MJIEL Vol 4 Issue 1 2007 - Book Review

Title:  Trade, Inequality and Justice: Toward a Liberal Theory of Just Trade

Author: Frank J. Garcia

Publisher: Transnational Publishers

Year: 2003

ISBN 1-57105-179-1

H/B. Pages xx + 218


This book advocates the role of justice in international economic relations and international trade law. In particular, it deals with one of the most fundamental issues in international trade relations, namely, trade and inequality. The distinctive feature of this book is its approach. Instead of focusing directly on States obligations to do justice, the author draws his thesis from moral obligations of individuals towards other individuals according to liberalism, a notion, of course, which is a political and moral theory prevalent in most developed States. Approaching the role of justice in this way, the author argues, could overcome many objections to the international application of justice theory.[1] In short, the book seeks to establish that theories of justice, with particular emphasis on Rawls��™ justice as fairness theory, are applicable as a normative criterion for international trade law and calls for the re-examination of existing international economic order in the light of the normative requirements of justice as propounded by him.[2]

[1] Apart from those objections discussed in Introduction and the first three chapter of the book, see also J. Tasioulas, ‘International Law and the Limits of Fairness��™ (2002) 13 European Journal of International Law 993 discussing an ‘ethnocentric��™ problem of�  Thomas Franck��™s Fairness in International Law and Institutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995) which include international justice.

[2] For other works on the role of justice in international discourse, see, for example, T. Franck (note 1),and T. Franck, ‘Is Justice Relevant to the International Legal System?��™, (1989) 64 Notre Dam Law Review 945; Franck and Hawkins, ‘Rawls��™ Theory of Justice in International Context��™, (1989) 10 Michigan Journal of International Law 127. For the works on the role of justice in international trade, see, for example, Garcia��™s former published work on this issue:�  F.J. Garcia, ‘Trade and Inequality: Economic Justice and the Developing World��™, (2000) 21 Michigan Journal of International Law 975; F.J. Garcia, ‘Trade and�  Justice: Linking the Trade Linkage Debates��™ (1998) 19 Journal of International Economic Law 391. Also see J. Gathii, ‘International Justice and the Trading Regime��™ (2000) 19 Emory International Law Review 1407; S. Shoraka, ‘World Trade Dispute Resolution and Developing Countries: Constructing a Framework for Fair Adjudication in the WTO��™ (2006) 3 Manchester Journal of International Economic Law 2.

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