This introductory chapter provides an overview of the main questions examined in this book. It argues that there are three sets of questions which demarcate the so-called ‘trade and environment’ nexus: The first set of questions concerns the relationship between WTO law, multilateral environmental agreements, and non-WTO law more generally. This brings into play the issue of conflict of norms, the legal status of the lex specialis principle and similar legal maxims, and the concepts jurisdiction and applicable law in WTO dispute settlement. A second set of questions is related to the disputed concepts of extraterritorial jurisdiction and unilateral state action. A third group of issues concerns the scope and contents of relevant WTO disciplines. In this respect, this book examines the basic principles governing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement).
Keywords: trade and environment, conflicts of norms, lex specialis principle, lex posterior principle, extraterritorial jurisdiction, balancing of interests, sovereignty, climate change, ozone layer, applicable law
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