ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2014, Vol. 45, No. 5, pp. 333–337. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2014.
Original Russian Text © A.K. Golichenkov, A.S. Ispolinov, O.V. Kadysheva, 2014, published in Ekologiya, 2014, No. 5, pp. 332–338.
The entry of the Russian Federation to the World
Trade Organization (WTO) has become a kind of chal
lenge to Russian specialists not only in international
trade law but also in other branches of jurisprudence.
Multifaceted activities of the WTO and obvious intri
cacy and complexity of procedures for dispute settle
ment within its framework require special studies,
including those on an interdisciplinary basis. Such
studies can allow a fresh look on the startup of the
WTO, the stages of and reasoning behind this process,
and prospects and possible alternatives for the devel
opment of the entire system for regulating interna
In our opinion, one of the most acute problems in
this context is still that of the relationship between the
principle of free trade and nature conservation and
public health as factors having a direct effect on trade,
their mutual antagonism or complementarity within
the framework of the WTO.
Attitudes to this problem widely differ and often
oppose each other. Some authors severely criticize the
WTO because, in their opinion, it regards ecological
and public health issues only as annoying obstacles to
international trade, forbidding the member states to
impose their own, more strict ecological and con
sumer safety standards.
Other specialists consider
that, in many respects, the WTO has already trans
formed into an ecological agency and should proceed
in the same direction.
They are opposed by a group of
scientists who maintain that the WTO in recent years
The World Trade Organization v. the Environment, Public Health
and Human Rights: International Forum on Globalization
Charnovitz, S., A new WTO paradigm for trade and environment,
Singapore Yearbook of International Law
, 2007, pp. 15–40.
has been paying too much attention to ecological
problems, compromising its main task of providing
access to the internal markets of member states and
that this organization should get back to its roots.
Unfortunately, all this spectrum of discussions
remained out of the view of Russian researchers, who
therefore could neither express and validate their
opinions nor propose relevant guidelines, which are
much called for by practitioners.
This paper is an attempt to fill this gap and consider
the basic WTO agreements and the practice of dispute
settlement within its framework in relation to environ
mental protection and public health.
“Ecological” Provisions in WTO Documents
Following the futile attempt to establish an interna
tional trade organization after World War II, the Gen
eral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was con
cluded in 1947 to become the basic document regulat
ing all matters related to international trade. However,
ecological issues have long been absent from the list of
priorities in this field.
As if reluctantly responding to reproaches from
ecologists, the states party to the GATT organized the
Group on Environmental Measures and International
Trade (1971), which however failed to hold even a sin
gle meeting over the next 20 years. Noteworthy in this
context is the remark from the GATT Secretariat
Report (1992) that “the GATT rules prevent members
from making access to their own markets dependent
Report on the International Trade Regime for the
International Task Force on Global Public Goods
The WTO, Ecology, and Russia: The Time to Make Decisions
A. K. Golichenkov, A. S. Ispolinov, and O. V. Kadysheva
Moscow State University, bldg. 1314, Moscow, 119991 Russia
Received October 30, 2013
—The relationship between the principle of free trade and nature conservation is one of the most
acute and multifaceted problems in international business. The diversity of WTO activities implies the neces
sity of interdisciplinary studies utilizing the expertise and experience of specialists in international law and
ecologists. In this paper, provisions of the WTO set of agreements and procedures for dispute settlement
within the WTO framework are considered as applied to environmental protection.
: WTO agreements, environmental protection, public health, ecology, WTO Appellate Body, general
exceptions to the WTO trade rules