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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Goode on Commercial Law

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Conflict of Norms in Public International Law

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Joost PauwelynDuke University, North Carolina

ISBN13: 9780521824880
ISBN: 0521824885
Published: July 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £114.99
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521100472

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One of the most prominent and urgent problems in international governance is how the different branches and norms of international law interact, and what to do in the event of conflict. With no single 'international legislator' and a multitude of states, international organisations and tribunals making and enforcing the law, the international legal system is decentralised. This leads to a wide variety of international norms, ranging from customary international law and general principles of law, to multilateral and bilateral treaties on trade, the environment, human rights, the law of the sea, etc. Pauwelyn provides a framework on how these different norms interact, focusing on the relationship between the law of the WTO and other rules of international law. He also examines the hierarchy of norms within the WTO treaty. His recurring theme is how to marry trade and non-trade rules, or economic and non-economic objectives at the international level.

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Public International Law
Part I. The Topic: 1.Conflict
2. Conflict of norms
3. Conflict of norms in public international law
4. The importance of the topic
Part II. The Example: 5 WTO law as 'just' another branch of public international law
6. The WTO legal system is not a closed legal circuit
7. The sources of WTO law
8. Special features of WTO law
9. The nature of WTO obligations: reciprocal or integral? Part III. Hierarchy of Sources: 10 The continuing uncertainty as to the sources of international law
11. Judicial decisions and doctrine
12. General principles of law
13. Custom and treaties
14. Unilateral acts of states and acts of international organisations
15. Reshaping the landscape of public international law
16. In conclusion: is there a hierarchy of sources? Post-script: where to classify rules on conflict of norms? Part IV. Accumulation and Conflict of Norms: 17 The function of norms
18. How norms interact
19. The outcome of interaction between norms
20. 'Contracting out' of general international law
Part V. Conflict Avoidance Techniques: 21 Coordination ex ante (conflict prevention)
22. The presumption against conflict
23. Treaty interpretation as a conflict-avoidance tool
Part VI. Resolving Normative Conflict: 24 Preliminary classifications for conflict resolution
25. One of the two norms ceases to exist
26. One of the two norms is 'illegal'
Part VII. Resolving Conflict in the Applicable Law: 27 Conclusion on conflict resolution
Part VIII. Conflict of Norms in WTO Dispute Settlement: 28 The judicial settlement of disputes
29. The jurisdiction of WTO panels
30. The applicable law before a GATT/WTO panel
31. Practical consequences of the approach suggested
32. A closer look at certain past disputes in the light of the theory presented here
Part IX. Conclusions.