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28 October 2016
“National courts should also test the compatibility of the agreements with national constitutions,” the Independent Expert stated.
“There is a legitimate fear that CETA will dilute environmental standards, food security, and health and labour protection,” he said. “A treaty that strengthens the position of investors, transnational corporations and monopolies at the expense of the public interest conflicts with the duty of States to protect all people under their jurisdiction from internal and external threats.”
Mr. de Zayas said the EU should have paid greater attention to a warning from a committee of Members of Parliament from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development said earlier this month that CETA imposed unacceptable restrictions on the legislative powers of national parliaments, and called for the signing to be postponed.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The UN Independent Expert devoted his 2015 report to the UN Human Rights Council to the adverse human rights, health and environmental impacts of so-called free trade agreements such as CETA, TPP, TTIP and TISA. Check the report (A/HRC/30/44): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IntOrder/Pages/Reports.aspx
Mr. de Zayas focused his 2015 report to the UN General Assembly on the incompatibility of Investor-state-dispute-settlement arbitrations with fundamental principles of transparency and accountability. Check the report (A/70/285):
Mr. Alfred de Zayas (United States of America) was appointed as the first Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order by the Human Rights Council, effective May 2012. He is currently professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IntOrder/Pages/IEInternationalorderIndex.aspx
The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
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