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«Russia and the World Community’s Respond to a Challenge of Instability of Economic and Legal Systems Materials of the International Scientific-practical Conference ...»

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All European choice of law measures of the private international law do not affect the Member States' substantive law. In accordance with the founding Treaties, substantive law remains a matter of national competence. The main objective of these measures is to ensure that a given legal situation is adjudicated under the substantive law of the same country, irrespective of the fact which court and in which European Union Member State decides the matter, and thus contribute to establishing a genuine European area of justice. The introduction of a set of uniform European choice of law rules should be welcomed by all parties engaging in international legal relationships. The main purpose of uniform choice of law rules is to reduce uncertainty as to the law governing international legal relationships. Uniform conflicts rules ensure the stability of cross-border legal relationships, they reduce the practice of “forum shopping” (in case claimants try and litigate their claims in countries whose courts will, they believe, apply the law most favourable to them), and they enable prospective litigants to predict the choice of law outcome of their lawsuit. Decisional harmony is the principal aim of European choice of law unification.

Commission Green Paper on succession and wills, COM(2005) 65, 1 March 2005.

The proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 October 2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate of Succession, COM(2009) 154.

Boele-Woelki, K. 2010. For better or for worse: The Europanization of international divorce law. Yearbook of Private International Law, Volume 12, p. 20.

Bibliography 1. Boele-Woelki, K. 2010. For better or for worse: The Europanization of international divorce law. Yearbook of Private International Law, Volume 12, p.


2. Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance.

3. Council Regulation (EU) No 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation.

4. De Boer, Th. M. 2009. The purpose of uniform choice-of-law rules:

The Rome II Regulation. Netherlands International Law Review, Volume 56, Issue 3, December 2009. p. 295-332.

5. Garcimartn Alfrez, F. J. 2008. The Rome I Regulation: Much ado about nothing? The European Legal Forum, 2/2008. p. I-61-79.

6. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 October 2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and authentic instruments in matters of succession and the creation of a European Certificate of Succession, COM(2009) 154.

7. Proposal for a Council Regulation of 16 March 2011 on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes, COM(2011)126.

8. Proposal for a Council Regulation of 16 March 2011 on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions regarding the property consequences of registered partnerships, COM(2011)127.

9. Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations.

10. Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations.

11. Treaty on European Union.

12. Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Removing non-discriminatory barriers to trade in the EU and the WTO: can one system benefit from the experiences of the other?

Introduction The removal of discriminatory trade barriers seems to be common feature of all international efforts to remove trade barriers. This prohibition of discrimination is central to both the WTO, where it is laid down in GATT Articles I and III, and the EU, where it is laid down in several provisions in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), covering both de jure and de facto discrimination. The removal of non-discriminatory restrictions to trade, which do not discriminate either de jure or de facto, seems to be more controversial and complex. In both the WTO and the EU there has been much discussion about the extent to which such restrictions should be eliminated and how this should be done.

Non-discriminatory restrictions to trade can be removed in various ways.

One way is by flexible and partly open-ended rules which require certain trade restrictions to be subject to review on a case-by-case basis. These are the kinds of rules examined here. Another way of removing such restrictions is to formulate minimum standards through the process of harmonisation. This approach to non-discriminatory restrictions is frequently used in the EU by the adoption of directives and regulations, and on a smaller scale it is also a feature of the WTO. 80 These two different approaches to the removal of non-discriminatory restrictions to trade are often termed ‘judicial integration’ and ‘legislative integration’ respectively. 81 In the former, the general principles may be laid down in a treaty or in legislation, but they require recourse to judicial bodies for implementation. With harmonisation, on the other hand, the details are often stipulated in the legislation so that recourse to judicial bodies is not so necessary for their implementation.

The focus of analysis in this contribution is on trade in goods, and to a lesser degree references are made to services and freedom of establishment.

First, there will be a brief outline of the consequences of including rules subjecting non-discriminatory restrictions to review. In section 3 there will be an outline of the EU rules and the WTO rules which subject non-discriminatory restrictions to review. In section 4 the question of which non-discriminatory restrictions should be subject to review is discussed in more detail, and this is followed in section 5 by an analysis of the tests used in the review. Finally, in section 6 there will be some concluding remarks.

