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7 Asia Pac. J. Envtl. L. 1 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/apjel7 and id is 1 raw text is: The Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety to the
Convention on Biological Diversity: Trade
Liberalisation, the WTO, and the Environment
Troy Anderson
Solicitor, Michell Sillar, Australian & International Attorneys
World trade is now governed by a detailed set of inter-related laws creating different
rights and responsibilities for nations and the manner in which they trade. Sitting at the
apex of this system is the World Trade Organization (WTO), an international
organisation that not only promotes an agenda of trade liberalisation, but which is
responsible for enforcing the international laws of free trade. However, the laws of
international trade are not sacrosanct and new treaties can challenge the role of the
existing regime. The 2000 Cartegena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on
Biological Diversity (Biosafety Protocol), a multilateral environment treaty, has such
potential. It is submitted that the adoption of many multilateral environment treaties,
including the Biosafety Protocol, if ratified, has the capacity to undermine the meaning
and effectiveness of the WTO. If this occurs, then the benefits created by the WTO's
trade liberalisation agenda and its laws promoting free trade will be severely
Key Words
Trade and Environment, World Trade Organization, Biosafety Protocol, Australia
This article reflects the law up until 1 July 2001.


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