Resurrection of Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources (PSNR) By WTO: An Analysis of China Raw Materials Case


The development of international economic law after the decolonization process and end of World War II has been shaped within two parallel streams. One is the struggle of newly independent states to recognise their permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources called PSNR which has been accepted overwhelmingly in General Assembly of UN with strong support of less developed states. The other is the agenda of free market ideologists’ states to reduce tariff and spread such ideology among all actors by forming the GATT at the end of WW II which has finally been transformed in 1995 as WTO with the most comprehensive legal instruments and strong dispute settlement mechanism. The most significant development is the revival of PSNR for the first time within WTO dispute settlement brought by China in the China – Measures Related to the Exportation of Various Raw Materials Case. This first time face to face meeting of both has significant consequences in international law. This study will focus on the approach of states in the emergence and development of PSNR and their view on the same after almost fifty years when it has been claimed within WTO system. Secondly, it will examine the observation of the Panel and Appellate Body of WTO on the relation of PSNR with WTO mechanism and its application within the WTO legal instruments.

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