International Journal of Public Law and Policy

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Conceptualising the complexity-reducing role of societal trust in transnational economic regulation - towards an interdisciplinary research methodology

Pohl, Jens Hillebrand

2019 International Journal of Public Law and Policy

doi: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102868

Trust in the international economic legal order has been associated with an historic global expansion of trade and investment. That trust is at constant, if not imminent, risk of erosion, and may even, in the perception of some, already be in the process of erosion. The interaction between trust and the notion of complexity may hold the key to understanding that process, whether actual or potential. On the premise of that interaction, an evolutionary interpretation of the transnational regulation of economic private-public relationships as a complex adaptive system may indicate whether and how trust in this context should be restored. The paper sketches the contours of an interdisciplinary research agenda aimed at exploring and investigating the proposition that an evolutionary interpretation of complexity in transnational economic relations may help to situate and explain that complexity and, thereby, to better understand the practical importance of trust in transnational economic regulation.
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LitStream Collection
Effective, justifiable, necessary: the panel's assessment of Australia's tobacco plain packaging measures

Zachari, Elli

2019 International Journal of Public Law and Policy

doi: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102875

A key challenge facing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today is the rapidly eroding trust in the trade liberalising values it embodies. Among other criticisms, its rules have long been perceived as constraining the ability of national governments to intervene in economic practices to advance important societal goals, such as public health. Refuting this popular belief, Australia's successful defence of its tobacco plain packaging (TPP) measures in a recent WTO dispute stands as a welcome reaffirmation of the WTO's capacity to adequately balance trade obligations with members' right to regulate. This paper examines the Panel's findings in the TPP dispute in relation to two provisions of the WTO Agreements which reflect a balance between trade and non-trade values; Article 2.2 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement or TBT) and Article 20 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement or TRIPS).
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Mind the compliance gap: managing trustworthy partnerships for sustainable development in the European Union's free trade agreements

Prévost, Denise; Alexovičová, Iveta

2019 International Journal of Public Law and Policy

doi: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102874

Recent years have seen intensified interest in the labour and environment provisions in the EU's FTAs. The question has arisen whether the incorporation of 'trade and sustainable development' (TSD) chapters in the EU's FTAs deliver on their promise of using the EU's trade power to effectively promote the protection of the environment and improved working conditions in third countries. In particular, the compliance gap between the TSD provisions and their implementation has come to the forefront of the debate. Concerns have been raised that the EU's'promotional approach' based on dialogue and cooperation is less effective that the 'sanctions-based' approach followed by the US and Canada. This article examines the mechanisms for compliance in the TSD chapters in recent EU FTAs and argues that they hold greater promise for real improvements in labour and environmental standards than a sanctions-based enforcement system. However, it posits that, to be effective, and thereby gain the trust of civil society, the EU's 'promotional' approach must be supported by effective mechanisms for transparency, institutionalised dialogue and accountability.
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Patent boxes and the erosion of trust in trade and in governance

Diaz, Esperanza Buitrago

2019 International Journal of Public Law and Policy

doi: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102882

Patent boxes spawned trust concerns in trade but also in governance given the migration of enterprises and of intellectual property assets only for tax reasons. The G-20 and the OECD reacted with soft law measures introducing the nexus to R'D (the proportional expenses related to it) as a standard to restore trust in governance (as requirement for governments issuing post-BEPS patent boxes and IP regimes) and substantial activities as a standard to restore trust in enterprises engaged in the IP trade. The new standards apply the rationale of input incentives to the back end of the innovation chain. The crucial question is whether the solutions found are appropriate and suitable to restore trust without hindering innovation and entrepreneurship. While dealing with such question, the work shows a number of shortcomings in regard IP regimes after BEPS Action 5 and how a narrow tax approach may lead to inefficiencies and frustration.
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