Biology as Ideology: The Evolution of WTO Law

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Biology as Ideology: The Evolution of WTO Law

Associate Professor Chios Carmody

Abstract: Much has been written, discussed and debated about WTO law, particularly in numeric terms. However, most commentators in economics – the domain of greatest immediate relevance to a treaty regime focused on trade – plainly admit that their discipline fails to account for the full scope and richness of the subject. This talk will explore an alternative approach to theorizing WTO law and the WTO Agreement based on a purposive theory of law reflecting ideas about justice and community. It suggests that what is been observed in the development of GATT and WTO law is, in some sense, archetypic of the evolution of a legal system generally and is therefore more naturally and fruitfully sourced in biology. To understand what is taking place, the WTO regime is best conceived organically rather than mechanically.

Associate Professor Chios Carmody is Associate Professor at Western University Faculty of Law in London, Ontario, Canada. He currently teaches courses in Contracts, International Trade Law and International Business Transactions. Since 2002 he has been Canadian Director of the Canada-United States Law Institute. Professor Carmody has been a Visiting Professor at Université Montpellier I (June 2000), Visiting Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center in Fall 2001, Emile Noël Fellow at the Jean Monnet Center for International & Regional Economic Law & Justice, NYU Law School (2005-06) and Visiting Adjunct Professor at Université de Reims (June 2011). His current work focuses on developing a general theory of WTO law, which is the subject of his forthcoming monograph, A Theory of WTO Law: A Theory of Law (Cambridge).