The European Court of Justice has long been criticized for consistently holding that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) does not have direct effect. The end of the GATT Uruguay Round prompted a renewed analysis of direct effect by Kees Jan Kuilwijk. In his book, The European Court of Justice and the GATT Dilemma, Kuilwijk argues that the continued denial of direct effect not only proves that the ECJ has protectionist motives but also that it is unconcerned with individual rights.
Kuilwijk's book not only updates the traditional critique of the Court's doctrine but also illustrates the tendency of the traditional critique to fail to acknowledge the full complexity of the direct effect question. Thus, a more measured and thorough exploration of the legal, political, and economic issues involved in analyzing the direct effect may prove useful. This paper attempts such an analysis. Its purpose is not to advocate a particular position but merely to illustrate the gaps in the traditional critique.
As with any accomplishment in my life, tribute must first be paid to my family without whose love and support nothing would be possible. Beyond that, three individuals must be distinguished in particular. First, my mother, Dr. Judith O. Berkey, who has always taught me to pursue my dreams wherever they may lead. Second, Professor Richard Z. Lawrence who taught me international trade theory and provided useful comments on this paper during its progress. Lastly, and most importantly, a large debt of gratitude is owed to my supervisor, Professor Joseph H. Weiler. Not only did he help me develop many of the ideas contained in this paper but he also taught me to think like a lawyer and a scholar.
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