Robert Staiger () and
Alan O. Sykes
Journal of International Economic Law, 2013, vol. 16, issue 4, 741-775
The 'non-violation nullification or impairment' doctrine is among the more unique and perplexing features of WTO law. We examine the scope and application of the non-violation doctrine in the GATT/WTO. Observed cases raising non-violation claims are relatively uncommon, the non-violation claims that are observed are usually not adjudicated, and those that are adjudicated are unsuccessful in a relatively high percentage of cases. This article offers a number of reasons for the relatively modest (observed) role of the non-violation doctrine over the history of the GATT/WTO system. We report the results of a formal model developed in a companion paper, which can deliver differences in equilibrium usage of violation and non-violation claims that mirror these broad features. We note that although non-violation claims are not often observed and when observed are less successful, they can still serve a valuable role in the GATT/WTO, owing in part to their 'off equilibrium' effects. We develop a range of other considerations informally, which further help to explain the limited role of non-violation claims in the system and hint at some possible reforms to clarify its proper scope. The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:16:y:2013:i:4:p:741-775
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