The assignment is for International Trade, Human Rights and Sustainable Development: Reinventing ‘Development’

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International Trade, Human Rights and Sustainable Development: Reinventing ‘Development’


The article deals with International Trade laws, Sustainable Development and Human Rights and how they can redefine development. The attempts have made to assess how the three can work together in such a manner that the aim of development is achieved and the meaning is redefined. Through critical analysis of the existing material, the article aims to suggest that while the concepts of international trade, sustainable development and human rights are distinct, if they work in tandem with each other or are implemented in coherence with each other with a legal perspective, there can be a change in the scenario along with stability and in the economy. The article elaborates upon the three concepts at both national (India) and international level and then on the basis of explanation it tries to club the term together through legal perspective and suggests how if the three work together there can be such changes in India it can redefine development.


The meaning of the three words International Trade, Human Rights and Sustainable Development in itself lays the background of this research. International Trade: - as per Black’s Law Dictionary International Trade is the exchange of Goods and services between countries. Human Rights are referred to basic rights and freedoms that belong to each and every person in the world, from Birth till death. Sustainable Development  is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

1. LAW AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE: -International Trade Law is the set of appropriated rules and customs needed for trade between countries. International Trade Law has affected international trade both at international and national level: -

i) International Level: - International Trade Law  is controlled and regulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) where in the government of different countries came together as thus, making it an independent field of study making and this branch of law is studied under many universities around the globeand WTO also lays down the rules to regulate the transactions of private sectors between the countries and takes care of every pact sign between countries under it.It is the Dispute resolver one of the basic and best establishment organization for international trade dispute and is operating from 1995 with resolving 365 plus international cases between January 1st 1995 till December 1st 2007. The WTO dispute settlement body has exclusive and compulsory jurisdiction over disputes on WTO laws but apart from WTO other organization such as The General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) which has been the backbone of international trade since 1948 containing rules against unfair trade practices. The cross-border operations are subjected to taxation by more than one country and the commercial activities occurring between several jurisdiction or countries are called cross-border transaction and the international tax planning ensures that cross-border businesses and avoid or lesser double taxation.

ii) National Level: - inIndia International Trade Laws and Policy & advisory is Practiced at Luthra & Luthra  Law office and the services offered by this team includes the practices of the international trade (WTO) group and the policy & advisory group. In Luthra and Luthra the International Trade law group provides the assistance in trade remedial activities and investigation such as anti-dumping, Safeguard and countervailing duties and appears regularly before the different fora such as the Directorate General of anti-dumping, the Directorate General of Safeguard, the CESTAT, High Courts and Supreme Courts of India and has represented India globally being it the European Commission or the WTO panel. Whereas, the Policy & advisory group specializes in the areas where the regulatory framework is still developing or is fast changing, and various works around the industrial sector which includesInformation and Communications Technology, Electronics, Environment and Energy. They provide both legal and policy advisory, and also watch and monitor services; assistance with regulatory interactions such as public hearings, open houses, policy discussions and strategic policy advisory It also addresses internal policy adaptation requirements of the client and focuses on understanding existing public policy positions of the client in other markets and modifying such policies for Indian requirements. It assists in outreach management, and also support in preparing concept notes, commissioned whitepapers, drafting media briefs on policy matters, organizing workshops and seminars, and in conducting in-house training on government affairs and public policy.

2. LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS: - Human Rights as per the Black’s Law Dictionary  is define asthe freedom, immunities and the benefits that, according to the modern value (especially at an international level), all the human beings should be able to claim as the matter of right in the society in which they live. Laws have affected and human rights both at national and at international level: -

i) International Level: -Since 1945 several series of international human righttreaties  and other instrument were adoptedthat helped in developing the body of the International human Rights other instrument were adopted at a regional level which reflected the particular human right concern of the region and providing specific mechanism of protection and it includes declaration guidelines and principles adopted at an international level to contribute its understanding,  implementation and development but international human right movement was strengthened when the United Nation General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10th December 1948 and was drafted as ‘a common standard of achievement for all people and nation’ and for the first time in the human history it spell out the basic civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all human beings should enjoy. International human rights lay down the obligations which the states are bound to respect. The obligation to protect requires the state to protect individuals and group against the violation of basic human rights and state must take positive actions to facilitate the employment of the basic human rights. Through the ratification of international rights treaties. Government must undertake to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties, and if fail then there are legal proceedings.

