Multilateral Legal Act

Among the innovations that accompanied the transformation of GATT into the WTO was the remarkable strengthening of multilateral institutions. While the paradigm shift brought about by the institutionalization of the multilateral trading system has been widely recognized, its impact on WTO legislation has been largely overlooked. Much of the debate has focused on whether and to what extent “external” international legal rules should be taken into account by WTO arbitrators. However, an analysis of WTO jurisprudence shows a different approach. The interpretation (and, to some extent) of WTO rules does not depend on the bilateral relationship between the parties to a particular dispute, which may affect the application of multilateral rules between them, but on the creation of a “common understanding” of membership through subsequent agreements, subsequent practices or broader normative development. Once established, a new interpretation is not limited to the context of a particular dispute, but concerns the rights and obligations of all WTO Members. As a result, the bilateral logic that normally governs legal relations between States on the basis of individual consent is giving way to a multilateral logic that allows for a certain degree of normative change while preserving the integrity of the WTO legal system. The definition of a definition of multilateral contract law is an agreement between several parties. A bilateral agreement involves a reciprocal agreement between two parties in which each party promises to provide a service or trade in exchange for a cash bonus or other agreement.

Bilateral agreements are the most common types of agreements; This type of arrangement is usually the one that comes to mind for many people. All parties include the debtor, that is, the person who is related to the other. Each party is bound by promises, and the creditor is the person bound by the other. The EC Panel on Biotech disagreed. The EC had argued that its WTO commitments had to be interpreted in the light of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (`the Protocol`). The Commission found that two of the complainants (Argentina and Canada) had signed the Protocol; the third (the United States) participated in its clearing-house mechanism and should therefore be “understood as having no objection to the approach” that permeates the protocol.131 The Panel`s reasoning was confusing. On the one hand, the Panel found that the complainants were not parties to the Protocol and had not agreed before the Panel that WTO law be interpreted in light of its rules.132 On the other hand, the Panel decided to make a more general statement on the correct interpretation of Article 31(3)(c). He argued that the only “relevant rules of international law” to be taken into account when interpreting multilateral treaties are those “applicable in the relations between all parties to the treaty to be interpreted”.133 If this means that all WTO members (including the European Union, Macao, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei) must be formally parties to the external treaty, then not a single treaty that is currently in force.134 This would contrast with the Appellate Body`s much more flexible treatment of similar issues, which is based on the standard of “common understanding” rather than full unanimity among members.

In all the cases analysed above concerning Members` domestic or specific interpretations of WTO law, WTO arbitration bodies have carefully referred to the specific facts of the dispute and have often stressed the absence of direct conflict in the sense of mutually incompatible obligations.146 However, when attention shifts to WTO arbitrators, in particular the Appellate Body, on legal issues, If these bodies have not decided, a clear picture emerges. Panels and the Appellate Body will not be able to refuse to exercise validly established jurisdiction, as this would limit the rights of complainants under the DSU (Mexico – Soft Drinks). WTO law, not international law, “resolves the issue” of the relationship between WTO law and other international agreements (EC oilseeds). External agreements and even decisions of external international tribunals do not in themselves exclude Members from complying with their WTO obligations (Brazil – Tyre). Measures taken pursuant to international obligations are subject to the same requirements as those normally restricting measures taken under WTO exemptions (US – shrimp). During the commemoration of this anniversary at the twenty-fourth session of the States Parties on 9 June 2014, the Convention was described by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as one of the most important and visionary multilateral instruments of the 20th century.