ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Opacity at WTO

The WTO may claim 'informally' that a decision has been reached on the technical but contentious issue of converting specific duties to ad valorem rates on agricultural products, necessary for countries to agree on duty reductions in the Doha round. But a small group of countries, including India, recently took a decision at an 'informal ministerial meeting' in Paris and this was then foisted on the rest of the WTO. From Quad decisions to green room consultations and now informal ministerial meeting decisions, the WTO keeps discovering new forms of non-inclusive decision-making. Is it any wonder then that another expansion of the WTO is 'Whose Trade Organisation?'

A Confusing Patent Law for India

The amendments to India's patent legislation have left the country with a law which at times exceeds the requirements of the TRIPS Agreement or has provisions unique to India, and at other times, appears to be in conflict with the international treaty. The procedural and substantive changes seem to be weighed in favour of the patent applicant. Overall, the result is a more complicated and confused law than need have been the case. India's policy-makers and legislators did not take the opportunity to simplify the law and procedures; they did not also seem to have any overall policy objective to achieve, other than pleasing all sides.

Royal Gamble in Nepal

The king of Nepal has gambled where the chances of his winning are very bleak. At the moment, only the Maoists can rescue him by joining the negotiating table. Their refusal to do so would only lengthen the international hostility to the new regime. The Nepalese people?s initial silence would then be replaced by frustration and possible protests if peace is not delivered within reasonable time.

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