Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 29, 2013

Revisiting African States Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement through Intra-Africa RTA Dispute Settlement

Malebakeng Forere

Abstract

Whereas developed countries were the main players in the GATT dispute settlement mechanism, the era of the WTO saw a sharp increase in the developing countries’ participation in trade disputes. Thus, developing countries are active complainants and defendants in the WTO dispute settlement processes. Nevertheless, African states are still marginalised, and this situation has attracted attention of many scholars. As a result, scholars in the field have come up with many reasons to explain why African states do not appear as either complainants or respondents. The reasons for Africa’s non-participation have been argued to include cost of WTO litigation relative to the gains, low trade volumes, legal knowledge and non-integration of African countries in the WTO system. This article seeks to contribute to the existing literature on Africa’s non-participation in the WTO dispute settlement. The goal in this article is to confirm or dispel assumptions that African states have interests that they need to safeguard through dispute settlement but are inhibited from doing so because of the reasons mentioned above. Unlike other studies, the determination on Africa’s non-participation in the WTO dispute settlement will be approached from African states’ participation in intra-Africa RTA dispute settlement mechanisms. While there are six intra-Africa RTAs notified to the WTO, this work focuses on only two – East African Community and Southern Africa Development Community.

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  1. 1

    John H. Jackson, Dispute Settlement and the WTO: Emerging Problems, 1 Journal of International Economic Law, no. 329 (1998), 341.

  2. 2

    Bernard M. Hoekman and Petros C. Mavroidis, WTO Dispute Settlement, Transparency and Surveillance, 23 The World Economy, no. 527 (2000), 527.

  3. 3

    Gerhard Erasmus, “The Non-Participation by African States in the WTO Dispute Settlement System of the WTO: Reasons and Consequences”, in Trudi Hartzenberg (ed.), WTO Dispute Settlement: An African Perspective (Cameron May Ltd, 2008).

  4. 4

    World Trade Organisation, News Summary for the WTO Reference Centres and Non-resident Missions, No. 2390 of 7 July 2011.

  5. 5

    Lorand Bartels, Making WTO Dispute Settlement Work for African Countries: An Evaluation of Current Proposals for Reforming the DSU, paper presented at the Second African International Economic Law Network Conference at the University of Witwatersrand, 7–8 March 2013, p. 3.

  6. 6

    For example, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi and Cote d’Ivoire appeared as third parties in EC – Export Subsidies on Sugar WT/DS265/R; WT/DS266/R and WT/DS283/R.

  7. 7

    Gregory Shaffer, “Developing Country Use of the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Why It Matters, the Barriers Posed”, in James C. Hartigan (ed.), Trade Disputes and the Dispute Settlement Understanding of the WTO: An Interdisciplinary Assessment (Emerald Group Publishing, 2009), pp. 182-185.

  8. 8

    Erasmus, “The Non-Participation by African States in the WTO Dispute Settlement System of the WTO: Reasons and Consequences”, p. 182.

  9. 9

    Special Session of the Dispute Settlement Body (TN/DS/W/15, 25 September 2002), para. 3.

  10. 10

    Rosalyn Higgins, Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 189.

  11. 11

    International Court of Justice Cases, available at: <http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&p3=1>, accessed 2 March 2013.

  12. 12

    Egypt – Import Prohibition on Canned Tuna with Soybean Oil, WT/DS205/R; Egypt – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Steel Rebar from Turkey, WT/DS211/R; Egypt – Measures Affecting Imports Textile and Apparel Products, WT/DS305/R; Egypt – Anti-Dumping Duties on Matches from Pakistan, WT/DS327/R; South Africa – Anti-Dumping Duties on Certain Pharmaceutical Products from India, WT/DS168/R; South Africa – Anti – Dumping Measures on Blanketing from Turkey, WT/DS288/R; South Africa – Anti – Dumping Measures on Uncoated Woodfree Paper, WT/DS374/R; South Africa – Anti-Dumping Duties on Frozen Meat of Fowls from Brazil, WT/DS439/R.

  13. 13

    Republic of Guinea v Democratic Republic of Congo 1998 ICJ Reports.

  14. 14

    Roderick Abbott, Are Developing Countries Deterred from Using the WTO Dispute Settlement System? Participation of Developing Countries in the DSM in the Years 1995–2005’ (01 ECIPE Working Paper Series, 2007), p. 13.

