Tag Archives: International trade law

The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights (C Gonzalez)

Author

Carmen G. Gonzalez

Keywords

Human rights law, food security, food sovereignty, right to food, biodiversity, WTO, trade policy, international environmental law, IMF, World Bank, international law, climate change, biofuels, agricultural law, international trade law, political economy

Abstract

The global food system is exceeding ecological limits while failing to meet the nutritional needs of a large segment of the world’s population. While law could play an important role in facilitating the transition to a more just and ecologically sustainable food system, the current legal framework fails to regulate food and agriculture in an integrated manner. The international legal framework governing food and agriculture is fragmented into three self-contained regimes that have historically operated in isolation from one another: international human rights law, international environmental law, and international trade law. International trade law has taken precedence over human rights and international environmental law to the detriment of small farmers and the environment. The article analyzes the international legal regime applicable to food and agriculture, explains the ways in which the current regime perpetuates food insecurity and unsustainable cultivation practices, and argues that agriculture should be removed from the purview of the World Trade Organization. The article concludes by sketching out some of the elements of an alternative approach to global governance based on the concept of food sovereignty.

Citation

Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 26, No. 3, Winter 2012
Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 12-12

Publication

The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights

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Environment, Human Rights and International Trade (F. Francioni)

Author

Francesco Francioni

Keywords

Uruguay Round; International trade law; WTO process; GMOs; biosafety; intellectual property rights; technology transfer; environmental protection; trade and labour rights; child labour standards

Abstract

After the completion of the Uruguay Round and the adoption of the 1994 agreement establishing the WTO, the place of international trade in the context of the international legal order has radically changed. International trade law has become a subject of wide-spread interest, cutting across traditional boundaries, and engaging diverse political and legal concerns. One consequence of this development is increasing concern with the legitimacy of the WTO process, which in turn has led to the WTO becoming the focus of rancorous protest by, among others, environmental NGOs, trade unions, and human rights activists. This collection of essays by leading scholars and lawyers engaged in the policy-making process, addresses the underlying tensions and dilemmas of the WTO process and its impact upon the environment and human rights in particular. The contributors search for a balance between, on the one hand, legitimate free trade interests and, on the other, the role and limits of unilateral measures as an instrument to protect non-commercial values. The essays thus range over a host of topical questions including: trade in GMOs, biosafety in intellectual property rights, technology transfer and environmental protection, trade and labour rights, child labour standards, the EU and WTO, MERCOSUR, and many other topics. The contributors include: Thomas Schoenbaum, Andrea Bianchi, Chris McCrudden, Michael Spence, Sarah Cleveland, Patricia Hansen, Riccardo Pavoni, and Francesco Francioni.

Citation

Francesco Francioni, Environment, Human Rights and International Trade (Hart, 2001)

Book

Environment, Human Rights and International Trade

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