Human rights and international trade

Cottier, Thomas; Pauwelyn, Joost; Bürgi, Elisabeth (eds.) (2005). Human rights and international trade. International Economic Law Series. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press

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Economic globalization and respect for human rights are both highly topical issues. In theory, more trade should increase economic welfare and protection of human rights should ensure individual dignity. Both fields of law protect certain freedoms: economic development should lead to higher human rights standards, and UN embargoes are used to secure compliance with human rights agreements. However the interaction between trade liberalisation and human rights protection is complex, and recently, tension has arisen between these two areas.
Do WTO obligations covering intellectual property prevent governments from implementing their human rights obligations, including rights to food or health? Is it fair to accord the benefits of trade subject to a clean human rights record?
This book first examines the theoretical framework of the interaction between the disciplines of international trade law and human rights. It builds upon the well-known debate between Professor Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, who construes trade obligations as human rights, and Professor Philip Alston, who warns of a merger and acquisition of human rights by trade law. From this starting point, further chapters explore the differing legal matrices of the two fields and examine how cooperation between them might be improved, both in international law-making and institutions,in dispute settlement.
The interaction between trade and human rights is then explored through seven case studies:freedom of expression and competition law; IP protection and health; agricultural trade and the right to food; trade restrictions on conflict WHO convention on tobacco control; and, finally, human rights conditionalities in preferential trade schemes.

Item Type:

Book (Edited Volume)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Economic Law > World Trade Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > World Trade Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Cottier, Thomas, Bürgi, Elisabeth


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 380 Commerce, communications & transportation




International Economic Law Series


Oxford University Press


[484] Sustainable trade in agriculture




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

08 Feb 2016 11:04

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:51


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