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Title: Non-discrimination in international economic law
Author: Risvas, Michail
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 6083
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the jurisprudence of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panels and Appellate Body (AB) and investment tribunals on non-discrimination clauses contained in the WTO agreements and investment agreements respectively. The thesis puts forward an alternative conceptual perspective through which the interpretation of non-discrimination provisions in international economic law could be analysed. It is argued that nondiscrimination obligations (as every legal rule to a greater or lesser extent) are inherently indeterminate. This is a fortiori the case in regard to non-discrimination provisions due to their link to the concept of equality. The concept of equality is open-ended and value-laden: its content depends on the prioritisation of different values. Thus, equality in the economic sphere can accommodate different conceptions which reflect different ideological approaches in relation to regulation, economic development and the proper role of the State in the economy. International courts and tribunals enjoy broad discretion in selecting which conception of equality to adopt when interpreting non-discrimination clauses. This indeterminacy is a positive characteristic of international economic regimes. Both the WTO and the investment arbitration regime are equipped with institutional characteristics which enable the contestation of different ideological approaches and promote pluralism. In the WTO context, this role is fulfilled by the institutional structure of the organization which facilitates the dialogue between the WTO members and the WTO Dispute Settlement System. In the realm of international investment arbitration, the mechanism of party-appointed arbitrators, despite its shortcomings which can be addressed, ensures value pluralism.
Supervisor: Sarooshi, Dan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available