MJIEL Vol 5 Issue 1 2008 - Editorial

Manchester Journal of International Economic Law
Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 3-35, 2008


Communication Flows in International Economic Law

Professor Asif H Qureshi, University of Manchester, Law School, UK



The development dimension of the Doha Development Agenda is in a sense a tautology. However, it serves both to highlight the development objectives of the Doha Round, whilst also confirming the general mandate of the Round for trade liberalisation in support of the membership of the WTO as a whole. In particular, the development dimension informs the mandate of the negotiators, including the progress and outcome of the negotiations. As such the development dimension serves as criteria against which to measure the progress in the Round; and no doubt in future the concept may inform the interpretation of the future provisions intended to realise the objectives of the development dimension of the Round. Moreover, whereas the development dimension is a recognised focus in the Doha Round, its parameters have no where been expressly defined. It is generally considered inclusive of the development aspects of the multilateral trade negotiations under the Round. Further clarification of this development aspect is to be found in the Doha Declaration[1], in particular paragraphs (2) and (3), which refer to the needs and interests of developing countries and also the meaningful integration of the least developed countries in the multilateral trading system.

The Doha Agenda with respect to development is the result of political compromise. It has the appearance of being piece-meal in its approach rather than a coherent mainstreaming of development into the very and every fabric of the multilateral trading system. Moreover, the development aspects are being negotiated as between developed and developing countries --- a process that goes against the very objective of development and which relies on the negotiating skills of developing country negotiators. The system in international law of facilitating development should move away from a legislative framework that is underpinned by a process of negotiations based on some form of a bargain. Moreover, the ramifications of trade liberalisation on development are complex. The burden of unpacking this complexity should not rest alone on the initiatives and expertise of those States who are already burdened by underdevelopment.

This is the fifth volume of the Manchester Journal of International Economic Law. I am grateful to the contributors, editors, referees and the Advisory Board for their part in facilitating this fifth volume of the Journal. 

[1] Doha Declaration adopted on 14th November 2001.

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