Sustainability standard-setting in the shadow of the law

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

Voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) are increasingly regulating sustainable consumption and production, thereby operating as a regulatory authority to promote sustainable development. As VSSs regulate economic activities they may be subject to legal provisions framed by international and EU economic law. The extent to which VSSs are subject to these legal provisions depends on the interpretation and application of international and EU economic law to VSSs. This interpretation and application determines the regulatory space within which VSSs can promote sustainable development. The regulatory space for VSS-setters to promote sustainable development that follows from the interaction between the application and interpretation of international and EU economic law and VSSs remains unclear. From the perspective of promoting sustainable development, this is problematic as this lack of clarity may allow for an interpretation and application of international and EU economic law that inhibits the potential of VSSs to promote sustainable development. As such, this inhibitive effect may conflict with the overarching objective of international and EU economic law to promote sustainable development. To remedy this conflict, more clarity is provided in this dissertation regarding the interaction between the interpretation and application of international and EU economic law and the regulatory space of VSSs. When investigating this interaction the normative assumptions underlying legal interpretation and application were examined by using critical legal analysis as a theoretical framework. This dissertation, first elaborated upon the regulatory structure of VSSs in Chapter 2. Subsequently, this dissertations used a case study analysis of EU consumer law (Chapter 3), EU fundamental rights law (Chapter 4), WTO law (Chapter 5) and EU competition law (Chapter 6), to describe and examine how the interpretation and application of international and EU economic law interacts with the regulatory space of VSSs to promote sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Termeer, Katrien, Promotor
  • Gormley, L.W., Promotor, External person
  • Purnhagen, K.P., Co-promotor
  • Fischer, Arnout, Co-promotor
Award date7 Mar 2018
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789463437387
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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