The Case for a Public Interest Clause as a General Exception in Trade Agreements

4 Pages Posted: 31 May 2015

See all articles by Franziska Sucker

Franziska Sucker

School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand

Gillian Moon

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 29, 2015

Abstract

There has been a steady accumulation of disputes occurring at the interface between international trade law and a variety of other areas of international law, particularly environmental law and human rights law. These disputes have taken place before WTO panels and the Appellate Body and have increasingly been the subject of discussion within academic, legal and policy communities. Pressure has been building on WTO Members to reconcile the requirements of free trade with the need to safeguard non-trade related aims, particularly those relating to public health, social and labour standards, human rights, food security, culture, cultural diversity and environmental protection. These are frequently referred to as the trade ‘linkage’ issues.

In order to not compromise the credibility and legitimacy of WTO law, such reconciliation requires more concerted efforts than have hitherto occurred, at both the dispute settlement and negotiating levels. Within this context, this paper presents the case for a public interest clause as a general exception in trade agreements.

Keywords: WTO, public interest, disputes, free trade, public health

Suggested Citation

Sucker, Franziska and Moon, Gillian, The Case for a Public Interest Clause as a General Exception in Trade Agreements (May 29, 2015). UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2612292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2612292

Franziska Sucker

School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand ( email )

Private Bag 3
WITS
Johannesburg, Gauteng 2050
South Africa
0117178466 (Phone)

Gillian Moon (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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