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Revista Direito GV

versão On-line ISSN 2317-6172


BATISTA, Juliana Peixoto. Legal fragmentation and asymmetries in the WTO: spaghetti bowl or policy space?. Rev. direito GV [online]. 2018, vol.14, n.1, pp.169-191. ISSN 2317-6172.

This paper addresses the issue of asymmetries in the multilateral trading system under the theoretical debate of fragmentation of the international law. In this sense, in the scope of the international trade law, the Spaghetti Bowl image is famous by calling the attention to the risks encompassed by the “tangle of norms”; a labyrinth of crossed preferences and potential conflicts of norms and jurisdictions. Nevertheless, although the increasing fragmentation raises challenges of measuring systemic impact of agreements, balance trade-offs, rights and obligations among different commitments, it also opens policy spaces, mostly for developing countries. This article analyzes the trend of rules fragmentation within the Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT), since the creation of the WTO. The purpose is to prove that the S&DT reflects also the use of rooms for manoeuvre by developing countries, while contributing to an increasingly fragmentation of the rules in the multilateral trading system, highlighting thus the strategic dimension of fragmentation.

Palavras-chave : Legal fragmentation; multilateral trading system; asymmetries; Special and Differential Treatment; room for manouevre.

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