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Human Rights and International Trade$
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Thomas Cottier, Joost Pauwelyn, and Elisabeth Bürgi

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285822

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285822.001.0001

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Human Rights and International Trade Law: Defining and Connecting the Two Fields

Human Rights and International Trade Law: Defining and Connecting the Two Fields

Human Rights and International Trade Law: Defining and Connecting the Two Fields
Human Rights and International Trade

Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann

Oxford University Press

The lack of any explicit linkages of human rights and trade rules in WTO law contrasts with the integrated regulation of the common market and human rights in many national constitutions as well as in the 2004 EU Treaty Constitution. Most national constitutions protect freedom of trade inside national frontiers without authorizing sub-national authorities to introduce internal, discriminatory market restrictions vis-à-vis domestic citizens. This chapter aims to outline some of the issues related to the obligations of States and rights/obligations of private actors in the context of trade from the perspective of human rights law. It first examines what the treaties and their monitoring bodies say about the obligations of States parties to implement the rights contained in the treaties, as well as the obligations, both direct and indirect, of non-State actors.

Keywords:   human rights law, non-state actors, treaties, trade rules, WTO, market restriction

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