The World Trade Organization, set up in 1995, has become a centrepiece of global economic governance in a fragmented international legal and institutional system. The WTO oversees an extensive body of international trade rules. But it has also become a widely contested organization, as its trade rules affect a great variety of rules and policies on environmental protection, public health, technical standards, cultural diversity, financial stability and professional qualifications. Whether it likes it or not, the WTO is put at the centre of global economic governance and no internationally oriented legal practitioner, government official, academic or student can afford to neglect this swiftly developing body of law. This book introduces the institutional and substantive legal aspects of the WTO. It thereby addresses both the vertical interactions of WTO law with domestic legal systems and the horizontal interactions between WTO rules and other areas of international regulation.
Starting from the history and theory of international trade law, the book discusses the content and application of the basic principles in the different WTO agreements. Furthermore, it also clarifies the decision-making processes and dispute settlement system of the WTO.
About this book
From the Foreword of Petros C. Mavroidis:
‘This book is, in my view, a great addition to the existing literature, a necessary companion to students and practitioners of the WTO alike. It is highly recommendable not only to those interested in an overview of the world trading system, but to all those interested in specific questions regarding the WTO and its modern day evolution.’
‘Wouters and Meester have created an easily digestible text, which provides a useful entry for those wishing to understand WTO law. For the beginner on WTO law, the book is well structured and moves seamlessly, with each chapter building somewhat on complexity and depth. Wouters and Meester is a help to law or more broadly social science students wishing to get a good first grasp of WTO law, from which they can then engage in the more technical and nuanced debates surrounding WTO law. Given that this book appears to talk about WTO law in as non-technical a way as possible, or with easy to grasp explanations of technical matters, should not discourage the seasoned WTO law practitioner or academic. In fact, I think we should welcome this addition to the literature.’
Ronnie R. F. Yearwood, www.globallawbook.org (2010).
About the authors:
Jan Wouters is professor of international law and the law of international organizations and Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and Institute for International Law at the University of Leuven. He is also visiting professor at the College of Europe and practises law as Of Counsel at Linklaters in Brussels. He has published widely on International, EU and corporate law, including a recent comprehensive handbook on public international law and various edited books, most recently The United Nations and the European Union. An Ever Stronger Partnership (with F. Hoffmeister and T. Ruys, Asser Press, 2006). He is the editor of the International Encyclopedia of Intergovernmental Organizations.
Bart De Meester [Lic.Juris (Leuven), M.Juris (Oxford)] is junior member at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and research fellow at the Institute for International Law, University of Leuven. He performs research on the interaction between European and international regulation and liberalization of banking services and was awarded a scholarship by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders.
The series International Law contains high-quality monographs and edited volumes dedicated to current issues of public international law and the law of international organisations. It aims at a broader dissemination of doctoral research and collective research efforts.
General Editor of the series is Professor Jan Wouters, Jean Monnet Chair and Professor of International Law and International Organisations, and Director of the Institute for International Law and Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at the University of Leuven.