HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPT OF NON-VIOLATION COMPLAINTS IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW
The article contains a brief review of historical roots and process of development of the non-violation clauses in various international legal agreements, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other WTO agreements. It points out the connection between the gradual transition from conditional to unconditional most-favored-nation treatment and the introduction of the clause about nullification or impairment of benefits. Finally, the article points out the fact that even though the WTO system of legal rules is much more detailed than the GATT system of legal rules, the non-non-violation clause not only remained in the original text of the GATT, but also was included in a number of other WTO agreements.
The article notes that the very need to introduce non-violation clauses in international trade treaties is connected with the global process of gradual introduction of unconditional most favored treatment clauses (in contrast to earlier treaty practice, where most-favored-nation treatment was provided on a conditional basis).
The article points out that one of the earliest attempts to establish the principle of unconditional most-favored-nation treatment as a global uniform approach was made at the London World Economic Conference, the most ambitious global attempt to do so before the successful conclusion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947.
Even though the original cause for non-violation complaints has been a relatively limited scope of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the significant expansion of the scope of application of this multilateral trade system as a result of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations did not result in the removal of the original non-violation clause from the text of the GATT. Moreover, non-violation clauses were included in a number of other WTO agreements. This, in turn, leads to a question, whether indeed it would be possible at any time in the future to conclude an international trade agreement, which would cover each and every measure affecting international trade, available to national governments.
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