ASEAN Further Enhances Its Dispute Settlement Mechanism

Author:Edmund Sim
Position:Appleton Luff
Pages:279-292
SUMMARY

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has been negatively impacted by the relative lack of credibility of its dispute settlement system, the ASEAN Protocol on Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism (EDSM). Because of procedural and structural deficiencies and bureaucratic inertia, the EDSM has never been used. This lack of an effective dispute resolution system undermines investor confidence in the... (see full summary)

 
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e Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
ISSN: 2338-7602; E-ISSN: 2338-770X
http://www.ijil.org
© 2020 e Institute for Migrant Rights Press
ASEAN FURTHER ENHANCES ITS
DISPUTE SETTLEMENT MECHANISM
Edmund W. Sim
Appleton Luf
E-mail: sim@appletonlu.com
e ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has been negatively impacted by the
relative lack of credibility of its dispute settlement system, the ASEAN Protocol
on Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism (EDSM). Because of procedural
and structural deciencies and bureaucratic inertia, the EDSM has never been
used. is lack of an eective dispute resolution system undermines investor
condence in the AEC, as uncertainty persists about how ASEAN Member
States’ AEC commitments would be enforced. In 2019, ASEAN completed a fur-
ther “enhancement” of the EDSM. On their face, the 2019 revisions do indeed
“enhance” the EDSM by eliminating structural problems such as impractical
timelines and by bolstering previously underdeveloped systems such as appellate
procedures, creation of arbitration panels and rules of conduct for panelists. is
will help give the revised EDSM more credibility. Ultimately, however, whether
the updated EDSM will be viewed as more credible, thereby strengthening the
AEC, will depend on factors beyond its remit. Cultural and political factors in
ASEAN will determine to what extent the updated EDSM is used by the ASEAN
Member States. Moreover, the relative decline of alternative dispute forums, in
particular the WTO, may make the updated EDSM more attractive to ASEAN
Member States. Either way, the 2019 revisions in the EDSM are both welcome
and timely reinforcements to the legal and policy foundations of the AEC.
Keywords: Regionalism, Southeast Asia, Regional Economic Law, Regional Trading
Blocs.

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