  15. 15

    Abott, “Are Developing Countries Deterred from Using the WTO Dispute Settlement System? Participation of Developing Countries in the DSM in the years 1995–2005”, p. 14.

  16. 16

    Abott, “Are Developing Countries Deterred from Using the WTO Dispute Settlement System? Participation of Developing Countries in the DSM in the years 1995–2005”, p. 13.

  17. 17

    Commission de la Communaute Economique et Monetaire de L’afrique Centrale (CEMAC); Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); East African Community (EAC); Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); and Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), available at: <http://rtais.wto.org/UI/PublicAllRTAList.aspx>.

  18. 18

    Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), available at: <http://rtais.wto.org/UI/PublicAllRTAList.aspx>.

  19. 19

    SADC Trade Protocol, Article 32(6); Article 15A, Annex VI of the SADC Trade Protocol as Amended (2007).

  20. 20

    The Tribunal was suspended as a result of adverse rulings it handed against the Republic of Zimbabwe on land claims by dispossessed farmers. Consequently, Zimbabwe indicated that the Tribunal was not properly constituted and, therefore, it cannot be recognised as an organ of the Community; see “The SADC Tribunal conundrum – lawyers look to the African Court for direction,” available at: <http://www.saflii.org/za/journals/DEREBUS/2013/13.html>.

  21. 21

    Although this work focuses only on EAC and SADC, it is worth noting that all the cases that COMESA Court of Justice heard were dismissed on the grounds that the Court lacked jurisdiction. All the cases were on employment issues. In ECOWAS, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice heard a large number of cases in comparison to other intra-African RTAs, and they are largely on human rights. Lastly, there are no cases from the CEMAC Court of Justice available online.

  22. 22

    For instance, the Advice Centre on WTO Law has been created specifically for the purpose of assisting developing countries.

  23. 23

    Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.

  24. 24

    EAC Treaty, Article 5.

  25. 25

    Protocol on the Establishment the East African Customs Union, adopted March 2004 in Arush, Tanzania, Article 10–31.

  26. 26

    EAC Treaty, Chapter Eight.

  27. 27

    EAC Treaty, Article 151(4).

  28. 28

    East African Community Customs Union Protocol, Article 41 as elaborated in the East African Customs Union (Dispute Settlement Mechanism) Regulations, Annex IX.

  29. 29

    The East African Centre for Trade Policy and Law v The Secretary General Of The East African Community, Reference No. 9 of 2012, para. 80.

  30. 30

    Customs Union Protocol, Article 41.1 and EAC Customs Union (Dispute Settlement Mechanism) Regulations, Reg. 4.1.

  31. 31

    EAC Treaty, Articles 28 and 30, respectively.

  32. 32

    The East African Court of Justice, available at: <http://www.eacj.org/>.

  33. 33

    The Attorney General of The Republic of Rwanda v Plaxeda Rugumba, Appeal No. 1 of 2012 EACCJ; The Honourable Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania v African Network For Animal Welfare (ANAW), Appeal No. 3 of 2011 EACCJ; Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya v Independent Medical Legal Unit, Appeal No. 1. of 2011 EACCJ; Attorney General of Kenya v Prof. Peter Anyang Nyong’o & Others, Tax Ref No. 5 of 2010 EACCJ; Kenya Ports Authority v Modern Holdings Ltd, Tax Ref No. 4 of 2010 EACCJ; Attorney General of Kenya v. Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o & 10 Others, Appeal No. 1 of 2009 EACCJ

  34. 34

    Legal Brains Trust (Lbt) Limited v The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda, Appeal 4 of 2012 EACCJ; Emmanuel Mwakisha Mjawasi & 748 Others v The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, No. 2 of 2010 EACCJ; Africa Network For Animal Welfare (ANAW) v The Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of the United Republic of Tanzania, No. 9 of 2010 EACCJ; Hon. Sitenda Sebalu v

    The Secretary General of the East African Community, The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda & 2 Others, No. 1 of 2010 EACCJ; Independent Medical Unit v The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, No. 3 of 2010 EACCJ; Modern Holdings (Ea) Limited v Kenya Ports Authority, No. 1 of 2008 EACCJ; The East African Law Society & Others v The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya & 3 Others, No. 3 of 2007 EACCJ; Christopher Mtikila v The Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania & Others, No. 2 of 2007 EACCJ; James Katabazi & 21 Others v The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda & Others, No. 1 of 2007 EACCJ; Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o & 10 Others v Attorney General of Kenya & 2 Others, No. 1 of 2006 EACCJ.

