Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Joel B. Moore

First Page



The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stabilizes petroleum prices to promote the economic prosperity of its member nations for which oil is a substantial export. Price stabilization influences the price of petroleum around the world, impacting the economies of developed and developing countries. Under U.S. antitrust jurisprudence, the OPEC quota agreements that stabilize prices would likely be declared illegal, and other countries might also declare price fixing to be illegal under their respective competition laws.

Several U.S. Senators have recently proposed that price fixing should be illegal under international law as well. This Note avoids a superficial analysis of the status of international antitrust law by exploring the ultimate basis of legal obligation and situating antitrust in the context of natural law. This Note's conclusion that OPEC should not be sued before the International Court of Justice is based upon implications of the characteristics of the relationship between natural law and human law, the footing of the world community on antitrust matters, and the requirements for implementing fair and consistent antitrust enforcement.