A Typology of Multilateral Treaty Obligations: Are WTO Obligations Bilateral or Collective in Nature?

  title={A Typology of Multilateral Treaty Obligations: Are WTO Obligations Bilateral or Collective in Nature?},
  author={Joost Pauwelyn},
  journal={European Journal of International Law},
  • Joost Pauwelyn
  • Published 1 November 2003
  • Political Science
  • European Journal of International Law
An important though oft neglected distinction between multilateral treaty obligations is that between obligations of a bilateral nature versus those of the collective or erga omnes partes type. Multilateral obligations of the bilateral type can be reduced to a compilation of bilateral, state-to-state relations. They can be compared to contracts. Collective obligations, in contrast, cannot be separated into bilateral components. They are concluded in pursuit of a collective interest that… 
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