Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO
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Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO

Edited by Geert Van Calster and Denise Prévost

This Handbook provides state-of-the-art analysis by leading authors on the links between the international trade regime and health and environment concerns – concerns that make up an increasing proportion of WTO dispute settlement. Research Handbook on Environment, Health and the WTO surveys fields as diverse as climate change mitigation, non-communicable diseases, nanotechnology and public health care. The volume brings to the fore the debates and complexities surrounding these issues and their implications for the international trading system.
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Chapter 21: Standard of review of health and environmental regulations by WTO panels

Lukasz Gruszczynski


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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