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Preview: Journal of International Economic Law - current issue

Journal of International Economic Law Current Issue

Published: Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:45:33 GMT


The Ties between the World Trade Organization and Preferential Trade Agreements: A Textual Analysis


Although many believe preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are incompatible with the World Trade Organization (WTO), we lack empirical evidence on this topic. In this article, we examine international trade agreements—the source of trade law—and employ two types of text analysis to determine the presence of the WTO in PTAs. Our systematic comparisons of post-Uruguay Round PTAs and relevant WTO agreements reveal a strong, two-part presence of the WTO in PTAs. Nearly all recent PTAs reference the WTO explicitly, often dozens of times across multiple chapters. Likewise, in many of these same PTAs we find that substantial portions of treaty language—sometime the majority of a chapter—is copied verbatim from a WTO agreement. Moreover, multiple regression analyses reveal that larger countries and those most active in preferential agreement making are actually most likely to include a strong WTO presence in their PTAs. Additionally, the presence of the WTO in PTAs has increased over time. Our study contributes novel and robust empirical evidence to suggest that the ties between the WTO and PTAs are more solid than is realized.

The Trade Regime as a Complex Adaptive System: Exploration and Exploitation of Environmental Norms in Trade Agreements


While the trade regime is often analyzed under the metaphoric assumptions of Newtonian mechanics, we propose an alternative, more organic representation. We argue that the trade regime seems to evolve as a complex adaptive system, at the edge of order and chaos. Drawing from a dataset of 280 different types of environmental provisions found in 680 trade agreements, we show how both the trade regime and the norms contained therein unfold by remaining stable (but not static) and dynamic (but not chaotic). Trade negotiators simultaneously explore new grounds by introducing legal innovations and exploiting known territories by adopting existing norms. Our analysis suggests that, even as the regime grows in the number and length of agreements, there are exploratory and exploitative processes at work. These twin processes can explain that the trade regime appears neither more fragmented/heterogeneous nor more centralized/homogenous than it was 50 years ago, despite its substantial expansion. This hypothesis is at the core of the research agenda that this article lays out.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regulatory Space: A Comparison of Treaty Texts


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, signed in February of 2016, is an ambitious effort to set high standards on a ‘mega-regional’ level. This article examines the TPP’s investment provisions with a focus on their most controversial dimension: the extent to which they constrain the ‘state regulatory space’ (SRS) of host states. We embrace the text-as-data approach by coding the TPP and other investment agreements among TPP parties on design features related to SRS. The challenges presented by this coding exercise demonstrate some of the advantages of manual coding over automated methods when nuance and interpretation are required. With our data, we first compare the TPP to other agreements and find that it scores relatively high on SRS, although it falls within the range of existing agreements and does not seem to chart new territory in this regard. We then investigate which existing agreements are most similar to and dissimilar from the TPP with respect to SRS. Using regression analysis, we consider a number of factors to explain this variation and find that the TPP is most similar to agreements involving the USA, to agreements among Western Hemispheric countries, to other free trade agreements with investment chapters, and to more recent agreements. However, different factors seem to matter if we look only at provisions related to investor-state dispute settlement versus substantive provisions, implying that it is important to distinguish between the substantive and procedural dimensions of treaties.

Principles of International Economic Law. By Matthias Herdegen


Principles of International Economic Law. By HerdegenMatthias, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-879056-3, 2nd edition, 2016. 574 pp.

WHO Holds Influence over WTO Jurisprudence?


What shapes jurisprudence in international law? States dedicate considerable effort trying to influence not only the outcome, but also the content, of legal rulings. The stakes are high, as these legal opinions can redefine the meaning of the rules. Looking at the World Trade Organization, we ask whether some countries hold more influence over jurisprudence than others, and what such influence depends on. Using text analyses of every country submission in every ruling in the WTO era, we test a number of theoretical expectations. We find that some countries do appear to hold greater sway over the content of rulings than others: a country’s wealth, but especially its legal experience, account for much of this variation. Secondly, countries’ influence over the content of the verdict varies according to how novel the legal issue being ruled on is: states have more influence over the content of the ruling, the less precedent judges have to rely on in terms of prior legal decisions. The salience of the case and judges’ legal experience also follow expectations, as both are shown to take away from countries’ influence. Overall, the degree to which countries’ submissions influence the content of rulings appears to vary systematically. Legal capacity affects not only countries’ ability to file disputes, but also their ability to affect the shape of the resulting jurisprudence.

