• Jurisdictional Conflicts between the WTO and Regional Trade Agreements. Towards a Coherence Approach

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Research Associate, Asian Center for WTO and International Health Law and Policy (ACWH). LL.M., National Taiwan University. LL.B., Soochow University.)


A product of fragmentation of international law, the issue of jurisdictional conflicts between the WTO and Regional Trade Agreements is of systemic importance. Not only does it raise the potential problem of inconsistent rulings for WTO/RTA Members, it requires the WTO Tribunal to confront the very nature and scope of its jurisdiction, the admissibility of cases and its applicable law, all highly controversial and unsettled issues in international law. This thesis aims to present a framework that can hopefully serve to offer solutions on the basis of the current WTO legal system. Under this framework, where WTO proceedings are initiated in a genuinely abusive manner, the WTO Tribunal would be able to dismiss the WTO complaint for lack of jurisdiction or on the grounds of inadmissibility. This does not mean a general deference to RTA Tribunals, but, rather, would reflect the WTO Tribunal’s cognizance of the relevant WTO Members’ true intentions; by giving effect to the Members’ true intentions, the WTO Tribunal could mitigate fragmentation of international law, thereby securing and promoting the coherence in the international legal system.

MATERIAS: Admissibility, applicable law, coherence, conflict, jurisdiction, lex specialis, lex posterior, Regional Trade Agreement(RTA), treaty interpretation, World
Trade Organization(WTO)

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