Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Alyssa Woo

First Page



On October 16, 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) began the first session of negotiations of its first international health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Scheduled for adoption in May 2003, the FCTC is a comprehensive multilateral treaty that will cover everything from tobacco smuggling to tobacco advertising and the extent of the liability of tobacco companies.

This Note argues that even-handed domestic measures implementing the FCTC will be protected from international, trade-based complaints because the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement system has given sufficient and appropriate content to the health exception to the normal trade rules under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Therefore, this Note suggests that, on balance, a new WHO judicial body would not substantially promote the goals of the FCTC, although treaties that are more technical than the FCTC may suggest a different answer.