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Abstracts of the last 4 Issues

Invoking Systemic Ideals or Systemic Rules? Jurisdiction in WTO and Investor-State Dispute Settlement

How do international economic adjudicators approach the question of
systemic integration? Systemic integration could be a powerful tool in the
defragmentation of the international legal order. Yet, it is a complex tool,
coalescing between a legal rule of interpretation and normative ideal of a
coherent international legal order. By undertaking an empirical and doctrinal
review of the decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and investor-
state dispute settlement mechanisms, the paper illustrates both the underutilisation
and inconsistent application of the principle within the reasoning
of those adjudicators. The paper analyses how international economic law
adjudicators attempt (or perhaps fail) to define the indeterminate legal authority
of systemic integration. What is contributing to this methodological
pluralism in the application of systemic integration? The paper investigates
both the competing ‘law-applying’ or ‘law-making’ adjudicative functions
and the limitations of tribunal jurisdiction as possible explanations for the
competing perceptions of the role of systemic integration in international
economic dispute resolution. The underutilisation and inconsistency of systemic
integration in the WTO and investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms
highlights the need to bridge the gap, both theoretically and doctrinally,
in understanding how systemic ideals fit within legal rules.