Doktorat / SNF-Personenförderung

The principle of non-discrimination is fundamental to the regulation of international trade in goods and services. In the context of trade in goods, the concept of ‘like products' has become a key element of the legal analysis of whether a trade obstacle violates GATT non-discrimination obligations. The equivalent concept of ‘like services and service suppliers' in GATS rules on non-discrimination has received little attention in WTO jurisprudence. In light of the remaining uncertainties, Nicolas Diebold analyses the legal problems of the GATS ‘like services and services suppliers' concept using a contextual and comparative methodology. The ‘likeness' element is not analysed in isolation, but in context with 'less favourable treatment' and regulatory purpose as additional elements of non-discrimination. The book also explores how far theories from non-discrimination rules in GATT, NAFTA, BITs and EC as well as market definition theories from competition law may be applied to ‘likeness' in GATS.


  • Addresses important technical difficulties in the most-favoured-nation and national treatment obligation in GATS (Articles II and XVII), in particular the relationship between 'likeness' of services and 'likeness' of suppliers as well as 'likeness' of services supplied by different methods and different modes of supply
  • Places the legal element of 'likeness' in GATS in its context within the entire structure of the non-discrimination principle, in particular the elements of 'less favourable treatment' and regulatory purpose
  • Compares the 'likeness' concept in different fields of international economic law, allowing for valuable conclusions on similarities and differences in the interpretation and application of the 'likeness' concept
  • Explores the extent to which competition law theories on the definition of relevant markets may be transposed for the analysis of 'likeness' in non-discrimination