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Title: Health and environmental protection in international trade law : bridging the gap
Author: McKenzie, Fiona G.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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The international trading system has a role to play in ensuring that its primary objective of trade liberalisation does not come at the expense of environmental and health concerns. The goal of this thesis is to evaluate the efforts that have been made by the WTO to integrate environmental/health issues in the international trade system and to propose ways of achieving greater linkage between these areas by performing both a legal and economic analysis of the subject. The various ways in which linkage occurs in the WTO are analysed, in particular, through the exceptions to the most-favoured-nation standard contained in Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement and Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement, scientific assessments, the acceptance of eco-labelling initiatives, the interpretation of WTO rules in the light of rules of public international law, the incorporation of environmental principles and overarching norms, as well as the coherence between the TWO and multilateral environmental agreements. The WTO’s legislative arm and the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) are both crucial in providing coherence between environmental/health and free trade goals. It is argued, however, that linkage through the legislative arm would enable WTO members to retain more control over the WTO agreements and achieve the highest degree of coherence between environmental/health protection and free trade goals despite the fact that due to the high transaction costs of clarifying existing rules or devising new ones, linkage through the interpretations given by the DSB is a less burdensome way of filing the gaps of an incomplete contract. Although coherence between environmental/health and free trade goals can and should be increased, it is concluded that it would be unrealistic to expect that the international trading system achieve a degree of linkage that is acceptable to all WTO Members in all circumstances. In this respect, the question of whether Members should be able to maintain WTO inconsistent measures, if compensation is paid or if concessions are suspended or withdrawn is examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available