Midway Assessment: Consent to the Jurisdiction and Applicable Law of the WTO and Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanisms
PhD candidate Nicola Claire Strain at the PluriCourts Centre is presenting her doctoral project "Consent to the Jurisdiction and Applicable Law of the WTO and Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanisms"
Nicola Claire Strain
- Assessor: Professor Régis Bismuth, The Sciences Po Law School, Paris
- Leader of the assessment: Associate Professor Anders Løvlie, Deputy Head of Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo
- Supervisors: Professors Freya Baetens and Mads Andenæs, University of Oslo
About the dissertation
Consent to jurisdiction has traditionally been considered a cornerstone value of international dispute resolution. Once consent to jurisdiction has been given to a dispute settlement mechanism, how does the dispute settlement mechanism interpret that consent and how does that interpretation affect the dispute settlement mechanism's jurisdiction? This question develops particular pertinence as the issues before the dispute settlement mechanisms become increasingly complex and the dispute settlement mechanisms mature and develop their practices over time. The project aims to consider this question in relation to the practice of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) panels and Appellate Body and investor-state dispute settlement bodies. The project attempts to provide a comparative analysis of these two dispute settlement mechanisms to answer the following research questions:
1. What have states consented to in terms of jurisdiction and applicable law of the WTO and investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms?
2. How is state consent to the jurisdiction of and applicable law of the WTO and investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms interpreted in relation to questions of ‘other public international law’?
3. How 'legitimate' are the approaches of the dispute settlement mechanisms?
In answering these questions, the project is divided into two stages. First, the project considers the lack of clarity in the definition of jurisdiction and applicable law in general international law and how these dispute settlement mechanisms have approached the definition of these concepts. Secondly, the project analyses the approach more broadly of these dispute settlement mechanisms to questions of other public international law, taking into account the definition of jurisdiction and applicable law and issues of state consent.