The General Exceptions Provision

  • David Sifonios
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series (EUROYEAR, volume 3)


If a trade measure adopted by a WTO Member conflicts with GATT commitments, such as the non-discrimination provisions or the quantitative restrictions prohibition, the regulating Member still has the possibility to invoke the general exceptions of Article XX to justify its measure. Under Article XX, the defending Member bears the burden of proof and must in particular show that the contested measure falls within one of the policy goals listed in the sub-paragraphs and complies with the means–ends relationship specified therein. Two of them are particularly relevant as far as environmental policies are concerned: Article XX(b), which applies to measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and Article XX(g), which concerns measures relating to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Sifonios
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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