Every WTO member that joined the organization after its founding has made accession commitments that add to or subtract from those members' WTO obligations. The content of WTO law concerning these members is affected by the substance of WTO-plus and WTO-minus provisions in their accession working party reports. Properly interpreting the provisions of working party reports can be difficult, because they are not drafted in clear legal language and because the provisions are largely silent on the most essential component in interpreting accession commitments—their relationship to the baseline WTO rules found in the WTO agreements applicable to all members.
One cannot interpret accession provisions accurately without first understanding the baseline WTO rules potentially altered by the commitment. By reviewing the entire body of commitments made by WTO applicants and comparing them to each other within and across accessions, this Thesis reveals and categorizes different kinds of accession provisions based on their function within the accession working party report and relationship to the WTO baseline. Whether an accession provision is a description, a confirmation, an extraschedule binding, or a modification depends on its function within the working party report and significantly impacts how the provision interacts with the affected baseline. This interaction ultimately determines whether a commitment is WTO-plus, WTO-minus, or neither.
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law, International law|
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