Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Need for WIPO reform?

The website Intellectual Property Watch has a couple of interesting news items recently dealing with the travails of the World Intellectual Property Organization, and in particular its efforts to get a budget approved (through lack of full funding) and to appoint a new Director General, with the suggestion that these and other difficulties are causing industry figures to lose trust in the Organization (despite the fact that a budget has now been approved).

Interestingly, one the key areas for reform suggested by commentators refers to the internal transparency and management procedures of the Organization - very much the domain of GAL (and, indeed, of the more limited, traditional sphere of international administrative law). IP Watch has gone so far as to ask the 15 prospective candidates for the post of Director General a set of 5 questions relating to how they see the role and future development of the Organization, one of which is "One year after you take office, what do you expect to have changed in WIPO’s management, staffing and procedures?". The answers, which can be found here, provide some interesting insights into current thinking on the internal administrative law and procedures of international organisations, even if they do not often get past the basic, abstract incantations of transparency, accountability and "good governance" more generally.

1 comment:

Ismael said...

Very interesting post! It seems important also that one of the five questions is on the WIPO development agenda. That underlines the strategic role that this institution plays in order to aid development.
Moreover, from the GAL perspective, the answers given by the 15 candidates show that WIPO is actually considered not only as a IGO but as a "global public administration". One of the candidates (and the others agree) underlines that "WIPO’s clients are not the governments alone. Other stakeholders have an interest - the industry, civil society, etc. WIPO provides all of them a service - this service must be improved continually, through discussion with the stakeholders and responding to their needs".