ii) National Level: - Human Rights in India  requires the existence and protection of well regulated society and only the state and the society can guarantee these rights to the individuals. For enjoying these rights perfectly, the citizen of India must also observe the social norms properly.Human Rights is defined under section 2(1)(d) of the protection of Human Rights 193 as

                “Human Rights mean the rights relating to life, liberty, equity and dignity of the individuals guaranteed by the constitution or embodied in the International covenants and is enforceable by courts in India”

                India as mentioned above has enacted the Protection of Human Right Act in 1993 and has also constituted the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) to regulate it. Also, the violation of Human Right is seen as violation of demographic principle. The analysis of Human Rights should be made from 3 perspectives Firstly Socio-economic dimension of Human Rights in India, the legal dimension, and the role of International Organization and NGO’s in promotion of the Human Rights. In India, all the citizens are entitled to enjoy the privileges of Human Rights. Several initiatives have been undertaken in India for of women and children, prohibiting sati, defining the legal age of marriage and the Dowry Act each of them is either influenced by or has influenced or both in the formation of the Human Rights. Individuals

3. LAW AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: - Sustainable Development according to the Black’s Law Dictionary  is the economic development Featuring the low rate of Growth, little Pollution and a largely diminished impact to the environment. Sustainable Development has impacted on both the national and international level: -

i) International Level: - Sustainable Development  is not a new concept it is there since 1972 in the Stockholm Declaration and it is a one of the major concern of international court and now in each and every treaty there is concern and term focusing on sustainable development and treaty without having the element of sustainable development is being looked upon and taken actions too. Government want sustainable development as it keep all the aspect that is social cultural and economical in view and when these parameters are kept in mind we can develop a product or a resource effectively that last long and doesn’t harm or pollute the environment and apart from this, the International Organizations make sure that the environment other wise is in good condition and the pollutions level is less and for this the effective majors are being taken to maintain the pollution and take care of the environment across the globe and the international organizations are taking care that the terms and norms laid down by them is followed in each counties and if they fail to do so then their would be trials against them.

ii) National Level: - Right  to wholesome environment is a fundamental right and is protected under the Article 21 of the Constitution of India but the age of industrial development has affected the environment and thus the doctrine of Sustainable Development is introduced which maintains a balance between the development and the ecology.Basically, it’s a kind of development which meets the needs of the present without compromising on the on the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. The Environmental measures taken by the state government and the local authority must anticipate, prevent and attack the cause of the environmental degradation, where there are threats of serious and irreversible damages, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as reason to postponed the measures of environmental degradation and the ‘onus of proof’ is on the actor or the developer to prove that his action is environmentally benign. The Supreme Court and the High Court have played an important role in promoting and preserving the ‘doctrine of Sustainable Development’. Parliament has enacted various law to deal with the problem of environmental degradation and the Courts have successfully interpreted these laws but apart from these at National level, all citizen should have access to the information regarding laws of environment Degradation. State shall also facilitate and encourage the public awareness and participation by making the information widely available.

                Most of the cases have been bought before the court through PIL (Public Interest Litigation) either Article 32 or under article 226of the Constitution of India.

                In the case of Vellore Citizen Forum vs Union of India,the apex court for the very first time applied the doctrine of Sustainable Development. In the instant case some dispute arose over some tanneriesin Tamil Nadu and these tanneries were discharging some effluents in the river Palar which was the main source of drinking water and it was held that remediation of the damaged environment is the part of the process of ‘Sustainable Damages’ and such polluters are liable to pay the damages of individual suffering as well as reversing the damaged ecology.                 Similarly, in the case of Rural litigation and Entitlement Kendra vs State of U.P, as soon as it was bought before the notice of the Apex Court that unscientific Mining was being done unscientific way and even after the expiry of the term of lease of land then the Apex court ordered to stop mining and ordered them to pay 3 lakh to the monitory firmand termed this as ‘polluters pay’.

