Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Mr. W. Armstrong (New Zealand)
A Notifications under Article 63.2 and the procedures for the review of national laws and regulations
6. The Chairman turned to the question of the procedures for the review of national laws and regulations notified under Article 63.2, on which he had held informal consultations, as agreed by the Council at its meeting of 22 February 1996. He proposed, after some discussion, the following procedures for the Council's review of legislation in the area of copyright and related rights to take place in the week of 22-26 July 1996, adding that the Council, of course, could always adjust the procedures in the light of experience, as appropriate: "The review will apply to the copyright and related rights legislation of Members obliged to comply with the TRIPS Agreement under Article 65.1 and of any other Members not still availing themselves in respect of this area of legislation of any longer transition period to which they may be entitled. "Advance notice of questions relating to legislation in the area of copyright and related rights should be given by the end of May. "Members wishing to pose questions will communicate the questions directly to the Member or Members to which they are addressed, identifying, as they see fit, their priority questions, with a copy to the Secretariat which will circulate them to all Members of the Council. "Written responses will be provided as soon as possible and in any event prior to the review meeting of the Council for TRIPS, at least in respect of those questions posed within the deadline. "Each Member to which questions have been posed would group related questions as it sees fit in preparing its responses. In doing so, it will identify in each reply the question or questions to which it is responding. "As to the order in which Members' legislation would be reviewed, the Secretariat will shortly be contacting delegations to finalize this, along the lines suggested in the informal Secretariat note of 10 April 1996, concerning possible arrangements for the review of national laws and regulations. That note proposed following. In principle alphabetical order will be followed, with allowance for the legislation of countries distant from Geneva to be taken up sufficiently early so that their experts do not need to make unnecessary trips to Geneva. "The review meeting will take the form of a brief introduction by the Member whose legislation is under review of its legislation and a presentation of its written responses, comments and possible follow-up questions from other Members and oral replies to those questions. "As has been the practice in other WTO review exercises, delegations will provide the Secretariat with written copies of such follow-up questions and oral replies after the meeting. "Written replies to follow-up questions to which oral responses could not be provided during the Council meeting should be submitted within eight weeks after the meeting. "Out of the week of 22-26 July 1996, at least four days will be set aside for the review, with the remaining time available for regular Council work. "The main record of the review will be the transcripts of the questions and replies. There would also be a brief record of any other discussion at the meeting, including any introductory statements and comments not reflected in the questions and replies. "At subsequent meetings of the Council an opportunity will be given to follow-up any point emerging from the review sessions which delegations consider have not been adequately addressed." 7. In addition, the Chairman informed delegations that the Secretariat had informed him that, if written responses were to be translated into all WTO languages and then circulated, these would have to be available to the Secretariat well in advance of the meeting, i.e. by 1 July 1996. Therefore, he encouraged Members to submit written replies as early as possible prior to the meeting. If written replies could only be made available at the beginning of the meeting, they would be circulated informally to all Members in their original language and form in time for the review of that particular country.