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Commitment and Compliance in International Law: A Study of the Implementation of the WTO TRIPS Agreement in Nigeria and South Africa

Commitment and Compliance in International Law: A Study of the Implementation of the WTO TRIPS... OLU FASAN∗ I. INTRODUCTION The creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994 expanded the scope of international trade law beyond the traditional border measures covered by the old General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947), to a significantly greater area of national regulatory activity, such as foreign investment, trade in services and intellectual property rights (IPRs). Thus, in addition to incorporating the GATT, the WTO treaty introduced the following new agreements: the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) and the Agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Of these new treaty obligations, the TRIPS Agreement is the deepest and, arguably, most controversial, both in terms of the scope and intensity of the compliance obligations it imposes on member states, and the potential conflict between its substantive obligations and the policy priorities of many of these countries. The broadening of the scope of WTO law was accompanied by the strengthening of its enforcement mechanism so as to ensure compliance of WTO members with the legal rules. The overarching compliance obligation is set out in article XVI.4 of the WTO Agreement, which states that each member ‘shall http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Commitment and Compliance in International Law: A Study of the Implementation of the WTO TRIPS Agreement in Nigeria and South Africa

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2012
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2012.0031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

OLU FASAN∗ I. INTRODUCTION The creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994 expanded the scope of international trade law beyond the traditional border measures covered by the old General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947), to a significantly greater area of national regulatory activity, such as foreign investment, trade in services and intellectual property rights (IPRs). Thus, in addition to incorporating the GATT, the WTO treaty introduced the following new agreements: the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) and the Agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Of these new treaty obligations, the TRIPS Agreement is the deepest and, arguably, most controversial, both in terms of the scope and intensity of the compliance obligations it imposes on member states, and the potential conflict between its substantive obligations and the policy priorities of many of these countries. The broadening of the scope of WTO law was accompanied by the strengthening of its enforcement mechanism so as to ensure compliance of WTO members with the legal rules. The overarching compliance obligation is set out in article XVI.4 of the WTO Agreement, which states that each member ‘shall

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2012

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