The World Trade Organization and the Environment

By P. K. Rao | Go to book overview
Under the GATT/WTO, DSB does not consider obligations of members under MEAs even when both disputants ratified the competing or complementing treaty, as was amplified in the TunaDolphin 1994 Panel Report. The Panel refused to consider any obligations under CITES or other MEAs. The Panel cited Article 31 of the Vienna Convention with a possible misinterpretation of the requirement that all parties must have been signatories of both the agreements (GATT as well as an MEA like CITES). The reference here to 'all parties' should have been all disputants and not all signatories of all agreements under consideration for dispute resolution (for detailed explanations in this regard, see Fletcher, 1996).Finally, it is important that the new GATT 1994 and the DSU recognize the prescriptions of the preamble to the WTO charter wherein the roles of the need to protect the environment, and the need for sustainable development are clearly stated. It remains an empty foundation if these aspects are not fully integrated into the DSU and its methods of dispute resolution.
Appendix I
The dispute settlement panel process
The various stages a dispute can go through in the WTO are given below (WTO, 1998). At all stages, countries in dispute are encouraged to consult each other in order to settle 'out of court'. At all stages, the WTO director-general can offer his good offices, to mediate or to help achieve a conciliation.
Consultations 60 days (Article 4)
Panel established by DSB (Article 6)
Terms of reference (Article 7) about 20 to 30 days Composition (Article 8)
Panel examination Meetings with parties (Article 12) and third parties (Article 10)
Interim review stage Descriptive part of report sent to parties for comment (Article 15.1) Interim report sent to parties for comment (Article 15.2)

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The World Trade Organization and the Environment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures x
  • List of Boxes xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xiii
  • List of Abbreviations xv
  • Part I - Background 1
  • 1 - Global Trade Regimes 3
  • 1.5 - Concluding Observations 25
  • Appendix II - Gatt 1994 26
  • Appendix III - Regional Trade Regimes 27
  • References 28
  • 2 - Trade, Environment and Development 31
  • References 52
  • 3 - Multilateral Environmental Agreements 55
  • References 70
  • Part II - The World Trade Organization 73
  • 4 - Wto Articles of Agreement and Beyond 75
  • Appendix Ii: Wto Structure 90
  • Appendix Iii: Agreement on Tbt 91
  • References 93
  • 5 - Trade Policies and Environmental Provisions 95
  • Appendix I - Committee on Trade and Environment 114
  • Appendix II Extract of the Sps Agreement 115
  • References 117
  • 6 - Dispute Resolution Mechanisms 119
  • Appendix I - The Dispute Settlement Panel Process 132
  • Appendix II - Trade Disputes on Bananas 133
  • References 136
  • Part III - Policy Implications 139
  • 7 - International Trade and Environment: an Integration 141
  • References 162
  • 8 - New Role for the Wto 165
  • References 176
  • 9 - Towards a Better Future 177
  • References 181
  • Index 183
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