Better Rules for a New Millennium: A Warning Against Undemocratic Developments in the WTO

Posted: 10 Apr 2000

See all articles by Marco Bronckers

Marco Bronckers

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Abstract

The theme of this article is that the quality of WTO rule-making needs to improve, particularly as the WTO expands into new areas in the upcoming Millennium Round. The quality of existing WTO rules is deficient. This is illustrated with examples taken from the WTO agreements on intellectual property and telecommunications services. Furthermore the article shows that, in view of institutional constraints, it is particularly difficult within the WTO to clarify or replace inadequate rules. Now that the WTO's dispute settlement machinery is so effective, rule-makers may be tempted to leave the resolution of difficult problems to litigation. This, however, leads too easily to undemocratic surprises and, therefore, a weakening of the organization. The article concludes with recommendations for the negotiators of the new Round to ensure the adoption of better rules.

Suggested Citation

Bronckers, Marco, Better Rules for a New Millennium: A Warning Against Undemocratic Developments in the WTO. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=195768

Marco Bronckers (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

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