76. The representative of Australia said that she agreed with the course of action proposed by the Chairman. Her delegation had always seen the Article 24.2 review as an important opportunity to consider how the general provisions of the TRIPS Agreement had been applied in practice. This allowed, firstly, assessment of the practical effect of the treaty language and, secondly, provided an information base that would allow Members to gauge the actual benefits that had accrued. This would provide a clearer basis for discussing the policy aspects of GI protection. However, in practise, the Council remained without a clear basis for a discussion on the policy aspects of GI protection. In her view, it had been difficult for the Council to progress the review. Irrespective of the length of time the review had been underway, in terms of substance, the Council remained at a very formative stage. Some of the discussion under a previous agenda item had highlighted the significant uncertainty that persisted on the issue of GI protection.
77. She noted that Members had posed a series of questions to one another concerning their domestic arrangements for GI protection, and the responses to these questions were contained in summary form in document IP/C/W/253/Rev.1. There was also a large amount of information on national GI systems that had come to light as a result of the Article 63 review of national implementing legislation, which was continuing. As it related to GIs, there had been relatively little by way of discussion or analysis of this material in the Council. She was open on how this information should be handled but, at this stage at least, she was not persuaded that it be left completely to one side. In her view, the question for Members was how to capitalize on the information provided both in response to the Checklist and in the context of the review of national legislation. Her delegation intended to give further consideration to this matter. It was primarily interested in a review process that would encourage participation by all Members. It had given suggestions to the Chair, and was also open to the suggestions made by other delegations, such as the proposal by New Zealand, supported by the United States, to work through the GI provisions of the Agreement paragraph by paragraph.