  35. 35

    The Attorney General of The Republic Of Rwanda v Plaxeda Rugumba, Appeal No. 1 of 2012 EACCJ

  36. 36

    Legal Brains Trust (Lbt) Limited v The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda, Appeal 4 of 2012 EACCJ;

  37. 37

    Democratic Party & Mukasa Mbidde v The Secretary General of The East African Community & The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda, Reference No. 6 of 2011 EACCJ.

  38. 38

    Emmanuel Mwakisha Mjawasi & 748 Others v The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, Appeal No. 4 of 2011 EACCJ.

  39. 39

    Alcon International Limited v The Standard Chartered Bank of Uganda & 2 Others, Appeal No. 2 of 2011 EACCJ.

  40. 40

    Africa Network For Animal Welfare (ANAW) v The Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of the United Republic of Tanzania, No. 3 of 2011 EACCJ.

  41. 41

    Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya v Independent Medical Legal Unit, Appeal No. 1. of 2011 EACCJ;

  42. 42

    Mary Ariviza & Okotch Mondoh v The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya & The Secretary General of the East African Community, Reference No. 7 of 2010 EACCJ.

  43. 43

    Plaxeda Rugumba v The Secretary General of the East African Community & the Attorney General of the Republic of Rwanda &The Secretary General of the East African Community, Reference No. 8 of 2010 EACCJ.

  44. 44

    Hon. Sitenda Sebalu v The Secretary General of the East African Community, The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda & 2 Others, No. 1 of 2010 EACCJ.

  45. 45

    Attorney General of Kenya v Prof. Peter Anyang Nyong’o & Others, Tax Ref No. 5 of 2010 EACCJ; Kenya Ports Authority v Modern Holdings Ltd, Tax Ref. No. 4 of 2010 EACCJ.

  46. 46

    Attorney General of Kenya v. Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o & 10 Others, Appeal No. 1 of 2009 EACCJ.

  47. 47

    Modern Holdings (Ea) Limited v Kenya Ports Authority, No. 1 of 2008 EACCJ.

  48. 48

    The East African Law Society & Others v The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya & 3 Others, No. 3 of 2007 EACCJ.

  49. 49

    Christopher Mtikila v The Attorney General of the United Republic of Tanzania & Others, No. 2 of 2007 EACCJ.

  50. 50

    James Katabazi & 21 Others v The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda & Others, No. 1 of 2007 EACCJ.

  51. 51

    Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o & 10 Others v Attorney General of Kenya & 2 Others, No. 1 of 2006 EACCJ

  52. 52

    Calist Andrew Mwatela & 2 Others v The East African Community, No. 1 of 2005 EACCJ.

  53. 53

    Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauratius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  54. 54

    SADC Protocol on Trade, 1996, Article 3–21.

  55. 55

    Article 16, SADC Treaty.

  56. 56

    SADC Protocol on Trade, Article 32 as elaborated in Annex VI to the Trade Protocol.

  57. 57

    Annex VI to the Trade Protocol, Article 1.

  58. 58

    The United Republic Of Tanzania V Cimexpan (Mauritius) Ltd & 2 Others, Case No. Sadc (T) 01/2009.

  59. 59

    Louis Karel Fick & 4 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. Sadc (T) 01/2010; Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Ltd & 8 Others v The Kingdom Of Lesotho, Case No. SADC (T) 04/2009; William Michael Campbell & Another v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No SADC (T) 03/2009; Bach’s Transport (Pty) Ltd v The Democratic Republic of Congo, Case No. SADC (T) 14/2008; Mike Campbell (Pvt) Limited & Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. SADC (T) 11/08; Luke Munyandu Tembani v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. SADC (T) 07/2008; Barry L. T. Gondo & 8 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. SADC (T) 05/2008; Gideon Stephanus Theron v The Republic of Zimbabwe & 2 Others, Case No SADC (T) 2/08; Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd & 78 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, SADC (T) Case No. 2/2007.

  60. 60

    Disputes by country/territory, available at: <http://wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/dispu_by_country_e.htm>.

  61. 61

    Louis Karel Fick & 4 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. Sadc (T) 01/2010.

