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WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism(6)

时间:2006-11-24栏目:国际经济法论文

tence of a specific fact is alleged. We note that a party who asserts a fact, whether the claimant or the respondent, is responsible for providing proof thereof. It is for the party alleging the fact to prove its existence. It is then for the other party to submit evidence to the contrary if it challenges the existence of that fact”. 6
In sum, with respect to the general rules of burden of proof in the context of violation complaints, as ruled by the Panel in Japan-Film (DS44): “[w]e note that as in all cases under the WTO/GATT dispute settlement system - and, indeed, as the Appellate Body recently stated, under most systems of jurisprudence - it is for the party asserting a fact, claim or defence to bear the burden of providing proof thereof. Once that party has put forward sufficient evidence to raise a presumption that what is claimed is true, the burden of producing evidence then shifts to the other party to rebut the presumption.…”. 7Certainly, as noted by the Appellate Body in US-Shirts and Blouses (DS33), “[i]n the context of the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement precisely how much and precisely what kind of evidence will be required to establish such a presumption will necessarily vary from measure to measure, provision to provision and case to case”.8
(ii) Burden of Proof in case of Invoking an Exception
As discussed above, generally, the burden of proof rests upon the party, whether complaining or defending, who asserts a fact or the affirmative of a particular claim or defence. As to be shown, this rule applies equally even in case of invoking an exception.
In this context, it is a general principle of law, well-established by panels in prior GATT/WTO practice, that the party (the defendant) which invokes an exception in order to justify its action carries the burden of proof that it has fulfilled the conditions for invoking the exception. However, in the author’s view, to understand the issue concerning burden of proof in case of invoking an exception, which is different from the relatively clear burden of establishing a prima facie case of violation on the complaini

ng party, it’s helpful to stress some points here, among which the key point is to be cautious while determine which defence is “affirmative” and therefore burdens the defendant to provide sufficient evidence to rebut the challenged violation.
In United States-Shirts and Blouses (DS33), India argues that it was “customary GATT practice” that the party invoking a provision which had been identified as an exception must offer proof that the conditions set out in that provision were met. The Appellate Body acknowledges that several GATT 1947 and WTO panels have required such proof of a party invoking a defence, such as those found in Art. XX or Art. XI:2(c)(i), to a claim of violation of a GATT obligation, such as those found in Arts. I:1, II:1, III or XI:1. Arts. XX and XI:(2)(c)(i) are limited exceptions from obligations under certain other provisions of the GATT 1994, not positive rules establishing obligations in themselves. They are in the nature of affirmative defences. It is only reasonable that the burden of establishing such a defence, i.e. invoking an exception in the nature of affirmative defences, should rest on the party asserting it. 9
However, as ruled by the Appellate Body in EC-Hormones (DS26/DS48), “[t]he general rule in a dispute settlement proceeding requiring a complaining par

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