chapter
6 Pages

Introduction

International trade rules significantly impact domestic policy making, including in the area of environmental law and policy. The most comprehensive set of global trade rules is established under the World Trade Organization (WTO), which, as of 30 June 2005, had 148 developed and developing country Members. WTO Members have agreed to a number of trade ‘disciplines’, which can sometimes overlap with other laws and policies, at the domestic, regional and global levels. If a Member believes that a measure of another Member, including environmental and health measures, is inconsistent with one or more of the WTO disciplines, the Member can challenge that measure in an institutionalized binding dispute settlement system. In the event that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) finds that a measure violates WTO law, the challenging Member may impose trade sanctions until the challenged Member comes into compliance with the recommendations of the WTO DSB.