An International Law Perspective on the Protection of Human Rights in the TRIPS Agreement

An Interpretation of the TRIPS Agreement in Relation to the Right to Health


This book offers an analysis of the interpretation of the WTO TRIPS Agreement and its impact on the right to health. It furthers understanding of WTO jurisprudence and researches the topic in a broad framework of international law. It examines the extent to which the patent protections in the TRIPS Agreement are consistent with the right to health, and in particular with access to medicine. It helps to underpin an understanding of the relationship between human rights law and intellectual property law – specifically between the right to health and patent protection. It usefully analyses the relationship between TRIPS and the right to health and develops an understanding of interpretive techniques for use within WTO dispute settlement.

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Biographical Note

Ping Xiong, PhD in law (2009) Victoria University of Wellington, is Lecturer at the School of Law, University of South Australia.

Table of contents

Excerpt of table of contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction
I The Issue; II Approach to The Argument of This Book; III Focus of The Book; IV Scheme of This Book
Part One Preliminary
Chapter 2: The International Human Rights Context
I The Right To Health in International Law
A. Wide Recognition; B. Scope and Content of the Right to Health; C. Public Health under the Right to Health
II The Right to Life in International Law - Refusal of Access to Life-Saving Facilities
A. The Right to Life; B. Relationship between the Right to Life and the Right to Health; C. Summary
III The Right to Property and The Right to Fruits of Creation
A. The Rights; B. Human Rights Approach to Patents
Chapter 3: Conflict Or Coexistence between Human Rights Norms and TRIPS
I TRIPS And The Right To Health
A. The History of TRIPS; B. Patent Protection in TRIPS and the Right to Health
II Limitation and Derogation in The Regimes – An Internal Mechanism
A. Limitation and Derogation in Human Rights; B. Use of Limitation and Derogation Language in TRIPS; C. Relationship of the Concepts in the Two Regimes
III Human Rights in TRIPS – Is an External Mechanism Needed
A. Integration or Fragmentation; B. Resolution of the Conflict
Part Two Interpretation of TRIPS
Chapter 4: Rules of Interpretation of Public International Law
I Application of VCLT by the WTO DSB
A. Article 31(1) of VCLT and its application; B. Contextual material - Article 31(2) of VCLT; C. Article 31(3) of VCLT and its application; D. Supplementary means – Article 32 and its application; E. Summary
II Consistent Interpretation of TRIPS and WTO Laws
A. TRIPS and other covered agreements; B. TRIPS and Incorporated Conventions
III Evolutionary Interpretation
Chapter 5: Examination of TRIPS in Light of The Interpretive Analyses
I Coverage and Flexibilities Offered by TRIPS
II Object and Purpose of TRIPS
A. Ordinary Language Used in TRIPS; B. Subsequent Agreement and Practice
III Interpreting Specific Provisions
A . Article 27 - Non-discrimination and Exclusion of Protection; B . Article 28 - Rights Conferred; C. Article 6 - Exhaustion of Rights; D. Article 31 - Compulsory Licensing; E . Article 30 - Limited Exceptions; F. Article 73 - Security Exception
Chapter 6: Application of Human Rights Norms
I TRIPS and Human Rights Norms
A. TRIPS Is Not Self-contained; B. TRIPS Invites the Use of Human Rights Norms
II Rights to Health, Property and Fruits of Creation in TRIPS
A. Application; B. Applying GATT Interpretation Methods to TRIPS
III The Right to Health in TRIPS
A. Object and Purpose
B. Specific Provisions
Part Three Impacts of Interpretation
Chapter 7: Impacts on TRIPS-Plus in FTAS
II Interpretive Relationship between TRIPS and FTAS
A. Relationship in the Interpretation; B. Relationship with TRIPS
II Heightened Patent Protection in FTAS
A. Heightened Patent Protection in FTAs; B. Justification for Heightened Patent Protection in FTAs; C Implication of the Justification
III Interpretation and Human Rights
A. Flexibility in FTAs; B. Interpretation; C. Human Rights
CHAPTER 8: Conclusion
Bibliography; I Treaties and International Instruments; A. Treaties; B. International Instruments; II Cases; A. GATT/WTO Cases; B. Other Cases; III Texts; IV Research Papers; V Websites (Homepage URL); Index.


All those interested in WTO law and intellectual property law and seeking to understand more about issues at the intersection of intellectual property and human rights laws during the application of WTO law.

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