Environmental Disputes in the GATT/WTO: Before and After US-Shrimp Case

This paper aims to present the legal analysis of the rulings by the Panel and, with more emphasis, the Appellate Body in US-Shrimp. Section I briefly reviews general dispute settlement mechanisms provided in international environmental conventions. Section II summarizes the practices regarding Article XX of the GATT in the GATTIWTO dispute settlement systems prior to US-Shrimp. Section III presents the factual background of US-Shrimp case and the legal analysis of several procedural and substantive issues specifically addressed in the Appellate Body report. Section IV examines the remaining issues to be addressed in trade disputes with environmental implication after US-Shrimp and is followed by concluding remarks.