Trade Briefs

Domestic remedies in trade disputes: Administrative law principles

Domestic remedies in trade disputes: Administrative law principles

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29 Sep 2020

Author(s): Dawid van Wyk

Domestic (or national) courts play an important role in the settlement of trade disputes. One of the main reasons is that the parties to the dispute are likely to be familiar with the workings of the domestic court and its legal regime. Equally important, enforcing the order of a domestic court is much easier than in the case of an international court or tribunal where the risk always exists that a government or government agency against whom the order was made, may neglect its duty to give effect to the judgment.

A recent case in the Namibian courts offers a good example of the principles that will typically be at play during judicial review in disputes between traders and governments or their agencies. In legal terms these principles are classified as part of ‘administrative law’, which, as the name suggests, has to do with ‘administration’ (in turn a typical government function). While national legal systems may differ, it is safe to say that the core principles of administrative law are common to most, if not all.

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