Presentation of his newest book by Professor Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (European University Institute) during the COurse "International Economic Law" by Professor Andreas R. Ziegler (CDECEI - FDCA - UNIL)
Transforming World Trade and Investment Law for Sustainable Development explains why the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda for "Transforming our World"—aimed at realizing universal human rights and the17 agreed sustainable development goals (SDGs)—requires transforming the UN and WTO legal systems, as well as international investment law and adjudication. UN and WTO law protect regulatory competition between diverse neo-liberal, state-capitalist, European ordo-liberal, and developing countries' conceptions of multilevel trade and investment regulation. However, geopolitical rivalries and trade wars increasingly undermine transnational rule of law and effective regulation of market failures, governance, and constitutional failures. Protecting the WTO legal and dispute settlement system remains essential for SDGs such as climate change mitigation measures and access to medical supplies and vaccines in global health pandemics. Investment law and adjudication must better reconcile governmental duties to protect human rights and decarbonize economies with the property rights of foreign investors.
The constitutional, human rights, and environmental litigation in Europe enhances the legal accountability of democratic governments for protecting sustainable development. However, European economic constitutionalism has been rejected by neoliberalism, China's authoritarian state-capitalism, and many developing countries' governments. The more that regional economic orders (like the China-led Belt and Road networks) reveal heterogeneity and power politics block UN and WTO reforms, the more the US-led neoliberal world order risks disintegrating. UN and WTO law must promote private-public network governance and civil society participation in order to stabilize and de-politicize multilevel governance that protects SDGs and global public goods.
Prof. Ernst Ulrich Petersmann taught constitutional law at the Universities of Hamburg and Heidelberg and was a Professor of international law and European law at the Universities of St. Gallen, Fribourg, Geneva, the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Relations and the European University Institute at Florence As a visiting professor, Dr. Petersmann taught international economic law at the Hague Academy of International Law, the EUI Academy of European Law, the Xiamen Academy of International Law, and at numerous Universities in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the USA, Latin-America, South-Africa, China, India and Singapore. He published more than 30 books and 350 contributions to books and journals focusing on international law, European law and comparative constitutional law. Prof. Petersmann worked as legal counsel for the German government representing Germany in European and UN institutions (1978-1980), as well as legal counsel in GATT and legal consultant for the WTO (1981-2021). He served as secretary, member or chairman on GATT and WTO dispute settlement panels and as chairman of the International Trade Law Committee of the International Law Association (1999-2014).