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How Interpretation Makes International LawOn Semantic Change and Normative Twists$
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Ingo Venzke

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657674

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657674.001.0001

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Adjudication in the GATT/WTO: Making General Exceptions in Trade Law

Adjudication in the GATT/WTO: Making General Exceptions in Trade Law

(p.135) IV Adjudication in the GATT/WTO: Making General Exceptions in Trade Law
How Interpretation Makes International Law

Ingo Venzke

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces international judicial institutions as weighty actors in international legal discourse. It shows how the practice of adjudication in international trade law has shaped the general exceptions of Art. XX GATT. The spell of precedents has not only carried semantic shifts but it has also provided new reference points for legal discourse to which interpreters are expected and forced to relate their arguments. In substance, adjudicators have shaped the law to provide thick standards for domestic regulatory processes. They walk the line between proportionality analysis at the international level and deference to domestic regulatory autonomy. The chapter closes by sketching how interpretation may be guided by considerations of democratic legitimacy in a system of multilevel governance.

Keywords:   General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, GATT, World Trade Organization, WTO, judicial lawmaking, adjudication, precedents, proportionality analysis, trade and public policy, general exceptions of Art. XX GATT

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