Public Moral Exception under GATT: Traditional and New Approaches

5 Baku St. U. L.Rev. 157 (2019)
Article language: English.


The World Trade Organization (WTO) regulates the trade between states. The WTO is a treaty-based trade regime with the Member States currently representing some ninety-five percent (by value) of all international trade. The WTO contains a number of core agreements including GATT, GATS and side agreements on other matters such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade. The Article discusses the interpretation of moral exceptions clause. The “public morals” clause, which appears in both GATT and GATS, formulates one of the general exceptions to the basic obligation of trade liberalization contained in those agreements. Several trends suggest that the public morals exception will play an increasingly important role in international trade relationships within and outside of the WTO.

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