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Application of GATT - twentieth public morals exception to China publications case

Author: XueZuo
Tutor: YangDan
School: Nanjing Normal University
Course: International Law
Keywords: WTO exceptional clause public morals China-publications andaudiovisual materials necessity
CLC: D996.1
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 137
Quote: 0
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Free trade and public morality form a unity of opposites. On the one hand, National Treatment and Non-discrimination is one of the basic principles of international trade system. On the other hand, states have the authority to take measures when something would threaten their public morality. The public morals exception of GATT’s article20in WTO provides a basis for conflict of free trade and public morality. It includes the chapeau and the concrete provision, include the following:Each Member shall avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable distinctions in the levels it considers to be appropriate in different situations, if such distinctions result in discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade necessary to protect public morals.But there is a question that what exactly is encompassed within the scope of public morals exception, and who has the right to define public morals. Till US-Gambling (DS285) appeared, a few doctrinal issues were clarified. Another case is china-publications and audiovisual materials (DS363), it plays an important part in applying the public morals exception.In the China-publications and audiovisual materials case, certain of the challenged Chinese measures were claimed to violate trading rights commitments undertaken by China’s accession protocol, so shall China resort to Article XX is must be answered. To apply the public morals exception of GATT’s article20, The first is that trade measures must deemed "necessary to protect public morals", then them must also meet the requirement of the article’s chapeau. According to the report of the panel and the Appellate Body, We can find that it is not an easy task to apply the public morals exception successfully. So it is necessary to analysis it.

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