Resisting the Merger and Acquisition of Human Rights by Trade Law: A Reply to Petersmann
41 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2002
Date Written: August 2002
Petersmann's proposal for the enforcement of human rights through the WTO is presented as though it were simply a logical development of existing policies, rather than representing a radical break with them. In a form of epistemological misappropriation he takes the discourse of international human rights law and uses it to describe something which is in between a Hayekian and an ordoliberal agenda. It is one which has a fundamentally different ideological underpinning from human rights law and would have extremely negative consequences for that body of law. Many of his characterizations of the existing state of the law - whether at the national, EU or international levels - are questionable. What is needed is for all participants in the debate over the future relationship between trade and human rights, be they ordoliberals such as Petersmann or mainstream human rights proponents, to move beyond such analyses and to engage in a systematic and intellectually open debate which acknowledges the underlying assumptions and meets a higher scholarly burden of proof than has so far been the case.
Keywords: human rights, trade law, right to free trade
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation