International

Issue: Free Trade Agreements

Impact:

Free trade agreements (FTAs) can impact state courts because they include “services” as a subject matter.  The General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS] is the grandparent of such proposals.  GATS is one of the agreements annexed to the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization [WTO].  The intent is to remove barriers to the flow of services between nations, including legal services.  State courts may receive pressures to effectuate some types of regulatory easing for foreign lawyers seeking to practice in the USA.

Position:

By resolution, state court leaders have urged the US Trade Representative (USTR) and Congress to only approve trade agreements provisions that recognize and support the sovereignty of state judicial systems and the enforcement and finality of state court judgments and to clarify that under existing trade agreements, foreign investors shall enjoy no greater substantive and procedural rights than US citizens and businesses.

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Issue: Hague Convention on Choice of Courts

Impact:

Implementation of the treaty presents an unprecedented possibility for cooperative federalism whereby states that wish to participate would adopt a uniform act while the Congress adopts an almost identical federal implementing act.

Position:

CCJ Resolution 10 A-02 urges the federal government to take all reasonable steps to respect and accommodate principles of federalism in the course of drafting federal implementing legislation.

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