WTO Domestic Regulation and Services Trade

image of WTO Domestic Regulation and Services Trade

Domestic regulation of services sectors has a significant impact on services trade liberalization, which is why General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) disciplines are negotiated in the WTO. With the help of analyses and case-studies from academics, regulators and trade experts, this book explores the scope and limits of WTO legal principles to promote domestic regulatory reform. Case-studies discuss country-specific challenges and experiences of regulating important service sectors, such as finance, telecommunications, distribution, legal, education, health, postal and logistics services, as well as the role of regulatory impact assessments. The findings will interest trade officials, policy-makers, regulators, think tanks and businesses concerned with the implications of domestic regulation on access to services markets, and with the opportunities for formulating trade disciplines in this area. It is also a useful resource for academics and students researching regulatory approaches and practices in services sectors.



Balancing legal certainty with regulatory flexibility

The concept of legal certainty is a central element of most legal systems in the world (Maxeiner 2008: 28). It can be associated with the rule of law, but variations exist concerning its exact contours and its relative importance vis-à-vis other fundamental legal principles. In particular, legal certainty is often contrasted with principles of justice or rightfulness (von Arnauld 2006: 638). Indeed, a formal understanding of legal certainty which focuses on issues of stability and consistency does not guarantee a fair and just outcome. More fundamentally, even though legal certainty is one of the most effective safeguards against governmental and administrative arbitrariness, it offers no protection against unjust or unfair laws. How can the potential for conflict between legal certainty and justice be solved?


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