  62. 62

    Angelo Mondlane v The Secretariat Of The Southern African Development Community, Case No SADC (T) 07/2009.

  63. 63

    Clement Kanyama v SADC Secretariat, Case No. SADC (T) 05/2009.

  64. 64

    Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Ltd & 8 Others v The Kingdom Of Lesotho, Case No. SADC (T) 04/2009.

  65. 65

    William Michael Campbell & Another v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No SADC (T) 03/2009; Mike Campbell (Pvt) Limited & Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. SADC (T) 11/08.

  66. 66

    Bookie Monica Kethusegile-Juru v The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, Case No. SADC (T) 02/2009.

  67. 67

    The United Republic of Tanzania V Cimexpan (Mauritius) Ltd & 2 Others, Case No. Sadc (T) 01/2009.

  68. 68

    Bach’s Transport (Pty) Ltd v The Democratic Republic of Congo, Case No. SADC (T) 14/2008.

  69. 69

    United Peoples’ Party of Zimbabwe v SADC & 5 other, Case NO. SADC (T) 12/2008.

  70. 70

    Nixon Chirinda and Others v Mike Campbell (Pvt) Limited and Others & The Republic of Zimbabwe, SADC (T) Case No. 09/08; Albert Fungai Mutize & Others v Mike Campbell (private) Limited & Others, SADC (T) CASE No. 8/08; Gideon Stephanus Theron v The Republic of Zimbabwe & 2 Others, Case No. SADC (T) 2/08.

  71. 71

    Luke Munyandu Tembani v The Republic of Zimbabwe, CASE NO. SADC (T) 07/2008.

  72. 72

    Barry L. T. Gondo & 8 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, Case No. SADC (T) 05/2008.

  73. 73

    Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd & 78 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, SADC (T) Case No. 2/2007.

  74. 74

    Ernest Francis Mtingwi v SADC Secretariat, SADC (T) Case No.1/2007.

  75. 75

    Abott, “Are Developing Countries Deterred from Using the WTO Dispute Settlement System? Participation of Developing Countries in the DSM in the years 1995–2005”, p. 13.

  76. 76

    Monica A. Hangi, The Non-Tariff Barriers in Trading within the East African Community (CUTS Research Paper 2010), available at: <http://www.cuts-geneva.org/pdf/BIEAC-RP10-The_Non-Tariff_Barriers_in_Trading_Within_the_EAC.pdf>, accessed on 8 April 2013.

  77. 77

    Paul Brenton, Frank Flatters and Paul Kalenga, Rules of Origin and SADC: The Case for Change in the Mid Term Review of the Trade Protocol, (Africa Region Working Paper Series No. 83, 2005), pp. 16-17.

  78. 78

    Jodie Keane and Massimiliano Cali, Jane Kennan, Impediments to Intra-Regional Trade in Sub-Saharan Africa (Overseas Development Institute, 2010), available at: <http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/7482.pdf>, accessed 8 April 2013.

  79. 79

    COSATU Submission on EU-RSA Trade Development and Corporation Agreement, Presented to a joint sitting of the Portfolio Committees on Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Land Affairs, and the NCOP Select Committee on Economic Affairs, 26 October 1999, available at: <http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=808#appendix>.

  80. 80

    Lorand Bartels, Making WTO dispute settlement work for African countries: An evaluation of current proposals for reforming the DSU, p. 3.

  81. 81

    Alberto Behar and Lawrence Edward, How Integrated Is SADC? Trends in Intra-Regional and Extra-Regional Trade Flows and Policy (Policy Research Working Paper 5625) (World Bank, 2011), pp. 7-8.

  82. 82

    Alberto Behar and Lawrence Edward, “How integrated is SADC? Trends in Intra-regional and Extra-regional Trade Flows and Policy”, p. 7.

  83. 83

    Within SADC exists Southern African Customs Union, which is planned to be assimilated into SADC customs union once the latter is in place.

  84. 84

    Wusheng Yu, “Trends of Trade Flows of Countries in the EAC and SADC Regions and Perspectives for the Tripartite Free Trade Area” No. 19 (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, 2012), p. 2.

  85. 85

    Wusheng Yu, “Trends of Trade Flows of Countries in the EAC and SADC Regions and Perspectives for the Tripartite Free Trade Area”, pp. 1–2.

  86. 86

    Lorand Bartels, Making WTO Dispute Settlement Work for African Countries: An Evaluation of Current Proposals for Reforming the DSU, p. 3.

