Thursday, January 30, 2014

Seal trade dispute - It is not sealed yet

The Seals dispute case has attracted a lot of attention in international trade law circles. The Panel decision found the exceptions to the import ban to be inconsistent with EU's obligations under the TBT Agreement.

However, the battle is not yet done. Canada and Norway, who were complainants in the case have preferred appeals to the Appellate Body at the WTO. The details are found here.

Particularly Canada stated this in the notice of appeal:
"Canada submits that the Panel erred in finding that the EU Seal Regime is provisionally justified under Article XX(a). Specifically, the Panel failed to interpret and apply the first element12 of Article XX(a) correctly, by ignoring the words "to protect", and thereby omitting to determine whether the sale in the European Union of products derived from commercial seal hunts created a risk to an EU public moral.13 It also erred in its interpretation and application of the necessity test under Article XX(a) with respect to the issues of the contribution of the EU Seal Regime to the identified objective, and with respect to the reasonable availability of the alternative measure advanced by Canada already noted above in the context of Canada's request for review under Article 2.2 of the TBT Agreement.14 In addition, although it came to the correct conclusion that the EU Seal Regime is not consistent with the requirements of the chapeau of Article XX, the Panel erred in its reasoning in coming to this conclusion.15"
The Public Moral issue back to the forefront once again?

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