1. Implications of reviewing non-discriminatory restrictions Removing national discrimination would be a natural and essential first step to take in trade liberalisation, as rules that subject imports to restrictions that do not apply to domestic producers or service providers will clearly have negative consequences for trade. The step of subjecting non-discriminatory restrictions to The main effort in the area of harmonisation is the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and the Agreement on Government Procurement. Also the efforts to promote international standards in the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) has at least elements of harmonisation; see below Chapter 10.

See F. Ortino, Basic Legal Instruments for the Liberalisation of Trade (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp.

24-27; and A. McGee and S. Weatherill, ‘The Evolution of the Single Market: Harmonisation or Liberalisation’, The Modern Law Review, 53 (1990), 578-596.

review may be seen as a possible but not necessary next step in the liberalisation of trade. Before taking such a step it would be logical first to use the full scope of the ban on national discrimination by extending it to various forms of de facto discrimination. This, at least, seems to be what happened in the EU where the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter the ‘Court’) went very far in including different forms of de facto discrimination before taking the step to include non-discriminatory restrictions. 83 However the ban on national discrimination can only be stretched so far, and at some point it will be necessary to consider whether to take the next step in liberalising trade. It would be strange to review de facto discriminatory rules but not to undertake any review of nondiscriminatory rules which have just as negative an impact on trade. However, the move to review non-discriminatory restrictions has been controversial in both the EU and the WTO, and it has raised much political and academic debate. The reasons for this seem to be manifold. First there is a question about the extent to which the WTO and the EU should be able to interfere with the legislation adopted by the Members/Member States. It may be acceptable to censor domestic regulation that discriminates against imports or importers, but it may not be acceptable to censor other national measures. Such an intrusion into the domain of the national legislator seems to be much less acceptable in the WTO, whereas the level of integration and the ambitions in the EU are such as to make such intrusion more acceptable. 85 But in both the EU and in the WTO voices have been heard saying that it is unacceptable that judicial bodies should, in this sense, censor the choices made by national legislators, possibly even substituting the discretion exercised by the legislators with their own. To the extent that judicial bodies have been responsible for the development of subjecting restrictions to review, there have been accusations of judicial activism. However it can be argued that for a regional trade agreement to come under GATT Article XXIV or GATS Article V it must not only tackle discriminatory rules but also (some) non-discriminatory restrictions. The provisions require that the restrictive regulation of commerce should be eliminated. There is no clear indication whether this requires non-discriminatory restrictions to be eliminated; see J. H. Mathis, ‘Regional Trade Agreements and Domestic Regulation: What Reach for ‘Other Restrictive Regulations of Commerce?’, in L. Bartels and F. Ortino (eds.), Regional Trade Agreement and the WTO Legal System (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp.

79-108; J. P. Trachtman, ‘Towards open recognition? Standardization and Regional Integration under Article XXIV of GATT’, Journal of International Economic Law, 6 (2003), 459-492; and M. Matsushita, T. J.

Schoenbaum and P. C. Mavroidis, The World Trade Organization; Law Practice, and Policy, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 570-573. GATS Article V bis seems more likely to require that labour market integration agreements should go beyond discrimination as it calls for ‘full integration’.

See C. Tobler, Indirect Discrimination (Intersentia, 2005). So far the WTO decisions have not gone that far in applying the discrimination principle; see M. Melloni, The Principle of National Treatment in the GATT: A survey of the jurisprudence, practice and policy (Bruylant, 2005).

Advocate General Jacobs in his Opinion in Case C-412/93, Leclerc-Siplec [1995] ECR I-179, paras 39-40.

See J. Pauwelyn, ‘Rien ne Va Plus? Distinguishing domestic regulation from market access in GATT and GATS’, World Trade Review, 4 (2005), 131-170, at p. 141; and B. M. Hoekman and M. Kostecki, The Political Economy of the World Trading System (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 364.

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