Getting Around the GATT: Passing GATT-Legal Legislation to Protect Marine Living Resources


The WTO has been called, among other things, anti-environment. This is due in large part to the position that GATT dispute settlement panels have taken on environment-friendly legislation—such legislation is often struck down as being unduly restrictive of trade and therefore unenforceable under the GATT/WTO agreement. For example, in three seminal disputes that were brought before the GATT (often referred to as the Tuna/Dolphin I, Tuna/Dolphin II, and Shrimp/Turtle disputes), GATT dispute settlement bodies “recommended” against the United States and in favor of the countries which were allegedly engaging in environmentally-destructive practices. This article looks at those recommendations in some detail and offers suggestions for what the United States could have done to “get around the GATT” in order to protect marine living resources.


Environmental Law | International Law

Date of this Version

September 2005