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  4. A Theory of the Purpose of GATT Article XX. Externalities on Welfare or Practical Reason?

Sep

09

Friday

A Theory of the Purpose of GATT Article XX. Externalities on Welfare or Practical Reason?

1.00pm

Seminars

Public

The general exceptions of Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade justify measures which stand in a certain relation to the advancement of public policy objectives where such measures would otherwise violate another obligation of the GATT. For example, Article XX (a) speaks of measures necessary to protect public morals or Article XX (b) speaks of measures necessary to protect human life or health.

The presentation will discuss the indeterminacy surrounding the language used within Article XX, which accounts for further unsettled questions in the case law and scholarship on the correct interpretation of the Article.

The presentation seeks to question whether its legal analysis comprises proportionality analysis stricto sensu or only a review of least-trade restrictive means, whether there is any jurisdictional limitation as to the location of the public policy interests to be protected in Article XX and whether panels and the Appellate Body may review trade-offs between several different public policies in cases of trade-restricting measures pursuing one public policy objective with trade-permitting exceptions for a second public policy objective.

The concluding section will discuss how accounts of ‘necessity’ in terms of practical reasoning are more convincing than those of social welfare theories, which the speaker will argue remain limited to formal theories. Finally, the speaker will outline the consequences for the correct interpretation of the doctrinally contested issues in interpretation of Article XX that follow.

Full Abstract

Speaker: Professor Alexia Herwig, University of Antwerp

Alexia is Assistant Professor at the University of Antwerp and post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Law and Cosmopolitan Values. Prior to that, she was post-doctoral research fellow at the Collaborative Research Centre for Transformations of the State at the University of Bremen. Alexia’s main research interests are in WTO law and social regulation as well as the philosophy of international law. She has published in both areas in journals such as World Trade Review, the Leiden Journal of International Law and Moral Philosophy and Politics.

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When & where

1.00pm - 3.00pmFriday 9th September 2016

A225 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

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