Aspects of environmental norms under the world trade organization

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Kampala International University, School of Law
This study was to establish aspects of environmental norms under the world trade organization and to determine existing conflicts between trade rules with Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The study used qualitative comparative case-study methodology to analyze ten environmental-based, GAIT article XX exceptions cases. Each of these cases had been brought before the dispute resolution mechanisms of GATT and WTO respectively. The study was driven by a desire to gain some insight into what happens when trade liberalization rules confront the interests of environmental norms and protection and also, examine existing relationship between trade and environment under the GATT and WTO. The restrictive measures or trade embargoes imposed on a trading partner or a member state in the name of environmental protection measures is offered under article XX (b) and (g) general exceptions of GAIT which form the essence of each environmental dispute. Based on the data analysis of ten environmental disputes brought the GAIT and WTO dispute resolution mechanisms, it showed that there is existing conflicts between MEAs and multilateral trade rules such as principle of nondiscrimination (GAIT Article I and III), and general elimination of quantitative restrictions (GAIT XI) respectively. It showed that GAIT Article XX is narrowly defined to provide environmental protection under the WTO. Recommendations could be to broaden the environmental exceptions under GAIT Article XX amongst others
A thesis presented to the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a degree of Master of Laws in Public International Law of Kampala International University
World trade organization, Environmental norms