Consistency of assessment of socio-economic considerations under the Cartagena protocol on biosafety with other international obligations

Karinne Anne Ludlow, Stuart Smyth, Jose Falck-Zepeda

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Compliance with international obligations is the lynch-pin to the sustainabilityand success of international agreements, treaties and organizations. Withoutthis compliance these bodies will fail to function, or at the very leastexperience a reduction in their functionality. As part of the process to developbiosafety legislation, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, through Article 26,provides for the voluntary inclusion of socio-economic considerations. Crucialto this provision is that socio-economic consideration incorporation must be“consistent with [the parties] international obligations”. Numerousinternational agreements and protocol obligations are applicable to the variousSEC factors that can be considered for inclusion. This article provides conciseoverviews of the most significant of the various international agreementsrelevant to the potential SEC factors and then offers a thorough discussion ofthe terms and commitments from parties to the CPB that are considering theinclusion of SEC factors into their domestic regulatory biosafety frameworks.This article clarifies the legal complexities of these commitments tointernational obligations and encapsulates the numerous obligations into asingle source
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-172
Number of pages36
JournalThe Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • biosafety
  • decision-making regulations
  • socio-economic considerations
  • treaty obligations

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