While there is no formal definition of ‘disaster’ in international trade and investment law, the phenomenon is not alien to these legal disciplines. Often anticipated as a risk in legal terms and remediated on the same legal grounds (treaty provisions and contract clauses), a disaster also questions the state’s ability to regulate autonomously on the basis – or not – of legally defined exceptions to the general rule. In this context, this chapter proposes to revisit the traditional international economic law approach of disasters, which has long consisted in a mix between risk protection (section 2) and exception justification (section 3). In doing so, it contributes to the current debate on the state’s regulatory autonomy for the promotion of an inclusive and sustainable growth and development that is putting the individual at its core
The EU trade dispute resolution strategy is currently reshaped by new initiatives, from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EUVFTA), in which the need for human rights-related provisions integration and clarification, including for dispute settlement, have partially been taken into account. It is in the dispute settlement domain that sovereign States’ interests are challenged, while emerging trade giants like China or India, and a number of Asian developing countries, are deploying all their heterodox economic strategy. In this general context, this chapter questions the concepts of the peaceful multilateral settlement of disputes in reference to a number of key disputes between the EU and Developing Asia. It concludes in qualifying developing Asia’s activism as a form of assertive legalism for political autonomy and proposes a new strategy for the EU to address developing-Asia-related trade disputes.