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US/Canada - Hormones Suspension Print
Brown Bag Seminar, Speaker: Ms. Antonia Eliason (J.D. - M.A.), Intern at the World Trade Organization, Legal Affairs Division
15 September, 12.15 - 13.45, WTI Berne, Switzerland

US/Canada – Hormones Suspension: How a purely procedural claim led to a substantive review under the SPS Agreement and the resultant issues with the use of scientific experts


The US/Canada – Hormones Suspension decision is the latest in a string of WTO cases dealing with the SPS Agreement and requiring the evaluation of scientific evidence by panelists with the aid of scientific experts. Unlike other cases, however, Hormones Suspension did not begin as a case requiring scientific review, but instead raised purely procedural questions as to the US and Canada’s continued suspension of concessions against the EC. The first part of this study looks at the underlying jurisdictional issues raised by the Panel’s review of the compliance of EC Directive 2003/74/EC with the SPS Agreement, when the SPS Agreement was not part of the terms of reference, nor was the review necessary for the ultimate finding by the Panel, that the US and Canada did, in fact violate their obligations under the DSU. The second part of this paper focuses on the use of scientific experts in the Hormones Suspension decision and attempts to demonstrate how this process is flawed while highlighting potential ways forward.

Antonia Eliason is currently an intern at the WTO Legal Affairs Division. From April to July 2008 she was a visiting research fellow at the World Trade Institute, where she conducted her research on the US/Canada – Hormones Suspension case. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan, a M.A. from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and a B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology and Computer Science from the University of Michigan. She worked for Allen & Overy in London, and from January to April 2009 she will be clerking at the European Court of Justice. Her research focuses on issues of science and law in the WTO context, as well as on climate change and trade related questions.

Place: Anna Nussbaum Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern.




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