Swati Gola publishes paper on the right to health in GATS
Swati Gola publishes an article in the Pace International Law Review entitled 'Right to Health in GATS: Can the Public Health Exception Pave the Way for Complementarity?'. A draft of the paper also appears in the Exeter Centre for International Law Working Paper Series, 2020/4.
Trade in health-related services, such as hospitals, medical professionals and sanitation, have potential to improve health outcomes for countries. Yet, health-related services are the least liberalised services sector under GATS. The reluctance of WTO members can be attributed to the scepticism that GATS restricts public health policies and their ability to protect, promote and fulfil their right to health obligation as signatories to ICESCR. Examining the specific interaction between the right to health and public health exception in GATS, this paper demonstrates that WTO members can raise the public health exception to justify trade-restrictive public health policies aimed at fulfilling the right to health. It argues that good faith and harmonious interpretation of the public health exception in GATS taking into account the right to health not only brings complementarity between international human rights and international trade law regimes but further advances systemic integration and (de)fragmentation of public international law.