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Economic globalization and respect for human rights are both highly topical issues. In theory, more trade should increase economic welfare and protection of human rights should ensure individual dignity. Both fields of law protect certain freedoms: economic development should lead to higher human rights standards, and UN embargoes are used to secure compliance with human rights agreements. However the interaction between trade liberalisation and human rights protection is complex, and recently, tension has arisen between these two areas.
Do WTO obligations covering intellectual property prevent governments from implementing their human rights obligations, including rights to food or health? Is it fair to accord the benefits of trade subject to a clean human rights record?
This book first examines the theoretical framework of the interaction between the disciplines of international trade law and human rights. It opens by providing an extension of the now famous debate between Professor Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, who construes trade obligations as human rights, and Professor Philip Alston, who warns of a merger and acquisition of human rights by trade law. From this starting point, further chapters explore the differing legal matrices of the two fields and examine how cooperation between them might be improved, both in international law-making and institutions, and in dispute settlement.
The interaction between trade and human rights is then explored through seven case studies:freedom of expression and competition law; IP protection and health; agricultural trade and the right to food; trade restrictions on conflict diamonds; UN norms on transnational corporations; the new WHO convention on tobacco control; and, finally, human rights conditionalities in preferential trade schemes