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The WTO Constitution and Human Rights.

  • Economics
  • Law


Human rights and liberal trade rules (including WTO rules) are based on the same values: individual freedom and responsibility (e.g. to adjust to competition); non-discrimination; rule of law; access to courts and adjudication to disputes; promotion of social welfare through peaceful cooperation among free citizens; parliamentary approval of national and international rules. The non-economic values of WTO law are no less important for the human rights and welfare of citizens than the economic welfare effects of liberal trade. Like the EC, the WTO can and should become an advocate not only of economic freedom, but of human freedom more generally. This article argues in favour of constitutional reforms of WTO law so as to take civil society and human rights more seriously. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

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