, which would not appear to be undermined by resort to the dispute settlement mechanisms of relevant rtas or other dispute settlement mechanisms.

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Makane Moïse Mbengue

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Makane Moïse Mbengue and Stefanie Schacherer

The Pan-African Investment Code (PAIC) is the first continent-wide African model investment treaty elaborated under the auspices of the African Union. The PAIC has been drafted from the perspective of developing and least-developed countries with a view to promote sustainable development. The PAIC contains a number of Africa-specific and innovative features, which presumably makes it today a unique legal instrument. Written in a time where the international investment community is still debating the future of international investment law, this article seeks to present and contextualize this first African model investment treaty. The article highlights the most innovative features of the PAIC, such as the reformulation of traditional investment treaty provisions and the introduction of direct obligations for investors.

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Laurence Boisson de Chazournes and Makane Moïse Mbengue

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Makane Moïse Mbengue and Laurence Boisson de Chazoures