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Harmonising trade liberalisation and environmental protection: implementation of environment exception under general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT)

posted on 22.03.2017, 01:26 authored by Mohd Zin, Shahrizal
ABSTRACT In the past years, the WTO jurisprudence has been witnessing enormous increase in the impact of international law. As such, a study of the current trends in the interplay between WTO law and international law and the impact that are visible in the judicial pronouncements is inevitable for ascertaining the development of new jurisprudence. In order to investigate this trends, the thesis relies on Article XX (b) and (g) of GATT 1994 as the heart of its proposition. By the same token, the thesis aims to examine trade and environment issues in the light of WTO jurisprudence. In addressing this issue, the thesis focuses on its study of the relationship among WTO law, customary international law and international environmental law. This goes to the central of the thesis in which it attempts to harmonise trade liberalisation and environmental protection. The thesis starts with the proposition that Article XX (b) and (g) is particularly vague. Therefore, there is an urgent need to analyse the role of interpretative process within the WTO judiciary to harmonise the different streams of international law. As a result, the thesis formulates two (2) research questions to study the following. First, to what extent the customary international law and international environmental law principles apply in Article XX (b) and (g) jurisprudence? Second, how the vagueness in Article XX (b) and (g) be resolved in the light of its effect in harmonizing these multifaceted areas of international law. It is submitted that a study of these research questions lead to a result which could harmonise these multifaceted international laws. As a tool of conducting this study, the thesis refers to doctrinal methodology or black letter law. Based on doctrinal research, the thesis relies on international treaties and GATT/WTO cases as legal data. In the same vein, doctrinal research plays a pivotal role in facilitating analysis and outlining arguments throughout the thesis. The thesis is significant to the existing body of knowledge by way of synthesizing the WTO law into broader paradigm. This is done through the interplay of certain customary international law and international environmental law principles. It is hoped that by identifying problems and providing solutions in response to the research questions, the finding of this thesis offers a significant contribution to the current international law scholarships.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Ashraf Kazi

Additional supervisor 1

Dr. Vaughan Reimers, Mereanna Barrett

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Business law and Taxation


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics