WTO-Compliant Protection of Fundamental Rights: Lessons from the EU Privacy Directive

36 Pages Posted: 27 May 2015

See all articles by Carla Reyes

Carla Reyes

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: June 2011

Abstract

Nation states often create legislative schemes regulating services industries in order to protect fundamental rights such as human life, economic security, or human security. World Trade Organization members are constrained in their creation of such regulatory schemes by their obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (‘GATS’). WTO members raised concerns about such constraints even before the creation of GATS. As a result, GATS contains clauses specifically designed to allow members enough regulatory latitude to protect important domestic social interests, such as fundamental rights, while simultaneously liberalising trade in services. WTO jurisprudence interpreting these clauses, however, has called the robustness of this reserved power into question. Using the European Union’s attempt to protect the fundamental right to privacy through a WTO-compliant privacy directive as a case study, this article highlights important aspects of international trade law that policymakers should take into consideration when deciding how to protect fundamental rights through domestic regulation of trade in services.

Keywords: EU Privacy Directive, WTO, Privacy

Suggested Citation

Reyes, Carla, WTO-Compliant Protection of Fundamental Rights: Lessons from the EU Privacy Directive (June 2011). Melbourne Journal of International Law, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2610921

Carla Reyes (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

HOME PAGE: https://www.smu.edu/Law/Faculty/Profiles/Reyes-Carla-L

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