Too much zeal on seals : animal welfare, public morals and consumer ethics at the bar of the WTOToo much zeal on seals : animal welfare, public morals and consumer ethics at the bar of the WTO
Faculty of Law
Government and Law
World trade review / World Trade Organization. - Cambridge, 2002, currens
15(2016):1, p. 109-137
University of Antwerp
The Seals Regime at issue in EC-Seals pursued conflicting policy objectives of animal welfare, protection of public morals, Inuit and the marine environment through regulation of product composition and hunting. The panels TBT findings are problematic: The panel empties the term related PPMs in the definition of technical regulations of content and it does not distinguish and sequence the legal tests of TBT Articles 2.1 and 2.2 clearly enough. It fails to analyse properly how the necessity analysis should be performed for a multipurpose policy and reduces the ability of WTO members to defend them. The panel also adopts an unduly empiricist definition of public morals and legitimate objectives. The article argues that the content of public morals and legitimate objectives in Article 2.2 should be informed by moral philosophy. Its analysis suggests that collectively binding regulation of ethical standards can generally not be considered to be about public morals.