Harnessing the Multilateral Patent and Plant Variety Protection Regimes to Advance Food Security: Implications of the EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement

Uchenna Felicia Ugwu, University, My, University, My
2020
This thesis analyzes the provisions of multilateral, continental and regional intellectual property (IP) and trade agreements to explore whether these provisions advance, or compromise, food security in West Africa. The agreements have been examined for how their provisions integrate IP and food security norms and policies, both within and between different multilateral treaties; and the extent to which the IP frameworks are adaptable to the regional conditions that determine food security in
more » ... food security in the West African context. In the thesis, food security is viewed as part of the public interest objectives of IP treaties, the human right to food, and the socio-economic rights of international laws, which are relevant in interpreting IP agreements. The method adopted is to examine interfaces among different IP treaties and linkages between regional IP regulation and other rule-based systems, using the principles and tools that international law provides for analyzing relationships between treaties and norms. Critical analysis is made of a regional agreement signed between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU), the 2014 EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), to assess what implications the agreement may have for food security in West Africa. Interdisciplinary research is carried out to identify the characteristics needed to advance food security in the region of West Africa. To meet these requirements, philosophical and doctrinal analysis of IP laws and legal theories is conducted to identify which legal principles are best suited for advancing food security in the region. Based on the findings, the thesis draws up a model framework for IP protection that is more suitable for enhancing food security in West Africa.
doi:10.20381/ruor-24724 fatcat:74spuczl2bcazfb2oqt4b7t7oa