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Geary Choe’s ambitious paper showcased a diverse and sophisticated understanding of research in public international law and interdisciplinary sources.

Choe’s paper proposes expanding the World Trade Organization’s mandate to carve out a new exception for trade-restrictive measures in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). His process involved analyzing international conventions, WTO panel and appellate body reports as well as non-legal materials written by economists, environmentalists and non-governmental organizations. Choe used that research to examine the historical tension between the competing interests of trade vs. environment and concluded with original proposals of how to reconcile them within the WTO’s legal framework.

Most rewardingly, Choe explained that his research facilitated a deeper understanding of conflict of norms and hierarchy of sources in public international law. “I aspire to be a trade lawyer and this research was the ultimate experience for me to increase my knowledge of international economic law and policy,” he said.


This article was awarded first place in Cornell Law Library's Robert Cantwell Prize for Exemplary Student Research in 2016.