Critical Review of International Governance

Shall We Talk? Judicial Communication between the CJEU and WTO Dispute Settlement


In this article, ‘judicial communication’ refers to the reference made by a judiciary, during the process of adjudication, to the decision and/or practice of another judiciary. This contribution looks into the communication between two major international adjudicators, namely the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the World Trade Organization. The research shows that the communication approach adopted, and the activities carried out by each adjudicator, significantly differ from each other, and this is mainly caused by the different perception of the referencing adjudicator towards the law applied and the decisions made by their counterpart. While the communication is ongoing, a number of important questions remain unanswered, including the fundamental enquiry in regard to the legal basis and consequences of such inter-jurisdiction communication. It thus becomes the pressing task of the adjudicators involved to elucidate these issues.