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Refereed articles

Socio-economic rights in applicable international trade law

Do international trade rules applicable between states take into consideration the protection of socio-economic rights? Marie-Pierre Lanfranchi notes that WTO law does not take into consideration processes and methods of production, includes no social clause and does not cover social dumping. In consequence, it appears that the only way to promote socio-economic rights through trade measures would be to promote a different type of interpretation of WTO agreements.

WTO law is integrated into public imernational law, thus making it possible to interpret it in the light of fundamental social norms adopted in other international forums. She concludes, with reference to examples of recently settled trade disputes, that this is a difficult but feasible route to go.

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