By Denise Prévost
It is widely recognised that international trade has the potential to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty worldwide. However, for this potential to be realized, international trade has to be managed and regulated at the international level through legal rules. If not, it is likely to aggravate economic inequality, social injustice and environmental degradation instead of improving the current situation. In a time of increasing international economic integration, international trade law affects many core areas of public policy. The law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) represents the broadest and most important system of rules governing international trade. Therefore, understanding the way in which WTO law manages and regulates international trade is of key importance in order to grasp its impact on society. It is this legal system that forms the subject matter of this book.
At a time when developments in the law of the WTO have made this field increasingly complex, Essentials of WTO Law meets the need for an accessible text providing a concise overview of WTO law. Essentials of WTO Law contains a timely and carefully considered introduction to the substantive rules and institutional arrangements of the WTO and incorporates key clarifications from the case law. The topics covered include the relationship between WTO law and other international law; the WTO rules ensuring market access and non-discrimination for goods and services; the way in which WTO rules aim to balance trade liberalisation with the right of governments to pursue legitimate regulatory objectives; WTO rules on unfair trade; WTO rules that promote harmonisation of national regulation; and the institutional rules of the WTO that govern membership, decision-making and dispute settlement.
Essentials of WTO Law is written in a highly reader-friendly, non-technical manner suitable for both undergraduate law students and students from other disciplines. It is also a useful source for policy makers and other professionals who need an introduction in this complex field. It provides a clear and systematic discussion of key issues of WTO law and includes useful pedagogical features such as illustrative examples of the application of the legal framework to practical situations to facilitate understanding. Recommendations for further reading complement the text and enable students to gain a more in-depth understanding of current debates and critical analysis of the issues discussed in the book. An online resources section provides students with the tools they need to work within this field. Co-written by a Member of the Appellate Body of the WTO and leading authority in the field, it forms essential reading for anyone who wants to get to grips with this fascinating and challenging field of law.