Greening the WTO's Disputes Settlement Understanding: Opportunities and Risks
It is reasonable to ask whether the WTO’s rules may hamper the ability of national and sub-national governments to be genuine pacesetters in environmental law making. Environmentalists consider that the WTO’s disputes panels may encourage governments to converge to the relevant international standard for a particular risk regulation because such uniformity is likely to reduce the incidence of trade disputes. Proposals that go beyond environmental advocacy and greater transparency in the WTO’s disputes settlement process—changes such as a weakening of the sound science requirement and incorporating stronger forms of the precautionary principle into WTO agreements on biosecurity laws—reduce due process safeguards against disguised regulatory protectionism in New Zealand’s agricultural export markets.
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