The Revolving Door in International Investment Arbitration


It is often claimed that international investment arbitration is marked by a revolving door: individuals act sequentially and even simultaneously as arbitrator, legal counsel, expert witness, or tribunal secretary. If this claim is correct, it has implications for our understanding of which individuals possess power and influence within this community; and ethical debates over conflicts of interests and transparency concerning ‘double hatting’—when individuals simultaneously perform different roles across cases. In this article, we offer the first comprehensive empirical analysis of the individuals that make up the entire investment arbitration community. Drawing on our database of 1039 investment arbitration cases (including ICSID annulments) and the relationships between the 3910 known individuals that form this community, we offer the first use of social network analysis to describe the full investment arbitration community and address key sociological and normative questions in the literature. Our results partly contradict recent empirical scholarship as we identify a different configuration of central ‘power brokers’. Moreover, the normative concerns with double hatting are partly substantiated. A select but significant group of individuals score highly and continually on our double hatting index.

Non-Discrimination and the Role of Regulatory Purpose in International Trade and Investment Law. By Andrew D. Mitchell, David Heaton and Caroline Henckels


Non-Discrimination and the Role of Regulatory Purpose in International Trade and Investment Law. By MitchellAndrew D., HeatonDavid and HenckelsCaroline, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016. ISBN 978 1 78536 810 3, 192 pp.

WTO Dispute Settlement and the Trips Agreement. Applying Intellectual Property Standards in a Trade Law Framework. By Matthew Kennedy


WTO Dispute Settlement and the Trips Agreement. Applying Intellectual Property Standards in a Trade Law Framework. By KennedyMatthew. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, ISBN 978-1-107-14468-2 Hardback, 453pp.

Is it Good Law? Network Analysis and the CJEU’s Internal Market Jurisprudence


An increasing number of legal scholars have been attracted to using network analysis, particularly by the possibility of conducting large-scale studies of case law. In this article, we discuss how network analysis can provide new and important information about the law governing the European Union’s internal market by making possible the study of the entire jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), including changes over time. We apply different network centrality measurements to key CJEU internal market decisions and compare how accurately they capture the precedential and persuasive power of case law. In so doing, we reach conclusions that can be used to better understand not only the law of the internal market, but also the law of any case law-driven jurisdiction such as WTO dispute settlement or investor–state arbitration.

The Place of Investment Awards and WTO Decisions in International Law: A Citation Analysis


International economic law is increasingly applied—and in the process developed—by international judicial bodies. As cases from international economic fora are multiplying, the place of their growing jurisprudence in general international law is understudied. To some extent, citation analysis allows for an investigation of the influence of other international judicial bodies over these economic fora—and the authority the latter exhibited in return. Drawing from an original data set of ‘external citations’ to and from the main international fora (more than 3000 ‘external citations’ in a larger data set of 75,000 citations), this article examines the citations from and to investment awards and World Trade Organization decisions. It reveals that these fora differ strikingly in their own citation practice, both in terms of the number of external citations but also in terms of the topics prompting the citations. In addition, the analysis shows that these fora are still rarely cited by other international courts and tribunals, pointing to a limited (at least, explicit) influence in contemporary international dispute settlement.

The Data-Driven Future of International Economic Law


The availability of more data and new ways of analyzing it is changing the way we do empirical legal research. With the help of modern technology we can study adjudicators, awards and agreements in greater numbers, less time and more detail opening the doors for new research questions, theory building and legal technology applications for scholars and practitioners. This introduction to the Journal of International Economic Law Special Issue on new frontiers in empirical legal research provides a first take on this data-driven future. It distinguishes data-driven research from more traditional methods by pointing to (1) its “data first” attitude, (2) its ambition to look at all the available data rather than subsamples thereof and (3) its focus on computing rather than reading or counting. Data-driven research comes with new promises, but also challenges and limitations. While it allows researchers to uncover latent structures, debunk past myths and even forecast the future, it also requires new skills and competencies including an ability to tell patterns from noise in inductive data analysis. We argue that the time is ripe to overcome these challenges and to seize the opportunities of the new data-driven frontier in empirical legal scholarship.

Reclaiming Development in the World Trading System. Cambridge International Trade and Economic Law series, 2nd edn. By Yong-Shik Lee


Reclaiming Development in the World Trading System. Cambridge International Trade and Economic Law series, 2nd edn. By LeeYong-Shik, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. ISBN 9781107098930, 493pp.



Notice of Retraction: Book Review, Corruption: Economic Analysis and International Law.



Notice of Retraction: Book Review, Corruption: Economic Analysis and International Law.