Friday, May 23, 2014

Compliance - the stage shifts in the EU Seals case

The EU Seal Products ban decision is out. You can find it here on the WTO website. Several brilliant expositions of the decisions in the IELP blog here.

Dissecting the decision in lay person's language it came to the conclusion that the EU ban on Seal products was justified under the "public morals" exception under Article XX(a) GATT. However, the exception given to Inuit communities of Greenland does not meet the requirements of the chapeau of Article XX. Hence, the Appellate Body recommended that the DSB request the European Union to bring its measure, found in this Report, and in the Canada Panel Report as modified by this Report, to be inconsistent with the GATT 1994, into conformity with its obligations under that Agreement. 

The focus now shifts to compliance. Apart from the "reasonable time" required, the issue would be what would amount to compliance of the AB decision? Removing the Inuit exception for Greenland or clarifying the exception itself?

Compliance is as big as the dispute itself!

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