Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the World Trade Organization: Legal Aspects and Practice

H. Hestermeyer, 'Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the World Trade Organization: Legal Aspects and Practice', in: E. Riedel & G. Giacca, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: Contemporary Issues and Challenges, 260-286 (OUP: 2014)

King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2014-43

40 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2014 Last revised: 9 Nov 2015

See all articles by Holger P. Hestermeyer

Holger P. Hestermeyer

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law; A Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute

Date Written: August 1, 2013

Abstract

The legal regimes of the World Trade Organization and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are a commonly cited example of the fragmentation of international law: the regimes seem to drift apart and risk imposing contradictory obligations on states parties. Recent scholarly work has improved our understanding of the interaction of the norms of the different regimes. This contribution discusses the institutional aspects involved. It fist analyzes the legal obligations of the WTO under the ICESCR as well as the possibility of applying the ICESCR in WTO dispute settlement. It then examines empirically how and when the ICESCR is referred to in the different bodies of the WTO. The study shows that the impact of the Covenant has been limited, even though 84 per cent of all WTO members are parties to the ICESCR. The conclusions both give reasons for this limited impact and suggest a realistic approach at improving the situation.

Keywords: WTO, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ESC rights, fragmentation, Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations, human rights, human rights obligations of the WTO, WTO dispute settlement, applicable law, human rights discourse, TRIPS and access to medicines, labour rights

JEL Classification: K33, F10

Suggested Citation

Hestermeyer, Holger P., Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the World Trade Organization: Legal Aspects and Practice (August 1, 2013). H. Hestermeyer, 'Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the World Trade Organization: Legal Aspects and Practice', in: E. Riedel & G. Giacca, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights: Contemporary Issues and Challenges, 260-286 (OUP: 2014), King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2014-43, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2516696

Holger P. Hestermeyer (Contact Author)

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

A Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute ( email )

London, England WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
405
Abstract Views
1,806
rank
99,942
PlumX Metrics