Reappraising the Jurisprudence of MERCOSUR: An Exercise in Regional Innovation or Malinchismo?

Messenger, G ORCID: 0000-0002-0610-2919
(2016) Reappraising the Jurisprudence of MERCOSUR: An Exercise in Regional Innovation or Malinchismo? Transnational Dispute Management, 2 (201.

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The development of dispute settlement at MERCOSUR can be described as one of missed opportunities: political disputes and economic shifts among its members have hampered its role in settling trade disputes. Overlooked for its apparent demise at the hands of political clashes and sparse case-law, the jurisprudence of the MERCOSUR dispute settlement system nonetheless demonstrates a marked and innovative move in regional integration. While seemingly drawing inspiration from European Union law, and to a lesser extent that of the Andean Community and WTO, ad hoc arbitral tribunals and the Permanent Tribunal of Review (Tribunal Permanente de Revisión - ‘TPR’) have developed a set of coordinating principles which differ notably from those found in the European context. First, this paper argues that the similarities to the European approach are superficial and the references made to EU law by the TPR hide the differences of the MERCOSUR approach to regional trade law. Second, that the jurisprudence of MERCOSUR displays interesting characteristics in pursuing regional integration within a wider multilateral system under the World Trade Organization. This paper argues that the jurisprudence of MERCOSUR demonstrates a number of developments in how regional integration agreements can both consolidate a regional trade regime as well as engage in a policy of accommodation with other international legal systems. Though its practical importance within MERCOSUR may have diminished, the insights gained from its case-law may well inspire other regional dispute settlement systems as well as demonstrate the limits of judicial agency in deepening regional links.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 14:04
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 07:11
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