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Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2004


The article addresses issues related to legal services and the General Agreement on Trade in Services or GATS. The article begins by focusing on "Track #2" of the GATS and the obligation under GATS Article VI:4 to develop "any necessary disciplines." In 1998, WTO Members implemented GATS Article VI:4 by adopting "Disciplines" that apply to the accoutnancy sector. WTO Members currently are in the process of deciding whether to extend the WTO Accountancy Disciplines, S/L/64, to other service sectors, including legal services. In December 2002, the WTO sent the International Bar Association (IBA) and other non-governmental organizations a "consultation letter" requesting their views about any changes that would be needed in the WTO Accountancy Disciplines if the Disciplines were to be applied to legal services. The IBA responded to this consultation with the May 2003 IBA GATS Forum held in Brussels. This day-long Forum addressed two issues, one of which was WTO's consultation with the May 2003 IBA GATS Forum held in Brussels. (The Forum also addressed the issue of which classification system to use in the ongoing GATS negotiations.) Following the IBA GATS Forum, the IBA Council unanimously adopted two resolutions: one resolution specified the IBA's recommended changes to the Accountancy Disciplines; the second resolution recommended Terminology to use in GATS negotiations, but not go so far as to endorse a classification system. In December 2003, the IBA transmitted these resolutions to the WTO. This article describes the events before, during, and after the IBA GATS Forum. It provides a legislative history of the Sempter 2003 adoption of the IBA Resolution Regarding the Suitability of Applying the WTO Accountancy Disciplines to the Legal Profession and the IBA Resolution in Support of a System of Terminology for Legal Services for the Purposes of International Trad Negotiations. This article includes as appendices to doments related to the IBA GATS Forum and subsequent IBA Resolutions.

Publication Title

Penn St. Int'l L. Rev.