Elements of supranationalism have already been discussed in the section dealing with the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court. The most important feature of supranational regimes is the existence of an autonomous body to supervise the operation of the regime, and to regulate and discipline the parties' behaviour in the areas in question. Dispute settlement is done through arbitration and binding authority, rather than through multilateral suspension of benefits. Its purpose is mainly to resolve disputes between the regulatory agency and the party in default, rather than disputes between contracting parties. The consequences of such arrangements are far reaching. Members to the treaty or treaties establishing the regimes transfer sovereign power in selected areas to a Court or a bureaucratic body with decision-making capacities independent of the parties themselves. Members will then be bound not only to decisions in whose making, through the operation of a Council, they have had a part, but also decisions by those bodies that do not normally take instructions from the Members. The regulatory agency may mix adjudicative powers with an investigatory or even executive authority.
In the following parts two systems will be examined. First, I will discuss the first (and ultimately abortive) EEA Agreement, which saw the creation of an EEA Court to govern and interpret the EEA Agreement. Since very little has been written on the topic, I will rely principally on the decision of the ECJ in Opinion Regarding the Draft Agreement between the European Communities and the European Free Trade Association Relating to the Creation of the European Economic Area1 ('the EEA Decision') to analyse the