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Le commerce équitable et la société civile internationale :. Une chance pour la mondialisation d'un droit de l'économie solidaire


  • Walid Abdelgawad


The international trade law passes through a crisis of legitimacy following the inequitable character of its rules and the irrelevance of its principles to the peculiarities of the North-South relations. Being the legal translation of the capitalist free market economic system, these rules are to protect the mercantile and free trade values. In order to overcome this crisis the movement of fair trade has emerged and has since its origin been supported by members of the international civil society. Fair trade means taking into account the standard of living and the conditions of employment of the marginalized producers in developing countries so as to improve them. This study is an attempt to demonstrate that this movement reflects the emergence of a new model of legal regulation facing economic globalisation. It follows the objective of the creation of a global law of « the economy of solidarity ». The norms of this new order are the result of spontaneous legal practices and actions taken by the international civil society. They have their roots not in the model of the market economy but in that of the « economy of solidarity ». They are made of a set of compulsory principles (fair pricing, sustainable development, observing fundamental rules related to labour conditions), which are implemented by two legal tools instituted by fair trade organisations and producers, that is to say the international contracts of fair trade and the fair trade standards. The principles and standards of this global law are being more and more recognized by the law of the European Union and by the systems of some of its Member States. This article also discusses the conditions of the recognition of this new model by the international community.

Suggested Citation

  • Walid Abdelgawad, 2003. "Le commerce équitable et la société civile internationale :. Une chance pour la mondialisation d'un droit de l'économie solidaire," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 197-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_172_0197

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