This paper will discuss the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an institution of global governance and regulation, and analyses the role that globalisation and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) played in the WTO Appellate Body decision upholding an arbitration panel ruling against the United States,in the Shrimp-Turtles trade dispute. While most environmentalists were upset by this decision, this WTO Appellate Body ruling actually charted a new course for future WTO arbitration panels in making determinations regarding the legality of trade related restrictions imposed on trading partners by nations attempting to enforce environmental regulations. Among other things, the decision opened the door for unsolicited Environmental NGO legal filings and actually upheld the United States’ right to ban shrimp and shrimp products from producers who did not use acceptable fishing methods to safeguard endangered sea turtles. This paper identifies and analyses the modifications to certain principles of public international law (that were almost entirely based on previous WTO arbitral rulings), that came about as a result of this landmark WTO ruling. Virtually all of these modifications may be seen as advantageous for nations and Environmental NGOs that are seeking to protect certain areas of the global environment and or endangered species. The economic and trade disadvantages of this decision from the perspective of many less developed countries will also be identified and discussed in this paper. Then the conclusions section will summarize the results and offer suggestions for how nations can use legally use trade related restrictions to foster improved compliance with environmental regulations.
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