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Too Much or Too Little Science in the Multilateral Trading System? Print
Brown Bag Seminar, Speaker: Professor Richard Ouellet, Laval University in Canada, Visiting Fellow at the World Trade Institute
12 March 2009, 12.15 - 13.45 Auditorium Anna Nussbaum, WTI, Berne, Switzerland

Hormones, GMOs and Retreaded Tyres Cases: Too Much or Too Little Science in the Multilateral Trading System?

The SPS Agreement was originally designed to help settle the Hormones Case. As this dispute is reactivated, it appears today that the SPS Agreement did not succeed in transforming science into a universal neutral arbiter. On the other hand, the Brasil-Retreaded Tyres Case, analyzed under the GATT provisions, shows that too little scientific preoccupation might lead to unacceptable implementation measures. What is the right dose of science to heal the conflicts between free trade and food safety or environmental protection? What if science was necessary in the multilateral trading system but playing the wrong role in the wrong Agreement?  Professor Ouellet will present some of the hypotheses he looks at in his ongoing research program. 

About the Speaker

Richard Ouellet is an associate professor in International Economic Law at the Law Faculty and at the Quebec Graduate Institute of International Studies at Laval University, in Quebec City, Canada. He is a member of the Quebec Bar and holds a Ph. D. in Public International Law.

Professor Ouellet’s teachings and research works are all related to the WTO Agreements or the North American Free Trade Agreement. He supervises numerous students preparing master theses or doctoral theses in one of two fields. He is currently working on research programs on the public morals exception of section XXa) of the GATT and on the role of science in the SPS Agreement and the NAFTA. These research programs are funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Legal Research and the Quebec Research Fund on Society and Culture. Professor Ouellet is a member of the Society of International Economic Law, the European Society of International Law, the Center for Interamerican Studies and is a founder of the Centre d’études en droit économique. 

SNF - Swiss National Science Foundation The National Centres of Competence in Research are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation