Is It Possible to Provide Evidence of Insufficient Evidence? The Precautionary Principle at the WTO

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This Article aims to demonstrate that the WTO jurisprudence on science-related trade disputes has become imbued with a specific vision of science that has prevented any possible application of the precautionary principle. This situation is due both to the WTO’s specific dispute settlement procedures and to the substantive nature of precautionary measures. Indeed, such measures’ foundation on “insufficient scientific evidence” dramatically undermines the probative value of science in WTO adjudication and creates a seeming contradiction: The system requires defendants to provide legal evidence of the absence of sufficient scientific evidence. The reasoning of the Panel on the EC–Biotech case was riddled with this apparent paradox. For the first time, the US–Continued Suspension case has opened a gateway to address this fundamental issue.
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