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The Law and Politics of WTO Waivers
Stability and Flexibility in Public International Law


Part of Cambridge International Trade and Economic Law

  • Date Published: November 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107471115

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About the Authors
  • Despite being an important legal instrument in the law of the WTO, the waiver has hitherto been the subject of little scholarly analysis. Isabel Feichtner fills this gap by challenging the conventional view that the WTO's political bodies do not engage in significant law-making. She systemises the GATT and WTO waiver practice and suggests a typology of waivers as individual exception, general exception and rule-making instruments. She also presents the procedural and substantive legal requirements for the granting of waivers, deals with questions of judicial review and interpretation of waiver decisions, and clarifies the waiver's potential and limits for addressing the need for flexibility and adaptability in public international law and WTO law in particular. By connecting the analysis of waiver competence and waiver practice to the general stability/flexibility challenge in public international law, the book sheds new light on the WTO, international institutions and international law.

    • Analyses waiver practice under the GATT 1947 and in the WTO from historical, economic and legal perspectives
    • Presents the waiver as a law-making instrument capable of making international trade law more flexible, and links the waiver to broader questions about the legitimacy and effectiveness of international legal regimes
    • Based on a PhD thesis which was awarded the Baker and McKenzie Prize in 2010 for best doctoral dissertation in economic law at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is … both welcome and overdue.' Christopher A. Thomas, British Yearbook of International Law

    'Feichtner's book is a veritable encyclopedia of WTO waivers … What is more, she manages to … simultaneously [keep] things interesting.' Jan Klabbers, International Organizations Law Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107471115
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Why study the WTO waiver?
    Part I. The Flexibility Challenge in Public International Law and the WTO in Particular:
    2. The flexibility challenge in public international law
    3. The WTO - public law of conflict management
    Part II. The Practice and Law of Waivers:
    4. The waiver power and practice under the GATT 1947 and in the WTO
    5. The law of waivers
    Part III. The Potential of Waivers to Address the Flexibility Challenge in Public International Law:
    6. The potential of the waiver as a flexibility device
    7. The politics of the waiver process
    8. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Isabel Feichtner, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
    Isabel Feichtner is Assistant Professor of Law and Economics at Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She also advises the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on legal questions regarding the reform of International Environmental Governance.

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