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The starting point of this book is the coexistence of the overlapping regimes of the WTO, the EU and the NAFTA. On this basis it explores the emergence of a nascent Common Law of International Trade. This exploration is rooted in three phenomena: Firstly, the fact that the very same regulatory measure may come simultaneously within the jurisdictional reach of more than one trade regime and may even be adjudicated simultaneously. Some regimes offer alternatives.
The NAFTA, for example, offers GATT dispute resolution as an option for many of its own disputes. Secondly, convergence in the material law of the disparate international trade regimes. This, of course, is the heart of the emergent Common Law. Thirdly, the strengthening of private parties in all regimes. Once a preserve of the EU, the NAFTA allows private party dispute resolution of different types in relation to various matters and in the case of the WTO, although it is still an intergovernmental preserve, private actors are learning to manipulate the system.
This volume, built on a recent series of courses at the Academy of European Law, is a reflection of this conviction.;The various contributions deal with discrete areas - in the double sense - of the international trading system but each placing considerable emphasis on the interlocking nature of the various components of that system. It is our conviction that this is the appropriate way to understand and to teach this branch of the law.