Date of Award
Doctor of Law (SJD)
Professor Dr. Sompong Sucharitkul
Professor Dr. Christian Okeke
Professor Sophie Clavier
On January 15, 1995, a new international economic organization came into being. The creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), of which the tenth anniversary recently passed, marks "a watershed moment for the institutions of world economic relations reflected in the Bretton Wood system." Through a decade of existence, the WTO has grown into a "common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations," serving to "develop an integrated, more viable and durable multilateral trading system."
Like many international economic organizations that emerged after World War II, the WTO is a treaty-established inter-governmental institution. "Treaties are often an awkward albeit necessary method of designing institutions needed in today's interdependent world." The WTO was founded by the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (hereinafter as the "WTO Agreement"), treaty adopted by 124 nation states plus the European Community (EC) at Marrakesh, Morocco on 15 April 1994. With a length of 25, 000 pages and enormous impacts, the WTO Agreement has been the heaviest and most important treaty system ever since the adoption of the United Nations Charter of 1945. Although its formal text takes no more than 10 pages to address merely institutional issues, the WTO Agreement has actually developed a legal complexity, first through its inclusion in the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (hereinafter as the "Final Act''), the latter includes 28 more Ministerial Decisions, Declarations and one Understanding related to the WTO Agreement, and also through its four elaborate annexes that contain additional 29 Agreements and Understanding to regulate a variety of trade and trade-related areas. This comprehensive treaty package - usually called the "WTO agreements" (different from the above "WTO Agreement") or "Uruguay Round agreements," or simply, the "WTO treaty" or "1994 Uruguay Round treaty" - is at the core of an emerging body of multilateral rules for trade, the latter nowadays is widely recognized as "the law of the WTO" or "WTO law."
Gong, Hongliu, "The Law of the World Trade Organization and Its Domestic Implementation: With Special Reference to the People's Republic of China" (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 52.