Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) Working Paper Series

No 791:
The Burden of Proof in National Treatment Disputes and the Environment

Henrik Horn ()

Abstract: The basic legal instrument in the WTO Agreement regulating domestic environmental policies is the GATT National Treatment (NT) provision. The practical ambit of this clause is largely determined by the allocation of the burden of proof (BoP) in NT disputes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of this burden for trade liberalization and for the environment, in a situation where imports may cause environmental damage. The paper finds that there may be a tension between NT and environmental concerns, but that this is not likely to arise in the context of severe threats to the environment. In any event, relieving regulating countries of the BoP will have fundamentally unclear implications for the environment.

Keywords: National treatment; Burden of proof; Environment; GATT; WTO; Trade agreements; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F13; Q56; (follow links to similar papers)

34 pages, March 2, 2009

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This paper is published as:
Horn, Henrik, (2009), 'The Burden of Proof in National Treatment Disputes and the Environment' in Thomas, Chantal and Joel Trachtman (eds.) Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System, pages 1-1, Oxford University Press.

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