Research Handbooks on the WTO series
Edited by Geert Van Calster and Denise Prévost
Chapter 21: Standard of review of health and environmental regulations by WTO panels
The issue of the applicable standard of review in health and environment-related trade disputes has recently become prominent in scholarly discussions. While earlier research tended to concentrate on specific substantive requirements of WTO law, more recent scholarship has turned its attention to this specific procedural question. This shift is most probably a result of developments in WTO case law. The applicable standard of review had a direct impact on the outcome of the EC – Biotech Products dispute. It was also one of the major issues in the Appellate Body ruling in US/Canada – Continued Suspension and in the more recent Australia – Apples case. The latter report demonstrated that the standard of review, at least in the context of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), remains ambiguous and will most probably generate further controversies in future WTO disputes.
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