                Also, in the case of Tarun Bhagat Singh vs. Union of India , the petitioner through PIL bought before the notice of the Apex Court that the State of Rajasthan, though empowered to make rules to protect the environment, has failed to do so by allowing the mining to continue in the forest area. And it was held that the work should be stopped and no mining could be done within the protected area.

                But it is not always that the courts give priority only to the ecology over development. Sometimes, the court also take care of the development and this could be understood by the case of M C Mehta vs Union of India , the Apex Court issued directions towards closing of Mechanical Stone Crushing activities in and around Delhi, which was declared by WHO as 3rd most polluted city in the world. However, realizing the importance of stone crushing and issued directions to allot land in the Pali village in the state of Haryana as the new crushing zone. So, both ecology and development should go hand in hand for the better future.


We can clearly understand that without International Trade, Human Rights and Sustainable Development no development is possible being it individually or collectively and when all three of them are there then there will be development and the development would be of so unique that we can simply term it as reinventing development and when we follow the laws of all the three then there is no chance that we will ever land in trouble because when you do something keeping in mind the law then everything is legal and we all know something which is legal could not be wrong. International trade law helps us to trade between countries thus, helping us to develop good overseas relation and when we trade we not only trade goods and services we trade culture and customs. Human right helps us to establish basic right that each and every person is bound to have to be feel free and protected and yet is monitored. And Sustainable development help us to manage and utilize the existing resource in such a manner that it doesn’t lessen or extinct for the future generation and also keeps and maintain balances between ecology and development. In country like in India which is a fast developing nation and creating impact worldwide by if not being the then, being one of the fastest developing nation in the world. Thus, making it presence known and felt globally. But in moving toward development India sometimes tend to ignore one or all of these. International trade is one of the most significant concept that India should keep in mind due to its amazing geographical locationIndia has brilliant connectivity being it through land, air and water and a great exporter and importer and our foreign relationship is very good with several countries. Luthra & Luthra is doing brilliant job and we always follow the trade rules and regulations. Trading is one of the major occupation for many of the Indians and apart from trading goods we trade our cultures with other nation which is also one of the major reason why we our so diverse. But during all this we Indians sometimes trade people and drugs also that is we get involve in Human trafficking and Drug Smuggling though the Laws regarding this is changing and the system is becoming stricter and we have shown good result in limiting this and sending the people who are involving in Human Trafficking, Smuggling and other unfair trade Practices behind the bars but we need to be more strict and instead of preventing unfair Practice we should abolish it and for this more International Firm should be created to lessen the Burden on Luthra & Luthra. Human Rights is also one of the basic right for each and every individual and in our country even the urban people are unaware of this term, the term Human Right is not that discussed topic in India and India being the place where Majority of people don’t know about the term right should be made aware of their right and each and everyone should know about the Human Right and they should respect it because human right is the basic right which is available to each and every individual in any part around the globe and all countries are bound to respect it and once we are well versed with the basic right no one can exploit us and the NHRC should increase the awareness of the basic human right through campaign, rallies and educational programs so that everyone is aware of it. Sustainable Development is also very crucial element for India. India being a place where you can find all kind of terrains, people, culture and also resources but we are exploiting are resources indiscriminately due to increasing population and also, we are increasing pollution, Deforestation at a global level and if the scenario continues one day we will be out of resources. So, the Doctrine of Sustainable Development is very important for us as to manage our resources and use it intellectually, so that our future generations don’t have to beg, borrow or steal from someone. So, to resolve this problem we need to allocate the resources smartly and the government as well as people should take efforts in implementation of the well-madeanti-pollution schemes in the normal course of action so that we can stop the pollution. And at last the root cause of all the problem is corruption if corruption is removed and we do everything that should be done as peer the plan and not be greedy enough to change the plan then our country will develop and if we keep in mind the International trade and trade according to its norms, when we are aware of as well as practice the Human right and follow the ‘Doctrine of Sustainable Development’ than our country will prosper so much that we will redefine development.

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