Is It Possible to Provide Evidence of Insufficient Evidence? The Precautionary Principle at the WTO

Vecchione, Elisa
August 2012
Chicago Journal of International Law;Summer2012, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p153
Academic Journal
This Article aims to demonstrate that the WTO jurisprudence on sdence-related trade disputes has become imbued with a spedfic vision of sdence that has prevented any possible application of the precautionary prindple. This situation is due both to the WTO's spedfic dispute settlement procedures and to the substantive nature of precautionary measures. Indeed, such measures' foundation on "insuffident sdentific evidence" dramatically undermines the probative value of sdence in WTO adjudication and creates a seeming contradiction: The system requires defendants to provide legal evidence of the absence of sufficient sdentific evidence. The reasoning of the Panel on the EC--Biotech case was riddled with this apparent paradox. For the first time, the US--Continued Suspension case has opened a gateway to address this fundamental issue.


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