School of Law

Research Student: Thi Lan Anh Tran

Vietnam's Membership of the WTO: An analysis of the transformations of a socialist economy into an open economy with special reference to the TRIPS regime and patent law.

Having gone through a process of transition in its modern history from Confucian thoughts to the French colonial system and finally to Marxist philosophy, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam now finds itself once again managing the challenges brought about the drive to transform not only the economy but also the legal system into a modern system based on open economy.

Indeed, the economic and legal transformation that Vietnam is going through as a result of her membership of the WTO, and the nature and scope of obligations that Vietnam was required to undertake to become a member of this world trade body, makes a fascinating case for study.

It is in this context that this study aims to examine the reasons for Vietnam's desire to join the WTO, the nature and scope of obligations that Vietnam undertook for this membership, the impact this membership has had on Vietnamese political, legal and economic landscape.

Furthermore, this research will focus on a controversial area of the WTO legal regime, the intellectual property protection that applies to a socialist legal system in a transitional period.

How Vietnam's national law system has been reformed to meet the WTO request will be addressed in this research. The latest sector in Vietnam's national legal system, intellectual property law, with a deep examination of the relationship between patent protection and public health will be critically examined as a potential aim of this study.

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