عنوان مقاله [English]
There are two different views about the legal nature of the WTO obligations. One view is that the obligations are bilateral by nature. It means that the obligations can be considered a ‘series of bilateral or mutual relations’ between State members and should be analyzed on the basis of the rules concerning bilateral obligations under the international law. This view is based on the idea that the object of WTO obligations is ‘trade’ which is bilateral in nature. In addition, these obligations are not comparable to human rights obligations which are multilateral in nature. Therefore, the relations between member states are essentially bilateral in character and therefore independent of one another. The other view is that WTO obligations are collective or multilateral because their principal object is the protection of collective expectations about the trade-related policy of governments and accordingly they are provided for the common interest and not for the individual interests of the States concerned. This article deals with these two different views and concludes that the emphasis made on the formation of a multilateral system in the organization instruments, the Principle of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) obligation in GATT (Article I), the law making process as well as the judicial precedent of dispute settlement body indicate that the obligations are multilateral or collective in character. The implementation of the principle of development, special and different treatment to weak and developing countries, creation of compulsory dispute settlement system and the formation of the a body to survey the trade policy of the members are the results of adopting the multilateral nature of WTO obligations.