  87. 87

    Proposal by the African Group, WTO Doc. TN/DS/W/15 (25 September 2002).

  88. 88

    J.C. Senghor, “Theoretical Foundations for Regional Integration in Africa: An Overview”, in Regional Integration in Africa: Unfinished Agenda (African Academy of Sciences, 1990), p. 26.

  89. 89

    The African Peer Review Mechanism Report No. 12–Kingdom of Lesotho (2010), paras. 256, 263 and 428.

  90. 90

    Servaas van den Bosch, TRADE: EPA Signing Threatens Southern African Customs Union, available at: <http://www.ipsnews.net/2009/06/trade-epa-signing-threatens-southern-african-customs union/#sthash.WDnihAut.dpuf>.

  91. 91

    SADC Trade Protocol, Article 11.

  92. 92

    Ibid, Article 15.

  93. 93

    SADC Trade Protocol, Article 32; Annex VI of the SADC Protocol as Amended in 2007.

  94. 94

    Protocol on the Tribunal and Rules thereof, 2011, Article 14 read with Article 15.

  95. 95

    EAC Customs Union Dispute Settlement Regulations, Regulation 5 (1).

  96. 96

    Ibid, Regulation 5(2).

  97. 97

    Ibid, Regulation 5(5) and (6).

  98. 98

    Ibid, Regulation 5(7).

  99. 99

    World Bank, Gross Domestic Product for 2011, available at: <http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/GDP.pdf>, accessed 28 February 2013.

  100. 100

    Ibid.

  101. 101

    In the case of the WTO even non-violation complaints that impair benefits accruing to another member can be a subject of WTO claim.

  102. 102

    South Africa – Anti-Dumping Duties on Certain Pharmaceutical Products from India, WT/DS168/R; South Africa – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Blanketing from Turkey, WT/DS288/R; South Africa – Anti-Dumping Measures on Uncoated Woodfree Paper, WT/DS374/R; South Africa – Anti-Dumping Duties on Frozen Meat of Fowls from Brazil, WT/DS439/R.

  103. 103

    Chad Bown and Bernard Hoekman, WTO Dispute Settlement and the Missing Developing Country Cases: Engaging the Private Sector, 8 Journal of International Economic Law, no. 863 (2005).

  104. 104

    European Communities – Export Subsidies on Sugar WT/DS265/AB; European Communities – Export Subsidies on Sugar WT/DS266/AB; European Communities – Export Subsidies on Sugar WT/DS283/AB.

  105. 105

    Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd & 78 Others v The Republic of Zimbabwe, SADC (T) Case No. 2/2007.

  106. 106

    Ibid.

  107. 107

    Rudolf Dolzer and Christoph Schreuer, Principles of International Investment Law (Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 90.

  108. 108

    Ibid, p. 91.

  109. 109

    Campebell, p. 56.

  110. 110

    Appeal No. 2 of 2011 EACJ.

  111. 111

    No. 1 of 2008 EACJ.

  112. 112

    US and EU make 40% of WTO cases between 1995 and 2012, seeJappe Eckhardt, Transnational Lobbying in EU and US WTO Dispute Settlement Cases, paper presented at the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association (Baltimore, MD, 9–11 May 2013), p. 5.

  113. 113

    Gregory C. Shaffer, Defending Interests: Public-Private Partnerships in WTO Litigation (Brookings Inst Pr, 2003).

  114. 114

    WT/DS447; For further analysis of this case regarding public-private partnerships, see for instance Jappe Eckhardt, “Transnational Lobbying in EU and US WTO Dispute Settlement Cases”, p. 9 and J. Dunoff, The misguided debate over NGO participation at the WTO, 1 Journal of International Economic Law, no. 3 (1998).

  115. 115

    Eckhardt, “Transnational Lobbying in EU and US WTO Dispute Settlement Cases”, pp. 12-17.

  116. 116

    Ibid, p. 16.

  117. 117

    Turab Hussain, Victory in Principle: Pakistan’s Dispute Settlement Case on Combed Cotton Yarn Exports to the United States, available at: <http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/casestudies_e/case34_e.htm>, accessed 12 June 2013.

  118. 118

    Shaffer, “Developing Country Use of the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Why It Matters, the Barriers Posed”, p. 197.

Published Online: 2013-08-29

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin / Boston