DISPUTE SETTLEMENT SYSTEM TRAINING MODULE: CHAPTER 5

Possible Object of a Complaint — Jurisdiction of Panels and the Appellate Body

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5.4 Measures taken by regional or local subdivisions of a Member

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Under traditional public international law, subjects of international law, typically States, are responsible for the activities of all branches of government within their system of governance, and also for all regional levels or other subdivisions of government. This principle also applies in (WTO) law, except where the covered agreements expressly deal with this question and exclude acts taken by regional or local governments from the coverage of certain obligations. Article 22 of the DSU specifically confirms that the dispute settlement system can be invoked in respect of measures taken by regional or local governments or authorities within the territory of a Member. There are particular rules, however, applying in the implementation phase. Where a measure taken by a regional or local authority is inconsistent with a provision of a covered agreement, the Member must take such reasonable measures as may be available to it to ensure observance (Article 22.9 of the DSU, Article XXIV:12 of GATT 1994 and Article I:3(a) of the GATS).1 Article 14 of the TBT Agreement attributes to Members acts of non-governmental organizations regulated by the Agreement.2

  

Notes:

1. See section on Obligations in the event of a “regional or local violation”  back to text

2. See section on Obligations in the event of a “regional or local violation”  back to text

  

  

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Disclaimer
This interactive training module is based on the “Handbook on the WTO Dispute Settlement System” published in 2004. The second edition of this handbook published in 2017 can be found at here.

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