Volume 48 (2014) / Issue 3
The article explores WTO rulings in the longstanding tuna-dolphin dispute between the US and Mexico. While some US environmentalists perceived the rulings as diminishing dolphin protection, it appeared that the US could satisfy its WTO obligations by strengthening rather than weakening its dolphin-safe regime. This was an important outcome but one that was easily overlooked because the WTO rulings went against the US and appeared to conflict with US court rulings. However, as the article reveals, the WTO dispute centred on legal issues and to some extent scientific evidence that differed from those in the federal court cases. The tuna-dolphin dispute is also of interest because the role of unsolicited amicus curiae briefs in WTO proceedings was unexpectedly enhanced during the panel phase of the deliberations.
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