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Mr. Fabio Morosini

Mr. Fabio Morosini
Associate Professor
School of Law
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Biography Biography in PDF format

International Economic Law
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The Promotion of Health and Environmental Policies in the Jurisprudence of the WTO

The trade regime was designed to advance the objective of trade liberalization among countries. The drafters of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) acknowledged specific circumstances where countries could be exempted from complying with that objective. The promotion of environmental and health concerns were recognized as legitimate exceptions under Article XX (b) and (g) of the GATT. In this lecture, I first demonstrate that during the GATT years, these provisions were interpreted restrictively, and the countries that invoked these exceptions failed to convince the GATT Panels that their measures were legitimate environment/health concerns. After the creation of the WTO, however, the situation has changed, influenced by debates concerning the environment and health outside the trading system. These debates were reflected, inter alia, in the Preamble of the Agreement Establishing the WTO, which recognizes the objective of sustainable development in the field of trade. Within this new context, I argue that the Appellate Body has rejected the prevailing interpretation of Article XX (b) and (g) during the GATT era, and, influenced by the objective of sustainable development, have been interpreting those same provisions in a way as to offer WTO Members more policy space to protect societal values other than trade.

Video | Audio
(1 hour 7 minutes)
International Economic Law
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The Promotion of Health and Environmental Policies in the Jurisprudence of the WTO
Presentation PDF document

A. Legal Instruments

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Geneva, 30 October 1947, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 55, p. 187.

General Agreement on Trade in Services, Marrakesh, 15 April 1994, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1869, p. 8.

LXXXVII. Agreement on technical barriers to trade, Geneva, 12 April 1979, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1186, p. 276.

Marrakesh Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (with final act, annexes and protocol), Marrakesh, 15 April 1994, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1867, p. 3.

B. Jurisprudence

GATT Panel Report, Canada – Measures Affecting Exports of Unprocessed Herring and Salmon, L/6268 – 35S/98, adopted 22 March 1988, BISD 35S/98.

GATT Panel Report, United States – Restrictions on Imports of Tuna, DS21/R – 39S/155, 3 September 1991, unadopted, BISD 39S/155.

GATT Panel Report, United States – Restrictions on Imports of Tuna, DS29/R, 16 June 1994, unadopted.

GATT Panel Report, United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline, WT/DS2/R, 29 January 1996.

GATT Appellate Body Report, United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline, WT/DS2/AB/R, 29 April 1996.

GATT Appellate Body Report, United States – Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products, WT/DS58/AB/R, 12 October 1998.

GATT Panel Report, European Communities – Measures Affecting Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos, WT/DS135/R, 18 September 2000.

GATT Appellate Body Report, Korea – Measures Affecting the Imports of Fresh, Chilled and Frozen Beef, WT/DS161/AB/R, WT/DS169/AB/R, 11 December 2000.

GATT Appellate Body Report, European Communities – Measures Affecting Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos, WT/DS135/AB/R, 12 March 2001

GATT Appellate Body Report, United States – Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products. Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by Malaysia, WT/DS58/AB/RW, 22 October 2001.

GATT Appellate Body Report, United States – Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products, WT/DS58/AB/RW, 21 November 2001.

GATT Appellate Body Report, United States – Measures Affecting the Cross-Border supply of Gambling and Betting Services, WT/DS285/AB/R, 7 April 2005.

GATT Panel Report, Brazil – Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyres, WT/DS332/R, 12 June 2007.

GATT Appellate Body Report, Brazil – Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyres, WT/DS332/AB/R, 3 December 2007.

GATT Panel Report, China – Measures Related to the Exportation of Various Raw Materials, WT/DS394/R, WT/DS395/R, WT/DS398/R, 5 July 2011.

GATT Appellate Body Report, China – Measures Related to the Exportation of Various Raw Materials, WT/DS394/AB/R, WT/DS395/AB/R, WT/DS398/AB/R, 30 January 2012.

GATT Panel Report, European Communities – Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal Products, WT/DS400/R, WT/DS401/R, 25 November 2013.

GATT Panel Report, China – Measures Related to the Exportation of Rare Earths, Tungsten, and Molybdenum, WT/DS431/R, WT/DS432/R, WT/DS433/R, 26 March 2014.

GATT Appellate Body Report, European Communities – Measures Prohibiting the Importation and Marketing of Seal Products, WT/DS400/AB/R, WT/DS401/AB/R, 22 May 2014.

GATT Appellate Body Report, China – Measures Related to the Exportation of Rare Earths, Tungsten, and Molybdenum, WT/DS431/AB/R, WT/DS432/AB/R, WT/DS433/AB/R, 7 August 2014.

C. Documents

Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment, Marrakesh, 15 April 1994, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1867, p. 133.

Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 14 June 1992, in Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (CONF.151/26/Rev. 1 (Vol. I)), Annex I.